Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Pine W
If I'm understanding right, it appears that the pre-conference will be Wednesday and Thursday, since the main conference starts on Friday (August 11). Is that right?

I'd be willing to help with organizing pre-conference sessions and events. The conference committee is welcome to contact me off-list to discuss this further. (:

Pine

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 11:59 AM, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
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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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Marc-Andre
On 2016-07-06 04:49 PM, Pine W wrote:
> If I'm understanding right, it appears that the pre-conference will be
> Wednesday and Thursday, since the main conference starts on Friday
> (August 11). Is that right?

That is correct.

> I'd be willing to help with organizing pre-conference sessions and
> events. The conference committee is welcome to contact me off-list to
> discuss this further. (:

Wikimedia France has agreed to coordinate the programme construction,
I'm certain they would welcome help!  (Though it may be premature, I
don't yet know exactly how they will structure their work, you may want
to make your interest in helping known).

-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Gnangarra
I dont see what the issue is asking for a NA track, before detailed planning gets too far progressed, it makes sense to have the two conferences overlap or be as one as people have limited time they can attend if they are interested in NA tracks and follow on from the NA 2016 conference then that is a good out come. 

Asking ensures 
  • the venue capacity allows for the extra set of rooms needed,
  • it attracts people interested in NA issues who wouldnt attend Wikimania
  • it allows people to attend both with minimal additional costs, including time off work
  • its about doing proper due diligence 
  • if the answer is no NA track(s) can be included then they need to address alternatives
  • its not a them and us type situation 
 

On 7 July 2016 at 04:59, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2016-07-06 04:49 PM, Pine W wrote:
If I'm understanding right, it appears that the pre-conference will be Wednesday and Thursday, since the main conference starts on Friday (August 11). Is that right?

That is correct.

I'd be willing to help with organizing pre-conference sessions and events. The conference committee is welcome to contact me off-list to discuss this further. (:

Wikimedia France has agreed to coordinate the programme construction, I'm certain they would welcome help!  (Though it may be premature, I don't yet know exactly how they will structure their work, you may want to make your interest in helping known).


-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lane Rasberry
In reply to this post by Marc-Andre
Hello,

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 2:17 PM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
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?

The intent of having a North America meetup would be developing regional connections in least expensive, most attractive place to bring local people together. The problem to address is that very active Wikimedia members in North America mostly have not met each other, and consequently, the social networks which ought to be developing over time have not yet been established.
 
Backing up - one way to improve Wikimania to meet this and other demands is to 
1. Have extra spaces for small meetups
2. Put those spaces on a public schedule which can be edited by the community

There has never been a Wikimania to attempt this yet. Having 2-3 open rooms which can be reserved by groups without organizer review for semi-private meetups would be a big help. There might be demand for more space - I do not know, but that should be a minimum.

In retrospect, many Wikimanias are in venues with extra space, and anyone could have set up on-wiki schedules for events in those spaces. But in practice, if the open spaces and schedule is not set up online in advance, then it becomes very difficult to set up group meetings in a set location close to or during the conference. Organizing at Wikimanias is sensitive and the conference planners need a schedule under their control, and there should be some open schedule space, and both should be very easy to find and as close together as possible.

yours,
 
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
Hey Lane,

I think the meeting spaces idea was done actually at various Wikimania's (At least I'm pretty confident about a few who did it in a structured way) and after a while it was moved to the break times (which is why we have such long breaks usually), but still in rooms on-site. I recall at least one such meeting in Washington where we both were present. Such meetings were also possible in Esino Lario.

I know there were some serious experiments about this (definitely in Boston/Taiwan) on having open spaces that could be used in unconference style. If you want to experiment with that again, it's probably good to dig a bit into that, and gather lessons from the previous years for an optimal experience. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-07 14:27 GMT+02:00 Lane Rasberry <[hidden email]>:
Hello,

On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 2:17 PM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
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?

The intent of having a North America meetup would be developing regional connections in least expensive, most attractive place to bring local people together. The problem to address is that very active Wikimedia members in North America mostly have not met each other, and consequently, the social networks which ought to be developing over time have not yet been established.
 
Backing up - one way to improve Wikimania to meet this and other demands is to 
1. Have extra spaces for small meetups
2. Put those spaces on a public schedule which can be edited by the community

There has never been a Wikimania to attempt this yet. Having 2-3 open rooms which can be reserved by groups without organizer review for semi-private meetups would be a big help. There might be demand for more space - I do not know, but that should be a minimum.

In retrospect, many Wikimanias are in venues with extra space, and anyone could have set up on-wiki schedules for events in those spaces. But in practice, if the open spaces and schedule is not set up online in advance, then it becomes very difficult to set up group meetings in a set location close to or during the conference. Organizing at Wikimanias is sensitive and the conference planners need a schedule under their control, and there should be some open schedule space, and both should be very easy to find and as close together as possible.

yours,
 
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
In reply to this post by Lane Rasberry
Hey,

On 2016-07-07 08:27 AM, Lane Rasberry wrote:
> Backing up - one way to improve Wikimania to meet this and other
> demands is to
> 1. Have extra spaces for small meetups
> 2. Put those spaces on a public schedule which can be edited by the
> community
>

So, in practice, that already exists for Montreal in two flavours:

(a) Bird-of-a-Feather sessions, which are open to anyone to schedule (in
advance) and have reserved meeting space.  Those will be open for
reservation from about three months before the event to as late as we
can make it and still have them appear in the programme. Those are ideal
for preplanned meetings and probably what you'd use for the North
American meetups.

(b) Unconferency meetups, that are *not* scheduled in advance, but for
which both meeting space and a common scheduling system (think
"whiteboard") are made available for ad-hoc meetings during the
conference and preconference.  Any room which had been set aside for the
BoF that was not used will be added to the pool, but there /will/ be
meeting space even if all of the BoF slots are taken.

-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Planning for North America track at Wikimania 2017

Lane Rasberry
Lodewijk and Marc -

Others might express their own needs but having open spaces like you described would satisfy me. If this has happened in previous years then I was less conscious of it when I was enjoying them, and more conscious of it when I felt its absence.

thanks -

On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:23 AM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey,

On 2016-07-07 08:27 AM, Lane Rasberry wrote:
Backing up - one way to improve Wikimania to meet this and other demands is to
1. Have extra spaces for small meetups
2. Put those spaces on a public schedule which can be edited by the community


So, in practice, that already exists for Montreal in two flavours:

(a) Bird-of-a-Feather sessions, which are open to anyone to schedule (in advance) and have reserved meeting space.  Those will be open for reservation from about three months before the event to as late as we can make it and still have them appear in the programme. Those are ideal for preplanned meetings and probably what you'd use for the North American meetups.

(b) Unconferency meetups, that are *not* scheduled in advance, but for which both meeting space and a common scheduling system (think "whiteboard") are made available for ad-hoc meetings during the conference and preconference.  Any room which had been set aside for the BoF that was not used will be added to the pool, but there /will/ be meeting space even if all of the BoF slots are taken.


-- Coren / Marc


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