Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland 2012 with ‘father of Wikipedia’


Jimmy Wales (Sebastiaan ter Burg CC-BY)
Jimmy Wales (Sebastiaan ter Burg CC-BY)

On Friday, November 9th 2012, the Wikimedians in the Netherlands held their Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland. Since 2006 we have established a small tradition, with pauses in 2009 and 2010. Imagine a day with keynotes, three tracks with sessions for different target groups, good food and a ‘borrel’ at the end of the day (as the Dutch call it to stand with each other and enjoy some beverages).

Several times we tried it, but this time Jimmy Wales actually could come and impress us with news and inspirations about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement. People were really enthusiast. The ‘father of Wikipedia’, as a Dutch newspaper called him, said that he don’t know whether there will be ever again a Wikipedia blackout against legislatation, such as in January with the anti SOPA action. We must be careful, he said, we are no political organization. But we must take action against laws that limit the access to knowledge.

The other keynote was on WikiData, by Lydia Pintscher. WikiData is the next big thing in the movement, and every Wikipedian should learn more about. It is a new website for data, to be stored and administered centrally on one wiki.

Usually on a Saturday, we hoped that Jimmy Wales could attract a lot of people and compensate the Friday, a normal work day. We may have been too optimistic aiming for 150 people, but the actual 110 participants are perfectly in line with the previous years. The organization was eventually more relaxed than before, because WMNL has now a mixture of volunteers and professionals bringing the association forward.

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