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?

Harry Mitchell
I don't agree with you completely, Mike (but you're probably used to that by now! ;) ) - if you buy a generic conference package you get a generic conference. What's the point of flying all the way to London, for example, for a conference on an industrial estate in Hounslow? Sure, you might be literally spitting distance from Heathrow and you're not short of options for hotels, but it doesn't have that uniqueness that makes Wikimania what it is. Likewise, the evening programme and all the ancillary stuff is as much part of Wikimania as the talks; in fact I'd argue that the social side is far more important and probably much more fertile ground for ideas than the talks themselves. 

You *do* have a point, though, that we reinvent the wheel every year with a new team. I can't remember specifics, but there were several times in the buildup to 2014 that I thought "this can't be the first time a Wikimania team has had to do this". Not everything will be the same, but we should get better at sharing and learning from our experiences so that future teams aren't left wondering "how did they do this in London or Mexico or Esino?".

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

On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 7:06 PM, Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:
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">+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


_______________________________________________
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
In reply to this post by Ivan Martínez
I agree with you Ivan - I don't regret my decision to get involved, despite the enormous amount of time it took up. I got to work with an amazing group of people and it was one of the best experiences of my life. My point is that Wikimania happens largely because of people who are in a position to give up that much time, which isn't necessarily sustainable: there's a risk that they might suddenly not have that sort of time mid-way through the planning process, and for many people it's just not an option which leaves us with a shallower pool of potential organisers. My comment about Western economies was intended to mean that in relatively poor countries you might be even more likely to find that giving up that much time is not an option.

My point is that we shouldn't rule out financially supporting the core team - not as a salary or a reward per se, but something to help cover the costs they incur from working for free for an extended period of time. I'm not asking for me, I knew what the deal was when I got involved, but or future organisers who find that they can't hold down a job, get a healthy amount of sleep, *and* organise Wikimania.

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

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 11:42 PM, 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">+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



_______________________________________________
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
On 2016-07-12 07:46 AM, Harry Mitchell wrote:
> but or future organisers who find that they can't hold down a job, get
> a healthy amount of sleep, *and* organise Wikimania.
>

My (very new) employer has been made aware of my plans for the next year
during the hiring process and specific allowances were negotiated for
that reason - but it's unlikely that many/most people who want to
organize a Wikimania are in as flexible a position.

I'm al for professional hep, but I'm a little concerned that entirely
professionalizing the setup and design of a Wikimania would remove its
soul.  I certainly would not have done things the way they did in Esino
Lario - but it very much *was* a Wikimania in soul and heart.  Montreal
is going to have its own flavour - quite distinct from the previous 12 -
but it is going to be recognizable as a Wikimania because it's
ultimately the community driving it.

I'm not saying we couldn't do better at organizational memory, or
logistical support - but farming out Wikimania to contractors would kill
it I believe.

-- 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?

Andy Cruz y Corro
In reply to this post by Harry Mitchell
(re:Mike & Harry)

It's true that Wikimania does make some things that could be done easier, but as Harry says, it's part of what we (the Wikimedia community) are looking for. As noted before in other conversations, it would be way easier to set up conferences in the same few locations (say, every year in a major city in the USA) but it would be really distant from our goal of being more diverse (besides many, many other considerations). But yes, many things are being needlessly reinvented over and over again (which, in our case, was mostly out of a great deal of trust from everyone else, confident that we would be able to sort everything out; I'm sure the same has happened to other teams)

Unfortunately I couldn't assist to Esino Lario, but they had a good idea in this regard in Mexico City: I recall the 2016 team asking former Wikimania organizers for feedback. I gave my remarks on volunteer support but two major problems arose immediately with some solutions they wanted to implement/emulate: 

1) Some things were either already past due for the 2016 team (11 months is sometimes not enough) or were just in time to be included in their timetable, with little to no time for adjustments; and
2) Some questions could only be vaguely answered, because the information would be available later on, or was still undecided.

So in general there's not enough communication between Wikimania organizers for things like this. Why don't we organize some sort of Brain Trust with former organizers to give opinions and advice **in a timely manner** to whoever is the current organizing team? It can be a really easy setup (maybe nothing more than a small mailing list and/or skype chat) where the current team can ask "Hey, X: you dealt with this before. How did you do it?" Any former organizer who is interested can just throw their name in the hat with his/her area of expertise and that's it. Even more, since the proposed Trust is just an advisory team (meaning that the current organizers don't necessarily have to act upon the advise in the exact described way) this communication can even become private and informal.

