Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wikimania 2008

Four months ago I was told by a friend of mine "Abdel Rahman Gamal" that there will be a Wikimania here in Alexandria, Egypt and it will be hosted by the BA (Bibliotheca Alexandrina). He was thinking about joining the volunteers who are going to organize the event. I thought about that event for a while then forgot all about it due to all the things I had to do. About two months ago I found Abdel Rahman leading a group of volunteers and promoting for the big Wikimania conference. They had 2 awareness sessions to tell people about Wikipedia, Wikimedia and Wikimania. I loved the idea and I registered for the event I thought that it wouldn't hurt to attend some talks which I thought at the time would be all about the big online encyclopedia.
The conference ended yesterday and it was really great. I loved every single thing about it. The sessions, the people and the organization. I got to know a lot about the site I took for granted. I got to know a lot of great people and have really fruitful conversations.
I got to talk to some people I never dreamed of talking to and got to take a lot of new ideas home with me. I found out who the people behind the Arabic Wikipedia were and how the big Wikimedia foundation worked. I also got to talk to some academic people who came to show some of there results and research about wikipedia related stuff.
The research that I really like -mostly because it's all about my major- is the Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) which is done by two german researchers Markus Krötzsch and Denny Vrandecic which I got the chance to talk to both of them. Their sessions were mainly to tell people about SMW which I already knew about so I got to talk to them after the sessions about the technical parts and I found out that they didn't use an Ontology for that project and I got a general idea about the DB implementation they used. That conversation really made my day.
Today when I look back at the past three days I feel excited about the future and proud of the my friends who made that great Wikimania possible.
I choose that subject to be my first post because I think it's the biggest event I'll have this summer I hope you like it and if you do -or don't- please leave your comment.

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4 comments:

  1. Wikimania seems very interesting .I wish I could come .
    I think you can post a little about syntax and semantic in your blog that would be great.

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  2. great post for the first time, i hope you continue in the same manner.

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  3. Wikimania was awesome, fascinating and was even far better than I ever imagined!!

    I never thought I'd meet such a nice group of people.. The most remarkable were Jimmy Wales, founder of wikipedia, Florence , the ex-chairperson of the WikiMedia Foundation and the rest of the board of trustees and wikipedians..

    I also liked many sessions including Rhonda Shearer's and Jimmy Wales', as well as Dror Kamir's, who is an Israeli Wikipedian who writes in the Arabic and Hebrew Wikipedia..

    This was all so interesting and dream like..I agree with you Saeed that this is the most important event this summer.

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  4. Congraaaaaaaats man!
    congrats for the wikimania and the new blog too.
    Wish you are always going on the right steps towards better future
    and waiting for your next posts.

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