WikiSym 2011 deadline approaching

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Apparently the WikiSym 2011 (International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration) research paper deadline is approaching: It is April 1st 2011 (Now how did that date come so quickly?). This year the symposium will be held at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California, which might enable you to catch a glimpse of Leslie Lamport.

I have previously been to two WikiSym meetings: One in Odense, Denmark in 2006, the other in last year when WikiSym was co-located with Wikimania (the Wikipedia meeting) in Gdansk. Both WikiSym meetings featured so-called Open Spaces, a type of formal informal meeting (to state it clearly) or “structured coffee-break”, where issues pertaining to the topic of the meeting can be discussed on-the-fly. It creates a much more interactive environment than the usual unidirectional scientific meeting where one person lectures in front of a ocean of silent listeners. After the first WikiSym I found “ordinary” scientific meetings somewhat alienating. In the Human Brain Mapping conference Tom Nichols has sometimes (out of the formal schedule) organized poster-walk-arounds with many-to-many interaction which helps, but still WikiSym creates a forum with a quite good interaction. I was surprised to find that Wikimania does not schedule Open Spaces.

WikiSym also manages to attract a diverse set of researchers. It is not just engineers sitting with the heads in PHP and R code. You will find business school researchers and, e.g., researchers examining how wikis can be used in teaching.

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