Wikipedia and Professional Conferences

Last week I wrote about my recent experience at the ICQI conference and sharing Wikipedia with qualitative researchers.  This was not my first time speaking to non-Wikipedia people about Wikipedia.  I primarily speak to librarians about Wikipedia.  There are two types of professional conferences I attend related to Wikipedia: the insider and outsider conferences.

Wikipedia & Professional Conferences

Insider Conferences

It always surprises people when I tell them I go to Wikipedia conferences.  There are two big ones every year: WikiMania and WikiCon North America.  WikiMania is the big, international conference.  I have never been before because international travel can be expensive.  The one I have been going to since 2014 is WikiCon North America.  This is the conference I went to in 2014 before I wrote Modern Persuasion.  That year I presented my research for 15 minutes, but more importantly, I met other Wikipedia editors.  I have gone every year since then: D.C., San Diego, and this year, Montreal.

Conferences for Other Fields

Going to the internal conferences is like preaching to the choir.  They are really good for moving things forwards and getting people excited.  You grow something when you speak about it at conferences in other fields.  For me, it is easy to speak about Wikipedia to librarians because that is my career and my colleagues.  So, I go to librarian conferences and talk about Wikipedia to get more librarians thinking, editing, and improving Wikipedia.

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