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Creating Art the Wiki Way: submit your photos!

Coming up with good presents for keynote speakers is always a challenge for conference organizers. But last year, the WikiSym steering committee came up with the idea of commissioning an original artwork which would be inspired by the theme of collaboration. The result was this artistically rendered word cloud, which was printed on high quality canvas for keynote speakers and on free t-shirts for all conference attendees. This artistically rendered visualization captures the diverse nature of our community, by showing data from all papers and presentations ever made at WikiSym, using the colors and round shape of the conference logo.

word cloud
word cloud: click to see full-size

The piece is the result of a collaboration between Alain Désilets and Robert Biddle (of the steering committee), as well as Nazim Ahmed and Melissa Edwards of DNA11/Canvas Pop. DNA11 is a company that specializes in the creation of high end custom artwork , made with samples of their clients’ DNA, fingerprints or lips. Canvas Pop is a sister company which caters to a more mainstream market, and turns any digital photo into canvas art, regardless of size or resolution. After some very interesting interdisciplinary brainstorming, the concept of a word cloud was chosen. Alain and Robert gathered the raw data from the WikiSym publications archive, which the DNA11 folks rendered using their artistic flair, and then printed on canvas. The result turned out to be quite stunning, and much more visually appealing than an average laminated picture (note: canvas copies of the cloud can be purchased through Nazim Ahmed at:

Following this first experiment, the WikiSym committee decided to commission a unique collaborative art piece for each new edition of the conference. This year’s work will be a photomosaic of the conference logo, generated from a large pool of thumbnail pictures about WikiSym. You can participate in the creation of this work, by uploading relevant pictures to Flickr, and tagging them with keyword wikisym-photomosaic (please make sure to upload them under Creative Commons terms). They can be photos taken at the conference (ex: a photo of the Open Space circle), iconic photos from the cities where it was held (ex: the Porto waterfront), photos of things that make you think of WikiSym or wikis (ex: a beehive), or any photo that you feel is in some way related to WikiSym. Thank you for helping us make this a truly collaborative work of art. If you have any question or creative ideas about this endeavour, please don’t hesitate to contact Alain Désilets (

WikiSym 2010 CFP

The Call for Papers for WikiSym 2010 has been posted:

Please note the deadlines:

  • March 7 to submit research papers
  • March 21 to submit workshop, poster, demo and panel submissions

Submit your wiki and open collaboration-related research today!

Watching WikiSym 2009

I have been recording and streaming WikiSym2009 – using two tools for live streaming and for video record and remix.

You can watch our live stream at and paper and poster summaries will be available through Kaltura over the coming weeks.

If there is an item you are particularly interested in hearing about please contact me through

Reach an audience beyond WikiSym 2009

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Perhaps you presented a paper, or poster, or gained an insight at WikiSym, or maybe you weren’t able to attend this year but had something you wanted to say.

Share a video with us – and we’ll share it with the world.

To upload – go to


WikiSym: Why a Media Company comes to WikiSym

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WikiSym 2009: Are you presenting? Leave us a video!

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Time at WikiSym is precious: so many people focused intently on such a broad array of issues. You can’t see everyone, so how do you choose?

This year we are proud to be sponsored by – an online video remixing facility. Their part of the deal is that we have access to their delivery network (their tools are open source).

So, let’s give it a go: leave a video comment about something you are presenting or someone you’d like to meet. Keep it to 60 seconds or less, please.


Practioner, Researcher, Consultant, Vendor: Do You Run a Wiki or Knowledge Management Event?

Every month in Toronto I co-run and our events have covered wiki public sites, vendor-specific implementations led by practitioners, in many fields, including Law, Education, and Industrial Design. Our events lined up for the next couple of months include the Toronto Public Library, TV Ontario, and Microsoft Sharepoint. These events help attendees to network, consultants to share ideas, practitioners to validate their convictions and researchers to ground their assumptions.

Do you attend a local wiki-related or knowledge group?

Whereever you are in the world: e.g. London, New York, Paris, Mumbai, Sydney; or whatever the specialism: e.g. Wiki-based intranets, Wiki-based Competitive Intelligence or Crowd Sourcing or  Collaborative Book writing,  or whatever the solution, whether as software: e.g. whether Confluence, Deki, Foswiki, Socialtext, Tiki-Wiki, Thoughtfarmer, Traction Software, TWiki,  or XWiki, or hosted, e.g. Pbwiki, Wetpaint, Wikia, WikiDot, WikiHow, WikiSpaces, or a site taking a wiki-centric approcach, e.g. Productwiki: we want to work with you.

Certainly there’s competition within our industry. But before there’s competition there’s getting attention for the industry. Let’s get the wiki message loud and clear and collectively validate and show depth and breadth the worth of the industry.

Practioner, researcher, consultant, vendor: We have a world of opportunity ahead of us.

