‘wikimania’ in the five languages it’s been in so far (German & English are the same)
I am off in 36 hours to the 5th annual Wikimania Conference, held this year in glorious Buenos Aires. This community conference should be several hundred strong, our first Spanish language and first Southern Hemisphere conference. I can’t wait.
I hope I’ll make it, though. I woke up with a stomachache this morning, stayed home from work, and ended up with severe cramps and not being able to keep any food down this afternoon… I suspect some sort of food poisoning, and will hopefully recover with the aid of rice pudding and soda. I’m a little scared, though; I don’t want to miss a trip I’ve been planning, and looking forward to, for a year.
This year I am on a panel called Challenges of Covering the Community, a meta-panel about writing about Wikipedia, which is certainly something that’s been on my mind the last couple of years between How Wikipedia Works and writing for the Signpost. I am also, at least in theory, planning to run a discussion about the future of Wikimania.
Five years is a long time, and it’s been an important five years and five conferences for me. I’ve been to and participated in every Wikimania, as presenter, organizer, planner and attendee. They have all been remarkable affairs, conferences unlike any other I’ve ever been to. I have made some of my closest friends through Wikimania, been interviewed by a half-dozen news outlets, give five talks (and counting), mc’ed, sang karaoke, and many more shenanigans that didn’t make it on tape (I hear that couch is still in the Harvard Law building…) But while the conferences are certainly personally fulfilling for those lucky enough to go, I’d like to see their future develop as well, to make them good venues for ongoing research, and as a sister event to the many regional conferences out there, and I’d like to see many more people involved.
Buenos Aires is a bit cold right now, and I am digging out my sweaters and trying to remember where I put my socks. I’m regretting not spending even more time on brushing up my Spanish. I’m looking forward to the all night culture, to the amazing food (at least in theory; I haven’t graduated beyond pudding yet today). I am looking forward to seeing friends old & new.