The Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that operates Wikipedia and other “wiki” projects such as Wiktionary and Wikitravel, announced Monday that its Wikimania 2012 conference will take place July 12-15, 2012 at the Georgetown University Conference Center.
Every year since 2005, Wikimania has brought together Wikimedia contributors and administrators to discuss the future of the project. Past conferences have included seminars on both the technical and social aspects of its open source content, with topics ranging from “Next Generation Hypertext Structures” to “Cultural Heritage and Wikipedia.”
James Hare, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs at American University, spearheaded DC’s bid to host Wikimania. With the encouragement of Wikimedia administrators, Hare kicked off the effort at a local celebration of Wikipedia’s tenth anniversary. After an extensive search process, the bid committee chose Georgetown to host the conference.
“What we found most appealing about Georgetown is, not only we would have access to the conference center, but we’d also be able to establish a relationship with the University,” said Hare, pointing out that Wikipedia already has a group of Campus Ambassadors at Georgetown.
In addition, many University courses participate in the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative, which seeks to improve the free encyclopedia’s coverage of U.S. public policy. Georgetown courses and students consistently rank among the initiative’s top contributors.
DC competed against Montreal; Instanbul; and Stellenbosch, South Africa, to host next year’s Wikimania.
But the DC committee was the only one to submit its budget and proposed schedule on time, so the jury selected it by default. Past hosts include Boston; Taipei; Alexandria, Egypt; Buenos Aires; Gdansk, Poland; and Haifa, Israel, which will host Wikimania 2011 in August.