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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Wikinews reports from Wikimania 2007

Wikimania 2007 Site Events warming up for main conference

Counting down to Wikimania 2007, the Site Events such as "Hacking Days & Extra", "One Laptop Per Child Curriculum Jam", and the "Citizen Journalism Unconference" preluded the main conference.

On August 1, Cary Bass and many other programmers participated in the Hacking Days. Mike "b6s" Jiang hosted this two-day long event where programmers can exchange experiences.

That same day, the One Laptop Per Child Curriculum Jam kicked off. Project Director Samuel "SJ" Klein invited many teams with an interest in freely licensed content to produce learning materials, which youngsters from 6 to 16 years of age could judge.

The Citizen Journalism Unconference was held August 2. It hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation and Public Television Services Taiwan (PTS). The organization invited Frontier Foundation Researcher Shu-fang Tsai and Facilitator of Institute of Culture Affairs Taiwan Gail West to host this unconference. The Unconference was held in an open space style. Topics for discussion were created by participants at the unconference.

In this unconference, participants talked about lots of free content portals comparisons, such as PeoPo by PTS Taiwan, the characteristics and role of citizen journalists, the comparisons between citizen journalism and professional journalism, and the future of citizen journalism.

Wikimania 2007 begins in Taipei, Taiwan

The third annual conference for users of the Wikimedia Foundation projects, Wikimania, began on August 3. Over 1,100 people registered from 98 countries. Fifty five percent of attendees were from Taiwan. There are over 100 presenters holding a total of 65 sessions.

Florence Devouard, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, in the opening to the conference, reviewed what has been accomplished in the past year. Among the accomplishments are the creation of the Wikimedia Taiwan chapter, and the creation of Wikiversity. Florence also said that the Russian Wikipedia was the fastest growing Wikipedia, with the Chinese Wikipedia coming second. There still is huge disparity in language though, with projects such as the Afrikaans Wikipedia having 6 million native speakers, but less then 8,000 articles.

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On the second day of Wikimania 2007 in Taipei, Group Sessions continued, while the Virtual i.d.ea Interactive Net Art 2007 Exhibition attracted visitors and participants. This exhibition shows the creation of interactions by using creative contents. Four college teams and two individuals exhibited their work. The exhibition is mainly focused on Interactive Net Art.

The Wikimania 2007 Conference will end on August 5. Submitting free-licensed works for the Wikimania Awards is still in progress, the deadline being 8:00 a.m. August 5 (Taipei time). Wikimania Award winners will be announced at the Closing Ceremony.

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