Talk:London Wikimania Bid

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Visa[edit source]

UK is not part of schengen, thus your map for visas is wrong (en:Schengen Area). -- 15:55, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for pointing that out. I have removed it. The correct map is here, but it doesn't seem to work on this wiki. -- Marek.69 talk 13:46, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Now fixed -- Marek.69 talk 15:21, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Bristol's too far away[edit source]

Bristol's too far away. Hold it in London so I can go there!Pdiddyjr 19:24, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Pdiddyjr, Wikimania is a global conference (it's been held in Germany, the US, Egypt, Poland and Israel in the past - among other countries). The UK community are currently developing two bids (London and Bristol), one of which will then be chosen to be put forward internationally. The chances are the conference won't be held in the UK - or maybe even Europe. :-) Regards, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 19:08, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

WiFi[edit source]

I notice that weakness 4 says "the WiFi in place at the Olympic Village will not have been designed with hundreds of Wikipedians in mind". This is going to be part of East London Tech City. They are going to really want to make sure that WiFi isn't a weakness. They can use the fact that WiFi has been insufficient at previous places as a selling point for their fancy new facility when it all goes smoothly. I suggest that whoever has been talking to Tech City discuss this with them and get reassurance that it's all going to be fine. Yaris678 14:58, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Well previous venues have thought they'd be able to cope with the strain of hundreds of people editing Wikipedia (which is more strenuous on the infrastructure, I believe, than just accessing Twitter and Facebook like most people would at most conferences) and it has only been discovered that they couldn't when everybody is there. I will talk to Ed, though, and he can mention it when discussions progress. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:59, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Cool. As I said, if they can make it work and everyone is impressed after the event, then Tech City can use it as a big selling point for their facilities... so it might be worth mentioning that to them. Yaris678 16:43, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
As I touched on on the general bid discussion page; Wifi is always a stalling point because it is easy to under-estimate the requirements. However, Yaris has a solid point in that we could try to encourage them to install really good infrastructure as part of the refurbishment. Whether that is viable I don't know; I haven't been updated recently on exactly what is happening and where we are going (I assume *someone* is working on a budget proposal right now, or we're going to be running very fine) - I know that is my fault for not making it to the Wikimeet :P --ErrantX 16:58, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
You guys may wish to talk to the organisers of barcamplondon. We've handled events with 250-300 geeks who tend to bring multiple devices (phones, laptops, tablets etc.) to events and use the living crap out of the wifi. This is all something resolvable, but you have to specifically work with the venue and with suppliers, and tell them that you are going to need excess capacity. The way we ended up solving it was to tell venues and suppliers to expect that for wifi purposes they were going to have 600-700 people rather than 250-300 people. Most don't include enough excess capacity. There are basically three issues: bandwidth (you need more of it than you think), wifi hotspots that are running on different channels (and supplying the full range of a/b/g/n frequencies that you are allowed), number of local subnet IP addresses, and the speed of the DHCP server.
Also having admins and maybe stewards on site to unblock the IP for all the different wikis an international audience might want to edit, but I don't need to explain that, right?
I might be able to coax one of my fellow BarCamp organisers to come along to a London meetup to discuss this with Wikimania planners. —Tom Morris (talk) 16:23, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
I also recommend reading Why is Internet access and Wi-Fi always so terrible at large tech conferences? on ServerFault. Even with a big, commercial budget (which Wikimania is unlikely to have given that it is usually less than 50 USD per ticket), conference wifi is hard and requires a lot of up-front planning to do right. —Tom Morris (talk) 16:33, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Move to Meta?[edit source]

Hey. :-)

What's the plan about moving this to meta? Other bids are piling up there and it'd be good to have them developed on a more high-visibility wiki for others to see...

