Submissions/The Growth and Future of Wikimania

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

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presentation slides
Submission no.
3006
Subject no.
P1
Title of the submission
The Growth and Future of Wikimania
Type of submission
Panel
Author of the submission
Deror Avi
Country of origin
Israel
Affiliation
Wikimedia Israel, General Manager of Wikimania 2011 in Haifa
E-mail address
deror@wikimedia.org.il
Username
deror_avi
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract

Wikimania is the annual international conference for users of the wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. It started as a small conference in Frankfurt, Germany in 2005, attended by approximately 350 attendees, and has remained small in size for several years (Under 650 people), but in the past two years, with the growth of the Wikimedia movement, it has grown and in 2011, the Haifa Wikimania peaked to 730 attendees, followed by the biggest yet Wikimania in 2012 in Washington DC, attended by 1,400 attendees from over 70 different countries.

This session will explore the growth of Wikimania, its importance to the Wikimedia movement, and will attempt to answer the following questions: Should the conference be limited in size, or scaled down? Should the conference become more academic in nature? Should the conference become more professional or remain complete volunteer based? Should the event remain modestly budgeted or allow a more expensive events (as funds may be obtained by sponsorships) Should the event be hosted by the smaller chapters to allow their growth and development, or by the bigger and well funded chapters who are more experienced in such events? Should the event be located in central areas, allowing attendance of more current wikimedians to attend, or at more remote areas, allowing more future wikimedians to attend and enabling growth of communities in such areas? Can the event be produced solely by chapters? Or can/should a non-chapter group of volunteers produce it?

Detailed proposal

Wikimania is the annual international conference for users of the wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. It started as a small conference in Frankfurt, Germany in 2005, attended by approximately 350 attendees, and has remained small in size for several years (Under 650 people), but in the past two years, with the growth of the Wikimedia movement, it has grown and in 2011, the Haifa Wikimania peaked to 730 attendees, followed by the biggest yet Wikimania in 2012 in Washington DC, attended by 1,400 attendees from over 70 different countries.

The nature of the conference has changed has well – from a community focused conference (lectures mostly by attendees) to a conference with full academic tracks (Haifa) and diplomatic and social sciences track (the Tech@State track in Washington).

Furthermore, the complexity of the conference has grown over the years. From a more un-conference like event, to a more formal and professional event. From a completely volunteer based event, to an event which requires hiring a production company. Wikimania in Haifa had a beach party, and 8 different tours; Wikimania in Washington had a black tie opening reception at the Library of Congress.

The nature of the Wikimedia movement has also changed – many chapters have arisen throughout the years, and other national and regional conferences have grown in complexity and size (for example Iberocoop and the Indian chapter conference, attended by 700).

This session will explore the growth of Wikimania, its importance to the Wikimedia movement, and will include the following:

  • A brief lecture (10 min) about the growth of Wikimania - by Deror Avi
  • one or two presentations: case studies about the effects of Wikimania on the growth of a local chapter (7 min each) - James Hare & Itzik Edry
  • A talk by Sue Gardner, on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation, about the view of the Foundation regarding the conference, its development and its importance (10 minutes);
  • A panel discussion (see panel members below) (35 min), which will attempt to answer the following questions:
    • Should the conference be limited in size, or scaled down?
    • Should the conference become more academic in nature?
    • Should the conference become more professional or remain complete volunteer based?
    • Should the event remain modestly budgeted or allow a more expensive events (as funds may be obtained by sponsorships)
    • Should the event be hosted by the smaller chapters to allow their growth and development, or by the bigger and well funded chapters who are more experienced in such events?
    • Should the event be located in central areas, allowing attendance of more current wikimedians to attend, or at more remote areas, allowing more future wikimedians to attend and enabling growth of communities in such areas?
    • Can the event be produced solely by chapters? Or can/should a non-chapter group of volunteers produce it?
    • How should the location of the conference be chosen?
  • Following the panel discussion a 10 minutes discussion will take place to hear opinions from the audience.
Panel members
  • Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation
  • James D. Forrester, persistent Wikimania organiser
  • Manuel Schneider, Wikimedia Österreich, Wikimedia CH.
  • James Hare, General Manager of Wikimania in DC, 2012
  • Itzik Edri, Wikimedia Israel
  • Deror Avi, General Manager of Wikimania in Haifa, 2011
Track
WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
80 Minutes (detailed above). .This pannel would require full slot, including discussion time.
Language of presentation/talk
English
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Not on the Shabbat.


Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Danny B.
  2. Ijon (talk) 19:44, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  3. Another Believer (talk) 16:30, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  4. Varnent (talk)(COI) 15:30, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  5. It is time to reconsider the role of Wikimania. Wikimania has the potential to be one of the most high-impact conferences in the world and it is not recognized as such. Blue Rasberry (talk) 08:48, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  6. അമിർ എ. അഹരൊനി (talk) 20:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  7. Rsrikanth05 (talk) 07:57, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  8. Slashme (talk) 18:35, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  9. Waldir (talk) 23:43, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
  10. --Netha Hussain (talk) 10:58, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  11. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 16:13, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  12. Sj (talk) 02:58, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  13. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 09:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  14. CT Cooper · talk 23:03, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  15. Ocaasi (talk) 17:28, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  16. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 01:57, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  17. Graham87 (talk) 13:19, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  18. Superbellymonster (talk) 03:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  19. Atropine (talk) 13:44, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
  20. sats (talk) 08:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  21. Marcio De Assis (talk) 14:57, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
  22. David1010 (talk) 21:39, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  23. Whiteghost.ink (talk) 23:40, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
  24. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 20:28, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  25. Wenke Storn (WMDE) (talk) 07:50, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  26. Denis Barthel (WMDE) (talk)
  27. as the general manager of Wikimania 2014 in London I should probably come :) EdSaperia (talk) 18:40, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  28. Shiwei Liu.