What motivated you to become a member of WikiProject Comedy?
ISD: I have always had an interest in comedy. I work for the British Comedy Guide as a journalist and a guide contributor, so I sometimes use Wikipedia as a source of information, but these days I tend to use the BCG as a source of references which I use for Wikipedia. I have had problems with some other Wikipedians as to whether or not the BCG is a reliable source, but considering it is linked to by organisations such as the BBC (see "Sites we like" at the bottom of the page) and comedians such as Mark Steel on his own website I think it can now be considered to be one.
I suppose now my main motivation is to try and get as many comedy related articles up to good and featured status, but recently there has been a lack of motivation due to over commitments and partly due to the sheer difficulty and, if I may say so, the pedantic nature of some of the people reviewing FAs. Nothing annoys me more than people not wanting to promote an article just because you use the wrong "their/there", when they tell you information that you have little knowledge about, or when you carry out changes and the people recommending them do not get back in touch.
Cirt: I was motivated to become a member of the Comedy project, because through comedy and especially the techniques of parody and satire, comedians and writers are able to exercise freedom of speech and critically analyze topics affecting society and our culture.
The project currently has 45 featured articles, 33 featured lists, 4 A-class articles, and 344 good articles. Which of these articles are you most proud of being involved with? Overall, what have been some of the project's greatest achievements?
"Truthiness", an audience's "gut feeling" in the absence of evidence, was defined by American television comedian Stephen Colbert in 2005. Truthiness is one of the project's featured articles
ISD: Well, out of the FAs the only one I've been involved with was Truthiness, but that was because I nominated it. I did little with the article but I could see it was a good one, so I put it up for nomination and it got the honour. Probably my proudest achievement was the list of QI episodes which I got promoted to FL. I managed to expand this small article in to a full working list which is still being expanded, due to a new series currently being recorded.
As for the WikiProject as a whole, probably the 30 Rock FLs is one of the best achievements. These include the FLs of the first three seasons, the list of episodes and the list of awards and nominations. We seem to be covering this area well.
Have any of the project's major initiatives ended unsuccessfully?
ISD: I don't think so. Our only initiative is to get as many comedy related articles up to FA status and that this is ongoing. That means that the only way it will end is if the WikiProject does manage to get all the articles up to FA status, or if everybody gives up. One problem is that new comedies are always being produced, so it looks like the project will never end so long as there are people trying to improve articles.
Cirt: One way to analyze this would be to look at the page, Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Comedy articles by quality statistics, and specifically its history over time. We could plot charts of the growth of GA and FA articles over time, as well as the percentage of GA plus FA articles over total articles within the project over time. This would give the project a sense of how it is moving in terms of improving the quality of articles on Wikipedia within the subject matter.
WikiProject Comedy serves as a parent for several other projects that focus on television programs. How does WikiProject Comedy communicate and collaborate with these television projects? Does your project have close connections to any other projects?
ISD: I would say that for quite a bit of the time it is they who contact us rather than the other way around. Probably WP:COMEDY's most embarrassing moment when we had to remove the project from several articles such as episodes of The Simpsons and other shows, because what we in the project (mainly myself) used to do was tag them whenever they got nominated for GA, FA or FL. As we were taking for credit for doing little work, some of the projects got back to us and we decided that the best thing to do was to remove ourselves from the projects. Now we only cover episodes relating to shows that don't have their own WikiProjects, such as 30 Rock.
Cirt: Perhaps the best way to look at this would be to focus on going forward, and say that for the future it would be fun to expand collaborative efforts within various WikiProjects that are contained under the auspices of the topic of comedy. It might be helpful to compile a list of users that have access to certain key books within the subject, analyzing television series or seminar works on history in comedy, that could be used in working to upgrade the quality of articles to GA and FA.
What are WikiProject Comedy's most pressing needs? How can a new contributor help today?
ISD: Well, there are plenty of stubs that need expanding, as well as several episodes that can do with expanding and promoting up to GA. Finding good photos and getting them up to FP status would be good to. I think that radio is an area that should be expanded on as well (I also work for WikiProject:Radio and I have got several radio comedies such as Mark Steel's in Town and Bigipedia up to GA status and now I'm trying to get them to FA) and think that this is an area often overlooked by Wikipedia.
Cirt: GA and FA topic drives such as WP:DOH/TOPIC and WP:SOUTHPARK/TOPIC have worked out really well, helping to motivate others to improve articles along season-lists to GA and FA within subtopics of comedy. Perhaps if a new contributor is feeling ambitious, they could try joining one of those topic drives.
Anything else you'd like to add?
ISD: I just like to say that I will try to continue to improve the status of several Wikipedia article and hope to get them up to FA status. Articles I personally would like to get up to FA include QI, Green Wing, Mark Steel's in Town and Bigipedia.