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2006:Wikimania/Boston/Local support

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You have discovered a page for people and groups interested in supporting a Boston Wikimania; both those who will be around next summer and those who can provide support or chocolate-chip cookies beforehand. Add your name, organization, and sig below; additional information added at your own risk.

Local team[edit source]

Wikimedians active in recent organization and couch-offering <br\> (These are Wikimedians who have actively taken part in planning over the past two weeks.)

  • Sj (Have helped organize events at the Law school before; know the campus and city inside out. Worked on last year's Wikimania. Live near campus; have space for other organizers to crash with me if necessary during planning sessions) (IRC: _sj_)
  • Ivan Krstic, know the campus inside out, live on campus, can probably also provide some space for organizers to crash during planning and the conference
  • Jessamyn local-ish. Can help with crack team of local reference librarians to meet/greet/orient/assist. orientation materials and go-to support, on site refdesk
  • DustinBoyer Experience organizing conferences, friendly & competent & 2 couches for crashing 7 minutes walking distance from the vard.
  • EricaG, official Berkman contact and wikiphile; plans local and Berkman events
  • jkb, long involvement with local Wikimeets and Boston-area events (IRC: jkbaumga)
  • Brettstil, also help with site design (+ 2 colleagues; see CSS sponsors), Wikimania laptop stickers schwag
  • Jeremy T, Harvard PhD student; can leverage involvement by social scientists campus-wide
  • Deborah Elizabeth Finn, all around cyber-yenta, with nonprofit and other tech connections across the east coast
  • Pingswept, also with local news coverage
  • Mysekurity would be glad to help out with whatever he can.
  • Alexander (Sasha) Wait (IRC: asw)
  • DanKeshet
  • Aaronsw
  • PaulAugust
  • Tracy Adams - also works with dot LRN @ MIT.
  • ilya
  • Stevenj - MIT faculty; I have limited time but I'm hoping I can be helpful
  • betsythedevine - I'll do some research on Noreascon, big int'l conference recently in Boston, to see how they managed.
  • - I live in New York City and can take big groups of people up in my car, which seats six from New York airports, where flights are cheaper. I also have family in the Boston area who I am sure would not mind hosting some people, plus they have a pool. What's not to like?
  • Alexander (Sasha) Wait - Coordination with Harvard Medical School & Synthetic Biology
  • CarlBlesius, HST Fellow at MGH and .LRN board member, interested in pushing for/helping with education related sessions, have space for 1-2 out of town organizers (5-10 min by bike or T to Harvard Square), have organized conferences in the past
  • Tobacman. Links to academic social scientists, couch space for 3. Language support: es/id.
  • Michael J. Epstein. Northeastern University Faculty; will help how I can

Individuals[edit source]

  • Dmharvey - grad student in math department at Harvard, author of Blahtex
  • Dowbrigade
  • jacobolus - undergraduate student at Harvard College
  • Karmafist - A Strong Maybe.
  • w:User:Reagle Now in Brooklyn, but lived in Cambridge for nine years and have some connections at MIT and Harvard
  • - a bit west, but can probably help. Language support: eo.
  • Christopher Parham - undergraduate at Harvard, willing to help however possible. let me know

Local enthusiasts not yet involved People who have expressed interest in the past, or are active & social wikipedians

  • Interest from a contingent of Wellesley girls
  • More local Wikipedians : ~40 from recent meetups/events (Rednblack, User:Cunctator, ...) or who don't attend such things (BCorr, User:dpbsmith, User:moink, ...), and 20+ from NYC and regional MA (like jessamyn above; Ed Poor, &c.)
  • Berkman interest : Fellows (partial help from 20 local fellows - active bloggers and journalists, lawyers and technologists)
  • Harvard Computer Society members (on top of those listed above, 6 people who will be around over the summer and are interested in "a field trip" to Wikimania wherever it is :-], especially the Hacking Days.
  • AndyCarvin (Digital divide & UN work. Busy but interested.)
  • Cyberfest Artists (Henry, Newbury street music project, &c. Loved the Cyberarts presentation in April.)
  • Henry Minsky
  • Amanda and Mal Watlington (Amanda: professional 'new media' PR consultant)
  • Beth Kanter
  • Bob Doyle (a/v tech expert; Skybuilders. Busy all fall.)
  • Bill/Recafe (experience w/ event rentals and in the real estate industry; might help with offsite events)
  • David Weinberger (blogger of infamy)
  • Ezra Keshet, developer & linguist
  • Josh Ain, developer
  • Luis Villa, Berkman hire, Ubuntu coder, and all-around frood
  • Matt DeBergalis, hacker and local political entity
  • Matthew Gline, President, Harvard Computer Society. Not a wikipedian perhaps, but an interested and dedicated citizen of the Internet.
  • Patrick Ohiomoba. (Harvard stats dept, computer services; wiki hacking on the side)
  • Shimon Rura, developer
  • Zak Stone (Interesetd in KM hacking)
  • Gregor J. Rothfuss, developer
  • w:User:ArnoldReinhold, local addict

