Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/July 2010/Members

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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter: Issue LIII (July 2010)
Front page
Project news

Interview with Parsecboy

To mark the occasion of only our second ever award of the A-Class medal with Swords (see below), we interviewed our medal winner, Parsecboy, about his time here on Wikipedia and his secrets for being such a productive high quality content contributor.

  • Bugle: Can you tell us a little about how you first got into editing Wikipedia?
  • Parsecboy: I was doing some online research on Bolivia and came across the Wikipedia article. I noticed that a non-native English speaker had written much of the article, so I decided to fix the grammar. Then I was hooked.
  • Bugle: Much of your milhist-related work has been on warship articles. What attracts you to the subject?
  • Parsecboy: Part of it is that I've always been interested in naval history, but that's not how I got started on writing these articles. Most of the A-class articles I've written have been about German warships; about three years ago I stumbled across a sub-stub I thought I could expand, and that's what got me interested in this specific area.
  • Bugle: 30 A-Class articles is an extremely impressive total, especially considering that your first A-Class medal was awarded only 16 months ago. What's your secret?
  • Parsecboy: One of the big things that has helped me write articles faster is that I have many of the sources I use on hand. For example, I own all but one of the books cited in my most recent A-class article, SMS Westfalen. Not having to wait as much for inter-library loans has been very helpful. There are also a number of editors who have assisted me; first and foremost is Dank, who has been indispensable, especially for his copy-editing skill. I've also learned a lot about article writing by working with editors like Sturmvogel 66 and Ed. Last but not least, simple practice has enabled me to write faster. My first "high-quality" article, SMS Von der Tann, took me nearly a year to turn this into the version that went to an A-class review. In comparison, I did the bulk of the writing for SMS Westfalen in the span of about 21 hours.
  • Bugle: It has been said that the average participation span in an internet community is less than three years. How do you maintain your interest in, and enthusiasm for, contributing to Wikipedia?
  • Parsecboy: One thing that spurred me on was the creation of Operation Majestic Titan, a project to create the largest Featured Topic consisting of articles on every battleship ever built or planned—it's always nice to see a red or orange box turn green or blue. Another important thing is variety; editing in the same area for a long period of time can become tedious. It's a good idea to find something else to do from time to time. For instance, earlier this year I wrote the article on Reinhard Scheer. Even though it was still directly related to my main area of interest on Wikipedia, the transition from a ship article to a biography was a welcome breath of fresh air.
  • Bugle: Finally, can we look forward to our first award of the A-Class medal with Diamonds in the near future?
  • Parsecboy: I don't know about near future. For the highest grade I'd need ten more A-class medals, which means another 30 A-class articles, or doubling what I've accomplished so far. I do plan on getting there eventually, if only because finishing this should do it. Will I be the first? That's another question; there are plenty of editors who are not too far behind me.
  • Bugle:Thank you very much for your time, and congratulations on your achievement. We eagerly anticipate many more A-Class articles to come!

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