Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Gnangarra


On 5 October 2015 at 02:51, James Forrester <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sun, 4 Oct 2015 at 11:25 Joseph Fox <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 4 October 2015 at 19:10, James Forrester <[hidden email]> wrote:

At the Committee’s meeting in Mexico City in August, we agreed to alter the way that Wikimania locations are decided.


​I don't mean to slight yourself, James, or the committee, but this seems an unnecessary delay. Why is this only now being communicated?​

A fair question. We spent too long discussing options rather than presenting this earlier. I'm sorry. I have discussed this change with a variety of people since at least 2007, and others were talking about it before me, but as the complexity of Wikimania rises each year it has become more chronic. As Chair of the Committee, the delay is my fault, and I apologise.

 
Would it not have been wise to reveal this as it was agreed upon rather than now, after at least two bidding parties have put time and effort into their bids for 2017?

I might equally ask why people not associated with running Wikimania decided the create and keep updating mistaken pages on meta about Wikimania 2017 being open for bids without even a post to this list, let alone the Committee, where we could have pointed out it was false before people spent time ill-advisedly. :-(

​I followed the process because that is what was publish, it was the process that the community had developed over the last ten years​ and there was no indication that the community process had been usurped....   

People on the committee had been through the very same process, you as Chair of this committee have been involved in the process for a long time and knew that people would be preparing to follow the Meta process well before the dates.   You as chair lead the changes you as chair were  responsible to ensure those changes were communicate and any processes already published you updated in a timely manor to ensure people knew about that... 

oh and those pages suggested people join this list there was never an instruction to contact the committee and seek their permission to bid as the bid selction was to be done by a jury after  a period of open public nominations. 




 


The large majority of our community members are based in either North America or Europe; organising Wikimanias in these areas allows the majority of our community members to attend cheaply, so that money spent on scholarships can go further, and be more focussed in supporting our community members wherever they are based.


​This is true and cannot be ignored. But why, then, is "Europe" such a narrow definition? Why no provision for Eastern Europe and Russia? This seems quite disappointing given we have active affiliates in these areas.

The groupings are based on where the majority of Wikimedians are. They can of course change over time. I was hoping to work with fellow Wikimedians to narrow down these definitions so that it's clear for instance which group each interested community group falls.





 
--
​Gnangarra



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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Luca Martinelli
Luca Martinelli, 05/10/2015 00:22:
> Moving from James' idea of a three-years rotation between regions, and
> taking into account Katie's idea, we may define three rotating areas:
> * First year: Europe + Middle East + North Africa
> * Second year: Americas + Oceania
> * Third year: rest of Asia + Sub-Saharan Africa

I'd rather group regions by the likelihood that people in those regions
come together and cooperate on an event (once their region is chosen):
it's no use selecting a region if 5 "big" competing bids then emerge for it.

Europe should definitely be (at least) in Council of Europe terms.
Americas have Iberocoop + all the spanish-speaking USA people and might
indeed be considered as a whole.

As for Africa, I'd really like to see a map of the continent where
distance is measured by flight cost... we might discover that the centre
of Subsaharian Africa is Dubai, Paris or Frankfurt. My search results
were poor:
* https://whoee.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/fun-with-maps/
* http://www.cityofsound.com/blog/2006/01/map_of_europe_i.html

As for the rest of the world, no idea...

Nemo

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Ralf Roletschek

I agree that we should make rotation explicit, but that doesn't need to be done by region. We could achieve the same by requiring each bid to be a long haul flight from the previous one, and  a medium haul flight from the one before. Under the region proposal we could have Amman in Asia, Cairo in Africa and Athens in Europe all within four years. Or El Paso, Texas  one year and_Juarez, Chihuahua the next.

I suggest that instead we make the rotation explicit by distance, 4000 miles from the preceding venue, 3,000 miles from the one before that, 2,000 from the one three years prior and 1000 from the one four years earlier. We should also have a rule that prioritises countries that welcome such events with a more open visa policy.

Also if the Foundation wants to get better value for money, the venues could be determined through a commercial evaluation looking for the best value locations in the world regardless of whether or not there are locally organised wikimedians. Then get the programme determined by global volunteers. It wouldn't be too much of a burden on scholarship attendees if they got an email with their flight details asking them to volunteer to moderate or video a session.

Jonathan 


On 4 Oct 2015, at 21:57, Ralf Roletschek <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yes, thats right. +1

2015-10-04 22:55 GMT+02:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
What I like about the explicit rotation:
* more transparency, the rotation is no longer an unwritten rule;
* more time (2 years) to make Wikimania great, less volunteer time spent on (concurring) bids;
* more concreteness and (hopefully) cooperation in the selection stage, less "let's beat continent X";
* more pragmatism, recognising we can't always flight the biggest groups of people in the farthest places.

Nemo


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Béria Lima
In reply to this post by Osmar Valdebenito-3
​015-10-04 18:41 GMT-03:00 Osmar Valdebenito <[hidden email]>:
I'm simply baffled in the way the Committee has just decided to explicitly reduce the participation from the so-called Global South, specially when we are supposed to promote the communities in those countries. (...) Considering this rotation system, one of 21 countries from Latin America will only have an opportunity to host in 2035, while the US will have the opportunity 7 times in the same timespan. Absurd.

​Let's even forget for a second that ​Latin America, Asia and Africa will only host one Wikimania once or twice each in 2 decades. The committee also forgot that in the other 10-12 Wikimanias pretty much no one from those regions will be able to attend without a Scholarship. Right now the rate exchange to USD and EUR to BRL (my currency and one of the strongest of Latin America) is - respectively - 4 BRL to USD and 5 BRL to EUR. Which makes a coffee in Paris as expensive as a dress in São Paulo.

And besides the costs, lets remember who gets rejected the most to enter Europe and USA in any kind of visa (I'm a "white" latina and was held in an European Airport - twice. I can't even imagine how it is for Africans or Indians). So that decision basically solidified the fact that for now on, US and Europe and not only the hosts of pretty much all wikimanias, they are also almost all of the attendees. 

Seriously, the committee couldn't do a better job in excluding the Global South. ​
_____
Béria L
​. de Rodríguez


Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. Ajude-nos a construir esse sonho.

