Wikimania 2006/Planning/2005-11-05

Society of Wikimaniacs
November 5, 2005, 20:00 UTC

Present :  _sj_, akl, Alkivar, Angela, AnyFile, brettstil, brion,
Chris_Parham, delphine, e2m__, EricaG,  gwdash,  JamesF, jikomboe,
MikeSnow, mysekurity, Phroziac, randy_f, reagleBRKLN, sasha_ (asw),
Shanel, shekhar, Solensean, TitaniumDreads,

  ...but silent : Bdka, cathyma, Chiacomo, CraigSpurrier, da_didi,
GerardM, Get_It, here, mattis, MichaelDiederich, poli_, Rdsmith4,
SabineCretella, soufron, SvenDowideit, tobacman,  tractor, zwitter
  ...and away : AppleBoy, Austin, GhostFreeman, JeLuF, mark, Rince,
Schuyler, SethIlys,

1. Prologue

Long before the meeting, Alkivar links to w:Jason Scott Sadofsky ("a computer history archivist... who is humorously anti-wikipedia") and suggests he would make a good speaker. Also notes that on campus you can have better parties later than you can elsewhere in town.

2. International e2m__ asked if attendees from Asia, Africa, and South America will be particularly welcome. The meeting is just starting, and this is never answered... are they? See also the discussion of conference goals, below.

  Idea: organize travel groups of people from similar countries / languages, to help them get used to the new environment; and to offer partner-interpreters to encourage people with poor English skills to attend who normally avoid such international events.

3. Time sensitive issues first : dates for the conference?

There are 3 promising weekends : July 22-23, July 29-30, and August 5-6. The weekend in August seems to be the easiest for people to schedule, but may be more expensive for flights from Europe.

3A - Todo: compare flight prices for these dates.

3B - Harvard professional schools start late for the US, but early for Europe. UK high schools get out late, will still be in session mid-July (so flights might be cheaper).

3C - Anyfile did a quick price search; prices were the same for those two weekends. Group & corporate flight discounts were mentioned.

4. Working with the Harvard dorm & room offices : the [room] office hasn't sorted out their schedule yet; will get to it "very soon".

  UPDATE: The optimal week[end] for dorms is in early August (we could get any combination of dorms we want, up to 450 beds). Still waiting on room details.

5. Venue

Amgine: will the whole event be at the Harvard Law School? Answer: No. The MIT Media Lab wants to host some smaller events, even all of the hacking days. They've also offered to book their largest hall, Kresge auditorium, if we want to use it.

6. Where is there food?

Places mentioned : The Harkness Commons (next door), on-campus caterers (cheers from the local union member), nearby restaurants around Harvard & Kendall Square.

7. Timeline : budget 3 months for travel preparation after acceptnace of papers, for the most difficult cases. CfP in January, December; give initial acceptances by April.

8A : Next meeting - when is good? rotate every meeting by 15.2 days? Pick two times and switch between them? Have multiple meetings on some weeks? We settle on the second option. Next meeting tentatively set for 1600 UTC, Saturday November 19.

8B : Have short meetings and keep most discussion on [Meta]. Clean out the Wikimania wiki and decide if want the site to be a wiki next year.

9A. What should the conference goals be?

All agree generally that it should support the online communities, and be a party and social gathering; and that it should involve "a conference". We had some trouble defininzg 'conference.' How could we describe the community and academic parts of Wikimania more clearly?
  Is international outreach important? Increasing the visibility of small projects? Increasing outreach to underrepresented languages? Should the goals for this year be different than they were last year?

9B. Naming

JamesF liked "symposium" better than conference, but didn't find broad support . (Wikisym's use of the term was noted.) Mysekurity suggested "the [N]th First Annual" conference, a la the Ignobels. MikeSnow chimed in with "Wikimania 2.0".

10. Design, logos, mascots.

Mysekurity wanted a logo contest. This met with some definite opposition. Conference t-shirts and laptop stickers, however... JamesF dreams of having a different shirt from

each wikimania in 20 years. Delphine suggests a confernce mascot... a new one every year. (the Wikipedia worm? Bob the Angry Sunflower? a dolphin? a weasel? a marmot?)

11. Advisors

Sj brings up Tthe idea of a general advisory panel -- representatives from outside the community, from different parts of the world, who could suggest and provide intros to potential speakers and sponsors. Chris Parham noted the structure doesn't have to be

formal, but that getting people involved in this way would be helpful. :  Delphine wanted to know what the advisors would do, other than advising the program team.

12. Announcements.

Will there be announcements on the main WP page[s]? A sitewide notice? When, for how long? At the first opportunity to sign up, before a major paper/registration deadline? It

is noted that sitewide notices were put up last year on fr:wp, to some complaints, but not on en:wp.

13. Media streaming.

Mysekurity: webcam streams? audio? Mysekurity: will it be broken down into 'important' and 'not important' segments? Akl: as long as there's someone to do it... mysekurity would be glad to help (emphasis his :)

14. Feedback from attendees and presenters @ Wikimania 2005.

Attendees from last year want a social list to keep up with friends from Wikimania. Other feedback already left on meta needs to be reviewed.

15. Licensing of papers.

General agreement: ask speakers to agree to a reasonably free license, and to audio/video reproduction if they're being recorded, well ahead of time.

16. Conference planning software.

No word from Austin, Jakob, or Patrick; it is generally agreed that a license agreement on paper submission makes sense. JamesF mentions that he was at some point happy to help Austin improve on last year's reg system; regrets mentioning it again :-) It is also agreed we should choose our program planning software in time for the program team to look at it.

17. Program team and Papers

This team is one of the first to act. How will it be structured? Who will be on it? Who will lead it? We should get help from outside the community; technologists and academics (e.g., Sunir, others from Wikimania '05?) methodically split up papers into review
  Amgine notes CfPs should have a postmark deadline. Delphine says there should be a very official, and a secret unofficial deadline. Sj suggests having an early deadline for people who need advnce notice; Delphine said she will pay Sj a beer if anyone submits a paper early. Mysekurity: will papers be physical, on a wiki? will they be editable / commentable by others before the event? Delphine notes she would not like that.

18. Other teams

Website and conf-software are also needed soon. Ditto general conference organization. How should the organization be divided? Should they be split into formal committees? Do we need to hire people to coordinate the volunteers, or have an external conference organizer?
  Sj noted there is an agenda item on the upcoming board meeting re: hiring an organizer for Wikimania.

19. Multilingualism

Soleansan thinks we should translate papers into Swahili, "or at least in Réunion creole," so people don't get the impression that WP is only English, or only for English-speakers. Alkivar thinks we need Fr/Es/De translations ; Delphine suggests waiting until registration is opened and we see who signs up. akl notes that in Frankfurt, none of the German attendees needed translations.
  Sj added that we know hardly any relevant presenters who don't speak in English, but if we had a better way of finding/filtering potential speakers, we might find them. Delphine suggests spending money on travel sponsorships and visas, and not on translation.. But we didn't release the CfP in too many languages last year... can sj evaluate a Russian paper? via a translator. (e.g., the Chinese-language paper submitted ast year)
  akl wants to know if the next irc meeting will be held in swahili, russian or in chinese? :)

20. Closure and followups

Two hours was a bit long. The attendees disappear in flashes of brimstone. Follow-ups and detailed discusison on the wiki: