Delphine Ménard wrote:
I have read the numerous comments on the fact that we
planning Wikimania well in advance, and I fully agree that choosing
the city for Wikimania 2008 sometime at the end of 2006 or beginning
of 2007 makes perfect sense, and we have started working on it.
Perhaps the cities who are about to make bids could indicate a
preference for 2007, 2008 or even 2009. There seems to be some informal
support for a three region rotation, but no-one would be so insistent as
to force it upon a region that does not want it or is incapable of
providing a basic infrastructure for Wikimania. By the time Wikimania
2007 rolls around it might be possible to have the 2009 list reduced to
serious candidates, and the attendees in 2007 could contribute their ideas.
On the subject of size. I am personally not in favour
*international Wikimedia conference* (keywords international and
Wikimedia) that will hold more than 500 people, ever. The reason for
this were clear last year, but even clearer this year, ie. opening the
conference to 1000 people makes it, in my opinion, lose the
"Wikimedia" touch, by bringing many people in who have in the end
nothing to do with Wikimedia. Mind you, I find the interaction with
other organisations and people with different web, collaborative,
knowledge experiences very fruitful and interesting, but this year
showed a trend that I wish we did not facilitate too much. There were
many many local (as in US) people who had but a far fetched interest
in our projects, and thus did not pertain to the "Wikimedia Community"
or had no intention of ever pertaining to it.
These are all important factors, and although I would not want to jump
to judgement about the optimum size. Perhaps a local quota of 50% might
help. I found it mildly annoying to ask someone his user name, only to
find out that he did not edit at all. Perhaps that might be solved with
another quots, at least the very simple solution of a different name
badge colour for Wikimedians and unaffiliated visitors would help.
Some have also suggested a Problem Solving Day, probably on the Thursday
if we continue with the same format. This would be closed to all but
Wikimedians. As I understand it this day between Hacking Days and the
main conference is already used by developpers to discuss their
technical problems. This day could also be used to equal advantage by
other interest groups. (Thinkers' Thursday? :-) )
My dream is that Wikimedia got their hands on enough
money in due time
to provide scholarships to far away contributors wherever they may be
and make sure that the core attendance of the conference is filled
That would be nice, as would serious help with visas.
Basically the real question is what do we want
Wikimania to be? Is it
the ultimate wiki conference? Is it the Wikimedia conference? Is it a
free knowledge or access to knowledge conference? Is it an open source
conference? Is it all of that? Some of that?
This topic could fill a conference session, and is probably the kind of
thing that should be scheduled.
In my opinion, and in an ideal world, Wikimania would
be booked solid before registration even happens, because we have
managed to bring in all the people that count in the Wikimedia
Including the ones from the developed countries? As someone who
travelled from the opposite coast of North America there are still
personal budgetting considerations that can delay taking positive steps
In short, I do not think that Wikimania would benefit
from becoming a
huge thing that everyone would attend because they happened to be in
At least one day in the conference that is more public than the others
can help. That can be the day for keynote speeches or for revealing
policy initiatives that need to be publicized.