Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

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Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pine W

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lodewijk
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pine W

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lodewijk
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Leila Zia
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Phoebe Ayers-2
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pharos-3
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pine W
I like the preconference idea. If there's enough space in the venue (and I imagine that there will be), there could also be time and space set aside for other regions/language groups to have tracks during the preconference as well. I have the impression that regional/language meetups are a subject of considerable interest from many Wikimedians.

Pine

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 10:15 AM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Sydney Poore
In reply to this post by Pharos-3
As Pharos says, my understanding also from discussions was that North Americans were planning to have a pre-conference or post conference at Wikimanina 2017. 

Sydney

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
WikiWomen's User Group


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lodewijk
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

2016-07-06 19:28 GMT+02:00 Sydney Poore <[hidden email]>:
As Pharos says, my understanding also from discussions was that North Americans were planning to have a pre-conference or post conference at Wikimanina 2017. 

Sydney

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
WikiWomen's User Group


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Nathan Awrich


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

Lodewijk, would you object to an Asian or Indian Subcontinent Wikiconference that allowed people in similar geographic and cultural milieus to cooperate, share experiences and challenges and strengthen relationships? I doubt it, I'm not sure why a NA Wikiconference would be different.  

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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pharos-3
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
None! We'd want as many Europeans, Asians, Africans, and South Americans as are interested to join the North American regional planning meetups.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

2016-07-06 19:28 GMT+02:00 Sydney Poore <[hidden email]>:
As Pharos says, my understanding also from discussions was that North Americans were planning to have a pre-conference or post conference at Wikimanina 2017. 

Sydney

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
WikiWomen's User Group


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Béria Lima
Lodewijk said: Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track...

​About that: There will be tracks in French? Quebec being a French speaking province and all... ​
 

_____
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.

2016-07-06 14:33 GMT-03:00 Pharos <[hidden email]>:
None! We'd want as many Europeans, Asians, Africans, and South Americans as are interested to join the North American regional planning meetups.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

2016-07-06 19:28 GMT+02:00 Sydney Poore <[hidden email]>:
As Pharos says, my understanding also from discussions was that North Americans were planning to have a pre-conference or post conference at Wikimanina 2017. 

Sydney

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
WikiWomen's User Group


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pine W
I think there could be at least a few sessions in French, during the North American sessions and/or if there is a Francophone language track during the pre-conference.

Similarly, there could be sessions in Spanish during North American and/or Iberocoop pre-conference sessions.

Pine

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 10:37 AM, Béria Lima <[hidden email]> wrote:
Lodewijk said: Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track...

​About that: There will be tracks in French? Quebec being a French speaking province and all... ​
 

_____
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.

2016-07-06 14:33 GMT-03:00 Pharos <[hidden email]>:
None! We'd want as many Europeans, Asians, Africans, and South Americans as are interested to join the North American regional planning meetups.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

2016-07-06 19:28 GMT+02:00 Sydney Poore <[hidden email]>:
As Pharos says, my understanding also from discussions was that North Americans were planning to have a pre-conference or post conference at Wikimanina 2017. 

Sydney

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
WikiWomen's User Group


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
Yes, we were thinking more along the lines of an expanded preconference with greater regional opportunities, rather than a separate track during the actual Wikimania.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM, phoebe ayers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Or -- my favorite solution -- leaving LOTS of time in the schedule for meetups and discussion tracks, so that all kinds of groups -- including those interested specifically in North America-related issues (like building a coalition of NA usergroups, planning future conferences, doing NA-specific outreach or lobbying) can meet to discuss such things.

We've had discussion time historically at most Wikimanias but I think we can always leave more time in the schedule for this kind of meetup. Additionally a preconference day could work too, when multiple thematic tracks could be scheduled (lots of people have historically asked for preconferences, not just the hackers -- everyone from researchers to librarians to glam outreach coordinators to affiliates have considered it in the past). 

(Of course, if I was in charge of the schedule I would probably get rid of individual presentations altogether during Wikimania, and just have panels/lightning talks/discussions. Best not to put me in charge of the schedule! :)

-- Phoebe


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Co-located events in conferences work well if the event that is co-located with the main conference attracts a new audience that the main conference doesn't usually get by default. In the case of Wikimania and WikiConference North America, I can see a lot of overlap based on the last couple of years' schedules. This will result in what Lodewijk is concerned about: splitting the potential audience in smaller groups while they can benefit from getting in one room. Also, an already hard task of scheduling events will become even harder: For example, we need to worry about not scheduling two GLAM events at the same time, one focusing on North America and the other a general/global event.

