I certainly was a very lucky woman, since I was *pampered* in terms of
hosting and travel. So, I did not share your suffering regarding travel
between the two cities.
However, it seems a fair point to say that in the future, we should
choose a city where there is an international airport.
With regards to "outside" complaints, yeah, I was also a bit annoyed by
the persistence of some people; yeah, I was cheated with regards of
money several times (but I expected such thing in Egypt). I was also
harassed in an unexpected fashion the last day, and I did not appreciate
that at all. Airco was an issue two nights in a row and there was no
wifi in hotel (but eh, that's Africa). And yeah, information was often
I also regret we were all hosted in many different places, which did not
help finding each other.
In terms of "inside" complaints, my biggest one would go to the rather
unsufficient "community space" and "food/drinks".
People were delocalized on several levels so it was very difficult to
find each other. Unsufficient room to sit down for lunch. Worse for me:
lunch separated for "vip" and "regular". That was a killer for social
interactions, and vips could not go to "lunch meeting" with their lunch
box since they had no lunch box.
I naturally know why this was done this way. But I still find that a bad
idea. I do not think we should artificially separate "vips" and
"regulars". Or at least, we should be able to mix.
In previous years, the press conf was followed by a lunch in the room.
Not this year. Very unfortunate, because for me, it meant... no lunch at
all. By the time I got out of interviews, the lunch upstairs was closed.
I would suggest sticking to a very light and easy buffet after the press
Last, in Taipei light snacks and drinks were available all day long.
This year, only tea and coffee and a few cookies, at fixed times. Often,
sessions were late, so by the time one got out of the room, coffee break
was over. Only once did I succeed to get an out-of-schedule coffee (the
day I missed the coffee in morning, then missed the lunch, then missed
the coffee break in the afternoon), but it was really tough. Until I
found the source of softdrink for money, I had to drink most of my
liquid input during the day from the tap. A miracle I was not sick.
Still, the coffee guys were here all the time, but most of the time
simply not serving. It escapes me entirely why coffee, tea and bottle
water were not served freely during the entire event. Next year, we
should try to be sponsored by Starbucks, as we were by CocaCola in
Boston (I am SUPER serious here. We'll save huge amount of time not
running to the local starbuck...).
Beside this, I found all the local volunteers super useful, helpful, and
smiling. A real pleasure. The party was great ! I was also very pleased
by the presentation of wiki use by US gov, and really appreciated the
presentation about the flaggued revisions from Philip.
Rooms were confortable and of the right size (though, yeah, missing
plugs), there was all the equipement for the video record, and security
was not too heavy ;-)
I did not miss the tech sessions... however, I missed Mark.
Every Wikimania has its "very cool" and "not so good" sides. As far as
am concerned, the "very cool" have always outweighted the "not so
What made me the saddest this year were all the people being sick during
the event. I think more warning regarding food and water could have been
helpful. What made me the happiest was to see that the outreach was a
A question for the future though will be as to whether Wikimania will
focus on the "outreach" or on the "community gathering".