Wikipedia:Meetup/San Francisco/Maker Faire 2009

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Maker Faire 2008 San Mateo Entrance.JPG

This is a page for planning for the Wikimedia Foundation booth at the 2009 San Mateo Maker Faire (Homepage), May 30-31. Woo!

If fire-breathing robots do not make you want to come, we are not sure what will. Seriously, this was a lot of fun last year.

Event notes[edit]

  • Time: May 30-31, 2009 (setup day May 29, Friday) note that this is NOT memorial day weekend
  • Place: San Mateo county fairgrounds
  • Application status: "Maker Faire Participation Agreement" signed --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 07:22, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Booth size: 10x10

"Official" Schedule[edit]

SET UP Friday, May 29, 2009 ~ 8:00AM - 6:00PM
MAKER FAIRE Saturday, May 30, 2009 ~ 10:00AM - 8:00PM
Sunday May 31, 2009 ~ 10:00AM - 6:00PM
TEAR DOWN: Sunday, May 31 ~ 6:00PM - 9:00PM

Exhibit Space[edit]

Request Allocation
Space 10x10
Folding tables: 8ft x 30in 1
Folding chairs 2
Credentials 2
Complimentary tickets 2
Wristbands 2
Electrical: 120V-10A 1
Additional You will be located next to Maker #2485 – WikiHow as requested.
  • Setup for us will be Friday afternoon. See "Volunteer notes" below for more info.

Things to bring[edit]

Computer stuff[edit]

  • Let's bring some ethernet cables and a hub. Wireless sucked last year.
    • LONG Ethernet cable
    • I can bring cables & switches --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 22:06, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • How many workstations, and where do we get the computers to set them up?
    • Can bring 3-6 Desktops. No monitors though. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 22:06, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
    • We could probably bring ~4 spare PCs, make sure they've got a current Linux slapped on em. They're functional... --brion (talk) 22:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Display/booth stuff[edit]

  • donation jar -- someone needs to bring this
  • case of bottled water -- phoebe will bring
  • Vests for the volunteers -- phoebe will bring hers;
    I saw some of these in the office, we'll be sure to bring 'em, and some giant stickers too. -- ArielGlenn (talk) 21:45, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Display copies of books? Are there any copies left over of the little "Missing Manual" or did all of those get distributed last year? Can we pre-order a few copies of the PediaPress book (386 pages) Wikipedia, Everything you need to know -- just to have at the booth to as reference and as an example of what can be done with PediaPress? How Wikipedia Works and The Wikipedia Revolution? --Sfmammamia (talk) 22:44, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I can bring a display copy of HWW and postcards about it. I don't have extra copies of the other books. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 16:39, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Banners -- from the office
  • Extra small table -- phoebe & jon will both bring
  • extra folding chairs -- jon will bring.
  • duct tape -- jon will bring
  • Some sort of monitor stand to be raised above the folding tables? Maybe a chest-high display?
  • posters? We have a big banner but nothing else.

Booth Activities[edit]

Helping people edit[edit]

  • Problem: People generally are willing to edit, but don't have anything to 'contribute'. They believe they aren't an expert and therefore shouldn't edit.
    • Solution: Ask them about things they know very well that might not be well edited, and bring up the pages. Examples:
    • Their home town, or somewhere they lived for a long time (most non-large city articles are basically just what the bots put)

Guess the Language[edit]

Commons visualization[edit]

  • Commons Screen Saver/Desktop Changer - I've set this up before (depending on the exact flavor of linux, it can be fairly easy). Fill it with featured images. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 05:35, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Other visualizations[edit]

  • The running rc feed impressed a lot of people; we should probably do that again. -- ArielGlenn (talk) 22:13, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  •  ???
  • add yours here
  • Bring LED signs to show live edit counts / searches / crazyness . --Tfinc (talk) 22:14, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Indeed, visualization-y things especially if done with 'physical' stuff would be AWESOME. --brion (talk) 22:22, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
      • I wonder if some of the researchers from PARC or UCSC would be interested in helping with this? -- phoebe / (talk to me) 19:31, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Show off the other project too. Last year most people who were self-descibed daily users were oblivious to the other projects. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 22:34, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Talking to visitors[edit]

  • Be prepared for FAQs like "How big is the database?"
  • Wikipe-tan cosplayers would not hurt. -- yes it would hurt. A lot.
  • "recognize the anonymous donor"


  • Wikimedia trading card game
  • bookmarks
  • stickers/pencils
  • buttons
  • ideas that we don't have taken care of yet:
  • Have cards available w/ info on the local meetup group/mailing list
  • Per recent mailing list discussion, bring simple business cards/moo cards with Contact address ( in case people ask about problems with their article?

Collaboration with WikiHow[edit]

  • Wikihow has applied for and received their own booth.
  • It should be located right next to ours.


* --Sfmammamia (talk) 22:49, 3 May 2009 (UTC) Last year was a blast...I won't be able to do a lot of the advance preparation work, but would love to come help out on Saturday if needed.

Please let us know when you will be available to help man the booth!!

Friday evening setup[edit]

  • phoebe / (talk to me) 19:26, 20 March 2009 (UTC) will be available friday eve (late) to setup; will stay in the area, got a nearby hotel room for command hq
  • Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 05:20, 19 May 2009 (UTC) - I can drive up from Palo Alto in the evening and do setup after work. Also 1 or 2 shifts on Sat or Sun - afternoons preferred, as needed.

Saturday morning[edit]

  • --JayWalsh (talk) I'll be coming. I'll probably take the caltrain in with bike or something and wander in to help out in the morning, then play in the afternoon.

