Talk:Wikimania 2008/Judging criteria

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Freedom ranking[edit]

IMHO I don't appreciate this table:


I don't know if Wikimania should take place in a free environment because we need freedom or if Wikimania should take place where there is NOT FREEDOM because the aim of Wikipedia should be to help countries where the information is controlled because Wikipedia cannot be controlled and in this case an organization as Wikimania could help this people to be over the Digital divide and the media control.

I would think that this last aim is the main vision of Wikipedia, but the table don't fix this doubt. Could you accept and fix it in the Judging criteria? --Ilario 09:45, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

moved to Talk:Wikimania_2008/Bids#Freedom_rankings -- discussion page topic, not part of the official bid listing. -- phoebe 23:33, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
See Foundation-l comments. -- Jeandré, 2007-10-11t14:50z


Language: availability and cost of translators, level of English ability by locals in the area, rotation of language (whether this location's official language is the same as that of Wikimanias in preceeding years)

Moved here, because I don't understand why this should be a criteria. Did we ever have any translators for Wikimania? Do we really want to favor countries/cities where English is spoken widely? Why is rotation of language important? -- Arne (akl) 19:21, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

While I think the organizing team should be competent in English to some extent, "availability and cost of translators" sounds bit weird. As far as I know, we haven't paid translators as well as on-site interpretors, so it may be pointless to argue on "cost of translators". I think also it could be a factor if the staff of both lodging site and conference venue are good at English, but the locals in the area entirely is somehow irrelevant. It would be nice and helpful for sightseeing, but it is not and shouldn't be our primary aim to hold a conference. --Aphaia 19:34, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
With experience of Wikimania 2007, where at least two presentations were given in a local language, I would like to reinstate this criterion but now in a modified style;
level of English ability by the bidding/local organizer team, level of English ability by locals in the area as prospective on-site volunteers. If the latter is insufficient, availability and cost of interprets should be considered.
In some cases attendees were necessary to communicate with organizers, so English ability, as our lingua franca, must be considered for on-site smooth organizing. Also in case the locals would like to give their presentations in their own languages, we would like to consider the interpret availability and cost (from the volunteering ones from the community to the professional either hired or volunteers). Regarding the communications between the Foundation and the local team as well on-site interpret necessity, I don't think they should be fluent in English, but good English communication competence might be the minimum requirement, specially for some people in the local team who will work together with the international team almost for a year. --Aphaia 20:52, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Although it would be great if we could disregard it as a factor, the lingua franca of Wikimedia, and of a significant majority of the participants at each of the three previous Wikimanias, has been English. If the local organisational team, and especially crucially, the core team, cannot communicate effectively with the rest of us, we will not be as able to help them achieve their very difficult task. This does not mean that people need to speak English, but that there is a good and reliable channel through which the "outside world" can communicate with them.
James F. (talk) 23:40, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Judging bids, a proposal[edit]

  • The bidding teams should work on meta from the beginning, or at least retrace the steps that one made to get where they are when they propose the bid. We are, after all, a collaborative community, and being able to hit the history button and see what work has gotten into the deal is very important. I also understand that there are things you can't "say" before they are acquired, but something like "contact with the competent authorities has been established on 3rd January 2006" is enough to start with. In short, a history of the bid should always be provided with the final bid.
  • A bid should be finished when it comes onto the table, and even between the first and second round, the questions the jury asks should only be questions of clarification, not trying to fill the gaps by comparing one and the other bids.
  • The jury must come up IN ADVANCE with a grid of evaluation (the above is a very good start) that will be presented to the bidders and so that they know on which criteria they are being judged. A point system needs to be worked out as to how many points will be attributed to this or that item in the grid, and each member of the jury will award the points they want for each item. The average should be calculated for each item, and the total should be made transparent for each item when the choice is made.
  • The jury must be composed of a very international and diversified crew. The balance between different continents should be respected and the balance between different skills should also be respected. (One person more oriented press and PR, one more oriented financial, one more oriented community, one person who went to all the other wikimanias etc.)
  • Major sponsors must write a letter of intent that the jury should be able to review. On the other hand, the jury should pledge that they will send a letter to the major sponsors if the city is not chosen, to thank them for their support.
  • A prospective budget should be handed in by every bidding team along the lines of a template budget that the jury should put together and handed in to the bidders in advance.
  • An evaluation of the past Wikimania should be provided by the Foundation so as to help the bidders to address the mistakes made in past editions. What went right, what went wrong? What should we keep, what should we change? This can maybe be triggered by an attendees survey at the end of Wikimania that would then be put into a report of the conference at the disposal of the general public.