Organizations[edit source]

Primary support[edit source]

  • Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society Contact: Erica George, Colin Maclay
    Providing free rooms, assistance, and publicity throughout the year. Also access to Harvard profs, & formal event status, which means brainstorming time with their brilliant Fellows, and staff time to help coordinate logistics with the university. (Exception: Renting Sanders Theater would be an additional $1000/day)
  • MIT Media Lab's Electronic Publishing Group Contact: Benjamin Mako Hill
    Offering to reserve us major halls like Kresge Auditorium for large events.
    Can provide access to MIT profs, tours of the media lab, a party in their two-floor atrium.
  • Harvard Medical School's Free Biology project; and Church's lab Contact: Alexander Sasha Wait
    Offering funded grad student time; contacts in medicine around Boston. Some interest in directly funding MediaWiki development.

Active interest[edit source]

Aside from the main supporting groups above. These are groups whose contacts have offered direct support, definite interest in working together, or help finding other sponsors. We may only be able to use a subset of this support, but it helps to have suggestions and ideas coming from many different channels.

Wiki use and Technology

  • The Harvard Computer Society (offered use of their well-networked office, and a bit of local tech support) Contact: Matthew Gline
  • The HLS Journal of Law and Technology [JOLT]. They 'live and die by the wiki', doing all publishing via a mediawiki-based publishing platform. A couple will be around in the summer; they are students interested in wiki apps & willing to get involved. Contact: Jackie Harlow, Elizabeth Stark
  • IBM Watson Research in Cambridge is interested in working with us. They have a team of 2-3 people who work on wiki ideas; including the team developing the History flow tools. Martin Wattenberg is keen on doing something cool @ Wikimania. Also considering corporate sponsorship. Contact: Martin
  • MIT's CSAIL (Computer science and AI labs), particularly their W3C offices. The W3C is considering financial sponsorship, liked the sound of Wikimania. Can definitely help us find appropriate people to speak to standards. Contact: Ian Jacobs (cf. Joseph Reagle)
    Also the Science Commons of the Creative Commons, which has offices there, and an active synthetic biology group that is interested in directly funding MediaWiki development (Talked Thurs, Sept 29. collab, possible sponsorship... have few funds, however) contact: Sasha Wait


  • Schwartz Communications (media contacts, perhaps [extra] PR volunteers [some would help out with an event in any city]) Contact: Emily Fisher
  • Christopher Lydon's Open Source program. Lydon and Ben Walker, who maintains the program's blog and records much of the shows, are huge fans, ran two of their early shows about WP. Interested in more tangible wiki tales to tell. (They also have many other local radio contacts; Chris Lydon was one of the biggest radio personalities on public radio before spinning off his own show.) Contact: Ben Walker
  • CCTV -- a well-supported community TV studio. They would be glad to film satellite events not covered by on-campus media; hard to be definite without a better sense of what such events would be like. There are local TV stations where we could get airtime for such video, and a community studio for people to collaborate directly on editing footage for the same purpose.
    There is also the educational-cable system in Boston; I don't know how their audience size compares. The City of Cambridge can provide access to those stations for TV broadcasts (the question would be, how long to broadcast what)


  • Librarian networks - the local Special Libraries Association group would like to lend moral support and perhaps volunteers to the event. A small group of reference librarians also offered to help with the information desk. contacts: jkb, Jessamyn W.
  • The Harvard Libraries would like to lend moral support to the event. Maybe not as needed now as it once was, but still a show of good faith. contact: Terry Martin
  • The Law Librarians of New England, a chapter of the American Association of Law Librarians, expressed an interest in helping.

Education and free knowledge

  • MIT's Comparative Media Studies department (at least 2 interested grad students working on education, with time and funding to think about wikis & even Wikimania. very enthusiastic, energetic.) Contacts : David Edery & Ravi Purushotma
  • MIT's Open CourseWare initiative. Contacts with other open education repositories; interested in license and other discussions. Contact: Vijay Kumar (recently also an advisor to India's National Knowledge Commission which sounds promising)
  • MIT's $100 laptop project. Interested in collaboration w/WP, integration of WP into their software package. Contact: Alan Kay (but very busy)
  • Ubuntu DVD creation w/multilingual Wikipedia imprint. Contact: Luis Villa (interest: Brett S.)
  • Freeculture.org (trying to set up a local chapter @ Harvard). Two locals very interested in WP. Access to unusual global community of students (could be useful at any venue). Contact: Eliz. Stark

