Monday, September 06, 2010

The anti #Wikimania tradition, and other respectable traditions

It has become a tradition to find fault with the next venue of Wikimania. Too far, politics, gender issues, you name it the arguments you can think off they have been used.

With the next Wikimania in Haifa, it is again after the next venue has been announced, the contracts have been signed that people find fault. There is a Facebook thingie protesting against it. I guess that the people behind it know that the normal channels have not given them their satisfaction and use Facebook to vent their frustration that they feel they cannot come.

Apart from dealing with frustration, there is not much to be achieved. There are people who are prevented from coming by their government. The only way to deal with that is by having a future Wikimania in for instance Tehran or Damascus .. I would however prefer Djakarta or Algiers as it is easier on the WMF, it being an USAmerican organisation..

People who oppose forget how a venue is selected and what Wikimania is about. The candidates select themselves, the volunteers in a country, a chapter spend an inordinate amount of time to get all the details like venue, budget etc right. Another group of volunteers assess the bids by the candidates, they organise public sessions on IRC where the bids are presented and any and all issues are discussed.

Wikimania is the yearly event where any and all issues can be presented to a worldwide audience. Many people who come are regulars, many people are new and many people are local or near local. For the organising community it is a massive shot in the arm, the benefits to the editors and readers are great.

Every Wikimania has its special things, every Wikimania has its issues. Wikimania has its traditions, one of them is its troll. We do not need Facebook or other websites for that..
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