I personally have took some emails more interesting and not others because in a long
thread this is what happens.
What are the email I have read with more interest? The experience of people who organized
a Wikimania. Other emails are base on a general feeling, in a vision that we already know
and we already share, there is no sense to stress it, but there should be also the
I remember to have been two times in the committee of selection of seat of Wikimania and I
remember that an important aspect was the ability to execute.
Reading this thread I understand that the ability to execute cannot be evaluated because
it depends more from the availability of time than from the competencies.
Applying here the parameters of any project management framework, it means a risk to
manage, and it means a big risk. Solving the risk only with the capacity of the
volunteers, it seems to me to transfer a risk to another entity that cannot manage it.
It's a simple transfer of responsibility but in an un-manageable way.
I personally feel that the next Wikimanias need to have in the budget an item to pay a
staff to organize the event.
It means that, annual or multi-annual, the budget of Wikimania must increase. There is no
sense to reduce the number of participants, because the biggest cost are connected with
An option is to increase the numbers of the sponsors, but as soon the budget covered by
sponsors will be bigger and bigger, they would have their own piece of cake. In this case
there should be evaluated if Wikimenia remains a meeting of wikipedians or an opportunity
of sponsors to reach another niche of potential users.
On 11/Lug/2016 07.05.11, Andy Cruz y Corro wrote:
My two cents regarding volunteers and organizing
Just as others, I did spend lots of time in the organization of Wikimania, mostly in
recruitment, training and logistics of the Yellow Army, and in many other small things
helping Ivan, Carmen and the rest of the organizing team. As we approached Wikimania I had
to devote more and more time to it, way past a regular 40 hour week, often having to sleep
in someone's couch because we wrapped things up at 4-5 AM. I also was lucky to have
money to support myself during these months, but it was a coincidence; if I had to do
it all again, I wouldn't be able to dedicate that much time for free.
Also, that's the easily measurable time because it was confined (mostly) to man-hours
in front of a computer or running errands. The actual time invested is impossible to
count, mostly because of two factors: 1) because it was also spread during the ~15 months
between us winning the bid and the actual event, during weekends, in 5-minute
conversations at all hours, etc; and 2) because you have to consider investing time in
experienced people that will make things easier further down the road. This needs
stressing, because these two represent time and money that are usually not considered in
budgets and preparations.
As Ivan said, many things can be avoided with good planning work and (again) enough time.
In our case, we made sure the volunteers felt part of the Wikimedia Mexico team, not just
an extension of it. They were invited to editathons, talks, workshops and conferences
before Wikimania, which weren't part of their "official" training, but as a
way of showing them what the movement is about and that they can be part of it. Most of
them are still active in our chapter, but that's not just because of luck, we planned
for this and were explicit to them in our intent to have them as contributors.
All of this goes to support my opinion that this should be kept "in-house" as
much as possible (at least, regarding the actual volunteer team, as I cannot speak about
the rest of the organization). It's true that events like Wikimania often ask a lot of
their volunteer team, physically, emotionally and mentally; which opens up the risk of
"scaring" people away, quitting on you on the most critical moment and
forgetting about your cause. There's a lot of talk around lately about motivation, but
every expert seems to agree that the most important things to consider when motivating a
team are giving them a purpose, enabling self-direction and fostering a sense of mastery.
Once you have at least the seedling of this environment, volunteers seem to give their
metaphorical 110% for a cause they believe in, confident that their individual effort does
make a difference. That's how we managed 72 hours of continuous editing in June :D
 The company I was working at had to close due to a terrible financial situation. My
original plan was to either ask for extended vacation time, to negotiate a sabbatical
month or two or to quit. Ultimately the decision was made for me, but the fact is that I
was trying to figure out a way to work 24/7 on Wikimania one month before the actual
event. In hindsight, I underestimated how much work it meant, as my full-time involvement
was a full 10, maybe 12 weeks before Wikimania started.
 For instance, the 3rd volunteer meetup was planned and budgeted in a little over 2
hours, but that's because I've worked with that team since I was 16 making similar
activities and, just like that story going around about Picasso, it took us 10 years to
plan a picnic like that in such short time. Our recruitment/training process considered
that the Wikipedia name may attract enthusiastic people with little to no experience,
which is good to grow in numbers, but will use time in training certain skills. Finding
people with previous volunteering experiences takes more time, but pays off in the long
run. These two should be balanced according to every event's needs.
On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:12 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak > <> darekj(a)alk.edu.pl>
> hi Ivan,
> On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:42 PM, Ivan Martínez
> > <> > galaver(a)gmail.com> > >> > wrote:
> > Darius, I think that "motivations criris afterward" must also be
considered in the planning and prior call for Wikimanía volunteers and can be avoided. In
Mexico we always tell to people that we did not want them just for giving the best of
themselves for three days around, but we wanted to keep them with Wikimedia mission. A
month ago we broke a Guinness record and 60% of attendees were Wikimania volunteers. It is
a matter of long preplanning, I think.
> this is awesome! I think we also lack the
ability to transfer such good practices and paths to success across the movement, but this
is really impressive!
> prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
> kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
> i grupy badawczej NeRDS
> Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
> wrds.kozminski.edu.pl> >
> > > członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych
Polskiej Akademii Nauk
> Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia
Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford
University Press) mojego autorstwa > > http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010
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"Imagina un mundo en donde cada persona del planeta pueda tener acceso libre a la
suma total de todo el conocimiento humano. Eso es lo que estamos haciendo."—>
Jimmy Wales> .
> Socio de > Wikimedia México> .
> > Andrés Cruz y Corro
> > about.me/andycyca
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