1. Before we begin, can you introduce yourselves, and attempt to give some idea of what sort of work you do in the WikiProject?
Bloodofox: I mainly focus on things relating to Germanic paganism here on Wikipedia. This includes Norse paganism (and Norse mythology), easily the best attested form of Germanic paganism. Consequently, the work I do here generally falls under the header of this project or Wikipedia:WikiProject Ancient Germanic studies.
I think it allows members to focus on areas of particular interest to them. There's room for a very broad array of interests in the project.
Briangotts: I began the project and maintain the project's homepage (updating article requests and the like). I also attempt to sort the tagged articles by class and importance, and improve important articles by sourcing, and so on.
Holt: My main contributions to this project are to the religious and cultural aspects of the Norse society. I also largely focus on the general pre-Christian Scandinavia and Europe, where the Norse period is the latest and one of the shortest periods of my area of interest. As with Bloodofox, nearly all the work I do here falls under the header of this project and the Ancient Germanic studies.
2. Tell us a bit about the project itself.
Briangotts: The project is designed to organize efforts relating to improving articles on Norse history and culture, as well as providing a place for people to discuss relevant issues (such as uniform transliteration, presentation of conflicting sources).
Bloodofox: I don't know if there's much to tell about the WikiProject as a whole. As has been stated elsewhere, it's basically something of a hub for a wide variety of subjects falling under the banner of "Norse".
3. Which recent achievements of this project are you most proud of?
4. The scope of your project is rather broad, covering not just the history of the Viking period, but back to the Nordic Bronze Age and forward to the High Middle Ages, after the conversion of the Norse to Christianity, and then it adds Norse mythology, and literature as well. In addition, as the Norse had such a major effect on Europe in the Viking Age, the project's remit gets stretched even further, to places and people affected by the raiding Vikings. How does having such a broad remit affect the project's organisation?
Briangotts: I think it allows members to focus on areas of particular interest to them. For example, User:Berig's special area of interest is the study of runestones and Norse sagas. User:Grimhelm and User:Berig tend to focus more on viking interaction with the east, particularly in early Russia. User:Leifern is a Norway-specialist, and User:Haukurth appears more oriented to Iceland. There's room for a very broad array of interests in the project.
Bloodofox: There's always something to write about. I don't think there's any particular organisation here to speak of - as Haukur said, we're basically a loose bunch of individuals who may encounter one another on related articles from time to time that treat this WikiProject as something of a bulletin board now and then.
Holt: I think the project's members are not as closely knit together when it comes to editing and discussing as with projects with a narrower range, and this makes this more of a general meetingplace and an organ for consultance rather than a direct organizer. There is much individual work, and people usally stick to what interests them, be it battles, important historic figures, saga literature or Norse mythology.
5. One noticeable thing about Wikipedia is the really wonderful depth of coverage for Norse mythology and culture here, at least in the Viking age. Though some of the articles are fairly short, and many could use more referencing, even the shortest article seems to be inevitably well-written and informative. Can you tell us about some of your working methods?
Briangotts: I think this is a function of the excellent and intelligent people who work on the articles. I'm not sure that there is any one "working method" used by the project members. I generally get started on an article and then notify people who I think will be interested in working on it (both on the project talk and on user talk pages); we then collaborate on improving and expanding as we're able.
Bloodofox: I have developed a system. I am currently compiling a guide to assist others that may want to start editing related articles that may not know how to approach it. There are a limited number of sources when it comes to Norse mythology. As for the status of the articles on Wikipedia falling under this header, they're usually free of the nonsense you'll find elsewhere on the internet (thanks largely to the efforts of the WikiProject Norse history and culture), but I find myself outright rewriting articles at times. These rewrites are not always due to the quality of the article as much as because they're just stubs, but every now and then you'll find an article within the scope that is just completely loaded with baseless nonsense or presenting a theory as fact - if it isn't well referenced, proceed with caution.
Haukurth: The basic cookie-cutter method is to start by summarizing everything the primary sources say about the subject and then, in a separate section, covering scholarly interpretations and theories. For example, I've used this method at Four stags of Yggdrasill. Bloodofox now has it down to a science. The advantages are that this is almost always applicable and easy to set up. It also helps to provide a neutral perspective and separate speculative theories from facts (though of course there are always gray areas). The disadvantage is that this is not always the most readable representation for the casual reader.
Holt: As Bloodofox and Haukur describe, there are ways of approaching an article that are extremely useful and present the information in a fair way. I have adopted these methods, and hope that more people will agree on applying this style to the articles they write or rewrite.
We are fortunate that there is a large amount of public domain paintings and drawings out there, particularly art inspired by Norse mythology. This is a big help when it comes to creating attractive articles.
6. You also have plenty of featured and good articles. Are there any current drives for more such content?
Bloodofox: Nothing organized, although from time to time a project member will organize colleagues to work on something or other. I can personally say that every article that I edit I intend to bring up to WP:GA status. I will soon have four articles pending for GA status at once, and there will be more to come.
7. What makes working on articles about Norse topics different from working on other articles?
Haukurth: I think a good question to ask would be: What makes working on articles about Norse topics different from working on other articles? I think one important point is that the English-speaking world has been interested in medieval Norse culture for a long time so there is a lot of public domain material out there. Many of the important sources had already been translated to English by the early 20th century and have been made available on the Web by the various public domain projects. The originals in Old Norse are also widely available. Something similar may be said for artwork - we are fortunate that there is a large amount of public domain paintings and drawings out there, particularly art inspired by Norse mythology. This is a big help when it comes to creating attractive articles. In this way I think the success of Wikipedia in this area builds on the public domain and the efforts of various projects outside Wikipedia which aim at making public domain material available. That's not to say we don't make use of modern scholarship - we do, but the public domain materials often form a good starting point. Even when we don't have the latest interpretations and cutting edge theories we often have a good summary of what the primary sources say.
Bloodofox: For me, it's just that I am particularly interested in the subject matter. Haukur also has a point in that there's a vast amount of material available out there to draw upon that falls into the realm of public domain, which is handy.