Records have changed formats over the years
A collection of "boomboxes
" or "ghetto-blasters" to make your music heard
This week, we listened to the members of WikiProject Albums as they shared their experience improving articles about music albums. Started in October 2002, WikiProject Albums has grown to include nearly 130,000 pages, including 78 Featured Articles, 35 Featured Lists, and 385 Good Articles. Despite an active group of editors, the project's members have acknowledged that the project has some difficulty keeping up with assessments, evidenced by the 36,000 unassessed articles under the project's scope. The project is a child of WikiProject Music and overlaps with several projects, including WikiProject Songs, WikiProject Discographies, and WikiProject Record Charts. WikiProject Albums maintains a to-do list, follows a watchlist, and contributes to the Music Portal.
We interviewed three of the project's members. Zidane tribal joined after creating an article for one of his favorite bands and "receiving very nice feedback from a member." His favorite albums are Legend and the Hola/Chau twin concerts. Backtable is a musician and music collector. He joined WikiProject Albums a while ago but only recently became active in the project. Among his favorite albums are Wish You Were Here, In the Court of the Crimson King, Red, Close to the Edge, Blackwater Park, Frances the Mute, Sub Templum, and Heligoland. Freekee joined both Wikipedia and WikiProject Albums "partly because one of my favorite albums had an article that really needed improvement. I won't tell you what album it was because in the five and a half years since then, I never fixed it." He describes himself as a wikignome who fixes categorization, grammar, and wording. He adds that he would just like "to make sure that there is a good source for information on the music that I love so much."
What motivated you to join WikiProject Albums? Do you have experience in the music industry? What is your favorite album?
- Zidane tribal: Most of the albums of my favorite band lacked articles and after creating one and receiving very nice feedback from a member I decided to join the project. I do not have experience in the music industry. My favorite album is either Legend or the Hola/Chau twin concerts.
- Backtable: I joined WikiProject Albums because I have a very active interest in music, and am a physical music collector, especially when it comes to CDs. I joined a while back, but I didn't become an active member until recently. As for music industry experience, I am working on a career as a musician, and I have a few musical projects going on. I'm working on music that I want to release sometime. I am not signed to any labels, nor do I play live, although I want to do the latter sometime soon with some of my friends. Some of my favorite albums include Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, In the Court of the Crimson King and Red both by King Crimson, Close to the Edge by Yes, Blackwater Park by Opeth, Frances the Mute by The Mars Volta, Sub Templum by Moss, and Heligoland by Massive Attack.
- Freekee: I joined Wikipedia and the project partly because one of my favorite albums had an article that really needed improvement. I won't tell you what album it was because in the five and a half years since then, I never fixed it. I'm not in the industry, and have no vested interest in any of this music - I just want to make sure that there is a good source for information on the music that I love so much.
The project is home to over 100 pieces of featured content and nearly 400 Good Articles. Have you worked on any of these articles? What are some common elements found in most FAs and GAs about albums?
- Zidane tribal: I haven't participated significantly in any FA or GA.
- Most GA and FA have extensive references on account of the large reception and production sections.
- Backtable: I don't specialize in GA and FA articles, but I edit them once in a while. Some common elements of such articles is that they're longer and more detailed and thorough than lesser-ranked articles.
- Freekee: I haven't participated significantly in any FA or GA. I'm not great on references and citations, and I'm not that great a writer either, so I tend to Wikignome tasks, like categorization and fixing grammar and wording.
How does the project handle notability of albums and promotional material added to articles about albums? How frequently does the project deal with editors who have a conflict of interest?
- Zidane tribal: I myself had a couple of articles proposed for speedy deletion. I took the time window to make my case in favor of keeping the articles and it was also a lot of help that a highly respected member of the project gave arguments in support of my case. Also it is worth mentioning that there are a lot of articles with very obscure backgrounds that don't even get the necessary attention to get deleted.
- Just recently a discussion [took place] over how to implement the guideline over the proper place for the reviews; in a reception section or the infobox. In my time in the project, the discussion has reached if not good results, at least they have never ended in a heated exchange of insults.
- Backtable: Well, I personally usually remove promotional material from articles, and anything else that violates POV customs. And this project deals with conflicts of interest occasionally, but not horribly often. There may be review sites in question for use on album pages, for instance. Also, there are a handful of people who don't like the direction the review layout is going, but I'll go into more detail about that later.
Are some music genres underrepresented by Wikipedia's coverage of albums? What can be done to improve coverage of these neglected genres?
- Zidane tribal: I am of the opinion that there are FAR too many music genres so I'm okay if Techno retro punk salsa isn't well represented.
- Backtable: By default, I wouldn't quite say so. This WikiProject doesn't seem too partial or too overlooking of any particular genre.
- Freekee: I see articles and I edit them. I never notice a lack, unless it's of a particular album that I own.
Does WikiProject Albums collaborate with any other projects?
- Zidane tribal: Well, mostly songs, jazz, hip-hop and to a lesser degree country specific projects.
- Freekee: I wouldn't say we collaborate, so much as overlap. We copy some of the work done by the Songs Project, and they us. And there are many artist projects and task forces.
What are the project's most pressing needs? How can a new editor help today?
- Zidane tribal: There are 127,236 articles, of those 83,448 are either unassessed or Stubs and the amount of new articles by far is bigger that the amount of newly assessed or upgraded stubs. In my time, I have assessed well over 8K articles and they just keep coming.
- Backtable: As Zidane Tribal stated, there are the stubbish articles and the unassessed articles. And here's another one: moving infobox reviews into article space. Reviews have been determined not to belong in the infobox anymore, and they are now to be placed in their own table, preferrably in the respective article's reception section. There are upwards of 45,000 left as of my postings here, and that drive could always use a little more help from willing inidividuals. Another thing I'd like to point out doesn't apply only to album pages, but music pages in general. There are those foolish genre warriors. Their presence is loathsome.
Anything else you'd like to add?
- Zidane tribal: I love Wikipedia.
- Backtable: Wikipedia is awesome. I hope that visits to Wikipedia are generally informative and productive to people. Stay thirsty for knowledge, my friends!
Next week, we'll try not to infringe on Hormel's trademark as we investigate some mystery meat that has been clogging up the internet's arteries. Until then, clean out your junk mail folder and visit the WikiProject Report Archives.