Two weeks ago I attended WikiSym 2006, the Second Symposium on Wikis, in
Odense, Denmark. Finally here is a short report on what was relevant to
me and maybe relevant for Wikimedia, Wikimedians, and Wikipedia research
(that's the reason for crossposting).
With me there were some (but little) Wikimedians, so Sj and
Brion Vibber. Participants (around 70) were scientist and community
leaders or very active community members from different wikis, for
instance Sunir (Meatball), Evan (Wikitravel), and Angela (Wikia).
Compared to Wikimania WikiSym is both more academic and more broad in
terms of wiki communities, while Wikimania is very centered to Wikipedia
(and other Wikimedia communities) and free content. To my impression
many people forget about the rich world of wikis beside Wikipedia or
even think Wiki=Wikipedia. Some argued at WikiSym that Wikipedia may
kill other Wikis because of that - there is no other Wiki of its size
Anyway - there is a large overlap between Wikimedia world and Wiki world
in general. Sj and me agreed upon that the place for academic,
peer-reviewed Wikipedia research is better WikiSym and not Wikimania, so
both should collaborate, for instance asking academic Wikimedia
submission to better submit at WikiSym instead.
Max Völkel has also written a short report about WikiSym at the swikg
mailing list for the Semantic Wiki community - he compared WikiSym
and and the first workshop on Semantic Wikis at the European Semantic
Web Conference - the latter is even more academic to his impression. But
WikiSym was a real place where science and practise meet.
There were a lot of "open space sessions" with many discussions, for
instance about the future of wikis in general, and interoperability
between wikis. Have a look at the proceedings at
There were some promising ideas and people volunteering to push the
project forward at Wikimania. On 9 August Eric edited the GUS page
saying the project was revitalized and posted several comments, I
replied to him on 10 August and that appears to be as far as our
activity went :( So I would like to ask if any of you, especially those
who promised help with implementation during Wikimania, have been giving
it some further thought? Every day, we are loosing more opportunities to
learn about who we are... I think it's a shame.