2
​​
015-10-04 18:41 GMT-03:00 Osmar Valdebenito <[hidden email]>:
I'm simply baffled in the way the Committee has just decided to explicitly reduce the participation from the so-called Global South, specially when we are supposed to promote the communities in those countries. Although I agree and understand that places with bigger communities should host Wikimania more often, the decided rotation is more unbalanced that in the past. Since 2009, Wikimania has rotated between the Global North and the Global South each year; now, the Global North will have 2 Wikimanias for each one hosted in the Global South (and I'm not considering the case of developed countries -such as Poland or Australia- hosting those years with the weird classification others have pointed out).

Considering this rotation system, one of 21 countries from Latin America will only have an opportunity to host in 2035, while the US will have the opportunity 7 times in the same timespan. Absurd.

2015-10-04 18:01 GMT-03:00 aude <[hidden email]>:


On Oct 4, 2015 8:10 PM, "James Forrester" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> All,
>
>
> TL;DR: The Wikimania Committee and the WMF Community Engagement department will be working on coming up with a new process for venues for future Wikimanias, which we will be seeking input from the community in the next few months
>
>
> ------
>
>
> At the Committee’s meeting in Mexico City in August, we agreed to alter the way that Wikimania locations are decided.
>
>
> The existing bidding process has developed over time. It has become unwieldy and hard work for the community and staff. It demands that people pour a huge amount of effort into building local teams, contracts and institutional relationships only for rejected bids' work to be left unused. A lot of pressure is put on volunteers to try to work on logistics rather than dream about what would make a great programme for our communities. Each year, the jury has to decide on a venue based on what is presented by each group divisively, rather than what we as a community could come together and build.
>
>
> The process is too short-term, setting out venue much less than two years ahead (often only just more than twelve months in advance). This greatly increases expenses when other similar conferences plan locations out many years ahead. This makes it impossible for us to be strategic about location, prevents us from arranging co-location with like-minded conferences, and it means that some areas of the world are ignored when they could provide great Wikimanias.
>
>
> Consequently, from now on the Committee will pick an area for Wikimania four to five years in advance, from the following (provisional) list.   The years in which we have already held Wikimanias in these areas are shown in parentheses
>
>
> * Western, Northern, and Southern Europe (2005, 2014)
>
> * Canada and United States (2006, 2012)
>
> * Asia-Pacific (2007, 2013)
>
> * Middle East and North Africa (2008, 2011)
>
> * Latin America (2009, 2015)
>
> * Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (2010)
>
> * South Asia (none yet)
>
> * Sub-Saharan Africa (none yet)
>
> * Oceania (none yet)
>
>
> The Committee intends to deliberately rotate between these areas to make sure we allow as many community members to attend as cheaply as possible.
>
>
> The large majority of our community members are based in either North America or Europe; organising Wikimanias in these areas allows the majority of our community members to attend cheaply, so that money spent on scholarships can go further, and be more focussed in supporting our community members wherever they are based.
>
>
> Locating Wikimania in other continents does not assure that participants from these areas  can attend more cheaply. Nevertheless, to support the movement worldwide, we do want to ensure that, every third year, Wikimania will take place neither in Europe nor North America.
>
>
> We  propose that a sequence of "Western, Northern, and Southern Europe", "Canada and United States", and one of the others every three years, picked out several years into the future.

I am not convinced this is a good idea, given this definition of regions.

Eastern Europe should definitely be considered along with western, southern, ...  It is pretty cheap to travel there from elsewhere in europe, probably venue + accommodations are cheaper, and most important we have significant communities there with track record of organising regional conferences.
I would also be tempted to include north Africa and middle east with europe. (after all, the next European hackathon is being held in Israel)

I also think having wikimania in Canada + US every three years is too often. The visa process for the US is hugely annoying, difficult and results in excluding attendees.

Also, while great and important to have wmf support for wikimania, imho it is important that ultimate leadership for wikimania each year is from volunteers. I am not sure the volunteer community in the US + Canada has this capacity to be lead organizer every three years. Maybe once every four years is reasonable, imho.

Also, stuff like accommodations tends to be a bit expensive in the US compared to elsewhere, and flights within north America (especially Canada) are also somewhat pricey in my experience.

Cheers,
Katie

Beyond the first two areas, we may not visit some as often as others. (I have not listed Antarctica as an area to which we will rotate, which may well be a disappointment to members of the British Antarctic Survey and others in that location.)
>
>
> More widely, we would like to encourage Wikimedia conferences as open, engaging and fun community meetups, alongside the annual Wikimania conference. I know that several chapters run country-specific conferences each year, which is a good move. I think that there should be at least one annual Wikimedia conference in each of these areas. This would help newer editors know that there are people like them nearby without requiring the existence of, or putting too great a demand on, every national chapter or other local affiliated body. In some areas like Africa where the distances are great, multiple regional conferences may make sense.
>
>
> As part of the new system of location selection, we will no longer have a 'bidding' process. Instead, the Committee invites people interested in leading or helping to run a Wikimania to contact us on-wiki, or via the wikimania-l list. If you think that you know a great team, venue or concept for holding Wikimania, in your area or anywhere else, please discuss the possibilities with us. We will work with interested community members to narrow down the selection to a particular venue.
>
>
> Our next few locations will thus go like this:
>
>
> * 2016: Western, Northern, and Southern Europe – Esino Lario in Italy
>
> * 2017: Canada and United States – TBD
>
> * 2018: TBD – TBD
>
> * 2019: Western, Northern, and Southern Europe – TBD
>
> * 2020: Canada and United States – TBD
>
> * 2021: TBD – TBD
>
>
> As you can see, as well as picking the 2017 venue in Canada or the United States, for which we have a candidate lined up, we need to select very quickly the area for 2018, and after that, 2019 and beyond. There are several areas we’ve outlined above that have never had a Wikimania, and others where we have not visited for some time. We would love your thoughts on the areas on which we should focus for 2018 and beyond. We’ll also be asking in future for your thoughts about how to structure the programme of each Wikimania to make it as good as it can be for you, for others, and for our community overall.
>
>
> Thank you.
>
>
> Yours,
>
> --
>
> James D. Forrester
>
> Chair, Wikimania Committee
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimania-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
>


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

C. Scott Ananian
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
On Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 4:33 AM, WereSpielChequers <[hidden email]> wrote:
I suggest that instead we make the rotation explicit by distance, 4000 miles from the preceding venue, 3,000 miles from the one before that, 2,000 from the one three years prior and 1000 from the one four years earlier. 