Jdforrester 17:48, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

I thought the idea was for one of the two bids to be agreed on internally, before one was then put forward internationally. I may be wrong, though. :-) Regards, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 17:53, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
That's what I thought too. And don't you mean Wikimania 2013 bids? -- Trevj 10:48, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Speakers[edit source]

Wikimania is predominately a bottom up event, Wikimedians talking to other Wikimedians and researchers with one keynote speech from an outsider. An outward facing top down event with more A list speakers and a higher public profile would be interesting and worth doing in its own right, but I'd suggest more in keeping with last November's wikiconference India in Mumbai than with a Wikimania. That isn't to say that improving the technical quality of the talks is a bad idea, many of the people presenting are not polished presenters, or at least not in English, and it shows. But my suggestion for that would be to get some presentation coaches on hand and make that available to the presenters, you could do this in parallel or better still have a presentation coaching day before the event and invite the presenters to it. There were various basic mistakes that are commonly made by venues and presenters including slides that are too busy to be read by most attendees, speakers who can't be heard and speakers overrunning. Typically talks are done in sessions of three talks, and the third talk is truncated if either of the first two overrun. This keeps all tracks synchronised, but in my estimation ruins a third of the the presentations made by people who are third in a session. That alone is maybe a ninth of all talks and a lot of discommoded wikimanians. A presenters polishing day could radically reduce that problem - you will still get sessions overrunning because of questioning from the floor, but that's where you need a session chair who knows whether it is ten people who can be told to take the speaker into the cafe or whether it is best to let the audience indulge its mood. London has plenty of people who can coach geeks into making better presentations, and I think that could make a huge difference to wikimania without changing its nature. I'd also suggest that those of the team who haven't been to Wikimania look at the recordings of the Haifa and Buenos Aires events. WereSpielChequers 10:57, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

There is still a lot of scope for talks given by wikimedians - fully half the 4 day conference is talks given by wikipedians. Depending on the number of tracks, that's 70-100 talks, which is almost 10% of attendance. I'd also like to note that the attendance will still be predominantly wikimedians - the conference will not be publicised heavily to the public. What we mean by "public facing" is the media attention that the conference will get when it happens, and the management of the legacy of the event, i.e. recordings and other material generated. How do you envision the presentation coaching working? EdSaperia 20:18, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikimania is the annual meeting of the Wikimedia movement. The vast majority of it should be Wikimedian-led. A conference for experts to talk to Wikimedians would be great, but it wouldn't be Wikimania. I think trying to change the very nature of the event jeopardises your chances of winning the bid. --Tango 18:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
There also seems to be some confusion about what the word "unconference" means. Unconferences don't have organised talks, that's the whole point. They are unorganised and you just get a group of people interested in a particular topic together and see what happens. What you seem to be envisaging for these afternoons is not an unconference, it's just a conference. --Tango 18:17, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
The unconferences I have been to, there are organised timeslots, but they're open to reservation for anyone attending the conference. This person can hold an open discussion on a topic, organise a panel or do a group discussion, as they wish. EdSaperia 14:54, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
A lot of Wikimania attendees like to give pre-prepared, scheduled talks about Wikimedia related topics. They give insights into a part of the movement people may not know much about, they present the results of research they've done, they propose new ways of doing things, etc.. A lot of Wikimania attendees like to attend such talks. If you are proposing to only have an unconference available for Wikimedians and not to let them present actual talks, then I don't think this bid has any chance of succeeding because you aren't bidding to host Wikimania. You are bidding to host a completely different event. --Tango 19:43, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi Ed, yes a large proportion of attendees will also be speaking in one or more of the talks, remember panels can have 4 people so the total number of speakers is potentially greater than the number of talks. Mainly these will be longer term Wikimanians, I'd suspect that the jury will be drawn disproportionately from their ranks. I think they'd hear "fully half the 4 day conference is talks given by wikipedians" as only half for Wikipedians and no mention of the rest of Wikimedia. I appreciate that lengthening the conference could enable you to add a number of speakers and retain the core program, but lengthening it adds another hotel night, and as a consequence an extra days holiday and extra hotel expense. A large proportion of Wikimanians come from the US where holidays are short and precious, adding a day is a problem, especially to the Americans. It would be much less important to our retired attendees, but historically these have been a small minority. Also a longer conference undermines London's USP - easy to get to but pricey location. Then there is the issue that not all time slots have equal pull, and in a Wikimania focussing on A list speakers there would be a concern that the "Wikimania" bits would be relegated to the graveyard slots. WereSpielChequers 18:26, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
So to be clear, the morning is guest speakers. The rest of the time is open to the community. The guest speakers are there because they'll be fun and interesting, and get people out of bed, and get us some press attention. Whether a 3 or 4 day event is preferable shall go to the jury - this team has decided to present a 4 day event. EdSaperia 14:54, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Whilst that's "very nice" it's not likely something that will sway the judging panel (as Tango and WereSpielChequers are saying). Wikimanias is essentially a really big Wiki-meet; other stuff is, of course, nice. But it's more of an internal thing than a major press event. Balancing the two is hard, I appreciate. --ErrantX 00:18, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Guest speakers may well be fun, to some they may even be interesting. But if you've come expecting a typical wikimania with fellow Wikimedians sharing experiences then you may not find these celebrities as interesting as you would a normal Wikimania. However I think that is academic, I don't see this bid winning if the core program of wikimania is going to be relegated to the less popular time slots such as immediately after lunch. As for getting people out of bed, a more realistic approach would be to accept that people are going to trail in, especially if accommodation is widely scattered. Best to start the day with one or two threads starting an hour before the others and either put on something of general interest or better put on something controversial that will lure the punters in. So a 9am session with a panel on the Image filter proposals one day and a 9am session on Chapter/Foundation relations the next day. As for press, I'm not sure what the benefit is. "Wikimedians meet in London, discuss how much harder it is to find typos in Wikipedia these days". Is probably not as big a story as "speaking at an ACME sponsored conference in London ______ _______ denounced proposed new legislation re *******". But will the story focussed on the celebrity give people as much information about Wikimedia? The most memorable, newsworthy and admittedly interesting keynote speaker in the three years that I've been to Wikimania used the platform as a bully pulpit to berate the audience, I suspect that the jury will be very cautious about a bid that emphasises "A list" speakers over Wikimedians. WereSpielChequers 19:58, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

