Wikimania 2012

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Logo of the Wikimania 2012 conference, held in Washington DC, US
Group photo

Wikimania 2012 was the eighth Wikimania conference and was held July 12–15 2012 at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. There were over 1400 attendees from 87 countries.[1] In addition, the U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with Wikimania 2012, hosted a conference labeled Tech@State:Wiki.Gov which focused on "Collaborative knowledge and the use of wikis in the public sector".[2]

Prominent conference themes were the need to update the old and "dowdy" interface[3] with new Wikimedia tools in order to attract and retain more editors and to make Wikimedia sites more inviting and friendly to users, including especially women.[4] The Atlantic featured charts displayed at the conference which showed how the number of new administrators has dropped precipitously over the last few years.[5]

During the opening plenary founder Jimmy Wales commented on Wikipedia Blackout of January 2012, stating "When I go and visit government officials now, they’re a little bit afraid." However he reiterated Wikimedia’s commitment to political neutrality except regarding "the most serious things that directly impact our work."[6][7] Wales agreed with keynote speaker Mary Gardiner, co-founder of the Ada Initiative, that Wikimedia had to do more to increase the number of women editors. She stated: "As a project of social change, even if it's not an activist project, the Wikipedia community has a responsibility both to its mission and to the people out there in the world to always be on a journey toward diversity — to increase the size of the umbrella of the world."[8][9]

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