2012 WikiCup comes to an end
- J Milburn is a British editor who has been on the site since 2006. He is one of two judges of the WikiCup.
- The views expressed in this op-ed are those of the author only; responses and critical commentary are invited in the comments section. The Signpost welcomes proposals for op-eds at our opinion desk.
Congratulations to Cwmhiraeth
, our 2012 WikiCup champion!
On 31 October, the 2012 WikiCup drew to a close, leaving Cwmhiraeth (talk · contribs), flying the Welsh flag, the final champion. In second place was Sasata (talk · contribs), representing Canada, and in third Grapple X (talk · contribs), of the Gaelic League. The competition has been ongoing for 10 months, with over 100 participants. In that time, competitors (with fewer every round, as lower scorers were eliminated) have been responsible for dozens of featured articles and lists, hundreds of good articles and good article reviews and over 1000 did you knows.
So, what is the WikiCup?
The WikiCup is an annual competition run on the English Wikipedia which is now in its sixth year. Every year, participants compete for a number of rounds in order to be crowned WikiCup champion. Points are gained based on contributions; for instance, a did you know credit will grant a user 10 points, while a featured article credit will give them 100 points. Featured pictures, portals, topics and lists are also eligible for points, as are in the news articles, good articles, good topics and good article reviews. Finally, bonus points are awarded for high importance articles, judged (primarily) on the basis of the number of interwiki links an article possessed at the beginning of the year. For instance, twice as many points would be awarded for any work on the article brown trout than they would be for Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout; a highly significant topic like fish would be awarded more still. Each participant flies a flag of a country, state, or something akin, be they their own, a location they feel close to or just one with a flag they like.
The WikiCup has progressed from its humble beginnings in 2007. For the first two years, it was run as a knock-out competition in the userspace, primarily focused upon scoring high edit-counts. In 2009, Foxj (talk · contribs) and the now-retired iMatthew (talk · contribs) took over "judging" the competition. Though the title "judge" is used, the users who run the competition do little actual judging, and act more as administrators, occasionally providing a neutral and somewhat authoritative voice in disputes, and keeping an eye on submissions to ensure the spirit of the rules is being respected. 2009's competition still saw points for non-automated mainspace edits, but the focus was shifted to audited content, where it has remained since. J Milburn (talk · contribs) joined the judging team half-way through the competition, and has remained involved since. The competition's final winner was Durova (talk · contribs), who flew the Mexican flag. Durova won primarily due to the large number of historic pictures she restored and sent through featured picture candidates.
Edit counts were excluded in the 2010 competition, and The ed17 (talk · contribs) became a judge. That year saw 150 participants, dwarfing the 60 of 2009. It also saw the highest ever scores, after a highly competitive final round. Sturmvogel 66 (talk · contribs) was the eventual champion, who won based on a large number of articles about warships, an area in which a lot of WikiCup participants have been active.
The 2011 competition opened with the current judging team, J Milburn and The ed17. Also involved in the administration of the competition was Jarry1250 (talk · contribs), who runs the WikiCup bot (for calculating scores and updating the leaderboard). 2011 introduced bonus points for high-importance articles. Though there were slightly lower participation than in 2010, the numbers still dwarfed the 2008 and earlier competitions. Hurricanehink (talk · contribs) was the eventual winner, focusing, as his name suggests, on meteorology, another area popular among WikiCup participants.
What happened this year?
. Dana Boomer began working on the article as part of the The Core Contest
before bring it to featured status during her WikiCup participation.
William the Conqueror
(centre). One of several high-importance articles from Ealdgyth, the article on William the Conqueror is now featured.
This year, the rules were adjusted to make bonus points more attractive to participants, and encourage the improvement of high-importance articles. Cwmhiraeth, the competition's winner, scored massive numbers of points for her work on high-importance articles, including, but not limited to, the featured articles frog and common toad, and the good articles sugar, amphibian, and starfish. This is despite not realising that the good article and featured article processes existed when she joined the competition at the beginning of the year. In her own words, she "benefited much during the year from others involved in the Cup", collaborating with fourth-place Casliber and receiving guidance and reviews from second-place Sasata, both WikiCup veterans, and biology editors with long lists of featured article credits.
