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All non bid specific discussion should occur on this page to increase response time and to be more easily seen.

Jury selection[edit]

I have been on four Wikimania juries to date. It is something I care a lot about, and has been an honor; but the process needs more public input and fresh participants, and I would not do it again.

  • The jury process should require less time commitment from jurors. In recent years the jury has been expected to organize public presentations of the bids, and basic Q&A about them, in addition to assessing them according to the bid criteria and deciding among them. The process of asking bid teams to complete their bid, and basic assessment according to neutral criteria, can take place publicly, in advance of the final review period, and be discussed by any interested participants. This way the interested community can help guide discussion of what makes for the best venues, and jurors will be less likely to burn out during critical periods at the end of the bid calendar.
  • There are many people qualified to be effective jurors. It requires the ability to consider many elements of a bid and hopefully evaluate them on merits; and a willingness to learn about past events and their post-mortems; but limited expertise. I would like to see an open call for interested jurors, with selection by public consensus or a group that will not itself be part of the jury. -- sj | translate | + 03:33, 11 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
A belated reply/for the record -- as an attempt to take address these comments, we put out a call for interested jurors for the WM 2011 jury, for the first time. There were a handful of replies; user:bastique picked the members. -- phoebe 18:14, 7 January 2010 (UTC)Reply


It might be useful to push the timeline back a few more months, perhaps completing the process before the new year. That would provide a full year and a half for planning. -- sj | translate | +

I agree. The more time available to organising teams the better. I will push back the time line by two months for the time being. Seddon 00:50, 29 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

WMF support for bidders[edit]

I think the WMF needs to support bidders more. For example, the WMF should be handling global sponsorship, individual bids should just handle local sponsorship. More information about what is required would also be good - full post mortems of previous conferences should be made available with detailed budgets, attendance numbers at various parts of the conference, etc. --Tango 18:37, 11 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

The Wikimedia Foundation does provide support when needed to the team hosting Wikimania. As Wikimania is a community event the Foundation tries to allow local communities as much autonomy as possible for their planing and preparation of the conference. The Foundation does provide assistance and support for global sponsorships. The Foundation also provides much of the support for acquiring funds for scholarships. Although the Foundation does not have one staff devoted to working with the location team many of the Foundation's staff work throughout the year to support the development, funding, and execution of the conference. James Owen 06:16, 23 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
to add to what James said, the WMF does support global sponsorship, but that's a relatively new development in the last couple of years. And re: postmortems: totally, we need that kind of info. Anyone who figures out how to arrange it well on Wikimania will earn a barnstar from me. -- phoebe 02:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Bidding opens?[edit]

Hola. When does the actual bidding open? I.e., when does one put the candidacy on the official list? — Coren (talk) / (en-wiki) 17:51, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

The Bidding is officially open, feel free to begin your bid. Information on how to start your bid can be found at Wikimania 2011 Bids. Please also review the Judging Criteria, and process Timeline. Good luck! James Owen 18:47, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Corporate sponsors[edit]

Is there any information about past corporate sponsors or other pertinent information? 00:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

2009, 2008 17:44, 29 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Checks -- and online sponsorships?[edit]

Can the Foundation please establish accounts for the bids, so, for example, checks made out to "Wikimania 2011 {Stanford, Montreal, Tokyo}" can be more easily deposited and accounted for by the Foundation? This would help speed sponsorships. 20:45, 29 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Money should not be taken before the bidding has closed. It should be noted within your bid whether a local chapter is providing the assistance with regards to the conference organisation or whether a seperate entity is being set up or whether support would be required from the foundation. Seddon 14:39, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Can we offer a way for sponsors to contribute online, where the sponsors could, for example, rank their first, second, and third choice locations? Should we have a way to limit a sponsorship to a location (e.g., a single first choice -- or would "no second choice" and "no third choice" options be better for sponsors who have only a mild first location preference?) or unlimited to no location preference?