I like this idea, although it would be even better if some notion of "airfare expense" could be baked in as well.  The reason why Mexico is not included along with Canada and the US is (I assume, I could be wrong) because a number of attendees this past year complained that airfare to Mexico was much more expensive than airfare to the US or Europe.  Like it or not, (inexpensive) air travel seems to be arranged around global hubs; if you are flying to Mexico City from North Africa or India your best flight may take you via stops in Europe and the US.  It was suggested that (somewhat paradoxically) hosting conferences in US/Europe then allowed *more* of the global south to attend by eliminating punishing airfare to the locale.

I'm not really interested in debating this point, since it wasn't me who raised it originally in the context of Wikimania 2015 and I have no first hand experience.  But I would love to hear more about the issue from those who live outside the main air travel corridors (if only to refute the suggestion, which again I'm relaying second-hand).

It also seems like a four-year rotation might make some folks happier: US/Canada, "the rest of the world", Europe, "the rest of the world".
 --scott

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

HJ Mitchell
In reply to this post by Béria Lima
(Not directed at Beria or anyone else, just an observation)

We should go where there is a local community that can put together a Wikimania, where the local infrastructure is suitable, where there are venues and accommodation of a decent standard, and where as many of our community as possible can get to with the least hassle and expense, where the members of our community will be welcomed (including, for example, openly LGBT people and those with disabilities), and where the atmosphere is politically stable. 

Unfortunately, that's going to exclude a lot of places, and it does carry a certain bias towards major cities in Western countries, but we should not fall into the trap of putting Wikimania in a certain place for the sake of political correctness.
 
Phone: +44 (0) 7507 536971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell


From: Béria Lima <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimania general list (open subscription) <[hidden email]>
Sent: Monday, 5 October 2015, 15:31
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

​015-10-04 18:41 GMT-03:00 Osmar Valdebenito <[hidden email]>:
I'm simply baffled in the way the Committee has just decided to explicitly reduce the participation from the so-called Global South, specially when we are supposed to promote the communities in those countries. (...) Considering this rotation system, one of 21 countries from Latin America will only have an opportunity to host in 2035, while the US will have the opportunity 7 times in the same timespan. Absurd.

​Let's even forget for a second that ​Latin America, Asia and Africa will only host one Wikimania once or twice each in 2 decades. The committee also forgot that in the other 10-12 Wikimanias pretty much no one from those regions will be able to attend without a Scholarship. Right now the rate exchange to USD and EUR to BRL (my currency and one of the strongest of Latin America) is - respectively - 4 BRL to USD and 5 BRL to EUR. Which makes a coffee in Paris as expensive as a dress in São Paulo.

And besides the costs, lets remember who gets rejected the most to enter Europe and USA in any kind of visa (I'm a "white" latina and was held in an European Airport - twice. I can't even imagine how it is for Africans or Indians). So that decision basically solidified the fact that for now on, US and Europe and not only the hosts of pretty much all wikimanias, they are also almost all of the attendees. 

Seriously, the committee couldn't do a better job in excluding the Global South. ​
_____
Béria L
​. de Rodríguez


Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. Ajude-nos a construir esse sonho.

2
​​
015-10-04 18:41 GMT-03:00 Osmar Valdebenito <[hidden email]>:



I'm simply baffled in the way the Committee has just decided to explicitly reduce the participation from the so-called Global South, specially when we are supposed to promote the communities in those countries. Although I agree and understand that places with bigger communities should host Wikimania more often, the decided rotation is more unbalanced that in the past. Since 2009, Wikimania has rotated between the Global North and the Global South each year; now, the Global North will have 2 Wikimanias for each one hosted in the Global South (and I'm not considering the case of developed countries -such as Poland or Australia- hosting those years with the weird classification others have pointed out).

Considering this rotation system, one of 21 countries from Latin America will only have an opportunity to host in 2035, while the US will have the opportunity 7 times in the same timespan. Absurd.

2015-10-04 18:01 GMT-03:00 aude <[hidden email]>:

