[Foundation-l] Wikimania 2007 - get ready for the third edition.

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Aug 17 09:51:12 UTC 2006

On Thu, 17 Aug 2006, Aphaia wrote:

> /me nods. A int'l conference I know, which usually gather 1,000 people
> or so, is scheduled 3 years before. And honestly I doubt we can say it
> is steadily growing ... (who cares for aesthetics in this world? Heh,
> but it is another problem). For your information, the conf. is
> regurarly trilingual. English, French or German. The local language
> isn't included as its official language. Some tracks are provided
> English a/o local language translation.

Which conference is this?

> spheres is awasome. Over 10 hotels were occupied by participants, 2
> hotels and public convention halls in city serves the convention.
> Registration begins in the fall before one year (so organizers have a
> pool of money beforehand), printed program is sent before one month of
> convention, etc.  See http://gencon.org

Sounds nice.  Gencon is its own LLC; their cons are for-profit, run by 
Wizards of the Coast's Peter Adkison... a slightly different kind of
event, if still focused on pleasing its attendees.

> taking" or just "is ongoing" ... because I have now many things to
> discuss about its linguistic aspects ... I am now strongly hesitant to
> call it an intenational event in its full meaning. I know most of
> "int'l" computer related conf. are monolingual but Wikimania is not

This is not in itself a reason to be the same; we don't have to be limited 
by what most tech conferences do...

> is at least bilingual. So, you won't be realized the monolinguality of
> Wikimania beaten me heavily. It was really a shock when I learned not
> only the ongoing conference at Boston but also Frankfurterkonferenz
> had been also monolingual (de facto English), since I have read
> possible interpretation and translation were discussed by mailinglist
> .....

Interpretation and translation were discussed.  Even budgeted for.  But in 
the end dropped for lack of explicit vocal interest by attendees.  There 
is a chicken and egg problem here, as with the geographic diversity of 
active Wikimedians.  Announcing clearly that there will be strong bi- or 
multi-lingual support at a conference helps bring attendees who would need 
and use such services, and who would otherwise not come.

> keynotes (planeries). Due to the current workload, currently I have no
> enough time to summarize my proposal for universal access to Wikimedia
> things for "ESAFL/ESASL", so I expect you as those to input your
> opinion frankly, and also expect the next year conf. is greatly
> progressing at this point.

I assume you mean "english as a foreign language" / "english as a second 
language".  Perhaps those on this list who have experience with events 
that cater to multilingual (and ESL/EFL) audiences can suggest how other 
groups reach these goals.

This reminds me of the World Social Forum, which tries to be multilingual 
and accessible.  They have an interesting structure for planning 
committees, including representatives from underrepresented communities
of attendees:



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