WikiSym and Wikimania
What is WikiSym?
WikiSym is an annual international academic conference for researchers of wikis and open collaboration. Since the first conference in San Diego, California in 2005, Wikimania has been held each year in many different locations:
- Odense, Denmark in 2006,
- Montreal, Canada in 2007,
- Porto, Portugal in 2008,
- Orlando, Florida in 2009,
- and now Gdansk in 2010.
How is WikiSym similar to and different from Wikimania?
The two conferences have a shared orientation towards wikis and open collaboration, with both giving much focus to Wikipedia but also branching out to many related projects and issues.
However, they are quite different in terms of their size, scope, structure, and motivation.
WikiSym is primarily an academic conference intended for the presentation of research related to wikis and open collaboration.
In contrast, Wikimania is first and foremost a community event, run by and for members of Wikimedia projects across the world.
How is WikiSym different from Wikimania’s academic track?
Unlike Wikimania’s academic track, WikiSym requires the submission of completed research papers or posters, each of which are formally reviewed by multiple academic and industry experts. All presented papers and posters also appear in a conference proceeding published by the Association for Computing Machinery.
In addition to a different review process, WikiSym has a much different scope than Wikimania. Most notably, WikiSym does not have as exclusive of a focus on Wikimedia projects as Wikimania. Both conferences go beyond wikis, but WikiSym is less centered on free culture and open access than Wikimania. Instead, WikiSym is intended to foster research regarding open collaboration, which includes topics in:
- social networking,
- online communities,
- citizen journalism,
- work group processes, and
- distributed software development.
What else happens at WikiSym?
In addition to presentation of research papers, Wikisym features presentations and panel discussions on issues related to the study of wikis (such as research ethics or techniques for collecting data). The conference has strong industry track as well, providing much discussion about best practices for adopting and developing wikis in corporate or governmental organizations. WikiSym features a poster session with a dedicated time for presenters to display their research to attendees. There is also a doctoral colloquium for Ph.D candidates to present and discuss their research with each other. The conference has a strong tradition of using open space technology to organize ad-hoc sessions. These are similar to “birds of a feather” sessions, but are given dedicated space in the program.
What kinds of people attend WikiSym? Would I be welcome there?
WikiSym primarily attracts academic and industry experts who are interested in sharing research about wikis and open collaboration. However, the conference is open to all, and Wikimania attendees are especially welcome.
What exactly is ‘co-location’?
In our case, it means that Wikisym and Wikimania will occur in the same city, with Wikimania following Wikisym. WikiSym will be from 7-9 July, and Wikimania will be from 9-11 July. There will be a single day of overlap on the 9th, intended for attendees of both conferences to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest.
Will the two conferences be at the same location?
Other than the overlap day on the 9th, no. Wikisym will be held at the Dom Muzyka, while Wikimania will be at the Polish Maritime Museum. However, the two venues are only about a ten minute walk from each other.
At this time our plan is to offer separate registration for each conference. However, we are working now to coordinate housing registrations so that attendees of both conferences can book a single hotel for the week.
Why are Wikimania and WikiSym being co-located this year?
The main motivations for co-location are to minimize costs and maximize convenience, both for the organizers and for attendees. WikiSym and Wikimania are both international conferences that attract many of the same people. This way, only one plane ticket is needed to attend both events.