Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-11-20/Contest winners

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Military history dominates writing contest

By Michael Snow, 20 November 2006

Results have been announced in the most recent "Danny's contest", a writing competition to improve Wikipedia articles. The field of military history proved to be a fertile source of material for the winning contest entries.

The latest competition, the third to be launched by Danny, was announced in September. Two previous contests were held in 2004 (see archived story). While writing contests have been held for several other languages since then, the English Wikipedia had not continued with similar efforts, although a number of Wikipedia:collaborations have been started.

Following up on Jimmy Wales's emphasis on "quality over quantity" at Wikimania 2006, the resurrected contest called for the improvement of articles that were lacking sources, noting that about 20% of Wikipedia articles fell into this category. The winner was to be the best improvement of a previously unsourced article, one relating to history or selected from Wikipedia:Vital articles, a list of subjects "for which the English Wikipedia should have a corresponding featured article."

Danny indicated that he would award a $100 Amazon gift certificate to the contest winner. He did not participate in the judging panel, which included Lar, Sannse, and Shanel. The judges also identified two runners-up, who were to receive $35 gift certificates.

Contest winners

The winning entry was Crawford expedition, which Kevin Myers described as "the saddest, most ignored article" he could find in his field of interest. After working on it, he turned the single unformatted paragraph into a lengthy, detailed and heavily-referenced article. The other articles honored were Battle of Ceresole, submitted by Kirill Lokshin, and Theramenes, which was primarily the work of Robth. The two runners-up were both successfully nominated as featured articles, and had some participation from additional editors as a result of the nominations. Unlike those two, Crawford expedition is not a featured article, perhaps only because it has never been nominated.

All three winners are identified as being part of the Military history WikiProject. This is one of the busiest and most successful WikiProjects and, its subject matter notwithstanding, functions "amazing smoothly" with minimal disputes, as Alex Bakharev recently put it. Of the editors who submitted the winning articles, both Kirill Lokshin and Robth are members of the project. Kevin Myers is not listed there, but says that he works primarily on articles about the American Revolutionary War and American Indians.


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