Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
82 messages Options
12345
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Gnangarra
Regional events work where there are strong cultural ties between countries and where there are a lot of strong local communities, but they fail abysmally when that isnt there.  So for Europe and North America thats always going to work maybe it'll work for South/Central America even possibly subcontinent but there would be issues in travel between the major centres. 

All that results from an international event every two years is further isolation to the areas with the poorest coverage, by all means have regional events they do offer additional benefits as well as local opportunities but dont consider them as a fair trade off instead trade off the benefits that the major regions are getting and put more emphasis on connecting with the smaller less strong regions. Ie NA & Europe host wikimania 1 each in every 6 years with the 4 to be spread out across SA, AF, SEA Mideast/sub continent.  

  

On 10 July 2016 at 21:23, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:
my two cents (please, forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, or if I'm repeating things that were said elsewhere or already addressed): 

First, I don't think that an event every four years will have the mobilizing and motivating role that an annual one does. Four years is longer than a typical tenure of an editor (more or less, I'm just recollecting). I understand that Christophe is referring to a 4-year event  rhetorically, but just saying.

I see tremendous value in a global Wikimania every year.

In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

Surely, we can have different surveys and other questionnaires. I doubt if they will show anything else than that Wikimania is an incredibly valuable event that comes at huge financial and human cost, though. 

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement. 

I'd be probably more interested in thinking out loud about how we can change the format so that we reduce the human and money costs while keeping the benefits. My understanding is that the proposal to have a global WIkimania every two years and local events in between is actually one attempt to address that. There can be others (and some have been discussed in this thread, we also have some sensible benchmarks from other organizations).

My concern is that we may end up with losing a lot of Wikimania benefits, while not necessarily decreasing human or financial costs, but this is something that we definitely need to discuss and consider carefully. 

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis. 

It could be useful to first have a really sensible and systematic list of alternative paths.


best,

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee).








On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 7:37 AM, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

One goal :) you always side effects.

If the goal is to be a community event why don't we don't we do a huge event every 4 years where we fly in every single editors? Instead of doing 4 Wikimanias.

That is why setting expections and goal is key, so then we can make decisions.

We're talking about financial ressources what about the time spent by volunteers?

My point being, Wikimania is a great event and has costs and setting expectations will allow us to make better decisions. Perhaps, as Andrew says, will end up saying we should spend twice what we're spending because it is key or perhaps half of what we're spending.

Is it a community event?
Is it a knowledge sharing event?
Is it an outreaching event?
Is it a way to reward people?

​The answer to these four are yes
  • ​Yes its a community event, one that brings people together and empowers them
  • Yes it where we share  the lessons of our successes and failures​

  • Yes reaches out to local region, especially GLAM for them to see what can be achieved, it also attracts a media profile and put the ED, Borad and others within reach of potential sponsors
  • Yes the scholarship process has an element of reward for participation in that it requires people to be sufficiently active to be considered
 


On 10 July 2016 at 14:05, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hey,

So, as with everything, Wikimania is going through a process where we (as à group) will define if it pushes our mission forward or not.

First, WMF staff working so we can have the discussion with all the cards in our hands. Which is not the case now.

Second, what is Wikimania purposes? Right now I fear there is none clearly define.

Is it a community event?
Is it a knowledge sharing event?
Is it an outreaching event?
Is it a way to reward people?
...

One has to be define, a main one.

Then we will be able to talk about how it happens.

I have opinions but I rather keep them to myself until I have everything in hand. But I love Wikimania, and I want to know if it's the best format, and if it's not to fix it :)

Le 10 juil. 2016 4:37 AM, "Gnangarra" <[hidden email]> a écrit :
Agree with the comments thats hard to measure the value of a Wikimania, and what an attendee will do with the experience. so here is my experience

My first Wikimania was 2012 in Washington DC, I was a little introspective and embroiled in an ARBCOM case I shared a room with Richard Farmbrough with whom I had a deep discussion about the case he gave me some amazing advice about that process it literally reenergises my efforts...  While doing so he recommended a session about QRpedia, a really interesting project.  Two months later I'm back home and still editing when an opportunity presents itself to propose a QRpedia project in Fremantle, that produced the first Wikitown in Australia.  The Freopedia project as it became known opened the door to another WikiTown project in Toodyay called Toodyaypedia,  Next minute I'm nominated for a State Heritage award for the work I've been doing through Wikipedia and the out reach projects that have improved coverage of Western Australian History more doors start to open.  I'm on a roll really energised and its rubbing off on the local community they willingly helping with every silly idea I try, so much so that I get nominated to be a committee member(Vice President no less) of the local chapter. London 2014 Wikimedia Australia pays for me to attend London where I give back to the community my experiences and share my experiences about WikiTowns/QRpedia(along with a few Tim Tams and Caramellow Koalas) in the community village. Also while in London I got to attended a pre-wikimania training session by WMUK that they offer to people doing outreach that was a wonderful experience and helped me improve the way I do outreach here,[side thought:that should be taken on the road to every chapter who does or wants to do outreach].   

I return even more enrgise and what to bring the Wikimania experience here where more even more people can benefit directly rather than just through my efforts. 2015 I'm presented with another opportunity to expand the projects happening here this time writing in an Indigenous Australian language and improving content about a subject area thats has been inadeqautely covered for the first 10years of wikipedia.  Along come an offer from WMF to attend Mexico I'm torn between my commitment to the Noongar Language work which included a workshop that coincided with Wikimania and the opportunity to attend my 3rd event, of course my commitment to the local project took precidence. The cost of that was not finding out about the changes to the Wikimania processes and spending a lot of time putting together a bid for Wikimania in Perth.  The benefit of the Noongarpedia project is that we now have the first Indigenous Australian language in the incubator, with a number of other communities watching and learning from our experiences, I just spent a week in Darwin which included talking with people there and walking them through that project. Somewhere in all of this I also became President of WMAu  and with it WMAu has had its most successful period, I like to think some that is because of the energy I have brought to the table from my experience at Wikimania.

One Australian once theorised about how WMF measures success and highlighted that the value is not in the physical numbers but in the intangible connections that are made, he even put forward a PEG proposal to demostrate that its the personal relationships that matter and how you build them that have the true impact.  Being isolated in Western Australia made for the perfect ground to develop such a project ironically it was declined because of the fact that the project lacked the generation of numbers which would make success measurable. 

We place too much emphasis on physical numbers to measure out comes yet we all know that education is more than just numbers and community development is about connections, energy and empowering others Wikimania does, that we just need to find the right boxes to tick.

[conflict with Riskers response, apologies if I over lap]


On 10 July 2016 at 09:50, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Andrew and Leila,

There are quite a few ways of looking at the numbers (which is one reason that I'm hoping for a thorough analysis.) Please note that I think that conferences should happen; I am asking if this is the status quo is the optimal way of spending these funds. There are other ways of using funds for conferences that could be explored.

For example, if a Wikimania costs $600,000 and there are 1,000 attendees, that works out to a cost of $600 per attendee for 1000 people. Is that a wiser investment than spreading out the same funds among (hypothetically) 3,000 attendees at multiple national/regional conferences for an average expense of $200 per attendee? At this point I don't think any of us can answer that question.

The Wikimania-going population, especially the people who go to many WIkimanias, are a vanishingly small percentage of the overall WIkimedia population. They tend to be active, but there are plenty of active Wikimedians such as myself who have never been to Wikimania, although I'd like to go next year. Does it make sense to spend so much money on such a small percentage of our community? There are reasons to think that the answer could be yes; for example, if Wikimania motivates highly active contributors and leaders to keep up the good work. However, it's not clear that similarly good effects couldn't be achieved on a broader scale by spreading the funds among more numerous smaller conferences.

There is a good argument to be made that having lots of highly active contributors and project leaders from all over the world in the same place, and having WMF staff mix with them, is a good idea for purposes of improving communications and relationships. Generation of good PR press, and cross-pollination of ideas, are also important and I think that we should support those. However, similarly good outcomes might be achieved through multiple smaller conferences.

I'm in favor of continuing to spend funds on conferences; what I think that none of us know is whether our current model of a single large conference is "better" than multiple national/regional conferences.

Along the lines of Leila's suggestion, the idea of temporarily scaling up WMF's support for national/regional (or thematic) conferences while keeping Wikimania in place makes sense to me. That requires some willingness to spend the funds for both types of events for a few years. It's a bit of an expensive proposition though, and I'm wary of asking the WMF staff to spend more time traveling to more conferences. I guess I'm cautiously in favor of looking at this option if it's financially practical to scale up the support for focused conferences while maintaining support for Wikimania. Keep in mind that WMF Fundraising is worried about plateauing revenues, so we're working in a world of resource constraints and trying to do the best we can with what we've got.

I'm looking forward to hearing what Katherine and Christophe think. And with that, I'm afraid that I must depart this thread to attend to other matters. (: Thanks for the good conversation, everyone.

Pine

On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 6:37 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 1:14 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
I'd also be interested in projections of total attendance and costs (including travel costs and staff time) for Wikimania vs. having more or expanded national and regional conferences.

But then there is the benefit (which is not fully captured by attendance that) we need to take into account, too, and that's where the main problem starts. It's relatively easy to measure the costs of conferences, it's very hard to measure their benefit for a variety of reasons, one of which, in our context, is that it's hard to assign price-tag to many of the projects the community and beyond drive, even if you can clearly link them to Wikimania (which is a problem on its own). And that's already the easier part of the benefit analysis. It can get way more complicated if we want to assign a price-tag to how much it's worth for each of us to learn more about others.

And now add to all the above, that you are suggesting that we do cost-benefit analysis for multiple conference models and compare them. Think about designing control experiments, considering the interactions between conferences (people who attend both vs. those who attend only one kind), etc.

