Wikimedia Conference 2014/Documentation/28

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28 Future of the Wikimedia Conference / Good-bye

Asaf, Carlos and Nicole on the stage
Josh (AffCom) speaking up

tl;dr: Huge thanks to organisers & volunteers, especially of the Programme Team. Programme was much better. All people in one hotel was a good idea. No critics on the location bidding process. Asaf asks participants and speaker to prepare better. Leave feedback. It was appreciated by some people that the Board did not have its meeting at the same time, so they could join the sessions.


Looking back at the three days, how they're developed for you? Did we speak about everything?
  • Nicole: we have tackled a few of these issues and many diverse points were raised, many people voiced their opinion; we wanted to stick to "meta" topics instead of programmatic talks, which we managed
  • Carlos: collaboration is the key. It'll take a while to digest WMCON 2014.
  • Nicole: It was also about meeting each other in person and lose some tension. #Wikilove! "Breaks" was the most important session. Face-to-face was really important, we had really good sessions. They made you realize that you have an different situation in your country.
How often should this conference take place? Every three months?
Carlos: Maybe use the format for half a day at Wikimania? The super-diverse format is great. but it should not intrude on the ordinary schedule.
What about the conference format?
  • Nicole: We can't discuss the scope before being sure what we want to address. And we could talk about the alternatives. Maybe we could talk more about meta politics. It's worth discussing about regional conferences, 1- or 2-day-conferences, FDC-chapter confs, chapters without staff, chapters with staff, etc. etc.
  • Asaf: There are practical considerations, if we invite 1000 people, it's wikimania. Skillsharing is important. And I could see that happen. Sessions just as important as the time in between (networking, making friends).
What about comparing this conference to previous ones?
  • Josh (WMPH): This is my 3rd conference. What i appreciate about the conference: we always find newbies to talk with, we always talk about the same things (staff, etc.). As we're getting more affiliates, the opinions here are really different now. It's good to have a broad participation, to get more different insights and to hear most different experiences. WMCON will have to expand so no one's left behind. There is a need for non-affiliated Wikimedians that are interested in the conference to be able to participate.
  • Andrew (WMAU): Having three instead of two strands (like in 2011) is great. Etherpad is also great, as is the mixture of people.
  • Itzik (WMIL): Conference costs a lot of money - we have to satisfy the donors. We need more working groups, instead of lecturing like at Wikimania.
  • Asaf: I think this conference is meant to be a working conference instead of a community gathering. To achieve that you need topics, on which people should work on to have a worky work group conference. Historically, some WMCONs basically discussed non-problems. The key for the conference is to find the right topics and problems. This year's programme teams did a really good job, pushing, asking for the input. I think we should stick to that. What we can do better is preparation. Not only speakers (they were better prepared than the last years), but also the attendees. They should know more than only the title and have an idea on what to achieve.
  • Carlos: Time for preparations should be a little bit short, while time for questions should be larger. I think half/half.
How do we find the right place for the conference?
  • Asaf: Most people coming to this conference, don't give this a lot of thought. It's not important for them. It's not a burning question, it's largely a practical question. Place has to be accessible, people have to get home to work on monday. Certainly, we should keep this bidding process.
  • Douglas (WMZA): The bidding process is nice and democratic. Would like to see next WMCON in San Francisco ('Visit the mothership').
  • Asaf: I would like to follow Carlos' comment. What should we change? Everything is fine?

[No response.]

Further comments
  • Andrea (WMIT): Was my first conference. For me, it works. I would like to have a second conference like this. I came with very vague questions, and now I have more precise questions and some answers.
  • Liang-chih (WMTW): After all the tools & methods I learnt here, I can fullfill better my function at the chapter. I learnt a lot of experiences from around us (HK, Phillippines). Andw we took a photo!
  • Cristian (WMIT): I really enjoyed the fact that this year the FDC Board meetings were not at the same time. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with people here. My wish would be to keep this.
  • Ido (WMIL): Breaks were useful
  • Emmanuel (WMTW): Thank you to WMDE. The hole process till the conference was flawless.
  • Ivan (WMMX): The programme process was really intensive, was really good.
  • Jan-Bart (Board): Without a doubt, was really good (for us as a board), we had a good conversation with AffCom. Talk with your neighbour chapters! Thanks to WMDE, the volunteers, the staff. Thx. Thank you to Pavel, Garfield and Anasuya. This things happen in all communities, not always visible. Look out for each other, online as offline.
  • Asaf: Just one comment. We have really made an effort to change things year. Again, I ask you leave feedback. Share more, communicate more.
  • Carlos: Suggestions for the next year: if you're bidding, try to put all the people in one hotel. This was really, really good & important. Beside that, thank you. Behalf of my AffCom and me, thank you for all your support, especially thank you to WMDE for all the support, thanks Anasuya & Garfield. Everything was really well done and so quickly.
  • Nicole: Thank you to my colleagues in the Programme Team.
  • Pavel: Everything was already said. Yet, you can't do this enough. It was an amazing three days conference. In my opining words I thanked the WMF, I thank the Programme Team, thank you to the documenting volunteers who spending their weekend here. Thank you, Wenke, Alice & Daniela for a very beautiful, smooth and joyful conference. Thank you, Andreas & Anna Lena for facilitating a group which is known to be "unfacilitatable". Final thanks to the volunteers of the Griefs Counselours, who just appeard one (!) hour after the message. I believe they were really helpful. And, one thing, one of the grief counselour wrote the [German] Wikipedia article about "Grief Counselling". He didn't know where he was coming to. That's too good to be true. Thank you all.