Improving on Wikimania 2005

From Wikimania

Wikimania 2005 was great, but we're still learning. What we want to know is: did it leave anything out? Was there something in the venue, speakers/themes, room layout, equipment, facilities, accommodation, food etc. that you would have liked it to have but didn't? Were your needs catered for properly? In short, would you have done anything differently? And what was it like for people who weren't there? Please use this page to feed back your thoughts on the experience - we can use it as an open brainstorm to make the next one even better..

Program content[edit | edit source]

  • (ie. speakers etc)
  • Recording.
    • It would be ideal for every session to be recorded and memorialized for the future. Many of the interesting things came during the smaller sessions.
    • Distribution of the recordings (technical issues and permissions) should be prepared before the conference.
Everything has been recorded, but nobody has stepped up to the plate to get all of the files from me and go through and edit them, figure out the permissions under which they are to be released, edited metadata, etc. --AppleBoy 17:36, September 10, 2005 (UTC)
A friend of mine from Belarus is a suberb video and sound editor. Is there a budget for this, or are you primarily looking for pure volunteers? I wouldn't charge for my own time, but Andrei has a wife and children to support. Ed Poor 13:41, 26 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keynotes: These were too long.
  • Breaks: These need to be in the schedule. Don't assume moderators will end their session in time for people to move to the next one.
We need to have the halls for at least two days beforehand to run through a practice run with each speaker, to correct them on any of their errors, make sure they have everything prepared, their speech is within the timeline, etc.

Venue[edit | edit source]

  • Hard to see this being improved on - accommodation, presentations, restaurant and meeting space all in the same building.
  • Air Conditioning!!!! or Heater if we're in the southern hemisphere
  • My favorite place was the outdoor courtyard where it seemed natural for people to just get together and hang out. The most disappointing was the site of the Saturday party. We could have endured the complications of of finding the place, but some of us aren't too thrilled about loud music and coloured lighting in a black-painted dance hall with limited seating. It wasn't until I went downstairs with a few others to sit at a table, drink beer and hang out in relative quiet that I began to enjoy the evening. Eclecticology 01:28, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Facilities[edit | edit source]

  • Wireless internet was great, but a bit on and off at times - can this be improved on?
  • There need to be a generous number of free internet terminals. We cannot invite several people from developing countries and then expect them to bring their own laptops.

Accommodation[edit | edit source]

Remote participation[edit | edit source]

  • Although the audio streams were extremely good, they were not widely advertised beforehand, resulting in low listener figures (30-40).
  • It would be good if all presentations to be used were also hosted online, so those at home could see what those in the halls were seeing.
  • Combine all this into a well-promoted, easy-to-follow "Remote participation" page.
Next year, if we have the bandwidth, and a hardwired internet connection to the streaming computers, we can indeed do video broadcasting! The only problem is deciding who can and can't be broadcasted, and how that will be handled, because I know some speeches were not allowed to be recorded due to the nature of the background of that speaker. --AppleBoy 17:39, September 10, 2005 (UTC)

General lessons learned[edit | edit source]

  • Don't use a Wiki for internal discussion and external representation at the same time
  • Don't use Wiki+OTRS to handle CfP and contact to more than 70 speakers
Use a form for submissions, so you don't will miss to mutch importend data.
  • Don't put important data into Wiki tables - you cannot track diffs
  • Distribute responsibility but distribute to someone specific and not to somebody
  • Distribute work but distribute something specific and not any help
  • The more you organize the less you catch of the programme. If you really want to participate in a presentation you should hold it, moderate it, record it or have another job that forces you to be there or you won't
  • Do not be greedy on the gummibear budget if you want a fully functional organisation team
Do you mean miserly instead of greedy?
Doesn't matter, WE NEED GUMMIBEARS!!! seriously, we do --AppleBoy
  • Beware of the press! and be ready for massive press coverage
We need badges for people who don't want to be photographed
  • Have a talk on learning to read. Quite a lot of people obviously can't read (at least not the signs at the front of the organisation office). Or make sure that you have enough bouncers at the door ;-).
  • Be aware that for certain jobs you will need help from non-wikifile people and so "teaching" them must start soon.
  • Be aware that if you need translations done you cannot expetct that anyone looks at what you are doing - so keep the person trying to organise this stuff informed - it helps to save a lot of time - only you know when your article is ready - we don't.
  • Wikibook: Wikimania05 - find a way to say "this page is finished and will not be touched anymore" (lock it for editing).
probably find another place to put papers than wikibooks, and only transfer papers to wikibooks when the paper can actually be used as a "textbook"?
  • Include a venue map (showing all pertinent locations within the venue) with the attendee welcome pack. Post copies of this map around the venue.
  • Do clear the permissions for all of the discussions when you negotiate arrangements with the speakers. Don't wait until after the talk has been given, the recording made, and then try to get permission. Perhaps make it clear that the talk and Q&A will be recorded and distributed under some appropriate license (of course, decide what license that is and tell the speaker well ahead of time so they have time to reject it or suggest an alternative).
Also, this information needs to be given to the people recording the lectures, and any press involved if it can't be recorded.
  • If there's going to be a writing (or other) contest don't wait until an hour before the presentations to appoint the judges.
  • Change the webpage for Wikimania so that it is easier to find the things that are relevant. After the event, nobody really needs to know where the registration details are, how to get transportation around the event, and such. These details are irrelevant now. What's relevant? Where are the recordings? Where are the pictures? What was the relevant Wikinews coverage? And other things.
If you're going to have a webpage listing the schedule, link the recordings to the schedule so when people click on the names and titles of the talks, they get something useful, not a mostly-blank page about an event they can't hear or see.

Anything else?[edit | edit source]

The Wikimania blog was rarely updated and the images from the conference too few and badly organized. People who did not attend would like better and more information and impressions from what was happening at the conference.

There was no organised reporting out of the community at all. A real blog should be set up. How about a reporting crew - they should write short introductions to each day for the participants (together with programe team) and a summary afterwards (like a Wikimania newspaper).

Though the presentations were mostly well-prepared, most of the "papers" were not (at least not at the time of the event). It would be nice to further emphasize the difference between presenting a written article and giving a single presentation. Wikipedians should be expected to like writing, so a stricter acceptance policy should help to overcome the lazyness without reducing contributions. I would often have liked to have a more verbose online reference for a talk. Concerning quality (content and style) of the papers, a peer review would be easy enough to manage: you find dedicated users for every topic and language within Wikipedia -- just ask them. They can give helpful comments to improve the papers before the event.

The distributed Wikireader was very experimental, and that is of course ok. However, it did not fully reflect the professional quality of Wikipedias content ;-) (e.g. the cover reads "the free encylopedia"). The idea is good though and one could have a dedicated team to set up such a thing with a little more time in advance. It would also be great if one could have a Wikireader that serves both as a printed version of the conference proceedings and as a more verbose programme that helps to decide one which talk to go to. This would also motivate speakers to write down their thoughts in a more verbose form than they did this year.

And the title of the Reader was "frankfurt" (not Frankfurt)

If Jimbo's next birthday is again during Wikimania, we better not sing "Happy Birthday":

:-) What about in languages other than English? That was Danny's proposal at the time..

And what did you like?[edit | edit source]

  • Steady now, one at a time..
  • That I could listen to some of the presentations even not being there :-)
  • The effect it had on people a bit anywhere in the world
  • The great work anyone did before, during and after Wikimania
  • That you still feel the effects and the spirit of it around
  • That, in spite of the turbulences and difficulties mentioned above, it made a really professional impression. The organizers did a great job.
  • That it really turned out to be quite international
  • The informal atmosphere