I would not go down the path of cost-benefit analysis for a conference such as Wikimania. We will loose too much time and money and still the analysis will have so many questionable components.

​What industry and academic conferences usually do when they're in doubt is that they become bold and start a new conference but keep the original one in place. If the new conference attracts more audience, to the extent that at some point organizing the original conference doesn't make sense (too few attendees, lower quality abstract submissions, major people in the field moving to the new conference), then they gradually stop the original conference. It seems that following that approach would be more beneficial than questioning the usefulness of Wikimania without more extensively trying the other conference/meet-up types first and in parallel to Wikimania.

If WMF and the community are going to spend that much money every year on an annual conference, with the majority of that money coming from donors who give small-dollar amounts, I think that we need to think carefully and thoroughly about how we plan the conference (or conferences) to align with the goals of our donors and what we tell our donors.

​Two points to take into account here:

* Wikimania is a major and mature conference and it's fair to compare it to major academic conferences that I'm more familiar with. The cost of such conferences is usually quite higher than Wikimania, if you consider roughly the same attendance numbers. I would start worrying about the cost of Wikimania only if the cost goes much higher than the industry standard.

* I wouldn't recommend reconsidering how we plan for our major conferences based on what we tell our donors. We should define our needs and find a way to fund them.
 
Leila

--
Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation


Pine

On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 12:50 PM, Deryck Chan <[hidden email]> wrote:

I find it a bit over the top too to have such a letter, so strongly worded, and signed by so many board chairs.

It reveals a divide between those who participated in the IdeaLab survey[1] and those who were at the Future of Wikimania session in Esino.

It would perhaps be interesting to see if correlations can be revealed as to what demographic of Wikimedian prefer 1 year per Wikimania and what demographic prefer 2 year per Wikimania - like geographical distribution, involvement in local Wikimedia groups (staff / board / other volunteer / not a participant), and past attendance at regional Wikimedia conferences and Wikimania.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania/Outcomes

Thank you. I find it confusing that the letter starts with "The chairpersons of the Wikimedia chapters state that Wikimania needs to be arranged every year," which implies that all of the chapter chairs are united in agreement, but it appears several chapters didn't sign the letter. Looking further at the content of the letter, I would have some questions about some of the statements that were made there. In the future, I would encourage chapter chairs to have discussions about matters such as this on the Affiliates mailing list so that we can have more inclusive discussions among more affiliates before sending letters like that. The Wikimania situation is already convoluted, and I believe that letters such as this should get fuller discussion among affiliates before they are sent to WMF.

Thanks,

Pine

On Jul 8, 2016 20:04, "Christophe Henner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

My bad I forgot it already is on meta https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/Statements/Chapter_chairs_statement:_Wikimania_needs_to_be_arranged_every_year

Le 9 juil. 2016 4:50 AM, "Pine W" <[hidden email]> a écrit :

Thanks Christophe. I, for one, have had difficulty figuring out what is going on with Wikimania in regards to varying decisions in different parts of WMF and the community, so I look forward to the clarifications.

Personally I am currently neutral on the decision of whether to have annual Wikimanias, or alternate Wikimanias with years in which there is emphasis on national or regional conferences. My hunch is that some research about costs and benefits is needed so that we have reliable data about a variety of scenarios before making a decision.

Thanks again for working on this.

To the board chairs: I would be interested in seeing that letter. In the spirit of transparency, would you please publish it on Meta? As you know I am an advocate for much more transparency from WMF, and I would like for the affiliates to also to be transparent about governance matters such as this one.

Thanks,

Pine

On Jul 8, 2016 19:18, "Christophe Henner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi everyone,

The same question was raised to the board a few days ago by chairs of Wikimedia organizations asking Foundation's board to make sure there's a comprehensive decision on this very topic. 

The chairs letter wasn't public, I let them share it on meta or here if they want to :)

First step, in my opinion, is to set expectations and define the scope (in the role of the event but also in the ressources (both human and financial) we commit to the event. 

Katherine is working with the staff to provide groundings.

Here is the answer I provided them with. 

----

Hi chairs!

First of all, thank you with the email, the feedback is clearly useful and raises interesting point. 

Now, the Wikimania discussion definitly is on the table. Living by what we said during Wikimania, we, as WMF, will make sure we end up with a clear answer to your questions but also to the different points you raise. 

Wikimania is an important time in our movement, but as you said it also comes with costs and challenges that we have to adress. Katherine is going to meet in the coming days with the staff in charge of that topic to start that discussion within WMF and provide groundings for a comprehensive decision. 

We will try to be as diligent as possible on that topic, but I would ask you to keep in mind that as we're in a transition phase and that might take a little more time than you could expect. 

Again thank you for your email, I love the fact that he raises issues but also includes the challenges we have to take care of :)

We'll get back to you as soon as possible to continue that discussion.

Have all a really great day / night :)

Christophe

While I concur with Coren’s conclusion, I’ll try to neutrally report on the events at Wikimania which led to this result. :)

Full disclosure: I’m a fan of Wikimania being yearly, and was asked to serve on the Wikimania Committee after Esino Lario. I was also the main moderator of the Wikimania 2016 session on the “Future of Wikimania.” These views are my own, and not anything official from the committee.

Background: Many folks (I’d say a majority) who I talked to in Esino Lario early in the conference thought that the decision to do Wikimania every other year was a done deal, as a result of the IdeaLab consultation. I told them that might not necessarily be so. The vote was close, not particularly widely known, and we could still be heard. Chris Schilling from the WMF, who oversaw the Idealab consultation, sought me out specifically at the start of the conference and to my delight, said that the consultation was “just another data point,” and that it was by no means the final word on things. Obviously, this was good news to people who were interested in keeping a yearly Wikimania.

I was scheduled to moderate the “Future of Wikimania” discussion session [1] at the very end of the conference, and encouraged people to let their views be heard. It was under these conditions that we entered into the final discussion room and I asked Chris Schilling to give an opening statement to the room. Most people were happy to hear him say that it was “just another data point.” During the discussion, there was overwhelming support to keep Wikimania going every year, which is not a surprise considering this was *at* Wikimania. I encourage folks to peruse the Etherpad notes, which are quite extensive and expertly done by several folks there.

Some views I’d highlight:
- Having yearly Wikimania is important to keep the momentum of the movement going, according to many
- A case for cancelling yearly Wikimania was to encourage/fund regional meetups. However, there is no guarantee that those regional meetups would actually take place, or that WMF would necessarily take the money saved from Wikimania to fund them. Some folks from Asia specifically said that there is weaker linguistic, cultural and geographic synergy for an “Asian” conference like there is in Europe and Africa, which is why it has been hard to do one.
- One person noted that one trip to Wikimania served the same role as several international trips to get the same benefit from meeting other Wikimedians/developers, so there are indeed cost efficiencies in having a central conference.


-Andrew Lih
Associate professor of journalism, American University
Email: [hidden email]
WEB: http://www.andrewlih.com
BOOK: The Wikipedia Revolution: http://www.wikipediarevolution.com
PROJECT: Wiki Makes Video http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wiki_Makes_Video

On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2016-07-08 10:01 AM, Chris Keating wrote:
Interestingly, I couldn't see any sign of the Committee's decision being informed by the WMF's consultation on the future of Wikimania, or anyone from the WMF's community engagement department being present.

Wikimania is, and always was, a community led and organized event. The WMF, as its traditional biggest sponsor[1], has a great deal of influence in the matter - but ultimately no decision power beyond "fund and resource or not".

The committee's decision has indeed taken into account the consultation you refer to - as well as the roundtable discussion on the "Future of Wikimania" that took place earlier[2].  Our evaluation, which is reflected in that resolution, is that the consultation was clearly flawed and that its conclusion does not reflect consensus - neither of the community members who organize nor of those who attend Wikimania.

-- Coren / Marc

[1] Although "underwrite" might be a better term - the WMF has pretty much shouldered the vast majority of the costs and given the most logistical support year in and year out.

[2] Where the consensus was to overwhelmingly reject that consultation's conclusion in favor or continuing with Wikimania as a yearly even given its irreplaceable role in our movement.

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i grupy badawczej NeRDS
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://nwrds.kozminski.edu.pl 

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Mykola Kozlenko
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Hi,

I think that switching to regional conferences model will not reduce but increase local organisers involvement. In fact, any conference means that local organisers must arrange:
* Programme (either local organisers manage themselves or they have to set up and work with an international programme committee)
* Scholarships (or set up an international scholarship committee but still have to manage scholarship budget)
* Venue + catering + insurance etc. 
* Accommodation
* Travel and visa support (WMF does it for WMF scholars at Wikimania so far)
* Post-conference support (surveys, documentation, implementing next steps)
etc.

The amount of volunteer time needed for each of these lines is not linearly related with number of attendees, i.e. managing 5 conferences for 200 people each will require more volunteer time and efforts than managing 1 conference for 1,000 people, as this will mean designing five separate programmes, making arrangement with 5 different venues and so on.

On the other hand, we can indeed save costs by switching to regional events, especially on travel (bringing 200 Europeans to Esino Lario is cheaper than bringing them to Mexico City) and on venue/accommodation/catering (many countries outside Europe and North America will have cheaper options but may be unable to accommodate large crowds).

It would be indeed interesting to discuss how we can reduce local volunteer involvement as this seems to be indeed the most important limitation.

Mykola (NickK)
Wikimedia Ukraine

10 липня 2016, 16:24:36, від "Dariusz Jemielniak" <[hidden email]>:

my two cents (please, forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, or if I'm repeating things that were said elsewhere or already addressed): 

First, I don't think that an event every four years will have the mobilizing and motivating role that an annual one does. Four years is longer than a typical tenure of an editor (more or less, I'm just recollecting). I understand that Christophe is referring to a 4-year event  rhetorically, but just saying.