On Oct 4, 2015 8:10 PM, "James Forrester" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> All,
>
>
> TL;DR: The Wikimania Committee and the WMF Community Engagement department will be working on coming up with a new process for venues for future Wikimanias, which we will be seeking input from the community in the next few months
>
>
> ------
>
>
> At the Committee’s meeting in Mexico City in August, we agreed to alter the way that Wikimania locations are decided.
>
>
> The existing bidding process has developed over time. It has become unwieldy and hard work for the community and staff. It demands that people pour a huge amount of effort into building local teams, contracts and institutional relationships only for rejected bids' work to be left unused. A lot of pressure is put on volunteers to try to work on logistics rather than dream about what would make a great programme for our communities. Each year, the jury has to decide on a venue based on what is presented by each group divisively, rather than what we as a community could come together and build.
>
>
> The process is too short-term, setting out venue much less than two years ahead (often only just more than twelve months in advance). This greatly increases expenses when other similar conferences plan locations out many years ahead. This makes it impossible for us to be strategic about location, prevents us from arranging co-location with like-minded conferences, and it means that some areas of the world are ignored when they could provide great Wikimanias.
>
>
> Consequently, from now on the Committee will pick an area for Wikimania four to five years in advance, from the following (provisional) list.   The years in which we have already held Wikimanias in these areas are shown in parentheses
>
>
> * Western, Northern, and Southern Europe (2005, 2014)
>
> * Canada and United States (2006, 2012)
>
> * Asia-Pacific (2007, 2013)
>
> * Middle East and North Africa (2008, 2011)
>
> * Latin America (2009, 2015)
>
> * Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (2010)
>
> * South Asia (none yet)
>
> * Sub-Saharan Africa (none yet)
>
> * Oceania (none yet)
>
>
> The Committee intends to deliberately rotate between these areas to make sure we allow as many community members to attend as cheaply as possible.
>
>
> The large majority of our community members are based in either North America or Europe; organising Wikimanias in these areas allows the majority of our community members to attend cheaply, so that money spent on scholarships can go further, and be more focussed in supporting our community members wherever they are based.
>
>
> Locating Wikimania in other continents does not assure that participants from these areas  can attend more cheaply. Nevertheless, to support the movement worldwide, we do want to ensure that, every third year, Wikimania will take place neither in Europe nor North America.
>
>
> We  propose that a sequence of "Western, Northern, and Southern Europe", "Canada and United States", and one of the others every three years, picked out several years into the future.
I am not convinced this is a good idea, given this definition of regions.
Eastern Europe should definitely be considered along with western, southern, ...  It is pretty cheap to travel there from elsewhere in europe, probably venue + accommodations are cheaper, and most important we have significant communities there with track record of organising regional conferences.
I would also be tempted to include north Africa and middle east with europe. (after all, the next European hackathon is being held in Israel)
I also think having wikimania in Canada + US every three years is too often. The visa process for the US is hugely annoying, difficult and results in excluding attendees.
Also, while great and important to have wmf support for wikimania, imho it is important that ultimate leadership for wikimania each year is from volunteers. I am not sure the volunteer community in the US + Canada has this capacity to be lead organizer every three years. Maybe once every four years is reasonable, imho.
Also, stuff like accommodations tends to be a bit expensive in the US compared to elsewhere, and flights within north America (especially Canada) are also somewhat pricey in my experience.
Cheers,
Katie
Beyond the first two areas, we may not visit some as often as others. (I have not listed Antarctica as an area to which we will rotate, which may well be a disappointment to members of the British Antarctic Survey and others in that location.)
>
>
> More widely, we would like to encourage Wikimedia conferences as open, engaging and fun community meetups, alongside the annual Wikimania conference. I know that several chapters run country-specific conferences each year, which is a good move. I think that there should be at least one annual Wikimedia conference in each of these areas. This would help newer editors know that there are people like them nearby without requiring the existence of, or putting too great a demand on, every national chapter or other local affiliated body. In some areas like Africa where the distances are great, multiple regional conferences may make sense.
>
>
> As part of the new system of location selection, we will no longer have a 'bidding' process. Instead, the Committee invites people interested in leading or helping to run a Wikimania to contact us on-wiki, or via the wikimania-l list. If you think that you know a great team, venue or concept for holding Wikimania, in your area or anywhere else, please discuss the possibilities with us. We will work with interested community members to narrow down the selection to a particular venue.
>
>
> Our next few locations will thus go like this:
>
>
> * 2016: Western, Northern, and Southern Europe – Esino Lario in Italy
>
> * 2017: Canada and United States – TBD
>
> * 2018: TBD – TBD
>
> * 2019: Western, Northern, and Southern Europe – TBD
>
> * 2020: Canada and United States – TBD
>
> * 2021: TBD – TBD
>
>
> As you can see, as well as picking the 2017 venue in Canada or the United States, for which we have a candidate lined up, we need to select very quickly the area for 2018, and after that, 2019 and beyond. There are several areas we’ve outlined above that have never had a Wikimania, and others where we have not visited for some time. We would love your thoughts on the areas on which we should focus for 2018 and beyond. We’ll also be asking in future for your thoughts about how to structure the programme of each Wikimania to make it as good as it can be for you, for others, and for our community overall.
>
>
> Thank you.
>
>
> Yours,
>
> --
>
> James D. Forrester
>
> Chair, Wikimania Committee
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimania-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
>

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Iolanda Pensa
dear all
the rotation we have set for Wikimania guarantees that at least once every three years we do not pick the easiest, cheapest and safest location. 

The reality is that US-Canada and Europe are the easiest and cheapest locations. Well, with Esino Lario we have done our best to assure some complexities, but in general organizing wikimania in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia is more challenging and more expensive for people who have the money to pay their travel to travel there (let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip. If the event is in Europe, US and Canada it is much more likely that a person from there can afford his/her trip. Australia is an exception in many ways but in general it is expensive for the majority of the partcipants). 

I personally believe the real criteria to choose where to host Wikimania should be a positive impact. If organizing Wikimania in a location can bring resources (volunteers, brains, fundings, content...), boost projects, involve communities it does make sense to organize it there even if it is much more expensive than in other location. I personally believe our goal should not be to put our flag in a new location but to make the best impact where Wikimania takes place. And let’s get ready to invest more (money, time, difficulties) if it makes sense. 

Wikimania needs to change its selection process. My experience (and the experience of others) is that the current system is not a healthy system. We are putting teams one against the other and hurting people we do not want to hurt: we want everyone to win and to be involved in different capacities in the Wikimedia projects and in Wikimania. 

Montreal has been chosen because it is a very good site, with a very good team, a safe place, and for the first time in a francophone location; by selecting as rapidly as possible the venue for 2017 we provide the Montreal team enough time to prepare the event and we have time ourselves to discuss and establish a new process. 

The committee has met twice in the past three months and we were getting ready to announce the news. The delays are never positive and it is good that the topic is now at the centre of discussions. please do contribute to the process and the discussion about it also on meta to make sure its more easily recorded and accessible https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_selection_process 
iolanda / iopensa
member of the Wikimania Committee and volunteer for Wikimania Esino Lario




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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

C. Scott Ananian
Here is another suggestion to help make the Wikimania region selection a *community effort*, rather than a competition:

It would be nice to see coordinated efforts on local issues in the months surrounding a non-US/European Wikimania (assuming for the moment that the US/Europe can take care of their own issues).  For example, volunteer days concentrating on eswiki and Spanish localization issues in the months leading up to Wikimania 2015.   Otherwise it feels that Wikimania can be just a "tourist visit" with little long-term contribution.

It's important to note that building the *community* required to host a Wikimania is indeed a worthwhile achievement and does have long-term influence.  So the area for improvement I'm discussing is a broadening to technical or content issues.  For example, deciding to adopt Mexico-related entries on eswiki, or some feature to better support <translate> for Wikimania content.  The coordinating committee could "adopt" certain projects or features for the year.

In my ideal world, Wikimania would be the culmination of a year-long focus[*] by the broader movement on a specific country or region, with many coordinated events planned, content written, and technical features implemented in anticipation of the conference.
 --scott

[*] With the three-year rotation, perhaps this could even be a three-year focus?  But let's not jump ahead of ourselves yet.


