Hi Gary,


I wish you luck with this one.


I’m trying to understand how one goes about “selling air” to a bureaucrat. If there was some kind of a package together, say an agenda, a couple of potential well known speakers, or workshop attendees, I might see some way in which to help. But it seems Wikimanian sales people have to reinvent the prop every year. Also, the conference is considered as just a local one off, which makes it very hard unless you have the kind of relationship that Mido obviously has with the Bibliotech and Egyptian National Library.


I’ve only had a decade or so of experience here, doing stuff like Rotary conferences for 64,000. So you’ll appreciate I’d really like to see you and the other proposers have something in your kitbag, which breaks the ice in doing a global linkup, so even if a country “misses out” one year, there would still be some kind of local interaction with the main live event, every year.


You’ve done the right thing here though, well done. Go straight to the top. But don’t be disappointed if they give you the run around. The main thing you must know is that, in government, it always comes down to a committee, who don’t give a stuff about getting results. (After all, it’s not their money)  In selling the rule of thumb is to present to 10 potentials to get a result, so I’ve put another iron in the fire a while back, if the UK community wants to fan it.  http://labspace.open.ac.uk/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=231#p641


The Open Uni seems like such an obvious fit as they have the same aim as the WMF. I’m trying to encourage their OpenLearn Initiative to partner with the WMF’s projects.  


1,         Re the tools (wiki extensions on WMF side, the real time stuff like presence and conferencing from OU) and

2,         Re ‘their’ free content (the basic articles from WMF projects, the courses from the OU and its partners).

So if you were to talk to Patrick down there on that basis, I think yu might find an open mind. I’ll point you at the

OpenLearn home page; link to ‘people’ on the right. http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/about-us/our-story.php


If I was I your end of the world, and was looking for a potential hit who might help with Foundation stuff, both for conferences and the convergence between academic Wikibooks and Wikiuni, then JISC would be my primary focus, and Louisa seems to have the relevant international seat.  http://www.jisc.ac.uk/aboutus/international.aspx . Might be an interesting discussion. But lead off with Alexandria for next year, and talk about National Libraries and the Accessgrid, and then wish her a merry Christmas.


The nice thing about representing the Foundation, which in effect is what you are doing (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) is that the air around it inspires a lot of hope in bureaucrats who suffer from “unimaginative empiricism”. But beware! :) you have to be so careful as unless you’re very clear about what you’re proposing, they won’t have a clue; hot air is all they’re used to.


Good luck and Merry Xmas.

From: wikimediauk-l-bounces@lists.wikimedia.org [mailto:wikimediauk-l-bounces@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Gary Kirk
Sent: Saturday, 15 December 2007 3:51 PM
To: Wikimedia UK mailing list
Subject: [Wikimediauk-l] Wikimania 2009: assistance from the government?


Jim Knight, the schools minister briefly wrote to me saying he "looks forward to hearing more" - I explained a little, and pointed him to someone in his office who I had emailed. I have heard back from neither as yet, and the next time I would expect to would be Monday, I assume. *crosses fingers* :)

The UK/London bid page is at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2009/UK by the way, people :)
I have updated it slightly and added to the London bid page. Please take a look and improve.


Gary Kirk

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