So I’ve been in Washington, D.C for the past few days for Wikimania 2012. I’ve never been to a Wikimania before so it’s been really interesting and exciting.
It all began on Thursday evening at the Library of Congress. I was told that it was meant to represent all the world’s knowledge and it did that pretty well; the intricate paintwork and marble that covered the roof and walls brought a brightness to the old building. There was a small music group (2 violins, double bass, accordian) playing and a seemingly bottomless supply of food brought out by bow tie-wearing waiters and waitresses. I got to chat to loads of cool people (some Wikimedia-y, some not) and eat some good food.
Thursday, the first day of the main conference began with Mary Gardiner’s keynote. She made several good points about editor retention and increased participation (hopefully I’ll have a blogpost vaguely related to this, soon). Jimmy’s “State of the Wiki” presentation included some of his choice fundraiser banner parodies and gave out his now-annual “Wikipedian of the Year” and “WMF employee of the year” awards.
There were loads of good talks on various topics. The only problem I’ve noticed with the conference is a lack of chairs in the non-theatre rooms.
In the evening, I went to a GLAM networking event at the Newseum. I started talking to some men from the Library of Congress but I got confused when they started debating the difference between modern and contemporary art. Apparently the early 20th century is modern and since then is contemporary. I don’t even… what?
There were more good talks on Friday and at the end I headed over to the Wikia metup for free Pizza and T-shirts (W00t).
Saturday began with an opening plenary from Sue Gardner. She talked about the decline in editors and touched on the feedback dashboard (which is occasionally much lulz).
After our “WikiMen’s lunch” (because the women were all elsewhere) I headed over to finish off preparing for a QRpedia workshop that I had been co-opted to help out with. I had fun sharing what I knew about QRpedia with those there and live-tweeting the session from the @QRpedia Twitter account (which you should definitely go and follow if you don’t already)
From what some of the attendees said we can expect some great new QRpedia installations soon.
I’m off now to the closing party at Buffalo Billiards. I’ll see anyone who’s going there and hopefully everyone else at a Wikimedia event soon!