Wikimania 2008 will happen in Alexandria, Egypt

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    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] – http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2008/Jury
    Sue Gardner and Jan-Bart DeVreede abstained from voting.
    [1] – http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania 2008/Judging criteria
    [2] – http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2009

    James D. Forrister
    Cary Bass

    Image by Mohamed elShamy, released under GFDL 1.2 license. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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