This being said, I understand that you want to be mindful of the cost and time spent for these conferences. My suggestion would be for you to consider a 1-2 day event pre/post Wikimania focused on North America.

Best,
Leila

Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

Thanks for sharing your thought process. I can see why you identify a topical overlap between Wikimania in North America and the North American WikiConference. I also see why those topics should be part of the programme at Wikimania - I don't expect much disagreement in that field. And whatever you do, it will be. 

The question is, why would you want to organise it in a special 'track' beyond a grouping of similar topics - which seems overly formal and separatist. There's an overlap between all topics that you mention, and I wouldn't see either why there should be a 'legal track', 'glam track' etc. Every 'regional topic' will likely also fall under Nature, Glam, Technology, Law, Education or one of the other topical groupings. 

Having a 'track' in a formal way, is much more heavy than grouping topics that are related, together. To me it would suggest that 1) North Americans can't learn from projects from elsewhere (I think the opposite is true) and 2) Non-North Americans should not attend those presentations (which I also think would be quite untrue). 

The question is what you're trying to accomplish. I would be a fan of rather mingling geographies, rather than separating them out, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. It makes more sense to me to have three presentations about education grouped together where they come from different regions, with different approaches than to have three presentations about North America on a variety of topics grouped together. I would find it even more odd to have a whole track dedicated to a region - and it would be without precedent (I think). 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 9:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

I'm fine with multiple language tracks (most likely including French and Spanish).

The reason for a geographic track (in this case, North America) is that otherwise we'd be having a separate conference that served this purpose. I'm sure that many of us in North America will want to attend tracks on subjects other than geographic interest (technology, research, GLAM, STEM, law, education, outreach, community health, and governance come to mind), so there will be substantial benefit in effectively co-locating the conferences. My guess is that this can be done in a way that is a net positive for all. For example, the scholarship budget that would otherwise be requested for a separate WikiConference North America 2017 could instead be used to facilitate increased attendance by North Americans in Montreal, which I think would have the benefit of increasing attendance at Wikimania, and at the same time we would eliminate the need to find a time and venue for a separate conference with separate expenses.

Pine

On Jul 5, 2016 23:36, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey pine,

As most people will be able to confirm, having a bigger presence of regional topics is likely to happen anyway in any Wikimania. When Wikimania is in Asia, you'll see more Asian speakers, and when it's in Europe, more Europeans. 

Separate and successful tracks have been organised before, to the best of my knowledge, in three ways: 1) language tracks - which were separate for very practical reasons (translations). 2) type-of-session tracks - which again are very practical (different needs for a discussion than for a presentation) and 3) A thematic track - but that was often organised like a type of side conference (with the US govt in 2012, with WikiSym and the hackathon). 

To be honest, I don't see right away why 'North American regional and local subjects' would require such track and even more why it would require a special committee. It will find its way in the programme, and it's not like non-Americans won't enjoy those topics per se. Why try to separate it from the rest of the programme? In general I'm no big fan of splitting up the programme into smaller pieces too much - it leaves too much opportunity for good proposals to fall between the cracks and get lost. And it gets confusing easily to the participants.

Now I *do* see an added value for a French language track... but I guess that'll be of little use to you. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 7:44 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

Hi Wikimania folks (Ellie and the Montreal organizers in particular),

Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. This would likely lead to economies of scale and reduced total cost, in terms of both time and money, for what would otherwise be separate conferences.

I would like to ask if WMF and the Montreal organizers would be willing and able to have some tracks at that conference dedicated to North American regional and local subjects, perhaps coordinated by a dedicated North America program committee. I foresee a modest increase in attendance at Wikimania 2017, and decreases in personal and WMF costs, if we can make what would otherwise be separate conferences happen harmoniously.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Montreal next year.

Pine


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lodewijk
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Nathan, I don't object at all to any wikiconference. I just miss the point of having North Americans present their projects away from the international crowd, to only their fellow-north americans. If there is something very particular that makes these talks unsuitable for people from other continents, I'd really like to understand that better. 

Like I said, I'm not aware of any such track or preconference in other countries, with a few exceptions where language played a major role (I think there was a Spanish track in both Buenos Aires and Mexico, and a Hebrew (education?) track in Haifa). Also in an Asian context I'd have a hard time imagining why you would make that so specific to that region - except if it is really tied to language. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 19:33 GMT+02:00 Nathan <[hidden email]>:


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

Lodewijk, would you object to an Asian or Indian Subcontinent Wikiconference that allowed people in similar geographic and cultural milieus to cooperate, share experiences and challenges and strengthen relationships? I doubt it, I'm not sure why a NA Wikiconference would be different.  

