Welcome back from Wikimania 2014!
- Option 2: Learning Pattern: - In comparison to the Hong Kong Wikimania event, the UK/London Wikimania provided an interesting context for interacting with WMF staff, and a significantly larger number of European editors from a range of language backgrounds. The capacity of english speakers from a range of european countries where english is not necessarily the second language, was much appreciated.
The opportunity to understand the issues that projects in other languages encounter, and also regional issues - that are not always adequately explained on wikipedia itself, were explained in various interactions with other volunteers, and came from a range of presentations. Also the evolution of the GLAM process, and the coming changes and improvement in Wikidata were explained in a way that simply looking online - would not have been possible to see and understand. Also a range of issues that are not normally covered online were shared and explained between editors, which was really valuable and hard to replicate in online environments.
Intangible and unmeasurable positives from the conference that I consider extraordinarily important were a range of serendipitous meetings with other editors that were not expected. No matter what might be planned or set in place, the sheer delight in being able to put a user name to a face, or vice versa, and to be able to interact with them, is something that is not possible online.
The publications from the German and UK chapters that were available at the conference were excellent examples of how well published materials - offline publications are to providing a professional and high standard of material for anyone wanting to know about wikipedia. These are very positive and excellent aspects of promoting the 'wikipedis' brand...
There were some interesting 'mis-use' of the brand issues in the UK media, and it was interesting and salient that the way that the foundation, and others were to reflect on the issues that surrounded the monkey photo and the copyright issues. Completely sidelining the major transperency report that came from the WMF at the same time.
The general nature of this specific response precludes any specific indicator of the actual post conference activity, however, in some public events in the wikipedian meetups in my local town in Australia, it is almost certain that the learnt issues and news from the conference will be disseminated to the small but productive Western Australian group of editors who meet regularly.
Already mentioned above, the importance of connections can never be under-rated. The number of people from the Hong Kong wikimania with whom I was able to compare notes about what had happened in the last 12 months in relation to their projects, and to my own, was a valuable checking device as to how things were going. I was acutely aware of how in the three days, various people were very busy and trying to keep up with a range of issues in relation to organisation. It was appreciated, that despite that, they were able to talk, and we were able to establish our common issues, and also have a very clear understanding as to where we are going next in relation to a number of issues.
The 'events' that start and close the wikimedia conference were well done. The starting of the conference, and the conclusion - were important parts of the process that both set the scene, and which reflected a coherent 'flow' to the conference. The British humour (?) (note the engvar, please and do not correct) events on the evening entertainments were well placed, and a good idea. The WMUK organizers are clearly entrepreneurial - if their sketches were any indicator - and to be commended with their production style!!
I took a significant number of photographs of the group of people for the final large group photograph at the end of the conference, they are yet to be uploaded to commons.