On 26 July 2011 16:47, WereSpielChequers <werespielchequers(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I rather fear that hosting Wikimania is a bit like the
Olympics or the
Eurovision song contest, a dubious honour that saps more from the host
organisation than it generates. That said if there are a keen group of
people who want to organise a UK Wikimania I have no objection to it
being here in 2014 or 2015.
There may be some truth in that. I think if we're going to host it
here we need the chapter to play a major role in the more tedious
parts of the organisation and implementation. The new board has put
hiring an events manager on the back burner for now, but as long as
that isn't delayed too much (that may depend on the views of the new
chief exec) they should be able to do a lot of the work. If volunteers
only had to do the interesting stuff, the whole thing would work a lot
better. Some kind of organising committee can make all the big
decisions about how things should be and then staff can go away and
actually do them.
Obviously, having lots of things done by staff rather than volunteers
would significantly increase the cost. However, simply having it in
the UK means it will be much more expensive than usual (although DC
isn't a cheap city, so it will be interesting to see what they do).
It's long been my view that if we're going to host Wikimania in the
UK, we need to embrace the idea of it being really expensive and go
all out to hold the biggest and best conference we've ever had.
If we do that, then we need to start by finding sponsorship. We would
need to find one or two big sponsors willing the throw 6-figure sums
at the event. I think such sponsors could be found (people really do
love Wikipedia!), but it would take a lot of work and we would need to
start very soon if we were going to be ready for 2014.
Better still we should encourage those who want to
organise a UK
Wikimania to get involved in the team running DC in 2012 and/or help
Manila or whoever gets 2013 (by 2013 we really should be taking
Wikimania back to the far East rather than yet another event at this
end of Eurasia).
That would be good. The chapter having organised lots of large
conferences for other things would also look good and that's going to
be the case anyway (there have already been a few).
Another feature of some Wikimanias has been linguistic
even a non-English channel in the program. Now we could try for that,
perhaps with a collaboration with Wikipedia France. But I'd prefer a
more global approach - perhaps with skype channels and translation on
demand so that we or the Foundation provide scholarships for people
who speak a wide range of languages and can then offer skype channels
in various languages based on demand from Wikipedians around the
When Wikimania was in Argentina they had real-time translation between
English and Spanish. If we could do the same for two or three
languages (plus English) that would be good. I'm not sure what that
would cost or whether we could get discounts, but it ought to be