Celebrate WikiProject Holidays
This week, we spread a little cheer with WikiProject Holidays. The project is home to 8 featured articles/lists and 30 good articles. The project's 32 members maintain a to-do list, two portals (Holidays and Christmas), and two task forces covering Christmas and Halloween.
The scope of WikiProject Holidays tends to include a variety of days celebrated by both religious and secular groups. HiLo48 has protested the project's broad scope which relies upon the usage of the word "holiday" in the United States, where a holiday can be any day set aside for commemoration, celebration, or observance. In Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the term "holiday" is typically limited to either public holidays when individuals are given time away from normal employment or personal vacations. Because of this difference, there are occasional debates over the project's internationalization and localization.
We interviewed John Carter, an admin who enjoys Halloween "for the silly costumes people get to wear, which most wouldn't be caught dead in at any other time", and Christmas for religious reasons and "the large number of cultural artifacts, like books, movies, etc." John Carter notes that holidays "get a lot of attention in the 'real world', particularly those which also tend to be days off from work," but the articles about these holidays are often incomplete and neglected. He joined the project hoping to show those articles some much-needed attention.
Does activity at the project increase and decrease with the changing seasons? When is the project's peak time of year?
- John Carter: The peak time for most project-related activity is probably toward the end of the calendar year, which is when Halloween and Christmas come. Those two holidays probably get more attention, in the "real world" and here, than any others, although the end-of-the-year holidays of other religions, like Hanukkah and others, also tend to get more attention at those times than others. Is the varying level of activity a concern? To a degree, yes, but there are a lot of topics out there which tend to get attention at some times more than others. For instance: politics get more attention around elections, sports get more attention during each sports' season, and such.
The Holidays Portal is a featured portal. Share with us the work that went into building it.
- John Carter: Any portal, particularly a featured portal, is a lot of work. Choosing which content to include in the portal for any given period is probably the most difficult thing to do. It helps a lot that we have several good articles to choose from, of course, but I think we would all welcome the possibility of having more quality articles, preferably GA or better, to feature. I think we would particularly welcome having high-quality articles for holidays which are of primary importance to some countries other than the US and UK, and the world's various religious traditions.
WikiProject Holidays is organized into a detailed set of categories. Why was so much effort put into the organizational structure? Has it helped the project keep track of articles and focus contributors' efforts?
- John Carter: The effort was made in the first place to make it clearer to editors what material was relevant to the project. This project does deal with matters across national and religious boundaries, and I think we wanted to make that clear. And it has helped to focus the attention of contributors.
Does the project collaborate with any other projects?
- John Carter: I don't myself know of that many times when there has been active focused collaboration with other projects. The individual holidays do get attention from the various relevant religious and national projects which relate to the holiday in question.
With several major religious and secular holidays coming in December, what are the project's most urgent needs? How can a new member help today?
- John Carter: Our greatest needs are probably to improve the quality of our most important articles. These include Christmas and several of the other holidays of the period. For the purposes of presenting a neutral, worldwide view of these holidays, and all others, we would definitely welcome any input on the particular types of activities and specific forms of attention these holidays receive worldwide.
Anything else you'd like to add?
- John Carter: We would all very much welcome the gift of new members and editors working on developing the holiday-related content. In particular, getting a few more articles of GA or better for Portal:Holidays and Portal:Christmas would be very welcome. And Christmas in particular, given its worldwide observation, doubtless has a lot of material related to it which would benefit from attention, from Christians and non-Christians alike.
Next week, we'll tidy up some articles of questionable authorship. Until then, enjoy our copylefted material in the archives.
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