Contact us, either in the comments or to me privately, and WikiSym will find ways to help you coalesce local interest in your local events.

Martin Cleaver
Blended Perspectives

Survey on Knowledge Workers (Request for Participation)

A request by A. Hester of University of Colorado (Denver) to participate in a survey on knowledge work in organizations

Dan Ingalls – Interview

Daniel Ingalls is one of the most important participants of this WikiSym edition. He’s participating as an invited speaker and we interviewed him just in time to get you some information on his career.

1. When has you career in Software Development started?
Around 1970.

2. Considering what you invented, do you think that you have revolutioned computer programming and architecture?
I do feel that I’ve contributed to some good progress, but I’ve never felt it was a “me” thing.  I’ve had a lot of fun, drawn energy from the people and things around me, and I hope I’ve given back some of the same.

3. Is there anything you would still like to do, in that area, that you haven’t done yet?
I still feel that things can be simpler.  I hope that, with the help of increasingly high-level language tools, we may be gradually able to leave the language wars behind us, and move into an era of focus on the more basic semantic models, relationships, and architectures.

4. What do you foresee to happen in a near future, considering the current trends of informatics?
I believe that this trend we call “Web 2.0” will continue, as an exciting recreation of the personal computer revolution, but now in the context of dynamic languages and the web.

5. When did you start getting involved with wikis?
Around the time when Squeak came out with one of the first really simple, small Wiki kernels.  But this was not my work, except for the system in which it was built.

6. What do you think that could be improved on platforms like wikis?
I think of everything on the web as being active, so I look to the future of Wikis as being an editable world of active objects.

7. What are your expectations towards this edition of WikiSym? Have you participated on events like this before?
This is my first visit to WikiSym, and I have no expectations, except to share some of the excitement of new possibilities.

8. If there’s anything else that you would like to say, please:
Thank you so much.

More to come just before WikiSym’08

RedBullAirRace2007_00380As you may already know, one of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship’s races will happen in Porto, on 6th and 7th September. It’s one of the ten cities to host this unique event, for the second time now. The first time was last year, 2007, as was a huge sucess both for viewers, organizers and for the hosting community.

The race over the River Douro will be the eight of this season, which will be followed by a race in Spain (maybe in Vallencia, but still not confirmed, hapenning in September 27th and 28th) and the last one in Perth (Western Australia, in November 1st and 2nd).

RedBullAirRace2007_00492The race days in 2007 were compared to the S. João’s evening (in English, St. John), the traditional popular festival, in June, when thousands of people hang out on the streets of Porto and surroundings all night.

Photos: Tiago Pereira (click on the photos to enlarge)

Here’s a bit more of Red Bull Air Race in Portugal:


The two cities of Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia face each other from opposite sides of the Douro river – Oporto in the north bank and Gaia in the south. Six Pontes, or bridges, in total, join them. Of those, Ponte Dona Maria and Ponte Dom Luís, the two oldest ones, were built in the 19th century, respectively by Gustave Eiffel and by his partner in business, Théophile Seyrig. Ponte da Arrábida, Ponte de São João and Ponte do Freixo date from the 20th century, while the newest one, Ponte Infante Dom Henrique, is no older than the 21st century.
Being one of the oldest cities in Europe, Oporto is proud of its well preserved historical quarter and was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1996. Oporto and Gaia are further connected by the famous Oporto wine, traditionally stored in wine cellars that over the years have been built in Gaia and act as a magnet for tourists visiting Northern Portugal. There stand the names of the English families that left their winemaking mark in the Douro region over the centuries: Taylor, Sandeman, Graham or Croft, to name but a few.
Fine wine and the Douro River may be the lifeblood of the two cities, but visitors will also benefit from a widely varied cultural offer. The Serralves Foundation – with its vast collection of contemporary art and amazing gardens – the House of Music – a multidisciplinary place where you can listen to great music and much more – or Oporto Cathedral, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, are some of the unmissable features north of the river. Also worth mentioning, on the south margin, are the Grijó Monastery (16 th/17th century), the Serra do Pilar Monastery (16th century) or Casa Barbot, a unique example of the Art Nouveau style in the city.

Oporto/Gaia – The race
The eighth leg of the Red Bull Air Race will be run over the river, in the Ribeira of Oporto and Gaia Docks area, on the weekend of the 6th and 7th September. The race course will be set between Ponte Dom Luís I and the Massarelos overpass.

This info was taken from Red Bull Air Race Official Website. Please check this website for information on accomodation, transportation to and from the places and ticket information as well. The website is available in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.

You can also check the Red Bull Air Race Hospitality website to know more about the event.


There’s a magazine on each place available for download, containing information on the race, on the place and on previous relevant happenings. A bulletin will be distributed during the qualifying races and the final race days.

Photography: Tiago Pereira