I think something like this is needed to improve future Wikimanias without compromising on those small things that make it a non-generic event. If we can manage a solution like this, sign me up.


On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 6:06 AM, Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]> wrote:
I don't agree with you completely, Mike (but you're probably used to that by now! ;) ) - if you buy a generic conference package you get a generic conference. What's the point of flying all the way to London, for example, for a conference on an industrial estate in Hounslow? Sure, you might be literally spitting distance from Heathrow and you're not short of options for hotels, but it doesn't have that uniqueness that makes Wikimania what it is. Likewise, the evening programme and all the ancillary stuff is as much part of Wikimania as the talks; in fact I'd argue that the social side is far more important and probably much more fertile ground for ideas than the talks themselves. 

You *do* have a point, though, that we reinvent the wheel every year with a new team. I can't remember specifics, but there were several times in the buildup to 2014 that I thought "this can't be the first time a Wikimania team has had to do this". Not everything will be the same, but we should get better at sharing and learning from our experiences so that future teams aren't left wondering "how did they do this in London or Mexico or Esino?".

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 Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 7:06 PM, Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:
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">+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


_______________________________________________
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




--
"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?

Nick Wilson (Quiddity)
On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 9:57 AM, Andy Cruz y Corro <[hidden email]> wrote:

> [...]
> So in general there's not enough communication between Wikimania organizers
> for things like this. Why don't we organize some sort of Brain Trust with
> former organizers to give opinions and advice **in a timely manner** to
> whoever is the current organizing team? It can be a really easy setup (maybe
> nothing more than a small mailing list and/or skype chat) where the current
> team can ask "Hey, X: you dealt with this before. How did you do it?" Any
> former organizer who is interested can just throw their name in the hat with
> his/her area of expertise and that's it. Even more, since the proposed Trust
> is just an advisory team (meaning that the current organizers don't
> necessarily have to act upon the advise in the exact described way) this
> communication can even become private and informal.
>
> I think something like this is needed to improve future Wikimanias without
> compromising on those small things that make it a non-generic event. If we
> can manage a solution like this, sign me up.
>

Sounds like a good idea, as long as the answers that ought to be
recorded for posterity are added at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_Handbook and subpages, which
should be the primary set of opinions and advice and checklists.

_______________________________________________
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
Although our planning in '15 had a different structure, for me was very useful have a one-two hour recap with Ed after Wikimania 2014, because at that point he had a more clear image of what functioned and what not, and I understood his planning into several areas.

I'm agree with Nick, all these plans and models should be present into the Handbook.

2016-07-12 17:33 GMT-05:00 Nick Wilson (Quiddity) <[hidden email]>:
On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 9:57 AM, Andy Cruz y Corro <[hidden email]> wrote:
> [...]
> So in general there's not enough communication between Wikimania organizers
> for things like this. Why don't we organize some sort of Brain Trust with
> former organizers to give opinions and advice **in a timely manner** to
> whoever is the current organizing team? It can be a really easy setup (maybe
> nothing more than a small mailing list and/or skype chat) where the current
> team can ask "Hey, X: you dealt with this before. How did you do it?" Any
> former organizer who is interested can just throw their name in the hat with
> his/her area of expertise and that's it. Even more, since the proposed Trust
> is just an advisory team (meaning that the current organizers don't
> necessarily have to act upon the advise in the exact described way) this
> communication can even become private and informal.
>
> I think something like this is needed to improve future Wikimanias without
> compromising on those small things that make it a non-generic event. If we
> can manage a solution like this, sign me up.
>

Sounds like a good idea, as long as the answers that ought to be
recorded for posterity are added at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_Handbook and subpages, which
should be the primary set of opinions and advice and checklists.

_______________________________________________
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?

Andy Cruz y Corro

I agree to the Handbook, but I would suggest adopting some kind of yearly "editions" (or something like that), not just to update the information, but to reflect how things, ideas and overall organizations change over time. As it is right now, the Handbook might give the idea that there is only one way of organizing Wikimania when even our small discussion here hinges on the opposite fact.

I believe that doing this will simultaneously help the current organizing team in their effort, and the community in many of these "What is the essence of Wikimania?" questions.


On 5:50PM, Tue, Jul 12, 2016 Ivan Martínez <[hidden email]> wrote:
Although our planning in '15 had a different structure, for me was very useful have a one-two hour recap with Ed after Wikimania 2014, because at that point he had a more clear image of what functioned and what not, and I understood his planning into several areas.

