On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 10:13 PM, Steven Walling
Just throwing my two cents in as someone relatively
new to Wikimania but
not unexperienced in conferences, I would make three points. Forgive me if
someone said these before in a better way.
1. Wikimania isn't actually that big. I agree with Harel when he points out
that the level of overhead involved in organizing is a barrier to strong
bids, but still, my understanding is that Wikimania tends to draw less than
a thousand people. That's about the size of a municipal or regional
technical conference in my experience.
Well the issue isn't exactly about how large Wikimania is, its the large
number of countries the visitors come from. I would guess that the number is
far larger than any regional or technical conference, ahead of any similar
organization- Mozilla Drumbeat for example, would had a smaller group of
countries represented than the last Wikimania. With such a diversified group
comes travel issues- Visa, Airfare, restrictions, not to mention other
cultural and logistic issues far to numerous to mention.
2. Even if Wikimania is not relatively big when it comes to technology
conferences, the problem is growing a strong local team of volunteers in a
new place every year. That's very, very hard. We're not unique in having
that difficulty as a movement, but I don't think it means we should abandon
volunteer-based organization for the event.
That's why a Wikimania Committee would have been the ideal solution, an
oversight body that can retain this experience. Of course, we're not talking
about abandoning the volunteer-based method, but perhaps bringing in outside
3. Making Wikimania biannual will only serve to create more pressure on a
new local team to create a huge, unique event, not lessen it. If we think
Wikimania is too much to have as a rotating single yearly conference, I
would suggest (and this isn't a new idea or mine alone) that we pick one or
two semi-permanent locations on different continents and hold them regularly
in those places. Say, one in Bangalore, one in Berlin, one in San Francisco,
as examples, and hold them on a rotating basis.
Did you mean Biennial or biannual ? Harel made that mistake earlier :-)
Having Semi-permanent locations is also a good idea, but they should
ideally be located along with established chapters. I know Bangalore for
example might not be in a position to host an event yet.
However you do it, a greater number of smaller, distributed events is the
solution for easing the pressure of a single monolithic conference.
Ya but it wouldn't be the one event on everyone's radar like Wikimania is
currently, "A wiki freak show on the other side of the world" as Delphine
put it eloquently. Its the largest event for Wikipedians, and its going to
grow whether we like it or not, its just an eventuality of venturing into
new geographies and demographics.
On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:02 AM, theo10011
On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 8:26 PM, Casey Brown <lists(a)caseybrown.org>wrote;wrote:
On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 9:48 AM, theo10011
Also, about what Dalton said above, about hiring
a single event
planner/manager in the chapter, I think it's still far from being able
manage a Wikimania style event professionally.
Unless they are
with International event planning, its still
going to be a very large
for any single chapter.
It's a large task for a single chapter to plan Wikimania with the help
of a paid event professional? Our Wikimanias have been planned by a
lot less -- usually just a group of hard-working Wikimedians, some
with the help of a chapter, some not. :-)
Allow me to reiterate, I meant its a demanding task for any group, let
alone an individual planner. :-)
Our Wikimanias have also been getting larger and more complicated, I think
thats one of the central issues. I only suggested, maybe its time to
consider outside/professional help?
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