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Reem Al-Kashif
In reply to this post by Iolanda Pensa
Hi Iolanda,

This is Reem from Egypt. Thank you for your email. I'm silently following the threads of emails about this. But would you please explain to me what do you mean by the following:
let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip.
I'm not sure I understand why (maybe something is lost in translation as I'm a non-native speaker of EN) ^_^

Best,
Reem 

On 5 October 2015 at 18:58, Iolanda Pensa <[hidden email]> wrote:
dear all
the rotation we have set for Wikimania guarantees that at least once every three years we do not pick the easiest, cheapest and safest location. 

The reality is that US-Canada and Europe are the easiest and cheapest locations. Well, with Esino Lario we have done our best to assure some complexities, but in general organizing wikimania in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia is more challenging and more expensive for people who have the money to pay their travel to travel there (let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip. If the event is in Europe, US and Canada it is much more likely that a person from there can afford his/her trip. Australia is an exception in many ways but in general it is expensive for the majority of the partcipants). 

I personally believe the real criteria to choose where to host Wikimania should be a positive impact. If organizing Wikimania in a location can bring resources (volunteers, brains, fundings, content...), boost projects, involve communities it does make sense to organize it there even if it is much more expensive than in other location. I personally believe our goal should not be to put our flag in a new location but to make the best impact where Wikimania takes place. And let’s get ready to invest more (money, time, difficulties) if it makes sense. 

Wikimania needs to change its selection process. My experience (and the experience of others) is that the current system is not a healthy system. We are putting teams one against the other and hurting people we do not want to hurt: we want everyone to win and to be involved in different capacities in the Wikimedia projects and in Wikimania. 

Montreal has been chosen because it is a very good site, with a very good team, a safe place, and for the first time in a francophone location; by selecting as rapidly as possible the venue for 2017 we provide the Montreal team enough time to prepare the event and we have time ourselves to discuss and establish a new process. 

The committee has met twice in the past three months and we were getting ready to announce the news. The delays are never positive and it is good that the topic is now at the centre of discussions. please do contribute to the process and the discussion about it also on meta to make sure its more easily recorded and accessible https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_selection_process 
iolanda / iopensa
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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Joseph Fox
I think Iolanda means that, even though Ghana and Senegal are both in Africa, the cost of travelling from one to the other is still very high—probably too expensive for many people.

Joe

On Mon, 5 Oct 2015 at 21:08 Reem Al-Kashif <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Iolanda,

This is Reem from Egypt. Thank you for your email. I'm silently following the threads of emails about this. But would you please explain to me what do you mean by the following:

let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip.
I'm not sure I understand why (maybe something is lost in translation as I'm a non-native speaker of EN) ^_^

Best,
Reem 

On 5 October 2015 at 18:58, Iolanda Pensa <[hidden email]> wrote:
dear all
the rotation we have set for Wikimania guarantees that at least once every three years we do not pick the easiest, cheapest and safest location. 

The reality is that US-Canada and Europe are the easiest and cheapest locations. Well, with Esino Lario we have done our best to assure some complexities, but in general organizing wikimania in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia is more challenging and more expensive for people who have the money to pay their travel to travel there (let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip. If the event is in Europe, US and Canada it is much more likely that a person from there can afford his/her trip. Australia is an exception in many ways but in general it is expensive for the majority of the partcipants). 

I personally believe the real criteria to choose where to host Wikimania should be a positive impact. If organizing Wikimania in a location can bring resources (volunteers, brains, fundings, content...), boost projects, involve communities it does make sense to organize it there even if it is much more expensive than in other location. I personally believe our goal should not be to put our flag in a new location but to make the best impact where Wikimania takes place. And let’s get ready to invest more (money, time, difficulties) if it makes sense. 

Wikimania needs to change its selection process. My experience (and the experience of others) is that the current system is not a healthy system. We are putting teams one against the other and hurting people we do not want to hurt: we want everyone to win and to be involved in different capacities in the Wikimedia projects and in Wikimania. 

Montreal has been chosen because it is a very good site, with a very good team, a safe place, and for the first time in a francophone location; by selecting as rapidly as possible the venue for 2017 we provide the Montreal team enough time to prepare the event and we have time ourselves to discuss and establish a new process. 

The committee has met twice in the past three months and we were getting ready to announce the news. The delays are never positive and it is good that the topic is now at the centre of discussions. please do contribute to the process and the discussion about it also on meta to make sure its more easily recorded and accessible https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_selection_process 
iolanda / iopensa
member of the Wikimania Committee and volunteer for Wikimania Esino Lario




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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Reem Al-Kashif
Hi joe,

Thanks for you reply ^_^ I get it now.

Best,
Reem

On 5 October 2015 at 23:38, Joseph Fox <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think Iolanda means that, even though Ghana and Senegal are both in Africa, the cost of travelling from one to the other is still very high—probably too expensive for many people.

Joe

On Mon, 5 Oct 2015 at 21:08 Reem Al-Kashif <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Iolanda,

This is Reem from Egypt. Thank you for your email. I'm silently following the threads of emails about this. But would you please explain to me what do you mean by the following:

let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip.
I'm not sure I understand why (maybe something is lost in translation as I'm a non-native speaker of EN) ^_^

Best,
Reem 

On 5 October 2015 at 18:58, Iolanda Pensa <[hidden email]> wrote:
dear all
the rotation we have set for Wikimania guarantees that at least once every three years we do not pick the easiest, cheapest and safest location. 

The reality is that US-Canada and Europe are the easiest and cheapest locations. Well, with Esino Lario we have done our best to assure some complexities, but in general organizing wikimania in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia is more challenging and more expensive for people who have the money to pay their travel to travel there (let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip. If the event is in Europe, US and Canada it is much more likely that a person from there can afford his/her trip. Australia is an exception in many ways but in general it is expensive for the majority of the partcipants). 

I personally believe the real criteria to choose where to host Wikimania should be a positive impact. If organizing Wikimania in a location can bring resources (volunteers, brains, fundings, content...), boost projects, involve communities it does make sense to organize it there even if it is much more expensive than in other location. I personally believe our goal should not be to put our flag in a new location but to make the best impact where Wikimania takes place. And let’s get ready to invest more (money, time, difficulties) if it makes sense. 

