Where are they now? Redux
Starting a new year isn't complete without looking back at the accomplishments of the previous year. For WikiProject Report, 2010 was highly productive and was the section's first year without breaks in coverage. When the Report was revived at the beginning of 2010, the backlog of interview requests stretched all the way back to 2007. Today, the oldest request is from April 2010. Eight contributors reported on 49 WikiProjects and Task Forces ranging from Algae to Zoos. Four of our writers even had the opportunity to experience sitting on the opposite side of an interview.
Pretzels built a permanent home for the Report, the WikiProject Desk, which features lists where Wikipedians can suggest their favorite WikiProject for an interview, the latest schedule of future articles, and workspaces to conduct interviews and build articles. We introduced the WikiProject News Sidebar in March and it proved useful for spreading the word about many new projects, backlog elimination drives, monthly collaborations, and helpful bots. The archives, originally maintained in user space by Cryptic C62, are now an official part of the Signpost.
Before looking back at the projects covered in 2010, we'd like to make a note about our first roundup of previous WikiProject Reports. The archives were incomplete when we wrote the first Where Are They Now?, neglecting the work of Kirill Lokshin from September to early November 2009. He introduced us to WikiProject Anime and Manga, WikiProject Dungeons and Dragons, and WikiProject National Register of Historic Places in addition to revisiting WikiProject Video Games, WikiProject Military History, and WikiProject Tropical Cyclones. His tenure also featured a special report on project banner meta-templates.
The natural world dominated WikiProject coverage in 2010. Large umbrella projects like WikiProject Animals and WikiProject Mammals sat alongside smaller projects dedicated to Algae and Gastropods. The highly popular WikiProject Birds has continued to soar since their coverage in May, adding 14 new featured articles to the 63 they possessed when we interviewed them. WikiProject Zoo gave us a look at the zoos, aquariums, and aviaries that shelter and exhibit many creatures while WikiProject Dinosaurs and WikiProject Cryptozoology uncovered the mysteries of extinct and legendary creatures. The environment received coverage as well as natural phenomena like volcanoes and severe weather.
The second most talked-about projects were those related to sports. WikiProject College Football has seen 30 new Did you know? articles since we interviewed the project in November. WikiProject Baseball has added 36 new featured lists to the 117 they had when the project was up to the plate in April. WikiProject Ice Hockey made its second Report appearance in November and has added six new good articles since then. Basketball was represented by WikiProject NBA and auto racing arrived in the form of WikiProject NASCAR. As for international sporting events, Ks0stm introduced us to WikiProject Olympics just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Transportation also played a major role in last year's coverage. A variety of projects answered our call, traveling by air like WikiProject Aviation, sea like WikiProject Ships, rail like WikiProject Trains, or open road like WikiProject Motorcycling and WikiProject U.S. Roads. The places we traveled ranged from the shores of Singapore to the green mountains of Ireland to the skyscrapers of Chicago and the varied landscapes of California.
Literacy was also a common theme. RegentsPark wrote the first chapter of our 2010 series with WikiProject Novels while Mono penned articles on WikiProject Children's Literature and the Percy Jackson Task Force. The unique WikiProject Essays showed us that even the personal views of Wikipedians need a project to keep things organized. The Comedy and Horror genres each warranted their own articles. WikiProject Universities and WikiProject Smithsonian Institution provided the educational background and cultural literacy needed to make 2010 a well-read year.
The computer company Apple Inc. made an appearance, making Mac and iPhone fanboys salivate. The computer language Java also received a nod, confusing some readers who clicked the article hoping to read about their favorite coffee or an island in the Pacific.
Some projects that focused more on improving Wikipedia as a whole included WikiProject Copyright Cleanup, WikiProject Images and Media, the Graphics Lab, and the Uncategorized Task Force.
The year 2010 may be known as the year of Backlog Elimination Drives. Projects took the opportunity to highlight their ongoing drives in the Signpost, with the Guild of Copy Editors making their second appearance and eliciting a note from Jimbo Wales in support of drives like theirs. The Guild held drives in May, July, September, and November. WikiProject Wikify, which was not interviewed this year but made extensive use of the new WikiProject News Sidebar, held drives in October and December. Both projects borrowed templates from the Good Article Nomination Backlog Elimination Drive held in April. At the end of the year, the Wikipedia Contribution Team sponsored a Great Backlog Drive to clean up a variety of projects' backlogs during the annual Wikimedia fundraiser.
A variety of other projects graced the pages of WikiProject Report in 2010. Trekkers/Trekkies got a treat when WikiProject Star Trek beamed down to the surface and Bonoites were similarly pleased when WikiProject U2 rocked the Signpost this past summer. Pious Wikipedians celebrated the glory of WikiProject Saints while a variety of holy and unholy days made an appearance when WikiProject Holidays spread some cheer and controversy about what the word "holiday" means.
WikiProject Military History holds the record for being featured four times in the WikiProject Report, once each year since the section first appeared in the Signpost in 2007. This time, the Report focused on Operation Majestic Titan, a large subproject intended to improve coverage of battleships on Wikipedia.
The Report experimented with different formatting this year, easily seen when comparing how the interview with WikiProject Architecture was constructed and the collection of collectors in the article on WikiProject Numismatics.
We end with WikiProject Bacon because it epitomizes the joy that random WikiProjects can bring. A group of editors sharing a love for salty strips of pork turned their tongue-in-cheek Bacon Cabal into a fully functional WikiProject that continues to be an active project today. If they can do it, anything is possible with a little motivation.
Next week, we'll navigate Her Majesty's Waterways. Until then, you can dip into our vast archives, suggest a project for a future interview, write a brief news blurb for the sidebar, or even become a regular contributor for the WikiProject Report by leaving a note on the WikiProject Desk's talk page. Let's make 2011 our best year yet!