On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 6:06 AM, Samuel Klein <meta...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I found this the most interesting part of the recent IdeaLab discussion
> about changing the Wikimania framework.
>   https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania
>   "*The total spend by WMF for Wikimania 2014 in London and 2015 in Mexico,
> including all travel, accommodations, scholarships, staff support and
> direct conference expenses, was ~$1 million USD*"
> This is a pity. Small grants to support a con is one thing, but this is too
> much.
> Please let's stop encouraging conferences that do not cover their own
> costs. A good conference series pays for itself, including its scholarship
> pool. There are plenty of communities our size or larger with wonderful,
> regular conferences of hundreds or thousands of people, which break even or
> turn a small profit.
> FUDCons are an interesting case in point.  As I understand it, there was a
> time when RedHat basically sponsored the events, with scholarships for all
> active contributors and extensive grants. This was ok, but skewed
> participation.  Then the lavish sponsorship stopped. Attendance dropped;
> community members felt unloved. Then after a time, this passed, and
> everyone attended again. (Perhaps a core Fedora contributor can describe
> this more accurately!)

I have to say I totally disagree with your approach because of a
number of issues:

* Wikimedia movement is not consisted [solely] of highly paid folk
from the tech industry.
* Wikimania is not an opportunity to find a job or to make business contacts.
* Wikimedia movement is not the group of enthusiasts gathering because
of their hobby, mostly relevant just to themselves.
* Wikimedia movement is consisted of real people, not just of servers
and bytes. Consequently, financially independent Wikimedia
stakeholders (WMF and at least one chapter) should spend money not
just on servers and bytes, but on people, as well.
* While I am not against market per se, our core shouldn't be for
sale. I am sure there are the ways how to make Wikimania more
sustainable, but there are numerous things which shouldn't be done and
it has to be carefully analyzed. (One of those being "we can't support
that much of people".)
* It's expensive to have a global movement. It will be just more
expensive. That's the fact, not something to be negotiated.
* Going into contraction without being inside of the financial crisis
is something very common inside of the Wikimedia movement and utterly


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