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This week, the Report takes a look at an important component within many of the largest WikiProjects on Wikipedia. Task forces focus the attention of interested editors on a specific topic to help keep the broader WikiProject manageable. The Percy Jackson Task Force focuses on the novels, characters, and universe that author Rick Riordan created. This task force gives specialized attention to a group of interrelated articles that would otherwise be lost in the backlogs of a project as large as WikiProject Novels. We interviewed Airplaneman, Pmlineditor, PrincessofLlyr, and Aragorn135 to see the task force's inner workings.
When did you first join the Percy Jackson Task Force? What are some of the challenges that the project has met since you joined, and how were they dealt with?
Airplaneman – I joined the Percy Jackson Task Force on May 28, 2009; it was the first project I joined. At the time, there were few active members, and many articles were in less than stellar condition. Since then, we have cleaned up the articles within our scope significantly, producing three good articles; our goal now is to bring all articles up to C class. Most of the issues in our articles were about writing quality, such as writing in an in-universe perspective, as well as original research and "fancruft". Vandalism has also been a problem, leading to a few pages being protected.
Pmlineditor – Being one of the founders of the task force, I joined it on March 11, 2009, the day when it was created. When I joined, most of the articles were below C-class and the overall condition was quite poor. Thereafter, many of the articles have been cleaned up and three of them promoted to GA class. We had aimed to get all articles to C-class and this is a goal which we are striving hard to fulfill (though admittedly, I am semi-active). Apart from vandalism, the greatest challenge for our project has been the ones Airplaneman mentioned; namely in-universe writing, original research, POV, and also fancruft.
PrincessofLlyr – I joined the task force on July 8, 2009 due to the urging of Pmlineditor and Airplaneman. Like Airplaneman, it was my first project and is still the one in which I am most active. Vandalism is always a challenge, but more difficult to deal with are the good faith contributions that include excessive detail.
Aragorn135 – I joined this task force on February 7, 2010. The biggest challenge for me is not knowing that much about the series.
What motivated you to become a member of the task force? Does your background influence your interest or are you simply an enthusiast?
PrincessofLlyr – My motivation was mostly to clean up articles that were, for the most part, being edited by fans. I had recently read the series, but I would not consider myself an enthusiast.
Airplaneman – I am an enthusiast, but Percy Jackson is not my favorite series. I was motivated to join after reading the series and seeing the articles pertaining to it in dire need of attention.
The project currently has 3 good articles and several B/C class articles. Which of these articles are you most proud of being involved with? Overall, what have been some of the project's greatest achievements?
PrincessofLlyr – I am most proud of helping to pull The Titan's Curse through its GA nomination. Airplaneman did most of the preliminary work, but we both worked on improving the concerns mentioned in the GA review. For the entire project, our three Good Articles, The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan's Curse, are definitely our biggest accomplishments, in my opinion. However, I would also say that the constant vigilance of PJTF members to clean up vandalism in PJ articles is impressive.
Airplaneman – I am most proud of helping bring The Sea of Monsters and The Titan's Curse up to GA status. I concur with PrincessofLlyr; our greatest accomplishments have been the Good Articles, but I am glad that PJTF members have been able to keep our articles vandalism-free.
I understand that there will be some new books related to Percy Jackson. Are you planning to cover those? What gaps in coverage exist that could be filled by new contributors?
PrincessofLlyr – The task force is planning to cover the new Camp Half-Blood series, but not Rick Riordan's The Kane Chronicles. As for coverage, we could use experienced editors to work on grammar, eliminate in-world writing, and find reliable sources. Those are probably the three biggest challenges for the Percy Jackson articles.
What are your short-term and long-term goals for the project?
PrincessofLlyr – Short-term we are trying to keep all of the articles clean and deal with the new articles which are constantly being created due to the developing nature of the Percy Jackson series. Despite the fact that the first main series is finished, multiple companion books have been written, and the film just came out, so that takes a lot of watching. Long-term, we would like to work all of our articles up to C-class and it would be really nice to have a featured article.
How can new editors help the project? What are the project's most pressing tasks?
PrincessofLlyr – New editors are always good for a fresh view. Most of the dedicated PJTF members have read the majority of the project's articles, which sometimes makes it difficult to spot mistakes. Our most pressing tasks are watching for vandalism, general cleanup, and promoting The Battle of the Labyrinth to Good Article.
Writing articles about books is difficult because it is often assumed that the reader knows this character's name or that fact. How do you avoid fancruft?
PrincessofLlyr – That is definitely hard. It helps that there are many editors because someone else might catch something you wrote. Other than that, you just have to think critically and examine the writing constantly. Also, on occasion we will ask an editor not strongly involved with the project to look over an article.
Signpost readers are always ready to chip in and help out. Any final message for them on how they can get involved in the project or ways that they can advance the project?
PrincessofLlyr – While most of you probably do not know a whole lot about Percy Jackson or anything related to the PJTF, you could definitely help with editing out fancruft or in-universe writing. Finding reliable sources is also difficult, so any help with that is appreciated. General copy-editing would also be very useful. Really any help would be appreciated!
Airplaneman – I second PrincessofLlyr's statement. What we need most is reliable sources, which are hard to come by. In-universe writing is slowly being eliminated, and we need all the help we can receive. General copyediting and vandal-reverting would also help keep PJTF articles clean.
Thank you to Airplaneman, PrincessofLlyr, Pmlineditor, and Aragorn135. Next week, WikiProject Report will highlight the third largest city in the United States. Until then, feel free to breeze through the archives.