[Foundation-l] Taipei chosen to host Wikimania 2007

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Mon Oct 2 00:19:36 UTC 2006

Birgitte SB wrote:

>I intially disagreed with you, david, but now I am
>coming around to your way of thinking.   Everyone is a
>volunteer doing there best in this.  I do not doubt
>that this is true.  But I am beginning to think a
>competitive process requires a higher level of
>professionalism than can be provided by volunteers
>doing their best.
I can understand that some people are disappointed by not winning the 
bid, but now that a decision is made supporting the winning bid serves 
well in maintaining general harmony.

This is not the kind of decision that can be effectively made by votes 
at broad volunteer level.  There are too many factors that cannot be 
properly communicated even if a heroic effort is made by the committee 
to do so.  Much can depend on technical considerations about the 
facility that can only be answered by very direct and specific questions 
from the committee.  It would probably be a good idea to leave time for 
feedback from the general membership about the shortlisted bids; perhaps 
a month would do.  This would give time for concerns of various sorts to 
be raised.  I don't think that this was possible for 2005-7 because of 
the tighter time line for making the decision.  It should be possible 
for 2008 and later since we do want a longer planning cycle.

I support the principle of rotating Wikimania around three broad 
geographical regions (Europe/Africa, The Americas, Asia/Australia), but 
this should not create a situation where we must accept a city's clearly 
inferior bid just because it is the only one from its region.

>Not that I think people should continue fighting over
>the Wikimania 2007 selection.  But we should not stop
>talking about this process.  We should start talking
>about how future Wikimania's should be selected. 
>Perhaps the first task is to really define the
>relationship between Wikimania and Wikimedia.  Is it
>dealt with through a commitee?  Are there any Board
>Resolutions that pertain to Wikimania?  What exactly
>is the connection?
I think that the Foundation's connection with Wikimania should be closer 
than its links with any of the other sister projects.  Wikimania's 
objectives have more to do with marshalling physical assets than trying 
to build something on-line.  There is still the task of putting together 
a programme for the conference, but I don't see that as a big logistical 
problem.  As long as the programmers are respectful of the diversity of 
Wikimedia projects serious difficulties are unlikely.

Perhaps a separate, but closely linked non-profit corporation needs to 
be set up to deal with Wikimania.  It could be the one responsible for 
any possible liabilities that could arise from operating real-world 
rather than virtual events.


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