I see tremendous value in a global Wikimania every year.

In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

Surely, we can have different surveys and other questionnaires. I doubt if they will show anything else than that Wikimania is an incredibly valuable event that comes at huge financial and human cost, though. 

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement. 

I'd be probably more interested in thinking out loud about how we can change the format so that we reduce the human and money costs while keeping the benefits. My understanding is that the proposal to have a global WIkimania every two years and local events in between is actually one attempt to address that. There can be others (and some have been discussed in this thread, we also have some sensible benchmarks from other organizations).

My concern is that we may end up with losing a lot of Wikimania benefits, while not necessarily decreasing human or financial costs, but this is something that we definitely need to discuss and consider carefully. 

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis. 

It could be useful to first have a really sensible and systematic list of alternative paths.


best,

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee).








On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 7:37 AM, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

One goal :) you always side effects.

If the goal is to be a community event why don't we don't we do a huge event every 4 years where we fly in every single editors? Instead of doing 4 Wikimanias.

That is why setting expections and goal is key, so then we can make decisions.

We're talking about financial ressources what about the time spent by volunteers?

My point being, Wikimania is a great event and has costs and setting expectations will allow us to make better decisions. Perhaps, as Andrew says, will end up saying we should spend twice what we're spending because it is key or perhaps half of what we're spending.

Is it a community event?
Is it a knowledge sharing event?
Is it an outreaching event?
Is it a way to reward people?

​The answer to these four are yes
  • ​Yes its a community event, one that brings people together and empowers them
  • Yes it where we share  the lessons of our successes and failures​

  • Yes reaches out to local region, especially GLAM for them to see what can be achieved, it also attracts a media profile and put the ED, Borad and others within reach of potential sponsors
  • Yes the scholarship process has an element of reward for participation in that it requires people to be sufficiently active to be considered
 


On 10 July 2016 at 14:05, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hey,

So, as with everything, Wikimania is going through a process where we (as à group) will define if it pushes our mission forward or not.

First, WMF staff working so we can have the discussion with all the cards in our hands. Which is not the case now.

Second, what is Wikimania purposes? Right now I fear there is none clearly define.

Is it a community event?
Is it a knowledge sharing event?
Is it an outreaching event?
Is it a way to reward people?
...

One has to be define, a main one.

Then we will be able to talk about how it happens.

I have opinions but I rather keep them to myself until I have everything in hand. But I love Wikimania, and I want to know if it's the best format, and if it's not to fix it :)

Le 10 juil. 2016 4:37 AM, "Gnangarra" <[hidden email]> a écrit :
Agree with the comments thats hard to measure the value of a Wikimania, and what an attendee will do with the experience. so here is my experience

My first Wikimania was 2012 in Washington DC, I was a little introspective and embroiled in an ARBCOM case I shared a room with Richard Farmbrough with whom I had a deep discussion about the case he gave me some amazing advice about that process it literally reenergises my efforts...  While doing so he recommended a session about QRpedia, a really interesting project.  Two months later I'm back home and still editing when an opportunity presents itself to propose a QRpedia project in Fremantle, that produced the first Wikitown in Australia.  The Freopedia project as it became known opened the door to another WikiTown project in Toodyay called Toodyaypedia,  Next minute I'm nominated for a State Heritage award for the work I've been doing through Wikipedia and the out reach projects that have improved coverage of Western Australian History more doors start to open.  I'm on a roll really energised and its rubbing off on the local community they willingly helping with every silly idea I try, so much so that I get nominated to be a committee member(Vice President no less) of the local chapter. London 2014 Wikimedia Australia pays for me to attend London where I give back to the community my experiences and share my experiences about WikiTowns/QRpedia(along with a few Tim Tams and Caramellow Koalas) in the community village. Also while in London I got to attended a pre-wikimania training session by WMUK that they offer to people doing outreach that was a wonderful experience and helped me improve the way I do outreach here,[side thought:that should be taken on the road to every chapter who does or wants to do outreach].   

I return even more enrgise and what to bring the Wikimania experience here where more even more people can benefit directly rather than just through my efforts. 2015 I'm presented with another opportunity to expand the projects happening here this time writing in an Indigenous Australian language and improving content about a subject area thats has been inadeqautely covered for the first 10years of wikipedia.  Along come an offer from WMF to attend Mexico I'm torn between my commitment to the Noongar Language work which included a workshop that coincided with Wikimania and the opportunity to attend my 3rd event, of course my commitment to the local project took precidence. The cost of that was not finding out about the changes to the Wikimania processes and spending a lot of time putting together a bid for Wikimania in Perth.  The benefit of the Noongarpedia project is that we now have the first Indigenous Australian language in the incubator, with a number of other communities watching and learning from our experiences, I just spent a week in Darwin which included talking with people there and walking them through that project. Somewhere in all of this I also became President of WMAu  and with it WMAu has had its most successful period, I like to think some that is because of the energy I have brought to the table from my experience at Wikimania.

One Australian once theorised about how WMF measures success and highlighted that the value is not in the physical numbers but in the intangible connections that are made, he even put forward a PEG proposal to demostrate that its the personal relationships that matter and how you build them that have the true impact.  Being isolated in Western Australia made for the perfect ground to develop such a project ironically it was declined because of the fact that the project lacked the generation of numbers which would make success measurable. 

We place too much emphasis on physical numbers to measure out comes yet we all know that education is more than just numbers and community development is about connections, energy and empowering others Wikimania does, that we just need to find the right boxes to tick.

[conflict with Riskers response, apologies if I over lap]


On 10 July 2016 at 09:50, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Andrew and Leila,

There are quite a few ways of looking at the numbers (which is one reason that I'm hoping for a thorough analysis.) Please note that I think that conferences should happen; I am asking if this is the status quo is the optimal way of spending these funds. There are other ways of using funds for conferences that could be explored.

For example, if a Wikimania costs $600,000 and there are 1,000 attendees, that works out to a cost of $600 per attendee for 1000 people. Is that a wiser investment than spreading out the same funds among (hypothetically) 3,000 attendees at multiple national/regional conferences for an average expense of $200 per attendee? At this point I don't think any of us can answer that question.

The Wikimania-going population, especially the people who go to many WIkimanias, are a vanishingly small percentage of the overall WIkimedia population. They tend to be active, but there are plenty of active Wikimedians such as myself who have never been to Wikimania, although I'd like to go next year. Does it make sense to spend so much money on such a small percentage of our community? There are reasons to think that the answer could be yes; for example, if Wikimania motivates highly active contributors and leaders to keep up the good work. However, it's not clear that similarly good effects couldn't be achieved on a broader scale by spreading the funds among more numerous smaller conferences.

There is a good argument to be made that having lots of highly active contributors and project leaders from all over the world in the same place, and having WMF staff mix with them, is a good idea for purposes of improving communications and relationships. Generation of good PR press, and cross-pollination of ideas, are also important and I think that we should support those. However, similarly good outcomes might be achieved through multiple smaller conferences.

I'm in favor of continuing to spend funds on conferences; what I think that none of us know is whether our current model of a single large conference is "better" than multiple national/regional conferences.

Along the lines of Leila's suggestion, the idea of temporarily scaling up WMF's support for national/regional (or thematic) conferences while keeping Wikimania in place makes sense to me. That requires some willingness to spend the funds for both types of events for a few years. It's a bit of an expensive proposition though, and I'm wary of asking the WMF staff to spend more time traveling to more conferences. I guess I'm cautiously in favor of looking at this option if it's financially practical to scale up the support for focused conferences while maintaining support for Wikimania. Keep in mind that WMF Fundraising is worried about plateauing revenues, so we're working in a world of resource constraints and trying to do the best we can with what we've got.

I'm looking forward to hearing what Katherine and Christophe think. And with that, I'm afraid that I must depart this thread to attend to other matters. (: Thanks for the good conversation, everyone.

Pine

On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 6:37 PM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Pine,

On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 1:14 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
I'd also be interested in projections of total attendance and costs (including travel costs and staff time) for Wikimania vs. having more or expanded national and regional conferences.

But then there is the benefit (which is not fully captured by attendance that) we need to take into account, too, and that's where the main problem starts. It's relatively easy to measure the costs of conferences, it's very hard to measure their benefit for a variety of reasons, one of which, in our context, is that it's hard to assign price-tag to many of the projects the community and beyond drive, even if you can clearly link them to Wikimania (which is a problem on its own). And that's already the easier part of the benefit analysis. It can get way more complicated if we want to assign a price-tag to how much it's worth for each of us to learn more about others.

And now add to all the above, that you are suggesting that we do cost-benefit analysis for multiple conference models and compare them. Think about designing control experiments, considering the interactions between conferences (people who attend both vs. those who attend only one kind), etc.

I would not go down the path of cost-benefit analysis for a conference such as Wikimania. We will loose too much time and money and still the analysis will have so many questionable components.

​What industry and academic conferences usually do when they're in doubt is that they become bold and start a new conference but keep the original one in place. If the new conference attracts more audience, to the extent that at some point organizing the original conference doesn't make sense (too few attendees, lower quality abstract submissions, major people in the field moving to the new conference), then they gradually stop the original conference. It seems that following that approach would be more beneficial than questioning the usefulness of Wikimania without more extensively trying the other conference/meet-up types first and in parallel to Wikimania.

If WMF and the community are going to spend that much money every year on an annual conference, with the majority of that money coming from donors who give small-dollar amounts, I think that we need to think carefully and thoroughly about how we plan the conference (or conferences) to align with the goals of our donors and what we tell our donors.