I'm agree with Nick, all these plans and models should be present into the Handbook.

2016-07-12 17:33 GMT-05:00 Nick Wilson (Quiddity) <[hidden email]>:
On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 9:57 AM, Andy Cruz y Corro <[hidden email]> wrote:
> [...]
> So in general there's not enough communication between Wikimania organizers
> for things like this. Why don't we organize some sort of Brain Trust with
> former organizers to give opinions and advice **in a timely manner** to
> whoever is the current organizing team? It can be a really easy setup (maybe
> nothing more than a small mailing list and/or skype chat) where the current
> team can ask "Hey, X: you dealt with this before. How did you do it?" Any
> former organizer who is interested can just throw their name in the hat with
> his/her area of expertise and that's it. Even more, since the proposed Trust
> is just an advisory team (meaning that the current organizers don't
> necessarily have to act upon the advise in the exact described way) this
> communication can even become private and informal.
>
> I think something like this is needed to improve future Wikimanias without
> compromising on those small things that make it a non-generic event. If we
> can manage a solution like this, sign me up.
>

Sounds like a good idea, as long as the answers that ought to be
recorded for posterity are added at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_Handbook and subpages, which
should be the primary set of opinions and advice and checklists.

_______________________________________________
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 Andy Cruz y Corro
 
So in general there's not enough communication between Wikimania organizers for things like this. Why don't we organize some sort of Brain Trust with former organizers to give opinions and advice **in a timely manner** to whoever is the current organizing team? It can be a really easy setup (maybe nothing more than a small mailing list and/or skype chat) where the current team can ask "Hey, X: you dealt with this before. How did you do it?"


On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 6:06 AM, Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]> wrote:
I don't agree with you completely, Mike (but you're probably used to that by now! ;) ) - if you buy a generic conference package you get a generic conference. What's the point of flying all the way to London, for example, for a conference on an industrial estate in Hounslow? Sure, you might be literally spitting distance from Heathrow and you're not short of options for hotels, but it doesn't have that uniqueness that makes Wikimania what it is. Likewise, the evening programme and all the ancillary stuff is as much part of Wikimania as the talks; in fact I'd argue that the social side is far more important and probably much more fertile ground for ideas than the talks themselves. 

You *do* have a point, though, that we reinvent the wheel every year with a new team. I can't remember specifics, but there were several times in the buildup to 2014 that I thought "this can't be the first time a Wikimania team has had to do this". Not everything will be the same, but we should get better at sharing and learning from our experiences so that future teams aren't left wondering "how did they do this in London or Mexico or Esino?".

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 Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 7:06 PM, Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:
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">+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  <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




--
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



_______________________________________________
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



_______________________________________________
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
Not quite. The Wikimania Committee is more of a guiding mind than something that's good for practical hands-on advice like "how many widgets do I need". That's fine; that's not what the committee was formed for - think of it as the difference between the cabinet and the civil service. Andy's suggestion seems to be for something much less formal. If such a thing existed I'd be happy to participate and offer whatever whatever advice I could, whereas I have no interest in sitting on any committees these days because, frankly, I value my sanity! ;)

A starting point might be a list of people who have been involved in organising a Wikimania in some capacity with a blurb about their areas of interest/expertise.

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

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 10:16 AM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
So in general there's not enough communication between Wikimania organizers for things like this. Why don't we organize some sort of Brain Trust with former organizers to give opinions and advice **in a timely manner** to whoever is the current organizing team? It can be a really easy setup (maybe nothing more than a small mailing list and/or skype chat) where the current team can ask "Hey, X: you dealt with this before. How did you do it?"


On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 6:06 AM, Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]> wrote:
I don't agree with you completely, Mike (but you're probably used to that by now! ;) ) - if you buy a generic conference package you get a generic conference. What's the point of flying all the way to London, for example, for a conference on an industrial estate in Hounslow? Sure, you might be literally spitting distance from Heathrow and you're not short of options for hotels, but it doesn't have that uniqueness that makes Wikimania what it is. Likewise, the evening programme and all the ancillary stuff is as much part of Wikimania as the talks; in fact I'd argue that the social side is far more important and probably much more fertile ground for ideas than the talks themselves. 

