Talk:WikiConference India 2020: Initial conversations

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Bidding[edit]

I thank the community from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for taking the initiative. I agree with a consensus decision versus bidding (when no one came forward for three years) can save a lot of time.

While I can support in my capacity, I would urge the Local Organizing committee to reach out to village pumps of each Indian language community with this idea and a detailed plan of how you propose to conduct the conference including all communities in execution. You can provide them a template or format through which a community as a whole can endorse this idea.

Since this is a national conference, individual support or opposition from Wikipedians doesn't mean much. Constituent communities of India should support this wholeheartedly. Then only they will feel as being part of this conference.

If there is any opposing or competing community, then the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana community should sit down with them and try to achieve a consensus. Such a consensus would look more legitimate and representative even for WMF and other funding agencies. --Ravi (talk) 07:29, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

@Ravidreams: Hi Ravi, thanks for the suggestion. We completely agree that if a community as whole supports this proposal, it would add more credibility. Working in that direction, we have created a section here, where language communities after having discussion on their local Village Pumps, can post an endorsement here after consensus. We will also be proactively reaching out to Wikimedians who have already endorsed, and also others to start discussions on their local Wikis. Regards, KCVelaga (talk) 15:30, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga:, Thanks for taking my suggestion in good spirit. I have few more questions or concerns to be addressed too.
Besides the Village Pump discussion in Telugu WIkipedia page, is there a preliminary/braod plan or vision for the event? For example, who are all committed to be in the organizing team and take the event to completion in case of unforeseen difficulties for any of the leading volunteers like you and Pavan? What are the roles and responsibiities of various members in the local organizing team? Since there is no WMIN or User group, how will such a large amount of fund be handled? DO you have local institutional partners who can commmit support? It is good to present such details and present a plan even if it is minimal. I am going to support your proposal :) but before that we need to make sure have a solid plan. Having conducted such events in the past, I have seen the initial enthusiasm fade away and only few volunteers struggling till the end. --Ravi (talk) 11:14, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Hi @Ravidreams: Yes, we do have a preliminary plan. However, I am not sure if you are expecting this one, but I will let know you know whatever we have. Pavan and I have been discussing this idea for a long time, but we were not able to commit we are aware that it does take a lot of time and effort. As we came sure about our commitments, then we decided to go forward about this. As mentioned on the main page, since no one came up for the past three years, we felt that we will propose to host. We also discussed this idea with several community members before and after the announcement and took their ideas+feedback. The overall timeline is; once there is a consensus (discussions are going great on several VPs) and a good number of communities endorse, we are planning to host an IRC (under discussion as of now) to for a final discussion, and clear any doubts people may have. If it goes as per the plan, we will be doing a community engagement survey (a requirement for Conference Grant) and also start a conversation with WMF regarding the grant proposal. With inputs from the survey, we will frame the grant proposal, and put it up for community review (both program and budget) before proposing to WMF. We will continue with the preparation of processes (such as program, scholarships, management etc.) at a slow pace during the grant review period, keeping it flexible. Post funding decision, we will start the actual preparations. The current timeline says the grant funding decision will be out in March 2020. We assume that we will at least 6-8 months from then. Regarding the whole organising, there will be a call for organisers with clear guidelines regarding time commitment involved so that others don't take the load of others. We will also be ensuring a mix of newbies and experienced people for capacity development. To not to waste volunteers' time on tedious tasks such as travel arrangements, we are planning to have a paid conference coordinator (probably a professional event planner - will be discussed with the community). Scholarships may be open during May, and decisions should be out by July at max. For handling the funds, we had some initial conversation with CIS-A2K to act as fiscal sponsor and also have an auditor to check the spending. For the conference, we are thinking of having the main theme as quality and local knowledge, this will be discussed and refined as we progress. This main theme will largely influence the sessions in the conference program. Regarding the venue, deriving the learning from 2016 organisers, for a conference of this scale, we thought it would be better to do it in a hotel. Also, most of the times, if are the accommodation and food are booked with the hotel, the banquet halls are provided at free of charge. But we will local partners for other tasks. For example, we are having a conversation with an engineering college for sponsorship and also have their students as volunteers during the conference days. Regarding the local organising, we will be forming a core local organising team soon (by the end of this month) we had a lot of talks with members from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana who expressed their interest to be a part, and we will formalising that by forming a team who can commit their time. We will also be because these people will need to give a lot of time as we move close to the event, and we will make sure that they are aware of that. We are thinking of doing the conference in 2nd/3rd week of December 2020, at least 5 days before Christmas. I hope this answers your