​Two points to take into account here:

* Wikimania is a major and mature conference and it's fair to compare it to major academic conferences that I'm more familiar with. The cost of such conferences is usually quite higher than Wikimania, if you consider roughly the same attendance numbers. I would start worrying about the cost of Wikimania only if the cost goes much higher than the industry standard.

* I wouldn't recommend reconsidering how we plan for our major conferences based on what we tell our donors. We should define our needs and find a way to fund them.
 
Leila

--
Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation


Pine

On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 12:50 PM, Deryck Chan <[hidden email]> wrote:

I find it a bit over the top too to have such a letter, so strongly worded, and signed by so many board chairs.

It reveals a divide between those who participated in the IdeaLab survey[1] and those who were at the Future of Wikimania session in Esino.

It would perhaps be interesting to see if correlations can be revealed as to what demographic of Wikimedian prefer 1 year per Wikimania and what demographic prefer 2 year per Wikimania - like geographical distribution, involvement in local Wikimedia groups (staff / board / other volunteer / not a participant), and past attendance at regional Wikimedia conferences and Wikimania.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania/Outcomes

Thank you. I find it confusing that the letter starts with "The chairpersons of the Wikimedia chapters state that Wikimania needs to be arranged every year," which implies that all of the chapter chairs are united in agreement, but it appears several chapters didn't sign the letter. Looking further at the content of the letter, I would have some questions about some of the statements that were made there. In the future, I would encourage chapter chairs to have discussions about matters such as this on the Affiliates mailing list so that we can have more inclusive discussions among more affiliates before sending letters like that. The Wikimania situation is already convoluted, and I believe that letters such as this should get fuller discussion among affiliates before they are sent to WMF.

Thanks,

Pine

On Jul 8, 2016 20:04, "Christophe Henner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

My bad I forgot it already is on meta https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/Statements/Chapter_chairs_statement:_Wikimania_needs_to_be_arranged_every_year

Le 9 juil. 2016 4:50 AM, "Pine W" <[hidden email]> a écrit :

Thanks Christophe. I, for one, have had difficulty figuring out what is going on with Wikimania in regards to varying decisions in different parts of WMF and the community, so I look forward to the clarifications.

Personally I am currently neutral on the decision of whether to have annual Wikimanias, or alternate Wikimanias with years in which there is emphasis on national or regional conferences. My hunch is that some research about costs and benefits is needed so that we have reliable data about a variety of scenarios before making a decision.

Thanks again for working on this.

To the board chairs: I would be interested in seeing that letter. In the spirit of transparency, would you please publish it on Meta? As you know I am an advocate for much more transparency from WMF, and I would like for the affiliates to also to be transparent about governance matters such as this one.

Thanks,

Pine

On Jul 8, 2016 19:18, "Christophe Henner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi everyone,

The same question was raised to the board a few days ago by chairs of Wikimedia organizations asking Foundation's board to make sure there's a comprehensive decision on this very topic. 

The chairs letter wasn't public, I let them share it on meta or here if they want to :)

First step, in my opinion, is to set expectations and define the scope (in the role of the event but also in the ressources (both human and financial) we commit to the event. 

Katherine is working with the staff to provide groundings.

Here is the answer I provided them with. 

----

Hi chairs!

First of all, thank you with the email, the feedback is clearly useful and raises interesting point. 

Now, the Wikimania discussion definitly is on the table. Living by what we said during Wikimania, we, as WMF, will make sure we end up with a clear answer to your questions but also to the different points you raise. 

Wikimania is an important time in our movement, but as you said it also comes with costs and challenges that we have to adress. Katherine is going to meet in the coming days with the staff in charge of that topic to start that discussion within WMF and provide groundings for a comprehensive decision. 

We will try to be as diligent as possible on that topic, but I would ask you to keep in mind that as we're in a transition phase and that might take a little more time than you could expect. 

Again thank you for your email, I love the fact that he raises issues but also includes the challenges we have to take care of :)

We'll get back to you as soon as possible to continue that discussion.

Have all a really great day / night :)

Christophe

While I concur with Coren’s conclusion, I’ll try to neutrally report on the events at Wikimania which led to this result. :)

Full disclosure: I’m a fan of Wikimania being yearly, and was asked to serve on the Wikimania Committee after Esino Lario. I was also the main moderator of the Wikimania 2016 session on the “Future of Wikimania.” These views are my own, and not anything official from the committee.

Background: Many folks (I’d say a majority) who I talked to in Esino Lario early in the conference thought that the decision to do Wikimania every other year was a done deal, as a result of the IdeaLab consultation. I told them that might not necessarily be so. The vote was close, not particularly widely known, and we could still be heard. Chris Schilling from the WMF, who oversaw the Idealab consultation, sought me out specifically at the start of the conference and to my delight, said that the consultation was “just another data point,” and that it was by no means the final word on things. Obviously, this was good news to people who were interested in keeping a yearly Wikimania.

I was scheduled to moderate the “Future of Wikimania” discussion session [1] at the very end of the conference, and encouraged people to let their views be heard. It was under these conditions that we entered into the final discussion room and I asked Chris Schilling to give an opening statement to the room. Most people were happy to hear him say that it was “just another data point.” During the discussion, there was overwhelming support to keep Wikimania going every year, which is not a surprise considering this was *at* Wikimania. I encourage folks to peruse the Etherpad notes, which are quite extensive and expertly done by several folks there.

Some views I’d highlight:
- Having yearly Wikimania is important to keep the momentum of the movement going, according to many
- A case for cancelling yearly Wikimania was to encourage/fund regional meetups. However, there is no guarantee that those regional meetups would actually take place, or that WMF would necessarily take the money saved from Wikimania to fund them. Some folks from Asia specifically said that there is weaker linguistic, cultural and geographic synergy for an “Asian” conference like there is in Europe and Africa, which is why it has been hard to do one.
- One person noted that one trip to Wikimania served the same role as several international trips to get the same benefit from meeting other Wikimedians/developers, so there are indeed cost efficiencies in having a central conference.


-Andrew Lih
Associate professor of journalism, American University
Email: [hidden email]
WEB: http://www.andrewlih.com
BOOK: The Wikipedia Revolution: http://www.wikipediarevolution.com
PROJECT: Wiki Makes Video http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wiki_Makes_Video

On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2016-07-08 10:01 AM, Chris Keating wrote:
Interestingly, I couldn't see any sign of the Committee's decision being informed by the WMF's consultation on the future of Wikimania, or anyone from the WMF's community engagement department being present.

Wikimania is, and always was, a community led and organized event. The WMF, as its traditional biggest sponsor[1], has a great deal of influence in the matter - but ultimately no decision power beyond "fund and resource or not".

The committee's decision has indeed taken into account the consultation you refer to - as well as the roundtable discussion on the "Future of Wikimania" that took place earlier[2].  Our evaluation, which is reflected in that resolution, is that the consultation was clearly flawed and that its conclusion does not reflect consensus - neither of the community members who organize nor of those who attend Wikimania.

-- Coren / Marc

[1] Although "underwrite" might be a better term - the WMF has pretty much shouldered the vast majority of the costs and given the most logistical support year in and year out.

[2] Where the consensus was to overwhelmingly reject that consultation's conclusion in favor or continuing with Wikimania as a yearly even given its irreplaceable role in our movement.

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i grupy badawczej NeRDS
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://nwrds.kozminski.edu.pl 

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Edward Saperia
In reply to this post by Chris Keating-2
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Harry Mitchell
I agree with Ed here. Organising a conference of this size is a huge undertaking to ask of volunteers. I wouldn't want to see Wikimania go down the road of being organised by a team of professional conference organisers because then it would lose the organic community feel that makes it so special, but we shouldn't rule out stipends for the local team. Otherwise we end up with the slightly odd situation of the WMF or local chapter bringing in paid staff to fill gaps left by volunteers but the volunteers still effectively working full-time unpaid. I had a much smaller role in 2014 than Ed and others and was fortunate to be in a position to dedicate a lot of time to it; I certainly wouldn't be in a position now to devote as much time as I did for free and without wishing to speak for Ed, I doubt he would be either even if he was willing. 

If that's a problem in major developed economies, I'd imagine it would be even more of a problem in places where people have less disposable income.

Harry Mitchell
+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Lodewijk
Thanks Harry, Ed,

Of course London was a bit of an exceptionally big Wikimania - but did you evaluate your effort somewhere, and note what you spent your time on somewhere? Just to get an impression which components take most effort (as Dariusz suggested)? 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-10 20:25 GMT+02:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
I agree with Ed here. Organising a conference of this size is a huge undertaking to ask of volunteers. I wouldn't want to see Wikimania go down the road of being organised by a team of professional conference organisers because then it would lose the organic community feel that makes it so special, but we shouldn't rule out stipends for the local team. Otherwise we end up with the slightly odd situation of the WMF or local chapter bringing in paid staff to fill gaps left by volunteers but the volunteers still effectively working full-time unpaid. I had a much smaller role in 2014 than Ed and others and was fortunate to be in a position to dedicate a lot of time to it; I certainly wouldn't be in a position now to devote as much time as I did for free and without wishing to speak for Ed, I doubt he would be either even if he was willing. 

If that's a problem in major developed economies, I'd imagine it would be even more of a problem in places where people have less disposable income.

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Harry Mitchell
Yes, London was big, and the two Wikimaniae since have been on a smaller scale, but I'm not sure a ~1,000-person conference is significantly less of a headache than a ~2,000-person conference, and actually I'd wager that Esino was more logistically complicated due to the location - for example having to arrange buses to Varenna and the airports (which were around 50 miles away). Not that that should be taken as a criticism of the Esino team - they did a fantastic job in a beautiful location and I'd love to have another 'scenic Wikimania'.