You *do* have a point, though, that we reinvent the wheel every year with a new team. I can't remember specifics, but there were several times in the buildup to 2014 that I thought "this can't be the first time a Wikimania team has had to do this". Not everything will be the same, but we should get better at sharing and learning from our experiences so that future teams aren't left wondering "how did they do this in London or Mexico or Esino?".

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 Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 7:06 PM, Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:
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">+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  <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




--
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



_______________________________________________
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



_______________________________________________
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?

Chris Keating-2
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!

To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

Chris

_______________________________________________
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

Another committee to add to Chris' list is the Scholarship Committee.

I'd be interested in knowing the number of volunteer, contractor, and WMF and affiliate staff hours that are involved in Wikimania from start to finish, and having some thoughtful consideration of ways to increase efficiency as well as effectiveness and alignment. I believe that Christophe is thinking along these lines for WMF staff time; I would suggest including affiliate staff, contractor, and volunteer time in the list of considerations. I consider volunteer time to be particularly precious.

Pine


On Jul 16, 2016 11:23, "Chris Keating" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!

To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

Chris

_______________________________________________
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?

Gnangarra
Volunteer are not just  precious they are the essential component both during planning and during the event itself, also with that goes the desire to put that effort in. WMF Staff, Affiliate Staff and Contractors while necessary are paid its something that can be augmented as needed but not volunteers, that means also consideration of the energy within a community to host the event.

We should be expecting a real professional approach from those paid to make this happen, for the WMF to hire skill conference people to do that work, its these skilled people that ensure the processes reflect needs, improve the outcomes and critically builds on established successes. By the time Montreal opens, 2018 should be signed sealed and ready to go with 2019 being finalised, venues booked and contracts on the table.

after 10 years the basic frame work is there, there are common things and physical needs that occur every Wikimania;
  • Venue capacity
    • 1000-2500 seat auditorium - open & close, key talks 
    • 4 larger theatre type rooms - specific talks
    • 6-10 smaller rooms - discussion and minor talks
    • larger communal area, WikiVillage, meal area and general open space to congregate
    • WiFi capacity
  • Venue location(within City)
    • central with good access
    • close to accommodation(or good connectioning services)
  • Scholarships
    • 100-200 people 
    • full vs partial
    • visa needs
  • City
    • International Airport with sufficient connections (In USA, EU rail connection)
    • sufficient accommodation
even the basic give away gumf (bag t shirts, usb stickers, pins, pens) are kind of consistent they just change to suit the logo. The registration is the same, media passes, speakers passes.  The WMF could even go into longer term sponsorship for the event, there would also some legal and contractual issue that the WMF would be better suited to manage, WMF employees would chair/co-chair the associated committees 

The locals focus on
  • Theme
  • catering
  • volunteers on site
    • meet & greet at transport hubs
  • local media 
  • local sponsorship
  • external activities



On 17 July 2016 at 14:31, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

Another committee to add to Chris' list is the Scholarship Committee.

I'd be interested in knowing the number of volunteer, contractor, and WMF and affiliate staff hours that are involved in Wikimania from start to finish, and having some thoughtful consideration of ways to increase efficiency as well as effectiveness and alignment. I believe that Christophe is thinking along these lines for WMF staff time; I would suggest including affiliate staff, contractor, and volunteer time in the list of considerations. I consider volunteer time to be particularly precious.

Pine


On Jul 16, 2016 11:23, "Chris Keating" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!

To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

Chris

_______________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

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

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Pine W


17.07.2016 2:32 AM "Pine W" <[hidden email]> napisał(a):
>. I believe that Christophe is thinking along
> these lines for WMF staff time; I would
> suggest including affiliate staff, contractor,
> and volunteer time in the list of
> considerations. I consider volunteer time to
> be particularly precious.

That's pretty much why I pointed out to staff AND volunteer committment as possibly being more of a bottleneck than just the finances (which are important, too).

The question is not whether Wikimania is important and useful, the question is how can we reduce the major overhaul on our most precious resources, when keeping the value.

Dj


_______________________________________________
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?

Ellie Young
In reply to this post by Chris Keating-2


On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!


To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

 

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

T
​his is an excellent suggestion.  It is not unclear to me how things work having been involved with coordination among the various 'players' for the past few years.  The Handbook is out of date as well.   So I will take an action item to start revising this and making it clearer to everyone about the structure, organization, etc for the community at large.     This is especially necessary as we move forward with next steps for 2018 in the coming months (working on this with WMF and Committee so we are all in alignment about the future, and we can better enable  prospective future hosts/organizers to engage with us.)