Wikimania needs to change its selection process. My experience (and the experience of others) is that the current system is not a healthy system. We are putting teams one against the other and hurting people we do not want to hurt: we want everyone to win and to be involved in different capacities in the Wikimedia projects and in Wikimania. 

Montreal has been chosen because it is a very good site, with a very good team, a safe place, and for the first time in a francophone location; by selecting as rapidly as possible the venue for 2017 we provide the Montreal team enough time to prepare the event and we have time ourselves to discuss and establish a new process. 

The committee has met twice in the past three months and we were getting ready to announce the news. The delays are never positive and it is good that the topic is now at the centre of discussions. please do contribute to the process and the discussion about it also on meta to make sure its more easily recorded and accessible https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_selection_process 
iolanda / iopensa
member of the Wikimania Committee and volunteer for Wikimania Esino Lario




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Reem Al-Kashif

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Reem Al-Kashif


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Joseph Fox
No problem. :) 

Joe

On Mon, 5 Oct 2015 at 22:52 Reem Al-Kashif <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi joe,

Thanks for you reply ^_^ I get it now.

Best,
Reem

On 5 October 2015 at 23:38, Joseph Fox <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think Iolanda means that, even though Ghana and Senegal are both in Africa, the cost of travelling from one to the other is still very high—probably too expensive for many people.

Joe

On Mon, 5 Oct 2015 at 21:08 Reem Al-Kashif <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Iolanda,

This is Reem from Egypt. Thank you for your email. I'm silently following the threads of emails about this. But would you please explain to me what do you mean by the following:

let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip.
I'm not sure I understand why (maybe something is lost in translation as I'm a non-native speaker of EN) ^_^

Best,
Reem 

On 5 October 2015 at 18:58, Iolanda Pensa <[hidden email]> wrote:
dear all
the rotation we have set for Wikimania guarantees that at least once every three years we do not pick the easiest, cheapest and safest location. 

The reality is that US-Canada and Europe are the easiest and cheapest locations. Well, with Esino Lario we have done our best to assure some complexities, but in general organizing wikimania in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia is more challenging and more expensive for people who have the money to pay their travel to travel there (let’s be very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person from Senegal to afford his/her trip. If the event is in Europe, US and Canada it is much more likely that a person from there can afford his/her trip. Australia is an exception in many ways but in general it is expensive for the majority of the partcipants). 

I personally believe the real criteria to choose where to host Wikimania should be a positive impact. If organizing Wikimania in a location can bring resources (volunteers, brains, fundings, content...), boost projects, involve communities it does make sense to organize it there even if it is much more expensive than in other location. I personally believe our goal should not be to put our flag in a new location but to make the best impact where Wikimania takes place. And let’s get ready to invest more (money, time, difficulties) if it makes sense. 

Wikimania needs to change its selection process. My experience (and the experience of others) is that the current system is not a healthy system. We are putting teams one against the other and hurting people we do not want to hurt: we want everyone to win and to be involved in different capacities in the Wikimedia projects and in Wikimania. 

Montreal has been chosen because it is a very good site, with a very good team, a safe place, and for the first time in a francophone location; by selecting as rapidly as possible the venue for 2017 we provide the Montreal team enough time to prepare the event and we have time ourselves to discuss and establish a new process. 

The committee has met twice in the past three months and we were getting ready to announce the news. The delays are never positive and it is good that the topic is now at the centre of discussions. please do contribute to the process and the discussion about it also on meta to make sure its more easily recorded and accessible https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_selection_process 
iolanda / iopensa
member of the Wikimania Committee and volunteer for Wikimania Esino Lario




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Kind regards,
Reem Al-Kashif

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Kind regards,
Reem Al-Kashif

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Gnangarra
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
I like the idea of distance as measure to choose the next location, but that should also be coupled with a timezone  factor +- 6 hours at a minimum as well... 

Wikimania still needs a local group to volunteers who  understand the local language and customs, it needs their enthusiasm and energy to keep it on the front burner locally

On 5 October 2015 at 16:33, WereSpielChequers <[hidden email]> wrote:

I agree that we should make rotation explicit, but that doesn't need to be done by region. We could achieve the same by requiring each bid to be a long haul flight from the previous one, and  a medium haul flight from the one before. Under the region proposal we could have Amman in Asia, Cairo in Africa and Athens in Europe all within four years. Or El Paso, Texas  one year and_Juarez, Chihuahua the next.

I suggest that instead we make the rotation explicit by distance, 4000 miles from the preceding venue, 3,000 miles from the one before that, 2,000 from the one three years prior and 1000 from the one four years earlier. We should also have a rule that prioritises countries that welcome such events with a more open visa policy.

Also if the Foundation wants to get better value for money, the venues could be determined through a commercial evaluation looking for the best value locations in the world regardless of whether or not there are locally organised wikimedians. Then get the programme determined by global volunteers. It wouldn't be too much of a burden on scholarship attendees if they got an email with their flight details asking them to volunteer to moderate or video a session.

Jonathan 


On 4 Oct 2015, at 21:57, Ralf Roletschek <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yes, thats right. +1

2015-10-04 22:55 GMT+02:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
What I like about the explicit rotation:
* more transparency, the rotation is no longer an unwritten rule;
* more time (2 years) to make Wikimania great, less volunteer time spent on (concurring) bids;
* more concreteness and (hopefully) cooperation in the selection stage, less "let's beat continent X";
* more pragmatism, recognising we can't always flight the biggest groups of people in the farthest places.

Nemo


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Lodewijk
OK, great that you like it - but what is your argument for it? I get the arguments for measuring distance in flight cost rather than time, and I get the reasoning that conferences shouldn't be too close together. But why should a conference in China disqualify Australia? Or why should London disqualify New York? Or even Moscow? 

Before we start to come up with all kind of random reasonings: focus on the basics please. We want the conference to cover multiple places, be relatively as cheap as possible and also be fun to attend. 

Did anyone do a calculation whether holding it in an expensive city (say, London) with cheaper flights actually /is/ cheaper than holding it in a cheap city in Asia (say, Delhi or Mumbai)? And then I don't mean WMF-budget wise, but total costs: including the costs by all affiliates, and the costs privately paid for by the volunteers. I recall being positively surprised that there was very little difference between India and Berlin for the chapters meeting...

