The Wikimania 2013 jury announced this week that the ninth global community conference will be held in Hong Kong next year.
Wikimania is the annual conference for the international Wikimedia community. It is organised by community members and held every July or August in locations as diverse as Germany, Taiwan, Egypt, and Argentina. The conference features presentations on Wikimedia projects and fellow open-content projects, open-source software, and the social and technical aspects of our work. The first Wikimania was held in 2005, while the most recent was in Haifa, Israel in August 2011 (Signpost coverage); the next will be in Washington DC in July 2012.
While China is not listed on the priority list of Wikimedia's strategic areas to increase participation, the Hong Kong bid team made a different case. The team argued that a Wikimania in the city state would strengthen ties among Asian Wikimedia communities, improve regional co-operation in Greater China, and raise awareness for a sensitive handling of community and political issues related to the Chinese mainland and the Chinese language projects such as Cantonese.
Changes related to the organization of the Wikimania conference are coming up as well. Since its inception, the conference format has been organised through an ad hoc group of long-standing community members, Wikimedia Foundation and chapter staff, and former organizers. A discussion is currently underway on Meta on replacing this approach with a more community-led, open process, while continuing expert support from the movement for the organizers of each conference.
Fundraising 2011 report: The report on the annual fundraiser 2011 has been published on Meta. It provides details on where the movement raises its funds – US$24M from more than a million donors, primarily from Europe and North America – and technical aspects such as banners and email campaigns.
Editor Engagement Experiments Team: The first office hour of the WMF's new editor engagement experiments team (Signpostcoverage) was held on May 4 to discuss the purpose of running short-term experiments to evaluate ideas, among them how to better engage volunteers to edit Wikipedia.
Malayalam community conference: The Malayalam language projects were at the center of the Wikisangamotsavam 2012 conference on Wikimedia projects in Indian languages. The report also covers progress in other Indian languages such as Hindi and Gujarati and emphasizes the need for better outreach in the non-English-speaking communities in India to improve Wikimedia's engagement among the vast majority of the population.
Offline outreach to schools in Kenya: The WMF blog covers how offline Wikipedia reaches Kenyan schools by means of a Wikimedia Kenya project. The Kenyan chapter – the only one in the region – officially launched the project at Wikipedia's Anniversary on January 14, 2011; the project covers 30 schools in three regions, in which a team of volunteers travel to remote parts of Kenya to share offline Wikipedia with students, installing offline versions of the English Wikipedia from a disc or memory stick in schools that have computers. The volunteers then provide both teachers and students with tutorials on how to operate the database.
Vital articles: The expanded vital article list (large page; slow to load) has surpassed 10,000 articles for the first time, though concerns about systemic bias are still being brought up on both the main and expanded talk pages.
Milestones: The following Wikipedia projects reached milestones this week: