Wikithon Afterthought

Wikithon was an interesting experience, interesting like unconference. It could have been better with a bit more organization though.
I had no idea when it was supposed to start. Apparently it was something everyone knew but I somehow didn't. When I got there, closer to afternoon than morning, a little over 20 people were sitting against the walls (kinda reminded me of prom night), talking quietly with each other and tapping on their laptops busily but only occasionally looking up. All the chairs were at the enter of the room but not occupied.
I was expecting some coordination effort in the afternoon but everyone was kept busy tapping, whispering, coming, and going all afternoon. I could have used some help from someone knowledgeable about Socialtext open source wiki (aka STOSS) so I could get my thingy (identicon wiki-integration) done quickly. But no one asked and I didn't speakup, so I wasted most of my time on trying to install STOSS and requirements on my laptop. It would have been better if someone went around every hour  or so checking in on everyone.
At around 7pm, activity finally picked up and 6-7 people/team presented the result of their projects. They were all interesting but more participation from non-Socialtext developers is needed. This will improve in the future because Wikithon will apparently become a monthly event.
Anyway, I didn't do much except chat with folks. I could have done more or filled in where I saw shortcomings but…well, I didn't. Why not? Because I felt the event was more of a Socialtext thing than something anyone off the street can take control and run with. A little younger and more reckless me would have though. Another side-effect of growing old, I guess. Sometimes a loud mouth gregarious clown is desperately needed because, overall, Wikithon felt too polite and too respectful despite all the free-spirit settings, like hippies sitting on a church bench.
I hope I didn't piss off all the particpants with this post. My intention is to improve the event, not trash it. I hope wider variety of folks participate in the future and turn it into a centerpiece event for the wiki community.

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