Best,
Lodewijk

On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 3:10 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
I like the idea of distance as measure to choose the next location, but that should also be coupled with a timezone  factor +- 6 hours at a minimum as well... 

Wikimania still needs a local group to volunteers who  understand the local language and customs, it needs their enthusiasm and energy to keep it on the front burner locally

On 5 October 2015 at 16:33, WereSpielChequers <[hidden email]> wrote:

I agree that we should make rotation explicit, but that doesn't need to be done by region. We could achieve the same by requiring each bid to be a long haul flight from the previous one, and  a medium haul flight from the one before. Under the region proposal we could have Amman in Asia, Cairo in Africa and Athens in Europe all within four years. Or El Paso, Texas  one year and_Juarez, Chihuahua the next.

I suggest that instead we make the rotation explicit by distance, 4000 miles from the preceding venue, 3,000 miles from the one before that, 2,000 from the one three years prior and 1000 from the one four years earlier. We should also have a rule that prioritises countries that welcome such events with a more open visa policy.

Also if the Foundation wants to get better value for money, the venues could be determined through a commercial evaluation looking for the best value locations in the world regardless of whether or not there are locally organised wikimedians. Then get the programme determined by global volunteers. It wouldn't be too much of a burden on scholarship attendees if they got an email with their flight details asking them to volunteer to moderate or video a session.

Jonathan 


On 4 Oct 2015, at 21:57, Ralf Roletschek <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yes, thats right. +1

2015-10-04 22:55 GMT+02:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
What I like about the explicit rotation:
* more transparency, the rotation is no longer an unwritten rule;
* more time (2 years) to make Wikimania great, less volunteer time spent on (concurring) bids;
* more concreteness and (hopefully) cooperation in the selection stage, less "let's beat continent X";
* more pragmatism, recognising we can't always flight the biggest groups of people in the farthest places.

Nemo


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Gnangarra
the idea is moving not just in distance but also in time that way travel will be shared more equally the time shift creates new opportunities for other people to access the event at low cost, ok 6 hours maybe too much but o hours has a serious potential to introduce bias....

the idea is to ensure that Wikimania isnt concentrated around Europe/North America for an extended period ie London,  New York, Barbados, Paris, Washington, Warsaw, Berlin, Toronto, Prague, Madrid, Boston

Australia would already be exculded for a number of years(at least 6) under this new process if an event is held in China,if we going to dump a transparent system for a rotation the rotation which is already bias needs to ensure that their arent further failings that will divide the community

On 6 October 2015 at 16:58, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
OK, great that you like it - but what is your argument for it? I get the arguments for measuring distance in flight cost rather than time, and I get the reasoning that conferences shouldn't be too close together. But why should a conference in China disqualify Australia? Or why should London disqualify New York? Or even Moscow? 

Before we start to come up with all kind of random reasonings: focus on the basics please. We want the conference to cover multiple places, be relatively as cheap as possible and also be fun to attend. 

Did anyone do a calculation whether holding it in an expensive city (say, London) with cheaper flights actually /is/ cheaper than holding it in a cheap city in Asia (say, Delhi or Mumbai)? And then I don't mean WMF-budget wise, but total costs: including the costs by all affiliates, and the costs privately paid for by the volunteers. I recall being positively surprised that there was very little difference between India and Berlin for the chapters meeting...

Best,
Lodewijk

On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 3:10 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
I like the idea of distance as measure to choose the next location, but that should also be coupled with a timezone  factor +- 6 hours at a minimum as well... 

Wikimania still needs a local group to volunteers who  understand the local language and customs, it needs their enthusiasm and energy to keep it on the front burner locally

On 5 October 2015 at 16:33, WereSpielChequers <[hidden email]> wrote:

I agree that we should make rotation explicit, but that doesn't need to be done by region. We could achieve the same by requiring each bid to be a long haul flight from the previous one, and  a medium haul flight from the one before. Under the region proposal we could have Amman in Asia, Cairo in Africa and Athens in Europe all within four years. Or El Paso, Texas  one year and_Juarez, Chihuahua the next.

I suggest that instead we make the rotation explicit by distance, 4000 miles from the preceding venue, 3,000 miles from the one before that, 2,000 from the one three years prior and 1000 from the one four years earlier. We should also have a rule that prioritises countries that welcome such events with a more open visa policy.

Also if the Foundation wants to get better value for money, the venues could be determined through a commercial evaluation looking for the best value locations in the world regardless of whether or not there are locally organised wikimedians. Then get the programme determined by global volunteers. It wouldn't be too much of a burden on scholarship attendees if they got an email with their flight details asking them to volunteer to moderate or video a session.

Jonathan 


On 4 Oct 2015, at 21:57, Ralf Roletschek <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yes, thats right. +1

2015-10-04 22:55 GMT+02:00 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
What I like about the explicit rotation:
* more transparency, the rotation is no longer an unwritten rule;
* more time (2 years) to make Wikimania great, less volunteer time spent on (concurring) bids;
* more concreteness and (hopefully) cooperation in the selection stage, less "let's beat continent X";
* more pragmatism, recognising we can't always flight the biggest groups of people in the farthest places.

Nemo


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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

James Forrester-2
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
On Tue, 6 Oct 2015 at 01:59 Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Did anyone do a calculation whether holding it in an expensive city (say, London) with cheaper flights actually /is/ cheaper than holding it in a cheap city in Asia (say, Delhi or Mumbai)? And then I don't mean WMF-budget wise, but total costs: including the costs by all affiliates, and the costs privately paid for by the volunteers. I recall being positively surprised that there was very little difference between India and Berlin for the chapters meeting...

I've been doing this regularly for years in an ad hoc way. It informed the pick of areas. For example, the additional cost to the community of hosting Wikimania in Australia is (very roughly) US$1k extra per person from outside Oceania compared to the base cost, and US$1k less for each person in Oceania. At typical levels of 800 non-local self-funded attendees, of whom we have around 10 from Oceania, and 400 local people who wouldn't otherwise come at all, This means an additional community cost of ~US$750k (and a bunch more for Wikimedia organisational funds, paid directly from WMF or via the chapters) in return for the opportunity for 400 local Oceanians to attend who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.