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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Sydney Poore
Lodewijk, the main reason that I can think of to have a separate event is lack of room in the Wikimania conference schedule to have a group of sessions that are targeted to North Americans. 

Sydney

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
WikiWomen's User Group


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:43 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Nathan, I don't object at all to any wikiconference. I just miss the point of having North Americans present their projects away from the international crowd, to only their fellow-north americans. If there is something very particular that makes these talks unsuitable for people from other continents, I'd really like to understand that better. 

Like I said, I'm not aware of any such track or preconference in other countries, with a few exceptions where language played a major role (I think there was a Spanish track in both Buenos Aires and Mexico, and a Hebrew (education?) track in Haifa). Also in an Asian context I'd have a hard time imagining why you would make that so specific to that region - except if it is really tied to language. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-06 19:33 GMT+02:00 Nathan <[hidden email]>:


On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Still I wonder: what would be the kind of topics you'd like to schedule there that you would /not/ want non-North Americans to participate in? 

Lodewijk

Lodewijk, would you object to an Asian or Indian Subcontinent Wikiconference that allowed people in similar geographic and cultural milieus to cooperate, share experiences and challenges and strengthen relationships? I doubt it, I'm not sure why a NA Wikiconference would be different.  

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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Marc-Andre
In reply to this post by Pine W
Hey Pine,

On 2016-07-06 01:44 AM, Pine W wrote:
> Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North
> America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal.

Like many others on the list, I'm not entirely clear on what you'd like
to achieve?

Certainly, any topics that would have been welcome and appropriate at a
the WikiConference would be welcome at Wikimania, with no need of
distinct tracks?

Certainly, some meetings will have discussion topic that would be
generally less interesting to an international audience; but then remain
suitable for meetups.  (Speaking of which, there will be a lot of
available space and time for both organized and impromptu meetings in
Montreal that are self-organized by the participants; both BoF sessions
that are organized in advance with scheduled time and places as well as
space set aside for unconferency impromptu meetings).

That said, if you feel the need to avoid division of audience, we do
have two full days of preconference during which it may be possible to
make additional meeting space avaliable for a more "distinct"
WikiConference?

-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lodewijk
Thinking out loud: what about doing it post-conference instead of pre-conference? Then you could schedule it a bit more unconference, and cover things that were not covered at Wikimania itself, and focus on building on what you learned. You could focus on collaboration rather than having more presentations? 

Lodewijk

2016-07-06 20:17 GMT+02:00 Marc-Andre <[hidden email]>:
Hey Pine,

On 2016-07-06 01:44 AM, Pine W wrote:
Those of us in the US have expressed a hope that WikiConference North America 2017 can be united with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal.

Like many others on the list, I'm not entirely clear on what you'd like to achieve?

Certainly, any topics that would have been welcome and appropriate at a the WikiConference would be welcome at Wikimania, with no need of distinct tracks?

Certainly, some meetings will have discussion topic that would be generally less interesting to an international audience; but then remain suitable for meetups.  (Speaking of which, there will be a lot of available space and time for both organized and impromptu meetings in Montreal that are self-organized by the participants; both BoF sessions that are organized in advance with scheduled time and places as well as space set aside for unconferency impromptu meetings).

That said, if you feel the need to avoid division of audience, we do have two full days of preconference during which it may be possible to make additional meeting space avaliable for a more "distinct" WikiConference?

-- Coren / Marc



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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Marc-Andre
On 2016-07-06 02:35 PM, Lodewijk wrote:
> Thinking out loud: what about doing it post-conference instead of
> pre-conference?

There are unsurmountable issues with this, unless it takes place at some
other venue (mostly, that while it should be easy to add more space for
use during the allocated timerframe, extending the timeframe would be -
at best - expensive and more likely impossible).

No doubt this should be considered before planning the next event though.

-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pharos-3
The focus is much more on (inter)regional collaboration than on additional formal presentations, in any case.

It sounds like logistically this may be easier during a preconference than postconference, but either would be suitable.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 2:53 PM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2016-07-06 02:35 PM, Lodewijk wrote:
Thinking out loud: what about doing it post-conference instead of pre-conference?

There are unsurmountable issues with this, unless it takes place at some other venue (mostly, that while it should be easy to add more space for use during the allocated timerframe, extending the timeframe would be - at best - expensive and more likely impossible).

No doubt this should be considered before planning the next event though.


-- Coren / Marc


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