I'll let Ed tell you about what he did. I know I saw him spend a lot of time dealing with the venue and the programme and discussing finance and logistics, but I'm sure there are lots of other things. Speaking for myself: those volunteers in red shirts? That was my contribution. The volunteers on the helpdesks, running sessions, meeting and greeting, tweeting, photographing, doing odd jobs and generally making things run smoothly ... I recruited most of them*, got to know them, trained them, split them into teams, did a lot of the scheduling (easier said than done - lots of moving parts!). During the conference, they looked after the attendees, and I looked after them. And I've never worked with such an amazing group of people. It was a truly humbling experience, but it was a lot of work. At one point I was receiving something like 200 emails a day just relating to Wikimania and was having to set aside time at the start and end of the day to answer the ones that didn't require an immediate response. I also devised the scheme of reporting and emergency/contingency planning for volunteers (thankfully this wasn't necessary, but the death of a Wikimedian at that year's Wikimedia Conference was painfully fresh in our memories), and spent a lot of time trying to drum up and channel interest within the UK Wikimedian community. I'm sure there were other things, but those roles alone took up a significant amount of time - certainly in excess of 40 hours a week in the final few weeks before the conference.

*(Not wishing to take credit from anyone else; I worked closely with lots of other people on all these things, particularly Hera Hussain, and Fabian Tompsett and Chris McKenna who were at the time employed by Wikimedia UK.)   
  

Harry Mitchell
+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 7:40 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Harry, Ed,

Of course London was a bit of an exceptionally big Wikimania - but did you evaluate your effort somewhere, and note what you spent your time on somewhere? Just to get an impression which components take most effort (as Dariusz suggested)? 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-10 20:25 GMT+02:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
I agree with Ed here. Organising a conference of this size is a huge undertaking to ask of volunteers. I wouldn't want to see Wikimania go down the road of being organised by a team of professional conference organisers because then it would lose the organic community feel that makes it so special, but we shouldn't rule out stipends for the local team. Otherwise we end up with the slightly odd situation of the WMF or local chapter bringing in paid staff to fill gaps left by volunteers but the volunteers still effectively working full-time unpaid. I had a much smaller role in 2014 than Ed and others and was fortunate to be in a position to dedicate a lot of time to it; I certainly wouldn't be in a position now to devote as much time as I did for free and without wishing to speak for Ed, I doubt he would be either even if he was willing. 

If that's a problem in major developed economies, I'd imagine it would be even more of a problem in places where people have less disposable income.

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Ivan Martínez
It's a lot of work, last week before Wikimania Mexico the coordination team slept less than 4 hours each day. But for me being honest was not a shaming time, was great. And we can have people intended to keep Wikimania annual and run similar challenges.

Harry, we had here 72 committed volunteers working without paid and we are not a major developed economy.

Darius, I think that "motivations criris afterward" must also be considered in the planning and prior call for Wikimanía volunteers and can be avoided. In Mexico we always tell to people that we did not want them just for giving the best of themselves for three days around, but we wanted to keep them with Wikimedia mission. A month ago we broke a Guinness record and 60% of attendees were Wikimania volunteers. It is a matter of long preplanning, I think.

2016-07-10 15:03 GMT-05:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
Yes, London was big, and the two Wikimaniae since have been on a smaller scale, but I'm not sure a ~1,000-person conference is significantly less of a headache than a ~2,000-person conference, and actually I'd wager that Esino was more logistically complicated due to the location - for example having to arrange buses to Varenna and the airports (which were around 50 miles away). Not that that should be taken as a criticism of the Esino team - they did a fantastic job in a beautiful location and I'd love to have another 'scenic Wikimania'.

I'll let Ed tell you about what he did. I know I saw him spend a lot of time dealing with the venue and the programme and discussing finance and logistics, but I'm sure there are lots of other things. Speaking for myself: those volunteers in red shirts? That was my contribution. The volunteers on the helpdesks, running sessions, meeting and greeting, tweeting, photographing, doing odd jobs and generally making things run smoothly ... I recruited most of them*, got to know them, trained them, split them into teams, did a lot of the scheduling (easier said than done - lots of moving parts!). During the conference, they looked after the attendees, and I looked after them. And I've never worked with such an amazing group of people. It was a truly humbling experience, but it was a lot of work. At one point I was receiving something like 200 emails a day just relating to Wikimania and was having to set aside time at the start and end of the day to answer the ones that didn't require an immediate response. I also devised the scheme of reporting and emergency/contingency planning for volunteers (thankfully this wasn't necessary, but the death of a Wikimedian at that year's Wikimedia Conference was painfully fresh in our memories), and spent a lot of time trying to drum up and channel interest within the UK Wikimedian community. I'm sure there were other things, but those roles alone took up a significant amount of time - certainly in excess of 40 hours a week in the final few weeks before the conference.

*(Not wishing to take credit from anyone else; I worked closely with lots of other people on all these things, particularly Hera Hussain, and Fabian Tompsett and Chris McKenna who were at the time employed by Wikimedia UK.)   
  

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 7:40 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Harry, Ed,

Of course London was a bit of an exceptionally big Wikimania - but did you evaluate your effort somewhere, and note what you spent your time on somewhere? Just to get an impression which components take most effort (as Dariusz suggested)? 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-10 20:25 GMT+02:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
I agree with Ed here. Organising a conference of this size is a huge undertaking to ask of volunteers. I wouldn't want to see Wikimania go down the road of being organised by a team of professional conference organisers because then it would lose the organic community feel that makes it so special, but we shouldn't rule out stipends for the local team. Otherwise we end up with the slightly odd situation of the WMF or local chapter bringing in paid staff to fill gaps left by volunteers but the volunteers still effectively working full-time unpaid. I had a much smaller role in 2014 than Ed and others and was fortunate to be in a position to dedicate a lot of time to it; I certainly wouldn't be in a position now to devote as much time as I did for free and without wishing to speak for Ed, I doubt he would be either even if he was willing. 

If that's a problem in major developed economies, I'd imagine it would be even more of a problem in places where people have less disposable income.

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
Iván Martínez
Presidente - Wikimedia México A.C.
User:ProtoplasmaKid


// Mis comunicaciones respecto a Wikipedia/Wikimedia pueden tener una moratoria en su atención debido a que es un voluntariado.
// Ayuda a proteger a Wikipedia, dona ahora: https://donate.wikimedia.org

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
hi Ivan,


On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:42 PM, Ivan Martínez <[hidden email]> wrote:
Darius, I think that "motivations criris afterward" must also be considered in the planning and prior call for Wikimanía volunteers and can be avoided. In Mexico we always tell to people that we did not want them just for giving the best of themselves for three days around, but we wanted to keep them with Wikimedia mission. A month ago we broke a Guinness record and 60% of attendees were Wikimania volunteers. It is a matter of long preplanning, I think.

this is awesome! I think we also lack the ability to transfer such good practices and paths to success across the movement, but this is really impressive!

dj


--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i grupy badawczej NeRDS
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://nwrds.kozminski.edu.pl 

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Andy Cruz y Corro
My two cents regarding volunteers and organizing team:

Just as others, I did spend lots of time in the organization of Wikimania, mostly in recruitment, training and logistics of the Yellow Army, and in many other small things helping Ivan, Carmen and the rest of the organizing team. As we approached Wikimania I had to devote more and more time to it, way past a regular 40 hour week, often having to sleep in someone's couch because we wrapped things up at 4-5 AM. I also was lucky to have money to support myself during these months[1], but it was a coincidence; if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't be able to dedicate that much time for free.

Also, that's the easily measurable time because it was confined (mostly) to man-hours in front of a computer or running errands. The actual time invested is impossible to count, mostly because of two factors: 1) because it was also spread during the ~15 months between us winning the bid and the actual event, during weekends, in 5-minute conversations at all hours, etc; and 2) because you have to consider investing time in experienced people that will make things easier further down the road[2]. This needs stressing, because these two represent time and money that are usually not considered in budgets and preparations.

As Ivan said, many things can be avoided with good planning work and (again) enough time. In our case, we made sure the volunteers felt part of the Wikimedia Mexico team, not just an extension of it. They were invited to editathons, talks, workshops and conferences before Wikimania, which weren't part of their "official" training, but as a way of showing them what the movement is about and that they can be part of it. Most of them are still active in our chapter, but that's not just because of luck, we planned for this and were explicit to them in our intent to have them as contributors.

All of this goes to support my opinion that this should be kept "in-house" as much as possible (at least, regarding the actual volunteer team, as I cannot speak about the rest of the organization). It's true that events like Wikimania often ask a lot of their volunteer team, physically, emotionally and mentally; which opens up the risk of "scaring" people away, quitting on you on the most critical moment and forgetting about your cause. There's a lot of talk around lately about motivation, but every expert seems to agree that the most important things to consider when motivating a team are giving them a purpose, enabling self-direction and fostering a sense of mastery. Once you have at least the seedling of this environment, volunteers seem to give their metaphorical 110% for a cause they believe in, confident that their individual effort does make a difference. That's how we managed 72 hours of continuous editing in June :D

***

[1] The company I was working at had to close due to a terrible financial situation. My original plan was to either ask for extended vacation time, to negotiate a sabbatical month or two or to quit. Ultimately the decision was made for me, but the fact is that I was trying to figure out a way to work 24/7 on Wikimania one month before the actual event. In hindsight, I underestimated how much work it meant, as my full-time involvement was a full 10, maybe 12 weeks before Wikimania started.

