Wikimania 2008 goes to Alexandria

The jury for the Wikimania 2008 has awarded the 2008 conference to Alexandria. Here’s the text of the email, which includes the scoring.

The Jury for Wikimania 2008 bids have met and are pleased to announce

that Wikimania 2008 will be held in Alexandria, Egypt.

The Bids were assessed by a Jury[0] which included community members
representing various geographical areas, and organisers of the previous
conferences. The Jury used 12 criteria[1] to judge the bids, which were
drawn up based on the Jury’s previous experiences organising the
conference and with input from a wide range of community concerns.

Alexandria was found to be particularly strong in the areas of
reflecting the Wikimedia Foundation’s roots in geo-diversity and

multi-lingualism, of the very exciting nature of the proposed venue
and its local facilities, and of the particularly advanced nature of
the financial planning.

All three Bids were very strong in differing ways, each with stronger
and weaker points. We would like to draw particular attention to the
efforts of the team behind the Atlanta bid, which came in second place
and was particularly commendable in the areas of providing in-facility
accommodation and social space, and for doing great outreach to local

Wikimedians. Their efforts could serve as an example to any team
hoping to get the local community involved. The Cape Town bid was
marked strongly by the Jury for cultural diversity, a particularly
benign local environment, and efforts to secure local recognition and
facilities. We’d especially like to congratulate Cape Town on
providing our very first strong bid from the Southern Hemisphere.

A table of the results is given below. Each member of the jury had up
to 60 points to allocate to the bids in each of the 12 categories,

which they did after a period of discussion and careful deliberation.

Category Alexandria Atlanta Cape Town

Accommodation 251 298 71
Funding 264 224 152
Location 294 154 182
Internet Access 204 263 133
Local Laws 155 253 222
Press 232 235 153

Organizing Team 244 206 163
Rotation 305 55 260
Social Areas 222 258 140
Cost 289 206 125
Venue 323 158 139
Visas 243 109 263

Total 3026 2419 2003

Note that a 13th category, on personal preference, was polled but is

not included as it had no significant effect on the result.

The Jury would like to thank all of those involved in bids, including
those whose bids did not go forward to the final selection, for their
efforts which combined to produce a competitive field.

We strongly encourage all those who bid this year, and those of you
wondering whether your city could have done the same, to consider
bidding for Wikimania 2009, for which the decision will begin very
shortly. See the Wikimania 2009 page on meta[2] for further updates

within the next few days.

We are especially looking forward to the Wikimedia Foundation
collaborating with one of the most famous repositories of knowledge in
the world, and emphasising the newly developing Wikimedia projects in
Africa and the Middle East. We would like to encourage the entire
community to support the Alexandria team over the coming year in
producing an outstanding conference, and look forward to meeting as
many of you as possible there.

On behalf of the Wikimania 2008 bid Jury.

[0] –
Sue Gardner and Jan-Bart DeVreede abstained from voting.
[1] – 2008/Judging criteria
[2] –

— James D. Forrister Cary Bass

So, congratulations Alexandria – I look forward to attending, especially since I’ve never been to Egypt.

Looking at the criteria, I’ve got no complaints. Cape Town’s bid was weaker in some important areas, especially accommodation (markedly so) and funding. It surprises me that Cape Town didn’t score higher in local laws, press and rotation, but that didn’t have a real impact on the overall results.

Coming in third with just over a month’s preparation, ahead of cities such as London and Toronto, and with our rivals in the final round having had much more preparation time (this is Alexandria’s 3rd year of bidding), is no shame, and I’m pleased with the outcome, as well as the increased publicity for Wikimedia in South Africa. There’s a lot more to come.

So, congratulations again to Alexandria.

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1 comment

  1. Ian, I still think we had bad karma for forgetting to include the wikimania logo on the bid logo :/ Heres to next year’s bid! Ideally we need to start looking at doing the bid again now for next year and get more planning into place for the bid.

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