What motivated you to join WikiProject The X-Files? Which of the project's articles do you spend the most time developing and maintaining? Do you edit articles for any other television shows or media franchises?
Glimmer721: Grapple X invited me after he saw me doing some minor work (I remember adding reviews to a few episodes after I watched them). In fact, I started watching the series after seeing some of the articles brought to my attention on the GAN backlog, and it looked like a show I'd like. I have experience editing TV episode articles as my main focus is Doctor Who episode articles. Since I don't have many sources I typically add online reviews to the reception sections of episodes, copyedit, and I've also began working on the article for one of the main characters (Scully).
Gen. Quon:Igordebraga asked me if I would be interested in working on the project after I made a few minor copy-edits and added additional information that I found. I just started watching The X-Files religiously this last year; in fact, when I was younger, the show was absolutely terrifying! I've got a lot of respect for the series now and I believe it is truly a phenomenal cultural landmark. Currently, I've been helping to get many of the episode articles expanded and up to GA status. I have a soft spot in my heart for seasons six and seven (which is odd for an X-Files fan, many fans dislike those seasons), and that's where I've been focusing most of my energy. In addition to the X-Files project, I've also spent time promoting several episode of The Office to good article status.
Grapple X: The majority of edits by project members really seem to have focussed on individual episode articles. The Good Article process has been a real driving force for this, as it gives both a goal to strive for (the assessment and validation of an editor's work) and offers a sense of fulfilment as well. Personally, I've been working to organise article expansion in terms of prospective Good Topic work, with one topic passed and another currently nominated—to me the GT process seems like an additional level of fulfilment and reward for editors, as it offers a reason to "complete the set" as it were. Without it, I doubt that articles such as The X-Files (season 1) or The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1 – Abduction would have been high priorities for expansion. As for the other parts of the question, I'm not sure what led me to join the project to be honest. It had lain dormant for some time before I signed up to Wikipedia, and the majority of my early edits as a new member were to my favourite film, rather than in television topics, but I think I just gravitated towards it as a fan. I do some occasional work for other television series, such as Twin Peaks and Miami Vice, but none to the same level as those included in WP:TXF's scope.
US audiences for the first five seasons (plotted in millions of viewers)
The X-Files and its spinoffs have been on hiatus for years. How has the project continued to grow long after the shows and films ended? What has been the source of the project's newest articles? What can the projects for other dormant television shows like Lost, Firefly, and Heroes learn from WikiProject The X-Files?
Glimmer721: A lot of sources used are print sources like production books. I think projects for older shows (like The Twilight Zone for example, or even classic Doctor Who) could get a lot of important info from print sources. Of course, they can be harder to find and may have to be purchased if not at they local library. DVD commentaries and featurettes are always welcome, too.
Gen. Quon: As Glimmer721 mentioned, the project has been using a vast number of production books that were published during the show's original run. These manuals have proved invaluable for citing production information as well as ratings and reception. In addition, many fans and critics of the series have started to release books with personal reviews of the series. Recently, with the explosion of episode reviews on the internet, we've started to add more and more internet-based articles that have helped to flesh-out various people's perspectives on the X-Files universe. Other projects about dormant shows can take away the idea that sometimes, information requires time. I spent many hours looking through online databases as well as interlibrary loaning books about The X-Files. I'm happy to say that it has truly paid off.
Grapple X: I would probably describe the project's growth as upwards, rather than outwards—articles are being expanded and promoted through the GA process, but beyond the creation of, say, episode or character articles that had previously been redirects, there is little creation of articles outside of this. I've seen the James Bond project create wonderfully-written articles on that franchise's motifs and inspirations; I can see future growth for the project following a similar path to this. There does seem to be a definite "end game" scenario, though, in the eventual promotion of all viable articles to some degree of recognition (GA/FL/FA, etc), but beyond this I'm not sure.
Does the project deal with a lot of fancruft? Have you needed to trim the weeds from articles due to notability or sourcing issues?
Gen. Quon: For the most part, the project tries to cut down on fancruft. I believe we have a very decent policy of "if it isn't sourced (within reason) it should be removed". I, along with User:Grapple X (who has also promoted a number of X-Files articles to GA status), have gone through many, if not most, of the episode articles and attempted to add reliable citations. In my opinion, fancruft is great for a fan site or The X-Files wikia, but not Wikipedia itself.