[2] For instance, the 3rd volunteer meetup was planned and budgeted in a little over 2 hours, but that's because I've worked with that team since I was 16 making similar activities and, just like that story going around about Picasso, it took us 10 years to plan a picnic like that in such short time. Our recruitment/training process considered that the Wikipedia name may attract enthusiastic people with little to no experience, which is good to grow in numbers, but will use time in training certain skills. Finding people with previous volunteering experiences takes more time, but pays off in the long run. These two should be balanced according to every event's needs.

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:12 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:
hi Ivan,


On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:42 PM, Ivan Martínez <[hidden email]> wrote:
Darius, I think that "motivations criris afterward" must also be considered in the planning and prior call for Wikimanía volunteers and can be avoided. In Mexico we always tell to people that we did not want them just for giving the best of themselves for three days around, but we wanted to keep them with Wikimedia mission. A month ago we broke a Guinness record and 60% of attendees were Wikimania volunteers. It is a matter of long preplanning, I think.

this is awesome! I think we also lack the ability to transfer such good practices and paths to success across the movement, but this is really impressive!

dj


--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i grupy badawczej NeRDS
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://nwrds.kozminski.edu.pl 

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
"Imagina un mundo en donde cada persona del planeta pueda tener acceso libre a la suma total de todo el conocimiento humano. Eso es lo que estamos haciendo."—Jimmy Wales.



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Ilario Valdelli-2
I personally have took some emails more interesting and not others because in a long thread this is what happens.

What are the email I have read with more interest? The experience of people who organized a Wikimania. Other emails are base on a general feeling, in a vision that we already know and we already share, there is no sense to stress it, but there should be also the practical aspect.

I remember to have been two times in the committee of selection of seat of Wikimania and I remember that an important aspect was the ability to execute.

Reading this thread I understand that the ability to execute cannot be evaluated because it depends more from the availability of time than from the competencies.

Applying here the parameters of any project management framework, it means a risk to manage, and it means a big risk. Solving the risk only with the capacity of the volunteers, it seems to me to transfer a risk to another entity that cannot manage it. It's a simple transfer of responsibility but in an un-manageable way.

I personally feel that the next Wikimanias need to have in the budget an item to pay a staff to organize the event.

It means that, annual or multi-annual, the budget of Wikimania must increase. There is no sense to reduce the number of participants, because the biggest cost are connected with fixed costs.

An option is to increase the numbers of the sponsors, but as soon the budget covered by sponsors will be bigger and bigger, they would have their own piece of cake. In this case there should be evaluated if Wikimenia remains a meeting of wikipedians or an opportunity of sponsors to reach another niche of potential users.

Kind regards

Ilario

On 11/Lug/2016 07.05.11, Andy Cruz y Corro wrote:
My two cents regarding volunteers and organizing team:

Just as others, I did spend lots of time in the organization of Wikimania, mostly in recruitment, training and logistics of the Yellow Army, and in many other small things helping Ivan, Carmen and the rest of the organizing team. As we approached Wikimania I had to devote more and more time to it, way past a regular 40 hour week, often having to sleep in someone's couch because we wrapped things up at 4-5 AM. I also was lucky to have money to support myself during these months[1], but it was a coincidence; if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't be able to dedicate that much time for free.

Also, that's the easily measurable time because it was confined (mostly) to man-hours in front of a computer or running errands. The actual time invested is impossible to count, mostly because of two factors: 1) because it was also spread during the ~15 months between us winning the bid and the actual event, during weekends, in 5-minute conversations at all hours, etc; and 2) because you have to consider investing time in experienced people that will make things easier further down the road[2]. This needs stressing, because these two represent time and money that are usually not considered in budgets and preparations.

As Ivan said, many things can be avoided with good planning work and (again) enough time. In our case, we made sure the volunteers felt part of the Wikimedia Mexico team, not just an extension of it. They were invited to editathons, talks, workshops and conferences before Wikimania, which weren't part of their "official" training, but as a way of showing them what the movement is about and that they can be part of it. Most of them are still active in our chapter, but that's not just because of luck, we planned for this and were explicit to them in our intent to have them as contributors.

All of this goes to support my opinion that this should be kept "in-house" as much as possible (at least, regarding the actual volunteer team, as I cannot speak about the rest of the organization). It's true that events like Wikimania often ask a lot of their volunteer team, physically, emotionally and mentally; which opens up the risk of "scaring" people away, quitting on you on the most critical moment and forgetting about your cause. There's a lot of talk around lately about motivation, but every expert seems to agree that the most important things to consider when motivating a team are giving them a purpose, enabling self-direction and fostering a sense of mastery. Once you have at least the seedling of this environment, volunteers seem to give their metaphorical 110% for a cause they believe in, confident that their individual effort does make a difference. That's how we managed 72 hours of continuous editing in June :D

***

[1] The company I was working at had to close due to a terrible financial situation. My original plan was to either ask for extended vacation time, to negotiate a sabbatical month or two or to quit. Ultimately the decision was made for me, but the fact is that I was trying to figure out a way to work 24/7 on Wikimania one month before the actual event. In hindsight, I underestimated how much work it meant, as my full-time involvement was a full 10, maybe 12 weeks before Wikimania started.

[2] For instance, the 3rd volunteer meetup was planned and budgeted in a little over 2 hours, but that's because I've worked with that team since I was 16 making similar activities and, just like that story going around about Picasso, it took us 10 years to plan a picnic like that in such short time. Our recruitment/training process considered that the Wikipedia name may attract enthusiastic people with little to no experience, which is good to grow in numbers, but will use time in training certain skills. Finding people with previous volunteering experiences takes more time, but pays off in the long run. These two should be balanced according to every event's needs.

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:12 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:
hi Ivan,


On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 6:42 PM, Ivan Martínez <[hidden email]> wrote:
Darius, I think that "motivations criris afterward" must also be considered in the planning and prior call for Wikimanía volunteers and can be avoided. In Mexico we always tell to people that we did not want them just for giving the best of themselves for three days around, but we wanted to keep them with Wikimedia mission. A month ago we broke a Guinness record and 60% of attendees were Wikimania volunteers. It is a matter of long preplanning, I think.

this is awesome! I think we also lack the ability to transfer such good practices and paths to success across the movement, but this is really impressive!

dj


--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i grupy badawczej NeRDS
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://nwrds.kozminski.edu.pl 

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
"Imagina un mundo en donde cada persona del planeta pueda tener acceso libre a la suma total de todo el conocimiento humano. Eso es lo que estamos haciendo."—Jimmy Wales.


 

 
Andrés Cruz y Corro
about.me/andycyca
 
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
Wikimania-l@...
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Pine W

A few other issues that may be worth examining:

1. Whether people who have not received a Wikimania scholarship within a certain number of years should get priority for scholarships.

2. Whether users who are from backgrounds that don't have a corresponding APG-funded affiliate that independently funds scholarships should have priority for WMF scholarships

3. What the scholarship self-reports from the past several years tell us about the benefits of Wikimania for scholarship recipients.

4. What Wikimetrics and qualitative measures tell us about Wikimania attenance for attendees as a whole and about scholarship recipients as a subgroup. For example, do we have data that demonstrates that (a) Wikimania attendees in general, and (b) scholarship recipients, were more active in the Wikimedia movement (measured quantitatively by edits and qualutatively in terms of leadership roles) after attending Wikimania for the first or second time? What can we learn from this data about the strengths and weaknesses of Wikimania as well as the current scholarship system?

Thanks,
Pine


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Lodewijk
Hey Pine,

you're diving way into detail here :) Maybe good to have the discussion about scholarship policies separately? Maybe after we agreed on what the goals for a Wikimania should be exactly? 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-11 14:06 GMT+02:00 Pine W <[hidden email]>:

A few other issues that may be worth examining:

1. Whether people who have not received a Wikimania scholarship within a certain number of years should get priority for scholarships.

2. Whether users who are from backgrounds that don't have a corresponding APG-funded affiliate that independently funds scholarships should have priority for WMF scholarships

3. What the scholarship self-reports from the past several years tell us about the benefits of Wikimania for scholarship recipients.

4. What Wikimetrics and qualitative measures tell us about Wikimania attenance for attendees as a whole and about scholarship recipients as a subgroup. For example, do we have data that demonstrates that (a) Wikimania attendees in general, and (b) scholarship recipients, were more active in the Wikimedia movement (measured quantitatively by edits and qualutatively in terms of leadership roles) after attending Wikimania for the first or second time? What can we learn from this data about the strengths and weaknesses of Wikimania as well as the current scholarship system?

Thanks,
Pine


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Marc-Andre
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner-3
Hey Christophe,

On 2016-07-10 02:05 AM, Christophe Henner wrote:

>
> Second, what is Wikimania purposes? Right now I fear there is none
> clearly define.
>
> Is it a community event?
> Is it a knowledge sharing event?
> Is it an outreaching event?
> Is it a way to reward people?
> ...
>
> One has to be define, a main one.
>

Why?  It has, historically, been all of the above and much of its value
derive from the fact that this is the case.  What value is gained from
restricting its scope?

-- Marc


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Philip Kopetzky
In reply to this post by Josh Lim
Hi Josh,

way more representatives from various chapters attended the chairperson's meeting, including from developing countries. Everyone in the room agreed to writing the (open) letter, but it's up to the individual chapters to actually sign it afterwards. The letter was communicated to the chairperson's mailing list, maybe not all the chapters are on that list.
But I don't want to keep you from jumping to conclusions...

BR,
Philip

On 9 July 2016 at 06:33, Josh Lim <[hidden email]> wrote:
I actually agree with Pine on this one.

I’m actually very disturbed that no chapter from a developing country (with the possible exceptions of Mexico and Argentina) signed off on this letter during Wikimania, despite the presence of a number of affiliates from those countries at Wikimania.  Inasmuch as I agree that Wikimania should be held yearly, the way this statement is worded makes it appear that we all agreed to it when in fact not everyone did.  In fact, did the people who attended this meeting even try soliciting input from affiliates in developing countries, whether they be the ones who were at Wikimania or who weren’t?