notafish }<';> 07:59, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Facilities instead of Funding[edit]

I would suggest to change Funding in Facilities. IMHO must be more appreciate the opportunity to have for free rooms, accomodations, travel expenses and so on instead of money. This solution for three reasons:

  • A promise of funding is a promise, it's more concrete to have facilities for free
  • Wikipedia must be a "no profit" project. To ask money seems to me to make profit.
  • Sponsors would to have their brand more visible as possible. If I give you money I am not sure that my brand will be visible, if I give you my services my brand is surely more visible. For this reason IMHO the services and facilities offered are more concrete and reliable than money and funds.

--Ilario 12:48, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

A lot of places just won't give us rooms because we're Wikipedia or whatever. They are businesses and need to be paid for their services. However, under "funding," which brings up sponsorships, whoever can offset the costs of renting such halls is a plus and should always be sought out. Mike Halterman 18:42, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Local laws[edit]

"Local laws, customs, attitudes, and culture: whether these are likely to provide any benefits or problems for attendees, and whether they are in keeping with the values of the Wikimedia Foundation" - this criteria seems very subjective. The "problems for attendees" is covered under "Visas/immigration". If Wikimania is held in a place that doesn't quite "keep with the values", perhaps the attention Wikimania brings can raise awareness of our values in that place. Thus, be a positive things, not a negative? Thoughts on this? Aude 14:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it is a very subjective "criterion", but it is also a very real one. Let us say that the country which proposes a bid only allows blond people to get out after 9.00 pm otherwise they will be condemned to 20 years of prison (Of course that's a fake and drastic example, but I didn't want to stigmatise any country :-) ). Do we *really* want to have Wikimania there? I believe that this criterion should be left in, and the jury trusted to use it in a balanced way. notafish }<';> 19:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


I got distracted and am just adding this now - sorry Aphaia :-)

Currently, cost seems to be included as part of multiple criteria here - for example, it is part of Accomodation, and Travel, and it is implicitly also part of the Funding criterion, since sponsorship revenue will offset costs. It is also implicit in some sub-criteria - e.g., "proximity to an international airport" has cost implications.

But it seems to me that cost probably deserves to be a separate criterion, all on its own.

Ideally, I think the bidders would be responsible for either submitting a draft budget with their bid, or at a minimum answering a few specific questions. Or perhaps, someone involved with the planning would answer the questions on behalf of each bidder, for consistency's sake. Regardless of how we did it, I think it would be useful to know, for example:

  • Average cost of a return plane ticket from x representative cities
  • Average cost of a hotel room in the bidding city (as an indicator of traveler food/lodging costs, not because we would be staying in those hotels)
  • Per diem rate for the bidding city (according to any standard; which one wouldn’t matter as long as we used the same for each city)

Why does this matter? Because the Foundation pays travel costs for some staff, board and advisory board members: it adds up. The Foundation is also responsible for offsetting some travel costs for scholarship recipients. And travel costs are of course significant for individual participants.

So – I think we should consider making cost a stand-alone criteria, and I also think we should aim to figure out a way to get answers to the questions above, or some similar set of questions.

SueG 20:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

No problem, I just come here now :) Support to have a separate criteria, and a standard set of cost examples are good idea. Representative cities may include Tokyo a/o Hong Kong, Paris a/o Frankfurt, New York, Los Angeles and Santiago. --Aphaia 21:00, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


How critical is this? Toronto is relatively close to Boston, but there's like three state borders and one country border that you have to cross on the way between either. -- Zanimum 20:49, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Atlanta has the dubious distinction of being merely in the same country as Boston, so believe me, I do feel your pain. Mike Halterman 21:54, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Can any of the organizers let both of our bids know how literal the jurors will take this statement? -- Zanimum 17:05, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
See James Forrester's post to Foundation-l. Weight will be given in consideration to rotation but will not be a veto or complete deciding factor in and of itself. Cary Bass demandez 22:40, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Pre-judging help?[edit]

Could bids receive critique from the judging committee or previous Wikimania organizers, before the September 23 deadline? -- Zanimum 17:07, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

If you go to IRC, people should be able to help you (however, judges and others may not be so open to do that, so they can keep impartiality). Mike Halterman 08:11, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
True, I guess that could be considered a conflict of interest. -- Zanimum 18:23, 14 September 2007 (UTC)