Wikipedia conference grows up (sort of)

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia build, edited, and updated by pretty much anyone who wants to be involved, held its Wikimania 2006 at Harvard last week, and from at least one account, it was a much more professionial gathering than last year's inaugural event in a youth hostel in Frankfurt, Germany. For one thing, they actually paid the conference organizer! And they had corporate sponsors, including Amazon and Nokia. But it sounds like the conference, like Wikipedia itself, is still a work in progress. From the New York Times:

    One member of the foundation’s board, Florence Nibart-Devouard, stormed out of a news conference because she had not been told about the announcement being made. And on Thursday afternoon, signs concerning registration had the opening time crossed out, replaced by the word “later.”

    “It’s a funny thing,” Mr. Wales said. “I had no idea that anyone was putting up signs. Someone somewhere said there should be signs, and someone did it. It’s effective.”

    “But,” he added, “it’s chaotic.”

Perhaps it should be, given the nature of the organization itself. Shouldn't a meeting reflect the mores, nature, and ways of doing things of the organization? If active Wikipedia members like the rough-and-tumble, shouldn't their conference be open to editing on the fly as well?

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