Wikimania series

About Wikimania

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This week, we highlight some of the roles that community members play in Wikimania.

Wikimania offers members of the Wikimedia projects a chance to meet and discuss ongoing projects, challenges and ideas for the future. One major goal of Wikimania 2006 is to provide a forum for the many Wikimedia Foundation projects to learn from and communicate with one another, and to share their current status and future goals.

There are many opportunities for the community to be involved with planning, participating in, and following the event. Those unable to attend the conference can participate in the online aspect of the conference held concurrently with Wikimania; can propose presentation topics and submit posters; can submit content to the media and writing contests; and can volunteer to help with the website, translation and other efforts. Attendees are encouraged to organize their own informal discussion sessions; submit proposals for presentations and posters; and volunteer on site.

Community and project presentations

To provide the best possible project representation, Wikimania 2006 is still accepting proposals for presentations, discussions and posters about Wikimedia projects and communities. Presentations need not be lengthy; there will be slots in the program for quick five-to-fifteen minute talks about a particular topic. Community members are welcome to suggest program ideas and to submit posters even if they can't attend the conference in person.

Some possible proposal ideas:

Wikiproject discussions should include a description of the project and its goals, including a short history and why it is notable; any challenges and successes that the project has had; plans for the future; and how others can get involved in the project.

Posters and Birds of a Feather

Two special types of submissions are posters and "Birds of a Feather" sessions, or BOFs. Posters can showcase a project or other presentation topic. Posters hang for the entire conference, and may be submitted by those unable to attend. Posters are generally mailed to the conference site, and set up the day before it begins. They are typically 2-3 ft long, and either printed as posters (to be attached to a wall or board) or in pieces which are pasted onto posterboard to help them stand on their own.

Birds of a feather sessions, or "BOFs", are ad-hoc discussions formed at the conference or ahead of time, with a general understanding of the topic to be discussed. They meet primarily outside of the main conference hours, using available open spaces and rooms. Sign-up sheets will be available at the conference for organizing discussion sessions.

Other ways to be involved

Community members can be involved with the conference by writing about what they want to see discussed at the conference, by nominating content for the Wikimania contests, and by volunteering.

Topical discussions

Discussions of community and editorial topics, before and during wikimania, are an important part of the event. These can start on project pages, blogs, or the talk pages of workshops and abstracts; and carry over into the conference itself and the face-to-face conversations there.

Writing and media contest

Wikimania will also host an international writing and media contest, for content created in the last year and used on Wikimedia projects. Last year's media contest evaluated submissions in 18 categories. Participating in the media contest will mean international recognition for your favorite brilliant prose and media. Details on this year's contest will be released soon on the Wikimania site.


There are a variety of volunteer positions open for Wikimania, some of which require attending the conference or living near Boston, and many of which do not. These include everything from coordinating conference events to writing and translating website content. More information, and a regularly updated list of positions, can be found on the conference volunteering page.

Next week: A look back at Wikimania 2005.

For general questions about wikimania :
For questions about or suggestions for the program :

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