I'm writing to announce two thing of interest to the community:
1. "The Wikipedia Story" wiki invites Wikimedia community folks to
help write the "next chapter" for Wikipedia. The result will appear
in the hardback book "The Wikipedia Story: How a bunch of nobodies
created the world's greatest encyclopedia" a nonfiction work which
will be released in January 2009 by Hyperion
Many already know I have been writing this book for over a year, after
being a community member for over five years, attending three
Wikimanias and conducting countless interviews with Wikipedians around
the world. I am inviting the community to collaboratively write the
last chapter as a tribute to and demonstration of the extraordinary
users I've had the privilege of working with. Details can be found
In prelaunch we've had a dozen contributors "kick the tires" and put
seed material in. Unlike other wiki experiments such as "A Million
Penguins" and "Wikitorials" which have had difficulties building the
right dynamic for generating quality content, this endeavor has
experienced Wikipedians at its core. You don't all have to agree, but
I'm confident the right dynamic will allow for thoughtful discourse. I
invite you to come take part and help chart out the future course of
Wikipedia. It would be incredibly helpful to register using your
familiar Wikipedia username. Please do feel free to pass this message
on or translate this for Wikimedians and non-Wikimedians alike.
As always, you are welcome to contact me directly on wiki or by email
if you have any questions. See you on the wiki!
2. Wikipedia Weekly audio podcast episode 48, "An interview with Jimmy
Wales," is now online for your listening pleasure. Wikipedia Weekly is
an independent "radio show" that has been produced for over a year
with volunteer effort from the community such as Liam Wyatt,
User:Tawker, User:The Placebo Effect, User:Daveydweeb and
myself. (Thanks to numerous others who have been guests and helpers.)
We have never stumped or spammed the podcast (until now), and hope you
find it a useful public service. You can subscribe to it as a podcast
from Apple's iTunes or listen to it in Ogg Vorbis format on the web
site. We always welcome comments and even your participation in our
"roundtable" show discussions.
-Andrew Lih (User:Fuzheado)
I'm pleased to announce a new web service.
MediaWiki2PDF - is a free online service, that allows you to generate
nice looking PDF documents from books found on wikibooks.org. It looks
through child pages and collects chapters and subchapters into a single,
well-formatted PDF document. All you have to do, is just enter url of
the book and press "Enter".
From recent time service can also generates PDF-s from wikipedia articles.
Visit us at http://blogpaper.com/mediawiki2pdf
We hope it will be useful to you.
Blogpaper Development Team.
With less than three months to go until the fourth annual Wikimania
conference, registration has finally opened and will remain so until
the 15th of June. This year Wikimania starts with the a promise to
"Change the Shape of Wisdom" as it is hosted by Bibliotheca
Alexandrina, the reincarnation of the ancient Library of Alexandria,
one of pillars of this Earth when Philosophy and Wisdom are bought
into question. In Alexandria, from the 17th to the 19th of July, ideas
will be shared and discussed between people from all over the globe,
once again igniting the golden cosmopolitan age of the city.
As always, the conference will take place over 4 different tracks,
with a variety of speakers: Keynote, invited, and other. The
conference tracks this year are:
* Wikimedia Communities - Interesting projects and particularities
within the communities; policy creation within individual projects;
conflict resolution and community dynamics; reputation and identity;
multilingualism, languages and cultures; social studies.
* Free Knowledge - Open access to information; ways to gather and
distribute free knowledge, usage of the Wikimedia projects in
education, journalism, research; ways to improve content quality and
usability; copyright laws and other legal areas that interfere with
Wikimedia projects. Free Content in Middle-East/Africa countries.
* Technical infrastructure - Issues related to MediaWiki development
and extensions; Wikimedia hardware layout; new ideas for development
(including usable case studies from other wikis or similar projects).
* Scientific track - Papers submitted to the scientific track were
peer reviewed by scientific standards and accepted or rejected based
on these reviews. The papers will be published in proceedings
afterwards. Based on the number and the quality of the submission, a
journal special issue may be pursued
This year the conference is taking an interesting direction that hopes
to enlighten third world and Middle Eastern countries about the new
digital realm that is continuously expanding and evolving; as such,
along with many well reputed figures, an emphasis has been put on
bringing in Arab speakers. Speakers include Ahmed N. Tantawy, the
Technical Director of IBM in the Middle East; Eliane Metni, the
founding director of the International Education Association; Tim
Spalding, the founder and lead developer of LibraryThing; Eric M.
Johnson, the team leader for the Knowledge Management Action Team at
the U.S. Department of State; and Usama Fayyad, Yahoo!'s executive
vice president of Research & Strategic Data Solutions.
Take part on one of the most important IT events of the year. Check
the registration prices online.
While these prices do not include accommodation, the local team has
taken the effort to make all sorts of housing opportunities available,
starting from dorms up to luxury hotel rooms. Check these when your
registering. You will also be pleased to know that transportation is
available to and from Cairo International Airport in the 2 days before
and after the conference.
And what is a gathering without fun? Tours and parties are being
planned out for the participants of the event. After all Alexandria is
cultural city that brims with hospitality and the main idea of the
event is to provide a gathering place.
Hope to see you there!
The Wikimania Local Team
Please forward this message along to whomever you think will be
interested! (Sorry if you've already this e-mail more than once!)
Note: This e-mail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails sent to
this address will probably get lost.