Just to get some thinking going and pin down some notes from Wikimania as long as I still remember. Some random thoughts about Wikimania 2016 in Esino Lario, close to Lake Como, Lomardy, Italy.
1200 Wikipedians in a small village with about 800 inhabitants. Sleeping in every free bed the village had to offer, attending workshops in discussions in a school, the local museum, the local gym and the theater. The Wikimania was down to earth. Literally, as this was outdoors and the environment played a big part in Wikipedia, but also metaphorically. Much less about "we save the world" and "why we are important" and a lot more about "The How". Stuff for daily activities one can work with.
So just for some random thought before I did more thorough thinking and analysis:
Stunning scenery. We were allowed to drive every day the way from Lake Como to Esino Lario and it qualifies as most scenic commute I have ever undertaken.
View on my daily commute.
Great venue. The most wiki-style conference. It looked like the whole village was involved andcontributing to the event. As fas as I could see, the village got something infrastructure, events aimed at the locals and events aimed at Wikimedians and locals alike.
Stones, mountains, the nearby lake, more stones. This Wikimania was down to earth, even literally.
Talks: same procedure as last year and the years before. Basically the same people talking about the same topics as always.. Discussions rounds were a great idea but always a bit bogged down because there were too many people in the room to really discuss. Training sessions were a good diea and the one i attended did make sense.
Can we maybe just skip the presentations next time altogether (or put them in some place "for press and others who don't know anything) and just design the real program out of training sessions and discussions?
Walkimania. Up and down and up again. Following the mule path. Great. Got some movement in between sessions and one was not confined to a hotel/campus setting but walked (and climbed) around the real world. Big, big, plus.
Best conference catering ever. Salad. Vegetables. Good quality meat. Vino rosso. Also really liked that a lot of the catering happened at a restaurant/bar setting, but even the tent-catering was way better than these kunds of catering are in other places.
Texas line dancing on an Italian village square.
My thoughs on Mapping Wikipedia made some progress.
Never seen so few talks by the Wikimedia Foundation or other Wiki-professionals. Did not miss them.
Whoever designed the Wikimania-Shirts and their colour must have spent a lot of time at Pizzeria Oasi looking at their tables and chairs.
Not much about Foundation politics. I am sure all politics happening at the Foundation and the chapters were of really big interest to some people. But people who don't really care about this inside baseball did not have to listen to all the people involved for days and hours.
Even the two surprise moments (Christophe Henner as new chairman of the board and Katherine Maher as now-non-temporary CEO - congratulations to both!) were delived elegantly, swiftly and just fitting into ethe occasion and the moment.
Paid editing really differs throughout the different language versions. Though the talk was more about the rules than about actual editing happening or not happening.
Jimmy seemed to be way more enthuastic and engaged at a Wikimania than I have seen him for a long time. Cool. My most touching moment: Jimmy offering his personal help to the blocked Uzbek Wikipedia.
Heard about some cool projects done throughout the Wiki world.
Italy has a lot of different police troups and all of them were at the Wikimania. At least they all were friendly and mingled and such. Still a bit strange: Wikimania in the most peaceful place one could imagine and at the same time the Wikimania with the most police ever.
I have seen a 6-meter theremin played by a falcon.