This is, clearly, not a completely unacceptable additional burden, but it is one we should take on carefully. By picking the venue for Wikimania we are not just 'awarding' some locals, but demanding a great many community people reach even deeper to try to attend, and for a great many, put it beyond their financial reach. Though Wikimedia organisational funds pay a huge amount for scholarships, almost entirely focussed on the less-represented countries in our community, but this does not (and cannot reasonably) cover the majority of attendees.

Off the top of my head, the numbers are roughly comparable for Latin America (slightly less for Mexico), a bit lower for South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe/Russia/Central Asia, and lower still for Asia Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa. The numbers drift from year to year a bit, but sadly there's not much impact on the overall headline whilst the editing community is so unequally geographically distributed.

This is why we included the call to area to get into the practice of having annual regional or sub-regional conferences. These would let a much larger portion of our community more easily afford to come to an in-person community event to share their passion, talk about what we can do to improve the projects, and learn new things. This is what the Wikimedia conferences, be they the global Wikimania or the regional "Wikimeetings" (people should suggest a great name!), should be about.

J.

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Lodewijk
Did you also consider the hotel costs etc in this calculation? I recall that catering and hotel costs in India were so much cheaper that it balanced out the additional flight costs for the chapters meeting - not sur ehow that would work oout on this scale though. 

Either way, it would be interesting to do this calculation somewhere on meta, some day - and help people be aware of what we're talking about, It's not an unimportant assumption/argument we work from :)

as a side note, of course I strongly support the regional conferences, and I am thrilled to see that the WikiArabia conference is seeing a second edition! 

Lodewijk

On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 4:35 PM, James Forrester <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 6 Oct 2015 at 01:59 Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Did anyone do a calculation whether holding it in an expensive city (say, London) with cheaper flights actually /is/ cheaper than holding it in a cheap city in Asia (say, Delhi or Mumbai)? And then I don't mean WMF-budget wise, but total costs: including the costs by all affiliates, and the costs privately paid for by the volunteers. I recall being positively surprised that there was very little difference between India and Berlin for the chapters meeting...

I've been doing this regularly for years in an ad hoc way. It informed the pick of areas. For example, the additional cost to the community of hosting Wikimania in Australia is (very roughly) US$1k extra per person from outside Oceania compared to the base cost, and US$1k less for each person in Oceania. At typical levels of 800 non-local self-funded attendees, of whom we have around 10 from Oceania, and 400 local people who wouldn't otherwise come at all, This means an additional community cost of ~US$750k (and a bunch more for Wikimedia organisational funds, paid directly from WMF or via the chapters) in return for the opportunity for 400 local Oceanians to attend who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.

This is, clearly, not a completely unacceptable additional burden, but it is one we should take on carefully. By picking the venue for Wikimania we are not just 'awarding' some locals, but demanding a great many community people reach even deeper to try to attend, and for a great many, put it beyond their financial reach. Though Wikimedia organisational funds pay a huge amount for scholarships, almost entirely focussed on the less-represented countries in our community, but this does not (and cannot reasonably) cover the majority of attendees.

Off the top of my head, the numbers are roughly comparable for Latin America (slightly less for Mexico), a bit lower for South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe/Russia/Central Asia, and lower still for Asia Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa. The numbers drift from year to year a bit, but sadly there's not much impact on the overall headline whilst the editing community is so unequally geographically distributed.

This is why we included the call to area to get into the practice of having annual regional or sub-regional conferences. These would let a much larger portion of our community more easily afford to come to an in-person community event to share their passion, talk about what we can do to improve the projects, and learn new things. This is what the Wikimedia conferences, be they the global Wikimania or the regional "Wikimeetings" (people should suggest a great name!), should be about.

J.

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

John Mark Vandenberg
On Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 7:57 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ..
> as a side note, of course I strongly support the regional conferences, and I
> am thrilled to see that the WikiArabia conference is seeing a second
> edition!

When looking for parts of a new process for Wikimania selection, I
think it is worth building in a requirement that a 'regional'
conference has been held in the city, or at least the country, and was
successful at getting the locals ('casual' editors and non-editors
alike) to walk in the doors.

This would provide a clearer path towards hosting a Wikimania,
allowing a lower cost event to provide a testing ground of both the
organisers capabilities and local communities interest.

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Gnangarra
very irony of all of this is that the Australian chapter had scheduled a national-semi regional conference this past weekend but was that abandoned when the funding request was decline 

On 7 October 2015 at 08:11, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 7:57 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ..
> as a side note, of course I strongly support the regional conferences, and I
> am thrilled to see that the WikiArabia conference is seeing a second
> edition!

When looking for parts of a new process for Wikimania selection, I
think it is worth building in a requirement that a 'regional'
conference has been held in the city, or at least the country, and was
successful at getting the locals ('casual' editors and non-editors
alike) to walk in the doors.

This would provide a clearer path towards hosting a Wikimania,
allowing a lower cost event to provide a testing ground of both the
organisers capabilities and local communities interest.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: Coming up with a new process for Wikimania selection

Wilfredor
Dear Harry,

Wikimedia select a rotativity between Canada, the US and Europe for the simple reason that it is easier to justify the exorbitant payment (relative to other countries) of Wikimanias in these places where wikimedia has presence as fundation.

I'm not against that are carried out, these expenses are easier to justify in these countries, however, seems to me a great hypocrisy that donations are being used to pay for hotel accommodations in the most expensive cities world and forgetting and leaving aside the minority community countries who can not get easily visa to visit these countries.

I'm afraid that Wikimania is starting to lose some Community to become some kind of commercial gain.

2015-10-06 21:48 GMT-03:00 Gnangarra <[hidden email]>:
very irony of all of this is that the Australian chapter had scheduled a national-semi regional conference this past weekend but was that abandoned when the funding request was decline 

On 7 October 2015 at 08:11, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 7:57 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ..
> as a side note, of course I strongly support the regional conferences, and I
> am thrilled to see that the WikiArabia conference is seeing a second
> edition!

When looking for parts of a new process for Wikimania selection, I
think it is worth building in a requirement that a 'regional'
conference has been held in the city, or at least the country, and was
successful at getting the locals ('casual' editors and non-editors
alike) to walk in the doors.

This would provide a clearer path towards hosting a Wikimania,
allowing a lower cost event to provide a testing ground of both the
organisers capabilities and local communities interest.

--
John Vandenberg

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Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com


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