This week, we went searching for white roses in the lands of WikiProject Yorkshire. The project began in May 2007 as a way to improve articles about the historic English county of Yorkshire and its modern-day administrative divisions and cities. Since then, the project has accumulated 31 Featured Articles, 14 Featured Lists, 91 Good Articles, and a monstrous list of Did You Know entries. Despite all of the effort improving Yorkshire articles, the project has experienced waning participation in the last few years. The project still publishes a newsletter each month, monitors the popularity of and recent changes to its articles, maintains a portal, and collects resources for contributors to use. We interviewed Keith D.
What motivated you to join WikiProject Yorkshire? Have you contributed to any of the project's Good or Featured Articles? Do you participate in any other projects related to the United Kingdom?
I joined the project when it was in its infancy as the coverage was patchy with very little in my area of interest and I saw it as a way of improving the coverage of the area. I have helped with 5 good articles relating to the area, though I tend to WikiGnome the contributions of others to the Yorkshire articles. I am also a member of WikiProject Lincolnshire, WikiProject Warwickshire and WikiProject Coventry though I am not as active on those but do the maintenance work for them.
Are some of Yorkshire's cities and counties better represented on Wikipedia than others? What can be done to improve articles about all of Yorkshire?
Leeds and Sheffield are far more represented than the rest of the area. I try to promote the other areas by choosing articles covering different parts of Yorkshire for the collaboration of the month. May be good to recruit more active participants that concentrate their editing on the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
When we interviewed WikiProject Somerset last year, we discovered that many of that project's most active members lived elsewhere and had little or no connection to Somerset. Have you found the same to be true with WikiProject Yorkshire?
Though outside of Yorkshire I come from Yorkshire and return regularly so probably have a vested interest. There usually needs to be some connection with Yorkshire for an editor to get involved in editing the projects articles.
Part of the project's scope includes a statement that "We acknowledge the efforts and work of other projects, and will focus our attention on those articles which do not fall within the scope of any other active regional project." What kinds of articles does the project improve that are outside the traditional boundaries of Yorkshire? Have you helped maintain semi-active or inactive WikiProjects for neighbouring counties and regions?
The statement was to indicate that we would concentrate on articles not covered by the two regional projects in Yorkshire - WikiProject Sheffield and WikiProject Bradford. These projects are now inactive so we try to cover these as well as the rest of the area. Articles outside of the area are usually ones that cross the county boundaries such as roads and rivers.
How difficult has it been to acquire photographs for articles related to Yorkshire? How might people in Yorkshire and surrounding areas be able to help?
UK locations are extremely well covered by the geograph project which aims to photograph all OS grid squares in the UK. All of their images are compatible with our licence and a project on Commons was to upload these in batches to Commons. These is often an appropriate image but it may not be categorised correctly so may not be easily located. Getting these thousands of images into the correct location categorisation is something that needs to be done. Local people are also needed to fulfil specific requests for particular articles. For example I was able to take one of the gold phone box for the Luke Campbell while up in Hull that someone had requested on the article talk page.
Has the project's monthly collaboration motivated editors to improve Yorkshire articles? What could be done to improve this feature of the project?
It would be good for more members to get involved with this and to edit things outside of their normal area of editing. The most successful collaboration to date has been Whitby which we managed to get up to Good-article standard, though some do not spark members into action. May be someone to actively take up the reigns on this and promote it more to members to get them editing the selected articles.
What are the project's most pressing needs? How can a new member help today?
The most pressing needs are active members as very few of the membership are that active on wiki.