Other education and local schools

  • The Boston Foundation directs $50 million each year into local community-building grants, focuses on education and combatting poverty. A general program officer expressed interest in bringing local tech-savvy teachers (working on innovation w/in Boston schools) into the conversation; suggested more specific programs to talk to, like their New Economy Initiative. "call me back if you need more leads." (just need a little time to follow up on them...) contact: Bob Wadsworth (cf Geeta Pradan)
  • The .LRN Consortium, based out of MIT and Boston, have a successful education-portal package built on top of the open-source OpenACS platform, has a very crude wiki and would love to have a great one. They are both interested in linking up with MediaWiki. They have regular coding weekends in Boston; and could coordinate one with the Hacking Days. Contact: Tracy Adams, Caroline Meeks
  • Planet-building collaboration (1 Haifa and 1 Boston school) among ~60 middle-school students, with extensive collaborative research and feedback. Project planned for next spring, then annually. Interested in better use of wikis for the project, or in coordination of work w/WP. Contact: Nitzan Resnick

Multilingualism and International collaboration

  • Kennedy School of Government [KSG]
    Collaboration with ITAM, a major institute in Mexico; could sponsor students to attend. Contact: Federico Baradello (cf. Elis. Nuñez)
    David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies [DRCLAS]; could sponsors a handful of students from Chile and all over Latin America. Contact: Federico Baradello (cf. Steve Reifenberg, director of the Chilean office)
  • Boston Court Interpreter program @ UMass Boston : director of the training program is happy to share the list of court interpreters, who all freelance. Also willing to distribute material about the conference, getting feedback from interested students; especially for En<-->Es interpretation. Contact: Dr. Leonor Figueroa-Feher
  • The Museum of Science: Discussed hosting an evening event for speakers - sponsorship; want to talk more in person, and meet other local WPans. contact: Lisa Monrose

Some interest[edit source]

Groups showing general enthusiasm; prospects for a specific pitch.

More Media

  • The Boston Globe. They've run a number of pieces on Wikipedia and Wikinews, and are planning another series on Wikipedia from a contributor's perspective. Were interested in covering Wikimania I; asked for details last year but didn't run a piece. Local interest would make it a much bigger deal. Contact: Bob Gordon
  • MIT's Technology Review (circulation: 300k+). They love WP, invited Jimbo to speak at their last conference, and have a receptive audience for Wikimedia's goals (all MIT alums + 100k others). Three of the conference organizers (who were also the managing editors & publishers of the magazine) took time to praise Wikipedia.
  • The New York Times. Have reporters who would expressly be interested in covering the conference; even outside of tech-writers. contact: Jenny 8 Lee.

Other groups

  • Local designers; 2 designers (incl. User:Brettstil) have offered help with site design, but are busy)
  • The FSF Main offices here in Boston. collab; interested in holding a conference that summer, eager to coordinate contact: Peter Brown (executive director) (through Dan K and sj)
  • The New England Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) contact: jkb
  • Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Interested in Wikiversity, using wikis in education (a big part of last year's program). contact: Chris Dede
  • Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC) is "an interdisciplinary research and development center for advanced scientific computing" at Harvard. IIC seeks to foster "a two-way collaborative flow of ideas and inventions between basic science and computer science ... and to communicate with the public about the meaning of science and of scientific computing". Felice Frankel and the Image and Meaning program are now at IIC. Very interested in collaborative text and communal knowledge but deep in startup mode right now.

The usual suspects (groups that have asked for more information, but no definite enthusiasm)

  • Lycos and related projects
  • Novell and ex-Ximian groups (corresponding with their local MediaWiki guru who maintains internal wikis)
  • Wolfram Research (maybe not. Ongoing correspondence with S. Wolfram and Eric Weisstein.)
  • The City of Cambridge - progressive, into technology, interested in getting better information from/to their citizens. City councilmen who know about wikis are into it; can offer moral support, contacts with local cultural community bodies... but busy with an upcoming election.

Speakers[edit source]

Speakers who don't like to travel, or whom we would otherwise have to buy plane tickets, who are (often) in the area

  • Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon (global voices experts and resident Berkman fellows)
  • Jon Udell (author of the glorious 'History of the Heavy Metal Umlaut' video; couldn't leave home last year)
  • Jonathan Zittrain and John Palfrey (legal experts and Berkman managers)
  • Joseph Reagle (researcher in NYC; couldn't come last year; was too far)
  • Larry Lessig (comes to Berkman all the time for other reasons)
  • Martin Wattenberg (couldn't come last year b/c he had been travelling too much; might be seduced away from Boston this year anyway) and Fernanda Viegas, planning a serious WP research project this year
  • Yochai Benkler (creativity of the commons; lawyer and philosopher @ Yale)
  • [an OSI representative] (their offices are in NYC)