>From personal experience in Taiwan, I found it enormously helpful to be able
to meet other Wikimedians from so many different places. (Japan, Taiwan,
Australia, India, the Middle East, Europe, Canada, the U.S., and many other
places) As well, there are positive benefits of cultural exchange, and
outreach to Egypt and other nearby countries also has positive benefits.
There will always be a certain percentage of attendees that are from the
local country or region, who otherwise will not attend. As mentioned
already, for whatever reasons, the Arabic Wikipedia is still small (compared
to the number of speakers of the language). This is an excellent
opportunity to outreach to them and grow the community.
Then in 2009, we will have Wikimania in another place (maybe Atlanta or
Toronto?), which will draw different people from the local region. Though,
I'm sure there will be people from Taiwan and Egypt who will continue to
come to Wikimania, regardless of where it is. In my experience of
organizing conferences, I find this to be the case.
The Jury for Wikimania 2008 bids have met and are pleased to announce
that Wikimania 2008 will be held in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Bids were assessed by a Jury which included community members
representing various geographical areas, and organisers of the previous
conferences. The Jury used 12 criteria to judge the bids, which were
drawn up based on the Jury's previous experiences organising the
conference and with input from a wide range of community concerns.
Alexandria was found to be particularly strong in the areas of
reflecting the Wikimedia Foundation's roots in geo-diversity and
multi-lingualism, of the very exciting nature of the proposed venue
and its local facilities, and of the particularly advanced nature of
the financial planning.
All three Bids were very strong in differing ways, each with stronger
and weaker points. We would like to draw particular attention to the
efforts of the team behind the Atlanta bid, which came in second place
and was particularly commendable in the areas of providing in-facility
accommodation and social space, and for doing great outreach to local
Wikimedians. Their efforts could serve as an example to any team
hoping to get the local community involved. The Cape Town bid was
marked strongly by the Jury for cultural diversity, a particularly
benign local environment, and efforts to secure local recognition and
facilities. We'd especially like to congratulate Cape Town on
providing our very first strong bid from the Southern Hemisphere.
A table of the results is given below. Each member of the jury had up
to 60 points to allocate to the bids in each of the 12 categories,
which they did after a period of discussion and careful deliberation.
Category Alexandria Atlanta Cape Town
Accommodation 251 298 71
Funding 264 224 152
Location 294 154 182
Internet Access 204 263 133
Local Laws 155 253 222
Press 232 235 153
Organizing Team 244 206 163
Rotation 305 55 260
Social Areas 222 258 140
Cost 289 206 125
Venue 323 158 139
Visas 243 109 263
Total 3026 2419 2003
Note that a 13th category, on personal preference, was polled but is
not included as it had no significant effect on the result.
The Jury would like to thank all of those involved in bids, including
those whose bids did not go forward to the final selection, for their
efforts which combined to produce a competitive field.
We strongly encourage all those who bid this year, and those of you
wondering whether your city could have done the same, to consider
bidding for Wikimania 2009, for which the decision will begin very
shortly. See the Wikimania 2009 page on meta for further updates
within the next few days.
We are especially looking forward to the Wikimedia Foundation
collaborating with one of the most famous repositories of knowledge in
the world, and emphasising the newly developing Wikimedia projects in
Africa and the Middle East. We would like to encourage the entire
community to support the Alexandria team over the coming year in
producing an outstanding conference, and look forward to meeting as
many of you as possible there.
On behalf of the Wikimania 2008 bid Jury.
 - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2008/Jury
Sue Gardner and Jan-Bart DeVreede abstained from voting.
 - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania 2008/Judging criteria
 - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2009
James D. Forrister
I am working on documentation for Wikimania, and I'm trying to compile
better statistics for people who have tried and haven't been able to attend
because they were turned down for or were otherwise unable to get a visa to
the country where the conference was held.
Theodoranian summarized the situation for Taipei pretty well in a previous
mail. For Boston, I'm still going through emails and records but my memory
is that 2 speakers from Brazil couldn't get visas in time, 1 wikimedian from
India was explicitly rejected, and I know there were others as well.
So please help me out, fellow organizers and attendees -- if you remember
what happened for 2005, 2006 or 2007 or you attempted to get a visa to come
to a Wikimania and couldn't, let me know off list.
One thing I think will be important very important is to have more
structured local travel opportunities.
I was on my own in Taiwan, after Wikimania, since not enough people signed
up for the tours. There were three tours (1-day, 2-day, and 3-day) to sign
up for. The tour organizer told me he required 30 to sign up for each,
otherwise they were canceled. 30 never signed up. Smaller size groups
should have been accommodated. Nonetheless, I was comfortable enough with
the culture and felt perfectly safe, to be on my own.
For 2008, I think minimum size for groups should be *much* smaller. I look
forward to visiting a place with much different culture than my own. This
time, I will know more of the language. But, I think the culture is
different enough that having someone local guide me and other attendees
around would make the experience better.
>Send Wikimania-l mailing list submissions to
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>When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>than "Re: Contents of Wikimania-l digest..."
> 1. Wikimania 2008 - Public Meeting - Reminder (James Forrester)
> 2. [Wikimania 2009] Important notice! (Cary Bass)
> 3. Re: [Wikimania 2009] Important notice! (Ray Saintonge)
> 4. Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt (Cary Bass)
> 5. Re: Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt (Aude)
> 6. Re: Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt (Majorly)
> 7. Re: Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt (Cary Bass)
> 8. Re: Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt
> (David Strauss)
> 9. Re: Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt (Mido)
>Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2007 11:16:56 +0100
>From: "James Forrester" <jdforrester(a)gmail.com>
>Subject: [Wikimania-l] Wikimania 2008 - Public Meeting - Reminder
>To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List"
> <foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>, "Wikimania discussion mailing
> list" <wikimania-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>This is just a reminder that there will be a public meeting on
>Freenode IRC in #wikimania2008 at 15:00 UTC today (that is, in just
>under 5 hours' time) between the Jury and the Bids' teams.
>Hope to see you all there.
>On behalf of the Jury.
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