Thanks,

Josh

On Jul 8, 2016, at 11:33 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thank you. I find it confusing that the letter starts with "The chairpersons of the Wikimedia chapters state that Wikimania needs to be arranged every year," which implies that all of the chapter chairs are united in agreement, but it appears several chapters didn't sign the letter. Looking further at the content of the letter, I would have some questions about some of the statements that were made there. In the future, I would encourage chapter chairs to have discussions about matters such as this on the Affiliates mailing list so that we can have more inclusive discussions among more affiliates before sending letters like that. The Wikimania situation is already convoluted, and I believe that letters such as this should get fuller discussion among affiliates before they are sent to WMF.

Thanks,

Pine

On Jul 8, 2016 20:04, "Christophe Henner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

My bad I forgot it already is on meta https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/Statements/Chapter_chairs_statement:_Wikimania_needs_to_be_arranged_every_year

Le 9 juil. 2016 4:50 AM, "Pine W" <[hidden email]> a écrit :

Thanks Christophe. I, for one, have had difficulty figuring out what is going on with Wikimania in regards to varying decisions in different parts of WMF and the community, so I look forward to the clarifications.

Personally I am currently neutral on the decision of whether to have annual Wikimanias, or alternate Wikimanias with years in which there is emphasis on national or regional conferences. My hunch is that some research about costs and benefits is needed so that we have reliable data about a variety of scenarios before making a decision.

Thanks again for working on this.

To the board chairs: I would be interested in seeing that letter. In the spirit of transparency, would you please publish it on Meta? As you know I am an advocate for much more transparency from WMF, and I would like for the affiliates to also to be transparent about governance matters such as this one.

Thanks,

Pine

On Jul 8, 2016 19:18, "Christophe Henner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi everyone,

The same question was raised to the board a few days ago by chairs of Wikimedia organizations asking Foundation's board to make sure there's a comprehensive decision on this very topic. 

The chairs letter wasn't public, I let them share it on meta or here if they want to :)

First step, in my opinion, is to set expectations and define the scope (in the role of the event but also in the ressources (both human and financial) we commit to the event. 

Katherine is working with the staff to provide groundings.

Here is the answer I provided them with. 

----

Hi chairs!

First of all, thank you with the email, the feedback is clearly useful and raises interesting point. 

Now, the Wikimania discussion definitly is on the table. Living by what we said during Wikimania, we, as WMF, will make sure we end up with a clear answer to your questions but also to the different points you raise. 

Wikimania is an important time in our movement, but as you said it also comes with costs and challenges that we have to adress. Katherine is going to meet in the coming days with the staff in charge of that topic to start that discussion within WMF and provide groundings for a comprehensive decision. 

We will try to be as diligent as possible on that topic, but I would ask you to keep in mind that as we're in a transition phase and that might take a little more time than you could expect. 

Again thank you for your email, I love the fact that he raises issues but also includes the challenges we have to take care of :)

We'll get back to you as soon as possible to continue that discussion.

Have all a really great day / night :)

Christophe

While I concur with Coren’s conclusion, I’ll try to neutrally report on the events at Wikimania which led to this result. :)

Full disclosure: I’m a fan of Wikimania being yearly, and was asked to serve on the Wikimania Committee after Esino Lario. I was also the main moderator of the Wikimania 2016 session on the “Future of Wikimania.” These views are my own, and not anything official from the committee.

Background: Many folks (I’d say a majority) who I talked to in Esino Lario early in the conference thought that the decision to do Wikimania every other year was a done deal, as a result of the IdeaLab consultation. I told them that might not necessarily be so. The vote was close, not particularly widely known, and we could still be heard. Chris Schilling from the WMF, who oversaw the Idealab consultation, sought me out specifically at the start of the conference and to my delight, said that the consultation was “just another data point,” and that it was by no means the final word on things. Obviously, this was good news to people who were interested in keeping a yearly Wikimania.

I was scheduled to moderate the “Future of Wikimania” discussion session [1] at the very end of the conference, and encouraged people to let their views be heard. It was under these conditions that we entered into the final discussion room and I asked Chris Schilling to give an opening statement to the room. Most people were happy to hear him say that it was “just another data point.” During the discussion, there was overwhelming support to keep Wikimania going every year, which is not a surprise considering this was *at* Wikimania. I encourage folks to peruse the Etherpad notes, which are quite extensive and expertly done by several folks there.

Some views I’d highlight:
- Having yearly Wikimania is important to keep the momentum of the movement going, according to many
- A case for cancelling yearly Wikimania was to encourage/fund regional meetups. However, there is no guarantee that those regional meetups would actually take place, or that WMF would necessarily take the money saved from Wikimania to fund them. Some folks from Asia specifically said that there is weaker linguistic, cultural and geographic synergy for an “Asian” conference like there is in Europe and Africa, which is why it has been hard to do one.
- One person noted that one trip to Wikimania served the same role as several international trips to get the same benefit from meeting other Wikimedians/developers, so there are indeed cost efficiencies in having a central conference.


-Andrew Lih
Associate professor of journalism, American University
Email: [hidden email]
WEB: http://www.andrewlih.com
BOOK: The Wikipedia Revolution: http://www.wikipediarevolution.com
PROJECT: Wiki Makes Video http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wiki_Makes_Video

On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2016-07-08 10:01 AM, Chris Keating wrote:
Interestingly, I couldn't see any sign of the Committee's decision being informed by the WMF's consultation on the future of Wikimania, or anyone from the WMF's community engagement department being present.

Wikimania is, and always was, a community led and organized event. The WMF, as its traditional biggest sponsor[1], has a great deal of influence in the matter - but ultimately no decision power beyond "fund and resource or not".

The committee's decision has indeed taken into account the consultation you refer to - as well as the roundtable discussion on the "Future of Wikimania" that took place earlier[2].  Our evaluation, which is reflected in that resolution, is that the consultation was clearly flawed and that its conclusion does not reflect consensus - neither of the community members who organize nor of those who attend Wikimania.

-- Coren / Marc

[1] Although "underwrite" might be a better term - the WMF has pretty much shouldered the vast majority of the costs and given the most logistical support year in and year out.

[2] Where the consensus was to overwhelmingly reject that consultation's conclusion in favor or continuing with Wikimania as a yearly even given its irreplaceable role in our movement.

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Christophe Henner-3
In reply to this post by Marc-Andre


On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 3:25 PM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey Christophe,

On 2016-07-10 02:05 AM, Christophe Henner wrote:

Second, what is Wikimania purposes? Right now I fear there is none clearly define.

Is it a community event?
Is it a knowledge sharing event?
Is it an outreaching event?
Is it a way to reward people?
...

One has to be define, a main one.


Why?  It has, historically, been all of the above and much of its value derive from the fact that this is the case.  What value is gained from restricting its scope?

-- Marc


I might not have been clear, sorry about that. 

Depending of what is the most important goal, you tackle the issue differently. 

If we (as a movement) say it is first an outreach event, then Wikimania should happen in part of the world where we have the smallest penetration (basicly it takes EU and NA out). 

It somewhat is all of the above, what should be the most important one? And we can say all of them are equally important, but than we must have an event that scales to do everything at the same level. 

 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Andrew Lih-2


On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

If we (as a movement) say it is first an outreach event, then Wikimania should happen in part of the world where we have the smallest penetration (basicly it takes EU and NA out). 

It can actually get even more complex than this. The question is, “Outreach to whom?” If we’re talking outreach to emerging economies, then your answer is spot on. But if it’s outreach to a certain sector, such as GLAM or higher ed, then it may make sense to have it where there are a critical mass of those folks.

For example, we’ve rarely considered co-locating Wikimania with other like-minded institutions, or adjacent to existing conferences, which might in fact be in Western hub cities. That is another style of outreach.

This is something a year-by-year bidding process struggles at doing well, whereas a committee can help facilitate a community process that designs things several years in advance. That’s why even though I supported the community bidding process early in Wikimania’s history, we have seen its many downsides. I support a different approach today that can help engineer more optimal outcomes.


It somewhat is all of the above, what should be the most important one? And we can say all of them are equally important, but than we must have an event that scales to do everything at the same level. 

Agree, and through the committee, this is something we can help get input from the community and help steer, so that different years might emphasize different parts of this checklist.

-Andrew
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Michael Peel-2
In reply to this post by Ivan Martínez
Hi all,

I don't want to take away from the huge amount of work and movement contributions that were made by the Mexico, London, and other Wikimania teams, but: it's worth noting that we could organise a Wikimania with the same number of attendees for a lot less amount of volunteer time (and also money).

~1,000+ people conferences take place quite often each year, across many different academic, non-profic and commercial communities, and there are dedicated conference venues that will just sort out everything - the venue, the internet access, hotel options, the whole lot. They are often located near to international airports, or major cities, which are easy to get to from across the globe. If we wanted to, we could go as far as saying "we're meeting at this venue, delegate fees are X per day, here is the list of nearby hotels that you can stay at, it's up to you to sort out everything else yourself" - and that would lead to a very cheap Wikimania for the WMF and the local Wikimedia organisation.

Rather than going for those options, we've preferred to keep things complicated - we chose not to use standard conference packages, instead picking specific locations and approaches for each Wikimania. We travel to out of the way locations. We bolt on different bespoke activities (such as evening events, and outreach activities) to those conferences that increase the complexity of the event. We ask volunteers to take on duties that we could ask attendees to take on instead (photographs/organising sessions, etc.). We vary the structure of each conference to include the preferences of each organising committee. We organise a scholarship process.