concerns, at least partly. I will happy to explain more anything that you specifically point out. KCVelaga (talk) 07:19, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga:, the preliminary plan sounds ok. But, what concerns me is this looks like two people proposing to do it in a city and whole community is excited about it. While I appreciate the initiative you have took, just like I suggested each community to endorse this besides individual support, it is equally important that the Telugu Wikimedia community, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Wikimedia community and any other local organization who will be your parter to clearly state through a resolution that they are proposing to the host this event together. The resolution should also the list of members and organizations in the Local Organizing Committee and their responsibilities. In this regard, the simple discussion and support recorded in Telugu Wikipedia at the moment is inadequate. I am all for doing the event in any city led by any indvidual(s), provided it is properly backed by a community. With all the good faith assumed, it is too risky to let all the burden be handled by only a couple of volunteers. I would be happy to support this proposal once I see such a resolution from the Local Organizing Committee. Thanks.
P.S. The Tamil Wikipedia community has already registered full support for this event to be conducted in Hyderabad. So, let me make it clear that there is no competing or conflicting interest here. But, I want to make sure a local community is committed to this event and not just few individuals. --Ravi (talk) 22:03, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@Ravidreams: Hi Ravi, sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this. Last week, we have been talking to potential users who would like to be part of a core Local Organizing Committee, and taking their final confirmations. We have four confirmed members with one possible addition. As you may already know we are also having an IRC tomorrow at 6:00 pm IST, please participate. Mostly, all members of the Local Organizing Committee will be present during the chat and answer queries. As you can see, many communities have endorsed already, and there is clear support from the community. We would like conclude the initial conversation during the IRC, and proceed to next steps. The immediate step after conclusion is, LOC to formally pass a resolution at the end of this page to take the responsibility before proceeding further. If you have any guidelines to suggest regarding the resolution, please let us know at the earliest possible. Thank you, KCVelaga (talk) 16:50, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga: I am happy you have signed up more individuals for LOC. But, an LOC is not a community. Actually, I am confused which community is hosting this event now as even Telugu Wikipedia community is endorsing the conference but not claiming to host it. Is this Hyderabad Wikimedia community? What are their activities in the past? We need clarity here. 2 or 5 or 10 individuals are still individuals and don't become a community per se. Especially, when they have not worked together in the past under that label and don't list a proven track record of conducting projects/events and holding them accountable. Suppose WMF awards this grant to Telugu (or some recognised) community who is willing to play host, the accountability rests with the community even if some individuals are not able to continue contributing or when some misunderstanding/dispute arises between core contributors. This is too big an event to let the responsibility rest with few individuals not officially backed by any mature community as host. I am curious to know why you were not able to get Telugu or any formal community to act as the host and taking this forward in an individual capacity. Especially, when so many communities are able to support wholeheartedly that there is no host community is glaring.--Ravi (talk) 18:10, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
@Ravidreams: Hi Ravi, I am sorry for the confusion here. I was not able to clearly interpret your intention in the previous messages, but I am clear now. The Telugu community (better said Andhra Pradesh and Telangana community) will be hosting it. This have been conversations among the community members in AP&T, but we didn't make any resolution as such. We are not specifically not saying Telugu because there are several Wikimedians in these two states who contribute to non-Telugu projects like me, but speak Telugu. So to include everyone we are saying AP&T. But since we currently don't have any platform for AP&T, we are conducting the discussions on Telugu Wikipedia. We will start a discussion on Telugu Wikipedia, specifically to talk and have a resolution regarding hosting the conference. I will get back to you by the end of next week again. KCVelaga (talk) 15:00, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga:, I am much releived now. You can make the resolution on Telugu Wikipedia or Meta Project page. Besides Telugu Wikipedia community, any local commnuity like say the Wiki Club in which you were involved (for example), can be co hosts or signees to the resolution. Just need to know which communities/entities are taking the responsibility for the event. Looking forward to the resolution. --Ravi (talk) 19:29, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
@Ravidreams: Hi Ravi, we have passed resolution as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Wikimedians on Telugu Wikipedia, it can be seen at te:వికీపీడియా:రచ్చబండ/వికికాన్ఫెరెన్స్_ఇండియా_2020_హైద్రాబాదు_ముందస్తు_చర్చ_ముగింపు. Apart from Telugu Wikimedians we have also invited Wikimedians from other languages (residing in AP&T) to participate in the discussion. There has also been a resolution from VVIT Wiki-club to host the conference and actively take in organising. In total 17 Wikimedians (apart from Pavan and me) participated in the resolution discussion. Thank you, KCVelaga (talk) 06:52, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga:, Awesome. Best wishes for the conference. I am supporting it. --Ravi (talk) 18:57, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@Ravidreams: Thank you for all the suggestions, we will be happy to take more inputs from you along the way. KCVelaga (talk) 02:22, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Individual message to communities[edit]

