Madonna of the Yarnwinder. (Circle of Leonardo, Museo Soumayor)
The one is just a general feeling. it feels a lot more streamliked and businesslike than other Wikimedias I've been to. May be because this is just a small Wikimania (I heard something of 800 registered attendees, feels rather like 500) and only the hardest of hardcore is here. But also for me the feeling is more like "getting things done" and less like "let's tell each other just how wonderful we are" - a style that suits better to me in my opinion to the most Wikipedia projects as well. To me it seems far less nonsense, pompous bullshit and self-rightous self-affirmation than in the last years but also less surprises, less fun and less unexpected.Still not sure if just is happening by accident because it's just a small number of people is there and the baseline of knowledge and engagement is high or if that is a trend that will continue.
On the other hand - I still have to talk about Lilas keynote - to me there really seems to be a change of attitude at the foundation. The foundation did and does feel that the community really is difficult and cumbersome. But whereas in earlier times it was more like "so let's look for a new community that is more fun, and likes us better" this time it feels more like "ok, so we have to work with the old one to get some change done." And as much as you can ridicule strange vine metaphors at Lilas speech: there is huge different in meaning between planting a new plant (WMF old style) and grafting something new onto an existing rootstock (Lilas plans according to Keynote). If my feeling proves to be true this would be a huge change.
It's a trap!
So, talks. Q&A with the boards seems to have been boring as usual. I tried to talk to several people afterwards about what was going on and nobody could tell me. Except "everything is high priority." But I was sitting in another Q&A as well. This time with the community engagement team. And, as I have should known before: 8 people on a panel about a huge subject and a quite diverse audience. It really just stayed on the surface. It's fine that it has been done but I wasn't really the target audience. Although it was nice to see them all in once and have some faces attached to the names.
Kind of engaging. The community engagement team.
Way more interesting for me was Lodewijks dicussion room about citations on Biographies on living people. No abstraction, no buzzwords, a talk on topic and in the real world. Was also nice to see several meta-meta-Wikimedians just nerding on about Wikipedia. And, my secret love, the Uzbek Wikipedia was there as well. But, oh boy, the have problems "We don't want to write about people outside of Uzbekisten because the information is there and the articles can easily be translated and we cannot write articles about people in Uzbekistan because there are no sources.."
And finally: we did have a spontaneous meetup about the Wikimedia Deutschland annual plan. One could and should argue about details, but I'm so so happy that this really seems to be a planning process that seriously wants to engage community. Yeah! The meeting was in Dona Sol - as we discovered the only conference room with windows. So now I know what sessions to attend today: everything that is in Dona Sol.
Far more engaging: a demonstration.
More exciting: i ran into a demonstration. As I speak no spanish I have not really an idea what it was, but I frequently heard "cultural", "Pancho Villa", "educacion", "reflecion critical", "companeros" etc. It may be that these were the teachers demonstrating against the non-existence of educational resources and standards for them in Mexico. A huge number (even for Mexico City downtown standards) of police right and left of the demonstration, the demonstration itself was totally relaxed, many women and children and a positive mood. Oh, and the same Mexican music and dance(!) as at the Wikimania opening, except the texts of the songs were frequently mentioning Zapata and revolucion.
People dancing on the streets,
Mexicans like it colorful. Even when impersonating the Beatles.
And finally: another night at a museum. For somebody used to European public museums the privately owned Museo Soumayo is a different world. It houses the collection of Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, has an impressive collection of European masters, but it also shows that the collection in general was made by one man's likes and not by concept of art. Quite an experience. And in the end: a beatles cover band in a room with the most horrible acoustics on earth, finally rain, more Mexican finger food and tomorrow/today the last day to come. Enojoy!