For example, "Tokyo, no second choice" sponsor money could be marked for return if Tokyo doesn't win. But "Tokyo, Stanford" would still be usable for Montreal if they win. 22:04, 29 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

During the bidding period, it is the responsibility of the bids to attempt to secure sponsorship. The foundation will most likely provide some assistance to the winning team but the brunt of the responsibility lies with the bid team. Seddon 14:39, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Proportion requesting scholarships?[edit]

What proportion of attendees request scholarships? 04:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

end of bidding[edit]

When is the end of the bidding? "March 29 (0:00 UTC): Bidding ends" - at the beginning of March 29 or at the end? Deror avi 16:49, 17 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

I'll never get that odd confusion about hours. There is exactly one minuted labeled "0:00" every day, the once immediately preceding "0:01". 0:00 on date X is the first minute of X. — Coren (talk) / (en-wiki) 19:25, 28 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

proposed date for wikimania 2011[edit]

I would like to request the proposed date(5-8 August 2011) for Wikimania to be changed and brought at least a week earlier since Ramadan starts on 1 August. We should bear in mind that Israel is an Arab country in the Middle East and this date might not only affect the Israeli Muslim residents but also affect the Muslim attendants. --Abbasjnr 11:46, 17 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

We are aware the dates of Ramadan, however we do not see this as a problem. Last year (2009) Wikimania occurred during Ramadan and there were several Muslim participants. Due to the dates of Ramadan, it is likely that Wikimania in 2012 and 2013 will also occur during Ramadan. The conference will be held during the weekend, knowing that many observant Jews won't be able to participate on Saturday, because we have to accommodate to the needs of the international audience.
From our experience, the Muslim community in Israel maintains business as usual during Ramadan, and so is the case in the Palestinian territories, Jordan and other neighboring countries. Events and conferences scheduled to Ramadan in the region take place and are attended by observant Muslims. The only exception (naturally) is meals, business lunches etc. which are postponed until after sunset.
We can not change the dates, as we want to provide free accommodations in university dorms for those who can not afford it - which can not be done a month earlier due to the academic schedule.
However, we can arrange that Muslim attendees who request so will be served breakfast before sunrise, and we can arrange that they will have dinner after sunset in the evening (i.e. after 19:36 – 19:32 depending on the date). We can also assist in transportation to nearby mosques. Deror avi 14:38, 17 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Wikimania in Israel This debate moved from the talk page of the Wikimania article[edit]

Israel could not be a fair place for the Wikimania 2011 confrence -Wikimania is a conference held every year and attended by users of Wikipedia and other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, which prides itself on its mission of providing free knowledge and free access to knowledge for all. Holding Wikimania in Haifa, Israel is counter to the spirit, ethos, and goals of the Wikimedia Foundation. Here’s why:

1. Access: Israel is a highly inaccessible country for majority of the population in the region. The apartheid wall separating the occupied West Bank from the Israeli state, the siege on Gaza and the state of war between Israel and majority of countries across the region makes Israel a highly inaccessible, unsafe and unwelcoming environment for majority of techies in the region. Holding the Wikimania conference in Israel jeopardizes the impact it would have on open source software development in the region as well as limit its potential of reaching hundreds of emerging and established talented techies. It is strange that this was not brought up directly in the Q&A of the Haifa bid. The organizers might have tried to convince organizers that this was not a problem and that they would create special passes for participants who needed them. But this is false information and puts the Wikimaniacs at permanent high security risks. How then is this location ensuring free access to all without discrimination?

2. Solidarity: International human rights standards compel us to take a stand against the atrocious violations of Palestinian human rights by the state of Israel. On an international level, many people are taking a stance against Israel’s impunity by refusing to engage with Israel and so many Wikimaniacs will choose not to attend the conference. In the Q&A of the Haifa bid, it was offensive to read “The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is limited to areas near the Gaza Strip and the West Bank”. This separates the occupation from the Israel and feeds into the illusion that Palestinian living within Israel do not face any discrimination or violence. Apartheid, colonization and occupation is an integral part of everyday life in Israel and turning a blind eye to makes us complicit. We cannot forget that it is the same state of Israel that is oppressing millions of Palestinians only because of their ethnicity cutting off power, water, supplies, medicine, phones, Internet, and basic human dignity from them. We call on the Wikimedia Foundation to respect the pain of an entire people and refuse to carry on its events under the oppressive state of Israel as if there is no war, no starvation, and no injustice taking place daily under the same roof. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:42, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Forgive me if I find your commentary vitriolic at best. Wikimania is NOT politically affiliated, and the Wikimedia Foundation does not take sides on any particular political conflict. The location was chosen for its technological prowess, and Wikimedia Israel has been particularly prolific in terms of participation in the overall organization. As for your concerns about accessibility, efforts have been made to make the conference available to everyone. For example, residents of the Palestinian territories will be granted visas in order to attend, and citizens of nations that do not recognize Israel will be given visas in a manner that does not alert their state of residence. While I realize you have concerns regarding and criticisms of the State of Israel, this is not a forum to discuss them. This is, and does not attempt to support any side in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Arielkoiman (talk) 03:43, 13 January 2011

