Talk:Wikimania selection process

Active discussions

Questions & commentsEdit

I can certainly see the reasons behind this change, but I have a few thoughts/questions;

  • This proposal will effectively up-weight the USA (+Canada) from hosting Wikimania one year in 5ish to one year in 3. Is that deliberate - if so, what's the rationale for it?
  • Who should anyone interested in hosting a future year's Wikimania contact? There aren't any contact details on the page at present.
  • What should people interested in hosting think about before contacting you? Do any of the Wikimania 2016 judging criteria or the contents of Wikimania_Handbook#Bidding still apply?
  • Will the "jury" method of selecting a venue still apply - if not who will make the decision about where Wikimania is to be held each year?

(NB I am definitely not interested in hosting Wikimania, just trying to predict some questions). Thanks! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:04, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Hey @The Land:, some responses:
This proposal will effectively up-weight the USA (+Canada) from hosting Wikimania one year in 5ish to one year in 3. Is that deliberate - if so, what's the rationale for it?
Yes. Historically we have served the (proportionately very large) base of editors in Canada and the US very poorly, with a lot of feedback that Wikimania locations seemed to be picked to be exotic, far-away, expensive places to give the more 'elite' community members a fun holiday. Though I think this criticism is unfair, it is true that we have effectively excluded people from Canada and the US through the choices we have made. We wanted to address that historic imbalance, and cater to the community we have as much as the community we want.
Who should anyone interested in hosting a future year's Wikimania contact? There aren't any contact details on the page at present.
I think making this page was a mistake; all the details were already on Wikimania, and I think this page should be deleted. The announcement, linked on that page (and not this), said to post on wikimania-l or Talk:Wikimania.
What should people interested in hosting think about before contacting you? Do any of the Wikimania 2016 judging criteria or the contents of Wikimania_Handbook#Bidding still apply?
I think "what makes a good Wikimania" is a very complex question, but yes, those criteria are still roughly accurate. We should probably write into the Handbook some details about this when we can.
Will the "jury" method of selecting a venue still apply - if not who will make the decision about where Wikimania is to be held each year?
No. Instead of appointing the jury to proposed a selection to the Committee for it to ratify, the Committee will just make the selection itself. There was little additional value, and great deal of additional complication, brought about by adding a jury system in between the bidders and the Committee.
Thanks for the questions. Hope my answers are helpful.
James F. (talk) 14:44, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

I think the rotation system is seriously flawed and Bias as people in US/Canada & Western Europe will get an opportunity every three years where as communities outside of that put on a shared rotation will have based on the 7 regions list one opportunity every 21 years assuming that not only does it rotate with the three year cycle but that all regions themselves rotate through that third year equally. This also means that primarily the only english speaking communities will be from the US creating yet another bias. IMHO i think a potential solution is to start at UTC 0 with +-2 for the bid then move westerly by 5 or 7 hours with a margin +-2 for the following rotation and so on around the globe every 2nd year with anywhere within that time span can bid, with the alternative year being an open bid between US, Canada and pre defined European countries. Gnangarra (talk) 17:20, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

SuggestionsEdit

I generally support the idea to change the selection system, but I think that the new process is quite far from the optimal.

TL;DR of my comment:

  • rotation of continents: make a simpler rule that each Wikimania should not be "close" to the previous two Wikimanias: e.g. Mexico City was "close" to US and Canada, as there are affordable travel options and no visa barriers
  • bidding: invite candidate cities to publicly declare their interest to make sure that everyone has a chance.

Rotation of continentsEdit

The distributions into geographic zones is at least not quite meaningful, at most ridiculous:

  • It is unclear what the region Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia stands for. Basically this region covers very diverse territories: from Central Europe which is no different from the rest of Europe (it is in Schengen Area, many countries use euro, affordable direct flights from most European capitals) to Central Asia which is much closer to Asia (little to no flights from Europe, visa required for most European nationals, little people speak English). The only thing in common for this region is Communist past, but please do not draw the Iron Curtain v. 2.0
  • It is also unclear why USA in Canada form a separate continent. I have tried searching for air ticket prices and I have found that from Vancouver (Canada) it is cheaper to reach Mexico City (ca. 400€ return ticket) than Montréal (ca. 500€ return ticket). Still, Montréal is in the same country, while Mexico City is in a different region, so what's the point in such distribution?
  • Finally, this distribution does not take into account how people will travel to Wikimania. If you look at Grants:PEG/Wikimedia TN User Group/Wiki-Arabia-2015 you will find out that travelling from Africa to Africa may actually require a stopover in Europe (case of Comoros) or Asia (case of Djibouti).

I think that much better notion would be a notion of a "close" venue, which takes into account:

  • travel costs. I think we can define a limit, say, 500€, that most Wikimedians from Global North can pay for attending Wikimania. For example, Montréal is an affordable venue for British and French as tickets purchased in advance can be as cheap as 400€, but San Francisco is not as tickets are over 1000€. (Global South is a different case, as this limit will vary greatly from one country to another).
  • visas. Schengen visa is difficult to obtain for people from Global South, while US visa is close to impossible to obtain for nationals of some countries. This is a significant barrier, and at least one Wikimania out of two should be in visa-friendly country.
  • possible cultural barriers, e.g. Israel is geographically close to Middle East but they are not mutually "close" as there are significant cultural and political obstacles to direct access.

For example:

  • Entire Europe (incl. Eastern), most of North Africa and Middle East are "close" to Europe
  • Most of North and Central America is "close" to US and Canada, but US are not really "close" to Central America due to visa barrier
  • Nothing outside America is "close" to South America
  • Nothing except Southeast Asia is "close" to Australia

Thus we can make a simpler rule that each Wikimania location should not be "close" to the previous two locations, giving more opportunities to venues like Mexico City or Haifa that are not in US/Canada or Europe but easily reachable and more visa-friendly.

BiddingEdit

It is great that bidding will not be a harsh competition anymore, but it is very disappointing that cities will be predefined instead of public bidding. Some balance is needed, something like the following:

  • A bid should become an "entry point", not a ready application with institutional partnerships. There should be just a brief public description of each candidate city: who is interested in organising, what are potential venues and possible accommodation options and what are advantages of holding Wikimania there. No one else except Perth can say that Wikimedians in Perth want to organise Wikimania, and no one else knows what are good venues in Perth for it, so there should be a way to show their interest publicly
  • WMF and/or Wikimania Committee can also invite other cities to join this public bidding phase, more in the spirit of "let's get Montréal team interested in organising Wikimania, they can do it and we want to see it"
  • It would be great to make "regional" or "collaborative" bids with experience of several chapters behind, for example, with the entire WikiFranca working on Wikimania Montréal and not just Québec Committee of WMCA (and I know that Wikimedia CEE was also thinking of working on a CEE bid, although it is much less likely to happen if we will have to wait for 21 years for it to happen). WMF and Wikimania Committee should encourage this and if possible help build such teams.
  • There should always be a "second chance": it will be much less of a competition if a team will have to wait for a year or two for the next attempt and not 21 years.
  • If we are moving to the applications two years in advance, it might be interesting to submit bids for Wikimania N+2 before Wikimania N, make a final meeting of Wikimania Committee and publicly announce the host city at Wikimania itself (just a suggestion for increasing transparency, not a procedural point)
  • For the remaining part I completely agree with the idea that all sponsorships, institutional partnerships, logistics and so on should be defined after the bid is accepted, otherwise that's a pure waste of time. That's a really good and strong point which will make Wikimania bids friendlier

Sorry for the long comment, hope it would be helpful — NickK (talk) 16:06, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

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