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What motivated you to join WikiProject Soap Operas? Do you follow a particular soap or telenovela?
I think my motivation to join was just because of my love of soap operas. I watched them growing up, as a third generation watcher of CBS soaps. And then my affection went to those on ABC and NBC soaps. There's just something about that, and seeing the state the articles were in (specially those of American soaps) was devastating to me. And to join a project about promoting those articles and seeing them blossom, and knowing that I had a hand in that? That was motivation, to spread my love and bring the best to articles.
Have you contributed to any of the project's 100+ Good Articles or the Featured material? What are the challenges to improving soap opera articles to Good and Featured status?
I've contributed to some over time, but I have not had a major playing hand in making them good and / or featured material articles. I think the most challenging parts are A The sources. Sources for American soaps can be a bit harder to target. And B is storyline sections! Those can become quite overwhelming, especially when editors and contributors feel that every detail is important. Storyline sections are the one section within an article that is known to become quite over-empowering, and making it too point centric and fan-dictated. I think those two are the things that make it difficult to take an article to that kind of status of recognition.
How plentiful are secondary sources about soap operas? Are there any particularly useful resources that can be used to source soap opera articles?
Secondary sources for soap operas can be plentiful, if you work your resources right. The UK has more resources than the US does, since the American public within the past 10-15 years have lost their focus on soap operas. I think some major sources for soap articles (US) can be the published magazines (Soap Opera Digest, Soaps In Depth) and then some online websites that are highly credited.
WikiProject Soap Operas is the parent of several subprojects, all of which are focused on British soaps. Is there a stronger following for soap operas in the United Kingdom? Are soaps from other countries receiving less coverage on Wikipedia? What can be done to ensure that soaps in other parts of the world are not neglected?
I think it has A LOT to do with marketing, support and funding. US soaps don't have the big budgets and support that they used to have in the 1980s and even 1990s. Plus, US soaps air during the daytime when most women and men work. UK, to my knowledge, airs their soap operas during prime time hours, etc. And I think that draws a bigger attraction. More attention is given by UK networks to their soap operas than American networks are giving to theirs, which has also resulted in the decline and unfortunate cancellation to some soap operas in the past few years. US soaps used to be these really amazingly publicized programs in the '80s because they had the budgets to do some amazing storylines, and within the past decade, those budgets have been cut. And it's unfortunate. I think if US soaps had the same-level of attention that UK ones get, there would be more sub-projects for them.
Does the project ever have to deal with the kind of fancruft that the science fiction projects typically see? What are some of the most common things new editors add to soap opera articles that don't belong in a neutral, general interest encyclopedia?
Always!!!!!! Soap articles can really fall subject to fancruft situations when it comes to editing, especially with editors that haven't come to understand the project, or even the unfortunate IP edit. Whether it be a character's relationship, a rumour about the character and / or its portrayer, even the comings and goings from the series. Most commonly, new editors (and even some IP's) will add senseless, fan-only details to articles. They'll add marriages that were invalid and storyline points that don't necessarily pertain to the character at hand! And a lot fail to source things within the article, and just go by day-to-day editing from storyline plots, which can heavily clutter an article.
Has WikiProject Soap Operas collaborated with any other WikiProjects? Are there any events or competitions that could be held in conjunction with the various television and entertainment WikiProjects?
Like the prior question, I have not noticed any collaborations between other WikiProjects. I know the soap project is kind in conjunction in a way with our parent project, WikiProject Television. That is about the only collaboration that I am fully aware of currently.
What are the most urgent needs for WikiProject Soap Operas? How can a new contributor help today?
I think all new contributors are welcome. I think right now urgent needs are for American soap opera character pages, especially those of past (and unfortunate cancelled serials) that have suffered from no reliable sources, or fancruft storyline additions. The American soap pages have really expanded within the past year, but I'd love to see it happen with not just current soap characters or even new characters on the canvases.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I think this project is really gifted and special. Soap opera, at one point in time, were a landmark and staple in history. They broke boundaries and made new molds. They've always been at the forefront of cutting edge drama and storytelling, and I would love to see it expand into something it hasn't been yet! Soap operas are a really beautiful medium, where its actors, crews and writers are some of the hardest working people in the entertainment business; busting their asses to put together an hour of programming a day is incredible!
Until next week, explore our previous reports in the archive.