The final 8 were as follows:
- Cwmhiraeth (talk · contribs), who wrote primarily on biology, especially marine biology.
- Sasata (talk · contribs), who wrote primarily on biology, especially mycology.
- Grapple X (talk · contribs), who wrote articles about television, especially The X-Files and Millennium
- Casliber (talk · contribs), who wrote on natural sciences, including botany and astronomy.
- Muboshgu (talk · contribs), who wrote primarily on baseball.
- Miyagawa (talk · contribs), who wrote on a variety of topics.
- Ruby2010 (talk · contribs), who wrote primarily on television and film.
- Dana boomer (talk · contribs), who wrote on a variety of topics, including horses.
The final 8 included a mix of WikiCup veterans (such as Sasata and Casliber) and people new to the competition (such as Cwmhiraeth and Dana Boomer). No Wikipedian specialising in meteorology or military history made the final this year, despite previous strong showings, though this year saw our first biology writer in first place. Television and sport are two subject areas which often have high scorers, but neither has yet seen a victory. Grapple X came first most rounds this year, but was beaten out in the highly competitive final. He did, however, receive two other awards:
- Grapple X (talk · contribs) received prizes for his high contribution of featured articles, good articles and topics.
- Cwmhiraeth (talk · contribs) received prizes for her high contribution of did you knows and high-importance articles.
- Grandiose (talk · contribs) received prizes for his high contribution of featured pictures and good article reviews.
- Muboshgu (talk · contribs) received a prize for his high contribution of featured lists.
- ThaddeusB (talk · contribs) received a prize for his high contribution of in the news articles.
- Ruby2010 (talk · contribs) received a prize for her high contribution of good article reviews.
Based on stats from Jarry1250's bot, we can see that participants this year (not counting contributions from participants after their elimination) produced somewhere in the region of:
- 42 featured articles, including several on highly important subjects such as frog (Cwmhiraeth), William the Conqueror (Ealdgyth), and Betelgeuse (Casliber).
- 433 good articles, including articles on the Middle Ages (Ealdgyth), pelicans (Casliber), and Otis Redding (GreatOrangePumpkin, now Tomcat7).
- 40 featured lists, on film, music, sport and other topics.
- 3 featured pictures, all by Grandiose.
- Multiple featured topics and good topics, including Mythology of The X-Files, Volume 2 and Millennium (season 1), both by Grapple X.
- Over 1300 did you knows.
- 28 items appearing on the "in the news" column on the main page.
In addition, WikiCup participants completed over 400 good article reviews. Some smaller processes received little attention: no featured topics or portals were completed by participants this year, for example. Featured sounds and valued pictures were not a part of this year's competition, unlike past years: the former is inactive, and the latter was closed some time ago.
. Muboshgu guided the article to featured status; his first featured article.
. The article on her award-winning, chart-topping song "Halo
" was brought to featured article status by Jivesh boodhun.
The 2013 WikiCup will begin in January, probably with a single large pool of which the top 64 will progress to the second round. Wikipedians of all levels of experience and with interests in a great number of different aspects of Wikipedia participate. Signups are open for next year, and those interested in following the WikiCup are welcome to signup for the WikiCup newsletter, which is typically sent out monthly during the competition.
One of the most interesting aspects of the WikiCup is seeing how it changes year-on year. Typically, the points awarded for each item will be adjusted slightly, and features will be added and removed from the competition. Since 2009, barring the removal of edit counting and the addition of bonus points, the competition has remained fairly constant. Right now, discussions and polls are open concerning how next year's competition should be run, and contributions are more than welcome.
The WikiCup has spun off into a variety of directions, both onto other projects (both the German and Simple English Wikipedias have had WikiCup competitions) and within this project (for instance, the Bacon WikiCup, a competition aimed at improving our coverage of, well, bacon). The WikiCup is not the only competition on Wikipedia; The Core Contest focuses entirely upon the improvement of high-importance content, without reference to good/featured processes, and improvement drives (for instance, the recent June-July GAN backlog elimination drive) are frequent. As a general competition, though, the WikiCup remains by far the most successful, and will hopefully continue to be so for many years to come.