Grapple X: To be honest, not really. Editors working for the project several years ago, before it went dormant around 2009–10, had already cleared a lot of this stuff out. Trivia sections and the like had been expunged pretty much entirely and articles without secondary sourcing had largely been merged and redirected. I've been wary of cruft building up, as I can see the creation of articles on, say, minor characters, being challenged as unnecessary. Generally I handle this by not creating or spinning out an article without first having worked on a draft either in my sandbox or on my hard drive offline, generally aiming for, at the very least, something that could make a viable Did You Know hook with the aim of gradually working it up to GA-Class as sources are found. However, I'm proud of how we've coped with cruft—for instance, even several DVDreleases have found themselves expanded properly, which is something I hope we'll be able to do with all of the esoteric articles we've got in our scope.
A fan cosplaying Gillian Anderson's character Dana Scully in The X-Files
When dealing with a media franchise, many of the images needed for articles are copyrighted material. How has the project handled procuring images? What kind of free images can be used to illustrate articles about a media franchise like The X-Files?
Gen. Quon: For many of the articles that deal with episode, I like to have an important screenshot in the infobox. Although these pictures are copyrighted, we try to find images that are either important to understanding the plot of the story or the special effects being used, or are directly commented on by reviewers. Free images are much easier to deal with, and we use them plentifully. Many episode are based around historical events, novels, or other ideas. For instance, the seventh season episode, "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" was based partially around the novel The Last Temptation of Christ. Thus, we placed a free picture of Nikos Kazantzakis in the articles section about production.--Gen. Quon (talk) 00:34, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Grapple X: I think that the success of the series has been a boon for us here, as the prolific nature of its stars since has given us a lot of free images of David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, William B. Davis, Lance Henriksen and such to work with. I've been working on some Millennium episodes lately and I've generally only illustrated these with relevant free content ("Gehenna with an image of the valley of Gehenna, for example). Aside from this kind of thing, I'm not sure what kind of thing can be freely procured outside of perhaps contacting copyright holders about releasing image rights for some of their older promotional material, which is something I'll admit I haven't much of a clue about.
Do you ever collaborate with other projects? How does the project interact with its parent and sister projects? How can Wikipedia's assortment of media franchise projects better coordinate and share resources?
Grapple X: Although the first X-Files article to reach GA status was actually the Simpsons crossover "The Springfield Files", I think the "project", unfortunately using the term loosely, with which we collaborate most would be with Ruby2010's Fringe efforts (plug). We've traded links to relevant sources online if we've turned anything up, and are generally quick to help each out with article reviews, etc. Aside from that (admittedly tenuous) link, I'm not really sure what collaboration we have done or can do in the immediate future; though I might look into collaborating with music-related projects on the various albums that have been released—especially given that the film's soundtrack contains several pop songs which would fall under other projects, such as "Walking After You" or "Hunter". Some of cast and crew have moved on to other shows as well, and interviews done for those series might help to build their biographies—off the top of my head, I'm thinking of Laurie Holden in The Walking Dead or Vince Gilligan creating Breaking Bad. Both our project and the editors working in those fields would benefit from that kind of resource pooling, I guess.
Gen. Quon: I've personally helped review Fringe and Doctor Who articles. Considering that they are all very sci-fi-y and similar to The X-Files (Fringe especially), I've always felt that collaboration made sense. Bouncing off two projects is a great way to coordinate resources. A good example of this symbiosis: this article analyzed and compared various Fringe episodes with X-Files episodes. It was thus both beneficial for the X-Files project as well as the Fringe project.--Gen. Quon (talk) 00:49, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
What are the project's most pressing needs? How can a new contributor help today?
Gen. Quon: As of today, I feel that the most pressing needs are the project's character articles. Both the articles for Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are rated at a C-class, which I believe we'd all like to raise. I'm happy to say that many of the episode articles have been promoted to GA class. In particular, season 1 and 6 are (for all intents and purposes; three of season 6's articles still need to pass peer review) completely finished.--Gen. Quon (talk) 00:34, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Grapple X: Maybe not all that pressing, but I think the article's main failings are in its cast and crew biographies; articles on stars and recurring actors are generally in the Stub-to-C range. It's maybe not the most glamorous work but I suppose a quick and dirty way to jump in might be to pick one of those stubs and try to tease out a DYK nominations (unsourced biographies don't need to be expanded as much to count, so that can be a boon for that kind of thing). Probably the more enjoyable way to get stuck in, though, would be for any fan to pick their favourite episode, or character, and just get started! There's a lot of information available online, and myself and other project members have access to a lot of print sources which we're happy to share. There's also a number of articles waiting at WP:GAN that have been expanded by Gen. Quon, a prolific project editor, and reviewing one might be a gateway into the series for someone unfamiliar with it—Glimmer721 joined us that way, and it's the reason I started watching a similar series, Fringe. If you're a bit curious about the show, don't be afraid to just leap in and have a look around. The truth is in there.
Next week, we'll chart a new course to explore undiscovered lands. Until then, check your bearings in the archive.