5 Reasons to attend WikiSym 2010

WikiSym 2010 is the 6th edition of the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration. It will take place in the beautiful Polish city of Gdansk, on July 7-9. It will be a great way to spend some days in the beginning of summer getting in touch with the latest, cutting-edge advances and applications in these fields. My colleague Phoebe Ayers is the Symposium Chair this year, and I had the great pleasure of being appointed as Program Chair.

This will be (hopefully) my 4th WikiSym in a row. I haven’t missed any edition since the first one I attended, back in 2007 at Montreal. Many people asked me why I’m so eager to come back every year. Well, if you have ever attended WikiSym, you may know why. WikiSym is not the “typical Computer Science” conference. It’s another jewel in a small set of conferences on emerging topics, all of them revolving around collaboration using Internet and ICT.

For those of you who never attended WikiSym in the past, I’d like to offer 5 very good reasons to avoid missing WikiSym 2010:

  1. Interdisciplinary conference: Unlike othe conferences in this area, which are usually targeted to highly techincal aspects, WikiSym is focused on open collaboration technologies. This includes applications in many different fields like eduaction and learning, corporate environments, digital content production, computational journalism, open source communities, digital commons, etc. Therefore, the profiles of WikiSym attendees cover a wide range of different areas, and we welcome and encourage people from all kind of disciplines,  to join us and learn how to unleash the power of open collaboration in their own field. </br>

  2. Open Space: Are you tired of attending conferences where it’s difficult to get new contacts? Do you dream with presenting a hot topic, a new idea or a novel approach  to people sharing your same concerns? Then, WikiSym’s Open Space is made for you. A free space to schedule informal meetings with any other attendees. Share your thoughts, receive good advices and join forces with other colleagues to make your great ideas real. </br>

  3. Industry + Academia + Students: Some conferences are conceived for business people, exclusively. Some others are focused on scholars and academia, forgetting the real world problems and applications. No interactions between both worlds (industry and academia) inevitably lead to miss many opportunities for collaboration and improvement. WikiSym is aware of this fact, and that’s why we schedule an Industry track, together with 2 research tracks and several practical sessions (workshops, demos, tutorials, panels)… And don’t forget posters! Indsutry folks mixed with brilliant scholars. The perfect combination to enable interaction and opportunities between both worlds. Finally, we acknowledge the contributions of students, the bright future of our field. Are you pursuing a PhD? WikiSym Doctoral Symposium is the right place to go. Do you have a great idea for a novel application or approach for open collaboration environments? Come to WikiSym, learn from experts in the field and share your
    thoughts with us! </br>

  4. Connected to the real world: A significant percentage of the presentations and ideas shown at WikiSym have come for real world applications, or they have been conceived to solve practical problems of online collaboration. Moreover, some of the coolest applications in this area over the past years can be traced back to some edition of WikiSym. This is one of the strongest values of WikiSym. “It sounds good. Let’s do it!” </br>

  5. Co-located with Wikimania 2010: Finally, this year WikiSym have another attractive point, since the annual Wikimedia Conference (Wikimania 2010) will be held in the same place, just after WikiSym. Traditionally, Wikipedia has been a hot topic in WikiSym from dozens of different perspectives. This year, we’re really happy for the potential synergies that may ocurr between both communities. </br> </ol>

So, if you’re still thinking about your agenda for the next months, and open collaboration is becoming a primary concern in your daily life (if it doesn’t… well, you’d better check it again!), come and visit WikiSym 2010. You’ll come again, next year. I promise.