*--Sfmammamia (talk) 22:47, 3 May 2009 (UTC) Would love to come help out Saturday, morning or afternoon (or both if we are shorthanded, but I would rather have time to play at the Faire for part of the day -- do we still get to do that this year?)

sorry, everyone, something has come up with my family, so I won't be able to come this year. --Sfmammamia (talk) 16:11, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  • --Bastique demandez This and probably some of the afternoon. I will be driving if someone needs a ride from the city.
  • --EugeneZelenko (talk) 03:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC) probably with my wife.
  • --Tfinc(talk) I'd like to help out sat morning. Might bring some visuals if I can get them ready in time.
  • --Az1568 (talk) 23:29, 22 May 2009 (UTC) Possibly.
  • --ArielGlenn (talk) 23:51, 22 May 2009 (UTC) (+ afternoon)
  • --Azafred (talk) I'll be coming, most likely with caltrain.

Saturday afternoon[edit]

FlyingToaster 01:10, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't feel I will be able to attend. If your plans are contingent on me working Saturday afternoon, I will find you a replacement. Thank you, FlyingToaster 18:23, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Sunday morning[edit]

Sunday afternoon[edit]

  • Jennifer RiggsJennifer Riggs (talk) 19:27, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Leon Bacud - I'll try my hardest to get to the event. I rely on public transportation and I'm not sure about funds to get there I need a ride. --wL<speak·check> 03:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 21:22, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Sunday evening cleanup[edit]

I'm definitely coming, but not sure when yet[edit]

I am planning on attending, but not sure when. I can give a ride to whomever needs one (Ariel?). --Azafred (talk) 16:00, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I'll be there --Bastique demandez

I can give up to four people a ride from San Francisco, probably on Saturday. FlyingToaster 14:22, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Not sure yet[edit]

Regrets; I can't come[edit]

  • as above, I've also emailed phoebe. --Sfmammamia (talk) 16:13, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Volunteer info[edit]

About the Faire and our booth[edit]

Maker Faire is crazy and very large. It features all sorts of things from fire-breathing robots to crafts. Something like 65,000 people show up to the San Mateo Fairgrounds. More:

Our booth will consist of tables in a space inside a big building. We will be next to WikiHow so together we are planning on being "wiki central" (edit this Faire?)

Hooray! Thank you. I am over at the Google booth in the main hall typing this because I could not find you.-- (talk) 22:34, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Currently our display consists of computers on which we will run various visualizations, and tables with giveaways. Last year the volunteers spend most of their time talking to passers-by about Wikipedia, Wikimedia projects, answering questions and demoing the projects. ("I tried to edit but had trouble" "I think Wikipedia is really cool" "are you guys really a nonprofit?" "what's commons?" were common conversations last year.)

Someone has to stay with the booth at all times, but there is not much to do other than talk to people. But there are a LOT of people to talk to. Hopefully we will be able to coordinate volunteer shifts so that everyone who helps out can also have plenty of time to see the faire.

If anyone has any brilliant last minute ideas about what to bring/display in the booth, please let me know!

What to bring[edit]

  • comfortable shoes -- you'll spend a lot of time on your feet
  • clothes for typical Bay weather: hot during the day, cold at night
  • Cash -- if you want to buy food or a tshirt. Outside food is not permitted, but I am going to bring in some water for volunteers.
  • A camera -- because there is some awesome stuff around.
  • something for your throat, if you get hoarse from talking easily. Whatever other personal items you would take to a fair.

Getting there, traffic, parking[edit]

  • TRAFFIC IS HORRIBLE, especially from the freeways. Leave lots of time for driving, parking, etc. Public transportation is STRONGLY recommended if possible (though it requires a hike from the Caltrain station). Here are directions by car & by transport:

  • If it is like last year, if you come in the middle of the day you won't get a parking spot in the fairgrounds parking. Just head straight to the free parking with the shuttles. If you show up in the morning (before or around opening time) try the onsite lots.
  • Note if you come by bike you get a discount on your ticket

How to check in[edit]

  • IMPORTANT: if you signed up as a Wikimedia volunteer or sent Phoebe your name:
  • when you arrive, check in at the Maker check-in booth. Identify yourself as being with "Maker #2427 -- Wikimedia Foundation." They should have your name on the list; if there is any problem call me. NOTE: if you're volunteering with WikiHow, you are Maker #2485.
  • When you arrive, go to the Maker Check-in booth & Call Jon or Phoebe. Someone will come out and bring you your ticket.
  • If you did not sign up, you'll have to pay for your ticket
  • Our booth is in the "Fiesta Hall". Thats the round roof'ed building (The smaller of the big 2)
  • Here is a map that shows where the maker check-in booth and expo hall is:
  • NOTE: you are not a sponsor or an exhibitor. You are a "Maker."

Setup info[edit]

  • FRIDAY NIGHT VOLUNTEERS: please contact phoebe if you plan to come on Friday. They ask that you use gate CC for the expo hall. We will plan to arrive mid-afternoon on Friday, and setup then -- which shouldn't be much, mostly computer wiring. We don't have a big structure to set up this year (feel free to bring one!) NOTE: Phoebe will have onsite storage space, as she is staying just offsite at the HoJo. We can use this as command central if needed.
  • there's a maker faire manual that answers many of our questions about

setup & credentials:

  • Phoebe will be bringing a small folding table, but it's heavy. If anyone has a lightweight plastic folding table they can bring, and/or extra chairs, that would be awesome. NOTE: Jon has these. We're probably set.


  • If you need assistance on site, contact either Jon or Phoebe. Phone numbers will be mailed to volunteers.
  • If you want to sign up on the volunteer list or remove yourself from the list, contact phoebe.

During / After[edit]