@Satdeep Gill, Stalinjeet Brar, Manavpreet Kaur, యర్రా రామారావు, and Pratik.pks:@Sushant savla, Mekala Harika, Indrajitdas, Satpal Dandiwal, and QueerEcofeminist:@Katta Srinivasa Rao, Ramesam54, Jinoytommanjaly, Jayprakash12345, Dharampal Singh, and Tarunsamanta:@J ansari, Balajijagadesh, Pranayraj1985, Aliva Sahoo, and B.K.Viswanadh:@Info-farmer, Albetudu, Rajasekhar1961, Maina Tudu, and Nagarani Bethi:@Marajozkee, Chaduvari, Ssgapu22, Fredericknoronha, and Vikashegde: Dear all, many thanks for endorsing our proposal to host WCI 2020 in Hyderabad. Following the conversation from the above section, we would like to have endorsements from communities, which would add credibility while we further proceed. So I am pinging you all to start a discussion on your local Wiki (on your language's most active Wiki, Wikipedia generally) and then after consensus, endorse this proposal on behalf of the language community. We have a created a draft message for you to use, please localise it to your context, and modify as you feel necessary. Also please avoid multiple discussions, and check if there already an existing one before starting one. Also to note, Telugu Wikimedians/from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, please ignore this, as we have a thread already about this. Thanks again, and let me know if there are any questions. KCVelaga (talk) 15:36, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Query[edit]

First of all good to see WCI is coming back. Pavan and KCVelaga thumbs up . @KCVelaga: I have specific question to you. Being a elected representative of WMIN, you have left WMIN EC when it was going through crisis. Will you leave WCI 2020 initiative if it goes through crisis ? -- naveenpf (talk) 02:08, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

@Naveenpf: I am a bit disheartened by this question, but at the same time I can understand that you might not be having the complete context of the situation. I would like to clarify three main points here; firstly, when I was elected and formally started being part of the EC, WMIN was out of compliance with WMF. If see you the further reports made from that point, [1], [2], [3], [4], were all made by me. It should also be observed that many of the activities listed in these reports were by me or Suyash (who was in EC, and resigned in Nov/Dec 2018). I also worked on the financial reports with a few other EC members, and were able to bring the Chapter back into compliance. That was the reason why two of the EC members were able to attend Wikimedia Conference 2018. Secondly, there was instability internally after the President's participation in Wikimania 2018, which has been heavily questioned by the community members, and to date there has been no response or statement regarding that. I resigned in Sept 2018 due to several reasons, which include both internal and external. I am not comfortable with discussing them in public, but I would be happy to do so over a private conversation. So at the point of my resignation, the Chapter was under full compliance, I am not sure what the crisis is. If the remaining EC or further additions to board are not able to maintain, how am I responsible for that - your statement sounds as if I am accountable for current state of the Chapter. Lastly, I would like to note that being a WMIN EC member wasn't the only responsibility that I have held in the movement, I have led several projects and national activities such as Wikigraphists Bootcamp, Wikidata campaign, SVG Translation Campaign, and TWLCon, a strong Wiki-club VVIT WikiConnect, which have had substantial impact and well received by the communities, and I also hold several other formally appointed/elected across the movement. Before concluding, WCI is just not about me individually, a group of people, a community is doing this. KCVelaga (talk) 09:33, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

Concern about bidding[edit]

Hi @Abhinav619:, we started this discussion on 2 October, and has been open for more than three weeks. By now proposal to organize Wiki Conference India 2020 in Hyderabad garnered support from 90 individual Indian Wikimedians across various communities -- having diversity language and geography wise. Apart from that, 13 Indian language Wikimedia communities had discussion about this on their respective village pumps, and collectively endorsed the proposal as a whole. We also hosted an IRC to discuss the idea, and also clarify doubts/concerns community members had. It was quite a fruitful discussion, and the log has been published at here. I believe our exercise to reach all corners of the diverse Indian Wikimedia community demonstrated a great amount of support from various communities and individuals. In this regard, as you have concerns regarding this proposal, I would like to bring all of this to your attention -- if you would like to reconsider your stance and modify the comment. Thank you, Pavan santhosh.s (talk) 16:56, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

@Pavan santhosh.s: Thanks for reaching out. I appreciate Village Pump endorsements, in fact, Hindi Wikimedians themselves discussed the proposal at length and eventually endorsed. I also appreciate the efforts for reaching out to me personally out here and also inviting me for the IRC via Talkpage. I have withdrawn my opposition here and would like to convey my best wishes. -Abhinav619 (talk) 17:18, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks @Abhinav619: and Happy Diwali. --Pavan santhosh.s (talk) 11:08, 27 October 2019 (UTC)