An interesting consideration and one I had expected would have been brought up long before now. Calling the Conference and location choice a "purely academic endeavor" is a naeive and untrue statement.
Many academics and many musicians have cancelled appearances in and links with Israel over the continuing and accelerating illegal land grab in the West Bank and elsewhere, the commercial embargo of Gaza, the ghettoisation, the bantustans, the gerrymandering within Jerusalem, the extra-territorial Mossad assassinations of elected officials, the pass laws, the Wall, water theft, war crimes, and second class citizenship within Israel.
Israel securing the conference is therefore a considerable economic, political, and propaganda triumph.
On the other hand the argument outlined by our anonymous friend above( while calm and certainly not vitriolic) about access seem weak given the pains that Wikipedia has taken to ensure access for all.
I sincerely hope that the "puts the Wikimaniacs at permanent high security risks" phrase is not some sort of veiled threat.
I have been horrified at many of the things that have and are being done in Israel's name in the surrounding countries. However there comes a time when one must look at a larger picture. Israel has fended off repeated attacks from its neighbours during its short history as a state and lives under the strain of both no recognition by many neighbours and the threat of renewed attacks. Despite this it leads the world in electronic and medical and agricultural technology.
The Israelis do not boast about their work worldwide in disaster relief and emergency medicine and other good works but it is substantial and out of proportion to the nation's size .
Nor do many who rail against Israeli government misdeeds realize that there are many righteous people within Israel who share their abhorrence, such as Rabbis for Human Rights 1 and B'Tselem [[ http://www.btselem.org/English/}}, both good examples of the high moral activism combatting the injustices.
I have recently become more aware of the vast size, power and energy of Wikipedia and the painstaking industry of the several hundred thousand editors many of whom are Israelis, who devote a lot of free time to sharing and refining knowledge for nil pay.
In two similar processes my thinking has changed recently. When i first got access to broadband and found WP I amused myself and pals adding unlikely details to pages and seeing how long they remained there. Oh what fun.(Sorry Bob Quinn ) After being very kindlily dissuaded from within WP I stopped. Around this time I found Uncyclopedia where such tomfoolery is celebrated.2 A link to a page on UP on this subjest; a droll spoof about West Bank misunderstandings. With regard to Israel I was inclined to see it solely as a subject for embargo and boycott just like South Africa 30 years ago, but a lot of reading and not all of it on WP, has brought me round to a more tolerant and conciliatory view.
The realization that much of the origins of these troubles lies at the foot of former Empires such as the Ottomans and especially the British who were superb at splitting former colonies to their ongoing advantage. Like Ireland, progress only bore fruit through dialogue that included all offenders. I see Wikipedia being a prince in dialogue. But I digress.
I would like to see Wikipedia move to being beyond politics as chess and the Olympics have mostly done. At the same time we live in a world where that may not be possible in the near future.
Perhaps some concrete gesture of solidarity from Wikipedia to Gaza, well before the conference, could ease the tension over the discrepancy between the high tech Israel and the Israel constrained Gaza. How about a firm commitment from Israel and Hamas and Jimmy Wales to hold Wikimania in Gaza within 5 or 10 years ? with a concimitant undertaking to put in the structures to make it possible ? Someone else may think of a better gesture. Has Jimmy Wales made any statements on the subject ?
I should declare a tiny interest. I banged in an application for a scholarship place at Wikimania last week - I am an unlikely recipient-a lowly WP footsoldier with an uncouth talk page style and a chequered past but you never know. Yours in wikiwonder--Tumadoireacht (talk) 00:38, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
In 2006, I never heard any apologies for butchered children in Iraq or a commitment to host wikimania in Afghanistan. Seb az86556 10:47, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply
I think it was incredibly naive to hold this conference there, in a national security state that might even hack into Wikipedia's database to find the identity of all anonymous editors it views as anti-Israel, through their editing history. Assuming it doesn't already have some other means of access. Expect dozens of editors to be turned back at the airport, often after spending a night or two in lockup. Also expect protests from Israeli peace groups, especially should that happen.
Of course, I live in DC and I'm afraid we'll probably face the problem of some individuals from some Arab/Muslim lands, as well as other nations, being denied Visas during [Wikimania 2012. (I'm sure the Israelis will share any pilfered info with the US State Department.) This isn't about politics, it's about not endangering the integrity of Wikipedia's database of editors and the safety of editors. Carolmooredc 14:32, 26 April 2011 (UTC)Reply