If we're going to do a rational cost-benefit analysis of Wikimania, including all of the options about regularity, intentions, etc., then perhaps we should also consider the basics - what's the minimum amount that's needed to hold such an event, leaving aside the optional extras? What can we keep constant between each Wikimania: can we keep the program organisation, the approach to evening events, and the add-on events the same each year (saving volunteer and staff time)? Or perhaps we should acknowledge the extra work that goes into each bespoke Wikimania, and celebrate that? Or seek an intermediate solution - sort out the venue, program, etc., and leave hotel/food options up to attendees? Or perhaps each Wikimania should keep vying for the title of the best Wikimania ever?

Thanks,
Mike

On 10 Jul 2016, at 23:42, Ivan Martínez <[hidden email]> wrote:

It's a lot of work, last week before Wikimania Mexico the coordination team slept less than 4 hours each day. But for me being honest was not a shaming time, was great. And we can have people intended to keep Wikimania annual and run similar challenges.

Harry, we had here 72 committed volunteers working without paid and we are not a major developed economy.

Darius, I think that "motivations criris afterward" must also be considered in the planning and prior call for Wikimanía volunteers and can be avoided. In Mexico we always tell to people that we did not want them just for giving the best of themselves for three days around, but we wanted to keep them with Wikimedia mission. A month ago we broke a Guinness record and 60% of attendees were Wikimania volunteers. It is a matter of long preplanning, I think.

2016-07-10 15:03 GMT-05:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
Yes, London was big, and the two Wikimaniae since have been on a smaller scale, but I'm not sure a ~1,000-person conference is significantly less of a headache than a ~2,000-person conference, and actually I'd wager that Esino was more logistically complicated due to the location - for example having to arrange buses to Varenna and the airports (which were around 50 miles away). Not that that should be taken as a criticism of the Esino team - they did a fantastic job in a beautiful location and I'd love to have another 'scenic Wikimania'.

I'll let Ed tell you about what he did. I know I saw him spend a lot of time dealing with the venue and the programme and discussing finance and logistics, but I'm sure there are lots of other things. Speaking for myself: those volunteers in red shirts? That was my contribution. The volunteers on the helpdesks, running sessions, meeting and greeting, tweeting, photographing, doing odd jobs and generally making things run smoothly ... I recruited most of them*, got to know them, trained them, split them into teams, did a lot of the scheduling (easier said than done - lots of moving parts!). During the conference, they looked after the attendees, and I looked after them. And I've never worked with such an amazing group of people. It was a truly humbling experience, but it was a lot of work. At one point I was receiving something like 200 emails a day just relating to Wikimania and was having to set aside time at the start and end of the day to answer the ones that didn't require an immediate response. I also devised the scheme of reporting and emergency/contingency planning for volunteers (thankfully this wasn't necessary, but the death of a Wikimedian at that year's Wikimedia Conference was painfully fresh in our memories), and spent a lot of time trying to drum up and channel interest within the UK Wikimedian community. I'm sure there were other things, but those roles alone took up a significant amount of time - certainly in excess of 40 hours a week in the final few weeks before the conference.

*(Not wishing to take credit from anyone else; I worked closely with lots of other people on all these things, particularly Hera Hussain, and Fabian Tompsett and Chris McKenna who were at the time employed by Wikimedia UK.)   
  

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank" class="">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 7:40 PM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Harry, Ed,

Of course London was a bit of an exceptionally big Wikimania - but did you evaluate your effort somewhere, and note what you spent your time on somewhere? Just to get an impression which components take most effort (as Dariusz suggested)? 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-10 20:25 GMT+02:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
I agree with Ed here. Organising a conference of this size is a huge undertaking to ask of volunteers. I wouldn't want to see Wikimania go down the road of being organised by a team of professional conference organisers because then it would lose the organic community feel that makes it so special, but we shouldn't rule out stipends for the local team. Otherwise we end up with the slightly odd situation of the WMF or local chapter bringing in paid staff to fill gaps left by volunteers but the volunteers still effectively working full-time unpaid. I had a much smaller role in 2014 than Ed and others and was fortunate to be in a position to dedicate a lot of time to it; I certainly wouldn't be in a position now to devote as much time as I did for free and without wishing to speak for Ed, I doubt he would be either even if he was willing. 

If that's a problem in major developed economies, I'd imagine it would be even more of a problem in places where people have less disposable income.

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank" class="">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
Iván Martínez
Presidente - Wikimedia México A.C.
User:ProtoplasmaKid


// Mis comunicaciones respecto a Wikipedia/Wikimedia pueden tener una moratoria en su atención debido a que es un voluntariado.
// Ayuda a proteger a Wikipedia, dona ahora: https://donate.wikimedia.org
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Edward Saperia
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih-2

On 11 July 2016 at 18:29, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

If we (as a movement) say it is first an outreach event, then Wikimania should happen in part of the world where we have the smallest penetration (basicly it takes EU and NA out). 

It can actually get even more complex than this. The question is, “Outreach to whom?” If we’re talking outreach to emerging economies, then your answer is spot on. But if it’s outreach to a certain sector, such as GLAM or higher ed, then it may make sense to have it where there are a critical mass of those folks.

Yes! I tried to do a lot of this kind of thing for London; it was one of the main ways that I chose the themes that I did.

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Edward Saperia
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
Of course London was a bit of an exceptionally big Wikimania - but did you evaluate your effort somewhere, and note what you spent your time on somewhere? Just to get an impression which components take most effort (as Dariusz suggested)? 

That's hard to do, in practice. I think I could roughly break it down into:

• Designing the event - dates, schedules, spaces, tracks, themes, site visits, branding, collateral, etc.

• Programming - session submission judging + associated communications, session & meetup scheduling, programming the keynote track, fringe events.

• Recruiting - finding and managing team leaders and deputies for 16 teams: Control Centre, Helpdesk, Digital, Volunteer Management, Programme, Venue, Exhibition, Hackathon, Video, Comms, VIPs, Content, Runners, Hospitality, Registration, & Entertainment.

But I have over ten years experience running events. I think it'd be extremely challenging to do this as a committee unless you had a team that had run large events together before.

Edward Saperia
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG

2016-07-10 20:25 GMT+02:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
I agree with Ed here. Organising a conference of this size is a huge undertaking to ask of volunteers. I wouldn't want to see Wikimania go down the road of being organised by a team of professional conference organisers because then it would lose the organic community feel that makes it so special, but we shouldn't rule out stipends for the local team. Otherwise we end up with the slightly odd situation of the WMF or local chapter bringing in paid staff to fill gaps left by volunteers but the volunteers still effectively working full-time unpaid. I had a much smaller role in 2014 than Ed and others and was fortunate to be in a position to dedicate a lot of time to it; I certainly wouldn't be in a position now to devote as much time as I did for free and without wishing to speak for Ed, I doubt he would be either even if he was willing. 

If that's a problem in major developed economies, I'd imagine it would be even more of a problem in places where people have less disposable income.

Harry Mitchell
<a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29%207507%20536%20971" value="+447507536971" target="_blank">+44 (0) 7507 536 971
Skype: harry_j_mitchell

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for that comment, Dariusz;

Wikimania London took over two years of preparation, and occupied me full time for six months in the run up to the event. It's a massive undertaking, and in retrospect it seems deeply unfair to expect volunteers to do this.

There was a bidding process, so there was heavy pressure to minimise/understate the budget - which mostly comes at the cost of the volunteers. I think the community just has to be more realistic about what it costs to put on a 1000+ person event.

Were I to do it again I would absolutely include subsistence for the organising team in the budget. It needs professional commitment and professional skills, even with WMF staff support.

I do think that the movement deserves an annual event, and particularly that the WMF should capitalise on it more from a comms perspective. Wiki*edia is a significant entity and we should be presenting ourselves as such.

Edward Saperia
Conference Director Wikimania London
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  <a href="tel:07796955572" value="+447796955572" target="_blank">07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
In the same time, I've seen the following problems over the years, not directly linked to the financial cost (which in the face of our relative financial stability can be justified by the benefits, depending on how we define them):
- huge WMF staff involvement (most Wikimanias run smoothly also thanks to countless hours put in by the staff),
- huge volunteer local organizers involvement (in fact, my observation is that many chapters organizing WIkimanias suffer from a motivation crisis afterward). 

[...]

While we can get the money (at least for now), the human involvement cost is something I would not dare to dismiss just by emphasizing the benefits of Wikimania for the movement.

[...]

Instead of discussing whether we should have a Wikimania every year or not, perhaps we should try to list and discuss the reasons why it is such a big strain? If it is clear  that we can't afford it every year (because of the human cost, probably more importantly than the finances), the decision to break with the annual format will be a natural consequence of such an analysis.  
 
[...]

Dariusz Jemielniak ("pundit", a current Trustee). 
 

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Wikimania - annually, with South Africa in 2018?

Ilario Valdelli-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih-2
In data 11/Lug/2016 19.29.45, Andrew Lih ha scritto:


On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

If we (as a movement) say it is first an outreach event, then Wikimania should happen in part of the world where we have the smallest penetration (basicly it takes EU and NA out). 

It can actually get even more complex than this. The question is, “Outreach to whom?” If we’re talking outreach to emerging economies, then your answer is spot on. But if it’s outreach to a certain sector, such as GLAM or higher ed, then it may make sense to have it where there are a critical mass of those folks.



More than outreach, I think that it's an event to do networking at large, so for newcomers to meet experienced users or staff, for experienced to meet other users, for staff to meet communities.


In addition to "who" there is the question of "why".


In my opinion I feel more than the aim is to build and to consolidate communities.


Kind regards


Ilario


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
12345