 



Chris

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




--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. 510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
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?

Chris Keating-2
Thanks Ellie! Sounds like a very productive step!

Chris

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:26 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!


To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

 

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

T
​his is an excellent suggestion.  It is not unclear to me how things work having been involved with coordination among the various 'players' for the past few years.  The Handbook is out of date as well.   So I will take an action item to start revising this and making it clearer to everyone about the structure, organization, etc for the community at large.     This is especially necessary as we move forward with next steps for 2018 in the coming months (working on this with WMF and Committee so we are all in alignment about the future, and we can better enable  prospective future hosts/organizers to engage with us.)


 



Chris

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




--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:510%20701%208649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
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?

Andy Cruz y Corro
Thanks a lot Ellie!

Ed: Yes, my suggestion was more or less what Harry described, a lot more informal than the Committee and able to answer more practical questions. After a few days of thought, this could only be a temporary group that works on a) helping the current team in their "How did previous teams achieved _____?" questions (in an informative way), and b) committing these answers to a public repository (the proposed "annual edition" of the handbook, as an annex to the handbook or whatever).

This in order to establish not only the answers, but the most common "invisible" or "unexpected" problems faced each year. Right now, the handbook doesn't address that, IMO. Ideally, in a few years we could have an interesting repository of answers, updated yearly with theoretically little effort

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 5:58 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Ellie! Sounds like a very productive step!

Chris

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:26 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!


To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

 

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

T
​his is an excellent suggestion.  It is not unclear to me how things work having been involved with coordination among the various 'players' for the past few years.  The Handbook is out of date as well.   So I will take an action item to start revising this and making it clearer to everyone about the structure, organization, etc for the community at large.     This is especially necessary as we move forward with next steps for 2018 in the coming months (working on this with WMF and Committee so we are all in alignment about the future, and we can better enable  prospective future hosts/organizers to engage with us.)


 



Chris

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




--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:510%20701%208649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
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




--
"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?

Edward Saperia
Ed: Yes, my suggestion was more or less what Harry described, a lot more informal than the Committee and able to answer more practical questions.

The committee is mostly just the previous organisers. Any way you cut it, it'll still be the same people. The committee can and does answer practical questions, but it seems the kind of people who step up to do Wikimanias don't tend to need it that much.

I expect the main issue is variable levels of commitment/ownership in the organising team.

Edward Saperia
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 5:58 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Ellie! Sounds like a very productive step!

Chris

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:26 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!


To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

 

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

T
​his is an excellent suggestion.  It is not unclear to me how things work having been involved with coordination among the various 'players' for the past few years.  The Handbook is out of date as well.   So I will take an action item to start revising this and making it clearer to everyone about the structure, organization, etc for the community at large.     This is especially necessary as we move forward with next steps for 2018 in the coming months (working on this with WMF and Committee so we are all in alignment about the future, and we can better enable  prospective future hosts/organizers to engage with us.)


 



Chris

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




--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:510%20701%208649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
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




--
"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



_______________________________________________
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
I've learned along the road that often people don't ask question because they don't dare bother people, especially people they look up to sometime. 

The best way to tackle that is to create a situation designed to answer those questions. I don't know in terms of timing, but from now on, the Wikimania Committee could hold a private training session for the next Wikimania Team every year at the Wikimedia Conference (or another event if there's one better in terms of timing). 

That way you make sure that basic training / informations are provided to the new team, you create a working relationship between the team and the committee, etc.

Christophe

On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:24 AM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]> wrote:
Ed: Yes, my suggestion was more or less what Harry described, a lot more informal than the Committee and able to answer more practical questions.

The committee is mostly just the previous organisers. Any way you cut it, it'll still be the same people. The committee can and does answer practical questions, but it seems the kind of people who step up to do Wikimanias don't tend to need it that much.

I expect the main issue is variable levels of commitment/ownership in the organising team.

Edward Saperia
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
 
On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 5:58 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks Ellie! Sounds like a very productive step!

Chris

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:26 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!


To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

 

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.

T
​his is an excellent suggestion.  It is not unclear to me how things work having been involved with coordination among the various 'players' for the past few years.  The Handbook is out of date as well.   So I will take an action item to start revising this and making it clearer to everyone about the structure, organization, etc for the community at large.     This is especially necessary as we move forward with next steps for 2018 in the coming months (working on this with WMF and Committee so we are all in alignment about the future, and we can better enable  prospective future hosts/organizers to engage with us.)


