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Times have changed in Wikipedia. Once, our goal was to cover as much as possible, to reach a million articles, to be the biggest encyclopedia in the world. As Jimbo said in his talk at Wikimania, we have to start changing the focus from quantity to quality. We have to make sure that the key articles that we do have are as good as possible. Rather than getting another million articles, we need 100,000 more Feature-quality articles.
Some numbers that were run in 2007 show that we have over 230,000 without any sources whatsoever. That's almost 20 percent of our total articles without any sources. Even if we were to provide sources for 15 of these articles an hour, it would take upward of two years to cover them all … and this does not include articles which are inadequately sourced or which contain spurious information.
Before suggesting that these are all stubs, I invite you to look at some examples: Amethyst(permalink to when the contest started), Alto saxophone, Alexander I of Russia (who fought against Napoleon), Italian literature, etc., etc., etc. These articles are the mainstay of a quality encyclopedia.
This means that there is a lot of work ahead of us. It is time to shift the focus. I therefore propose two solutions:
- The field "Requests" on "Recent Changes" be changed to "Requested feature articles." Instead of asking people to create brand new articles, the focus should be on improving existing articles.
- Regular contests should be held to promote article improvement. To that end, I will donate $100 in books and media from Amazon to the person who most improves an unsourced article related to history or selected from Wikipedia:Vital articles. The contest will end on October 7. A panel of judges will be selected to decide on the entries. For more information about what constitutes an "unsourced article" please contact me. For historical reasons, this will be known as "Danny's third contest."
I also ask that you show your support for changing the "Requests" to "Requested Featured Article" on the page linked below.
Danny 00:43, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I will not be judging the contest, and will leave the final decision in the hands of these very capable Wikipedians. -Danny
The judges did a great job, but there were so many great entries that I have decided to expand the awards.
- Runner up (and a $35 gift certificate from Amazon) -- Theramenes (Robth)
- Runner up (and a $35 gift certificate from Amazon) -- Battle of Ceresole (Kirill Lokshin)
- First place (and a $100 gift certificate from Amazon) -- Crawford expedition (Kevin Myers)
Please contact me privately with your contact information to receive your awards. Thank you to all the contestants, who did a great job expanding and improving articles, and to the judges who accepted the challenge. Stay tuned for news of my next contest. Danny 00:21, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
- I'd like to give a big "thank you" to Danny, the judges, the other contestants, and the Wikipedian who started the Crawford expedition article. I'm surprised and honored to have won first place. I'm looking forward to Danny's 4th contest! —Kevin 16:00, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Ideas for new contests
Please put them on the ideas for new contests subpage.