presentation coaching[edit source]

OK to expand on my point above "London has plenty of people who can coach geeks into making better presentations, and I think that could make a huge difference to wikimania without changing its nature." Some of our presenters are brilliant, trained or natural, they get a message across to their whole audience and they don't need any coaching. Others are geeks who aren't particularly familiar with the art of presenting in their own language let alone English. In my time I've made a few mistakes myself, including wandering round the stage without a microphone. I think we could significantly improve Wikimania for both the attendees and the presenters if we brought in some trainers and offered coaching or even just a dress rehearsal for the presenters. Of course not all would take it up, and some of those who did would be the ones who needed it least. But thinking back on the Wikimanias that I've attended this is one thing that would make a big difference. I suspect you could run part of it in advance but also part during the conference, a run through and a few tweaks could be fitted in the day before the presentation, if necessary even earlier the same day. WereSpielChequers 18:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Certainly a possibility, although I wonder how much one day's worth of training would really improve things? EdSaperia 14:56, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Rather a bit - even if it's just 'professionalising' the presentations. 17:31, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
One day is more than enough to make a massive difference to people's presenting skills. The problem I see is that it will be too late to actually change the presentation substantially. You can tell people to speak louder and clearer and how to use the microphone well (which are all important), but you can't get them to reduce the number of words on their slides, for example, because the slides have already been written and there is no time to re-write the whole thing. --Tango 19:45, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Well the way to fix that is to have guidelines on slide length etc. published well before the conference. They may not all stick to it, but some might. Coaching is a good idea - most people need only a few simple tips to drastically improve their speaking. --ErrantX 00:15, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually a couple of hours can be enough time to change a font, correct the pronunciation of a couple of words (remember many presenters are not presenting in their native language), lose some white space and maybe subdivide some slides so that at least the points that you want to make are visible to someone in the back row. I don't think that one coaching session is necessarily going to transform someone's presentation skills for all time. But it could transform an individual presentation, and if we offered this service I think we would significantly improve several presentations in an typical wikimania. WereSpielChequers 09:25, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Lose whitespace? Surely whitespace is good... crowded slides are bad... --Tango 21:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Balance is all, I've seen some slides where a large font would lose some of the whitespace but make the slide readable from the back row. WereSpielChequers (talk) 16:28, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Where is Tech City anyway?[edit source]

Is the proposed venue the Barbican or is it East London Tech City? One of the two reasons for switching from 2014 to 2013 was that Tech City wanted Wikimania to be the inaugural event at their new venue. Where is this? (The other reason was that Toulouse could win 2013 and shut Europe out till 2015).

I will be at the London Wikimeetup today. Will there be a presentation there? If you are not ready for that then I believe you are not ready for a bid in 2013. See you there. --Filceolaire 08:45, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

I noticed that too. The exciting and prestigious venue we were promised seems to have turned into the Barbican. A decent venue, certainly, but Tech City was being presented as the unique selling point of this bid... --Tango 21:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)