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This week the Signpost takes a look at a few more of the great speakers and workshops coming to Wikimania 2006.

Jenny Preece is an online community researcher and dean of the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. She is known for her work on what makes an online community successful, and how usability factors interact with socialibility in online communities. Among many other publications, she is co-author, with Rogers and Sharp (2002), of Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, and author of Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability (2000). Prior to joining the University of Maryland, she was a Research Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Research Center for People and Systems Interaction at South Bank University in London, and prior to this she was faculty at the Open University, where she also gained her Ph.D. She will be presenting Saturday, August 5th.

Clay Shirky is a well-known technologist and writer on the subjects of open communities and social software, who has been writing about the Internet since the early 1990s. He has written several articles and commentaries on Wikipedia, including recently a comment entitled "News of Wikipedia's Death Greatly Exaggerated", which is in response to an essay by Nicholas Carr; and "Reactions to 'Digital Maoism'", a comment on Jason Lanier's essay on "Digital Maoism", which discussed the dangers of Wikipedia and projects like it. He is also the author of the essay "A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy" as well as several books and many dozens of other essays. Shirky is currently faculty at New York University, in the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches New Media. Many of his writings are collected at He will be presenting on Saturday, August 5th, on the topic of wiki communities.

Fernanda Viégas is a researcher at the IBM Watson Research Center, where she investigates visualization of social data and visualizing social dynamics in open-source community. She is the creator, with Martin Wattenberg, of the IBM History Flow tool. Both Wattenberg and Viégas will be at Wikimania, where they will be demonstrating History Flow and presenting updates. They will be part of a general session on visualization techniques, along with Ben Shneiderman, a leader in the field of information visualization. They will be presenting on Sunday, August 6th.

There will be several workshops at Wikimania, including one on Wiktionary, led by Betsy Megas of the English Wiktionary. Megas will explore creating the elements of a good dictionary, including the basics of definition, pronunciation and etymology. She will also detail the many additional elements that Wiktionary can include that a print dictionary might not be able to: for instance, translations, audio, images, citations, anagrams, synonyms, antonyms, categories, regional variations, and even rhymes. Participants will get hands-on experience working with these different elements in entries and will be led to consider the purpose of each element.

More information on all the speakers at Wikimania 2006 can be found here.

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