 



Chris

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




--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:510%20701%208649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
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




--
"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



_______________________________________________
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?

waxmiguel
cheers

On 19/07/2016, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've learned along the road that often people don't ask question because
> they don't dare bother people, especially people they look up to sometime.
>
> The best way to tackle that is to create a situation designed to answer
> those questions. I don't know in terms of timing, but from now on, the
> Wikimania Committee could hold a private training session for the next
> Wikimania Team every year at the Wikimedia Conference (or another event if
> there's one better in terms of timing).
>
> That way you make sure that basic training / informations are provided to
> the new team, you create a working relationship between the team and the
> committee, etc.
>
> Christophe
>
> On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:24 AM, Edward Saperia <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Ed: Yes, my suggestion was more or less what Harry described, a lot more
>>> informal than the Committee and able to answer more practical questions.
>>>
>>
>> The committee is mostly just the previous organisers. Any way you cut it,
>> it'll still be the same people. The committee can and does answer
>> practical
>> questions, but it seems the kind of people who step up to do Wikimanias
>> don't tend to need it that much.
>>
>> I expect the main issue is variable levels of commitment/ownership in the
>> organising team.
>>
>> *Edward Saperia*
>> Founder Newspeak House <http://www.nwspk.com/>
>> email <[hidden email]> • facebook
>> <http://www.facebook.com/edsaperia>
>>  • twitter <http://www.twitter.com/edsaperia> • 07796955572
>> 133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
>>
>>
>>> On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 5:58 AM, Chris Keating <
>>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Thanks Ellie! Sounds like a very productive step!
>>>>
>>>> Chris
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 12:26 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM, Chris Keating <
>>>>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I
>>>>>> expected!
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor
>>>>>> miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and
>>>>>> dedication of
>>>>>> lots of people.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most
>>>>>> obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of
>>>>>> actual
>>>>>> conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not
>>>>>> consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a
>>>>>> much
>>>>>> clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work
>>>>>> happens to
>>>>>> follow up before and after the conference.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and
>>>>>> management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the
>>>>>> Wikimania
>>>>>> Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter
>>>>>> who
>>>>>> may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the
>>>>>> Programme
>>>>>> Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least
>>>>>> twice, as
>>>>>> the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference
>>>>>> don't
>>>>>> always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to
>>>>>> work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in
>>>>>> public.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> T
>>>>> ​his is an excellent suggestion.  It is not unclear to me how things
>>>>> work having been involved with coordination among the various 'players'
>>>>> for
>>>>> the past few years.  The Handbook is out of date as well.   So I will
>>>>> take
>>>>> an action item to start revising this and making it clearer to
>>>>> everyone
>>>>> about the structure, organization, etc for the community at large.
>>>>> This
>>>>> is especially necessary as we move forward with next steps for 2018 in
>>>>> the
>>>>> coming months (working on this with WMF and Committee so we are all in
>>>>> alignment about the future, and we can better enable  prospective
>>>>> future
>>>>> hosts/organizers to engage with us.)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Chris
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> Wikimania-l mailing list
>>>>>> [hidden email]
>>>>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Ellie Young
>>>>> Events Manager
>>>>> Wikimedia Foundation
>>>>> [hidden email]
>>>>> c. 510 701 8649
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> 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
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> "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 <https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wales>.
>>>
>>> Socio de Wikimedia México
>>> <https://mx.wikimedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A1gina_principal>.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> [image: Andrés C y C on about.me]
>>>
>>> Andrés Cruz y Corro
>>> about.me/andycyca
>>>   <http://about.me/andycyca>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> 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
>>
>>
>


--
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
0xC840F256B0F0FF9069E918d060063057AAaA6b36

_______________________________________________
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?

waxmiguel
In reply to this post by Chris Keating-2
On 08/07/2016, Chris Keating <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
>
> I was interested to read the minutes of the most recent Wikimania Committee
> meeting, which decided that Wikimania will be held annually from now on,
> and that it will be in sub-Saharan Africa (effectively meaning South
> Africa) in 2018.
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_Committee/Minutes/2016-06-26
>
> 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.
>
> I have to say I'm a bit confused, not least about who actually makes the
> decision about how frequently Wikimania happens. Is anyone able to shed any
> more light on this?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Chris
>


--
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
0xC840F256B0F0FF9069E918d060063057AAaA6b36

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