What motivated you to join WikiProject Eurovision? When did you first start following the Eurovision Song Contest? Does the project cover any other aspects of the Eurovision television network or the European Broadcasting Union?
Wesley Mouse: Although I had contributed initially as an IP editor, I decided to join WikiProject Eurovision as a member at the same time I had created a Wikipedia account back in August 2011. The Eurovision Song Contest is a subject that I feel passionate about and have watched the contest on television since 1988. WikiProject Eurovision also covers other contests such as the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Türkvizyon Song Contest, and the ABU Song Festivals, to name but a few.
Have you contributed to any of the project's Featured or Good articles? What purpose does the project's unique "Future" quality rating serve?
Wesley Mouse: Indeed, I have contributed to four Good Articles, including the article for Eurovision Song Contest 2013. The project has 4 featured articles, 2 featured lists, and 22 good articles. The project's "Future" quality rating serves a unique purpose to highlight articles that are covering a contest that has yet to take place - for example any articles relating to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 would be granted a "Future" quality rating.
There are periodic checks the activity of the project's members, with a percentage displayed on the project's main page. How important is it to keep the membership list updated? What other things can projects do to keep tabs on their members and motivate them to participate?
Wesley Mouse: The project's 'Activity Scale', which is updated periodically, is there to highlight to potential new members of the activity rate within the project itself. Members who actively contribute within a four month rolling-period are deemed to be active, whilst members who have not contributed for a while are deemed to be inactive but are able to resume contribution at a time of their choosing. It also serves a purpose to current members as a checking tool for those who may be curious as to the activity scale of members.
A project newsletter is published and distributed to members who are active to inform them of any articles that require maintenance work, as well as updates on what is happening in the world of Eurovision-related contests.
The project underwent an overhaul last September to coincide with the project's tenth birthday. What needed work? Are there elements of the project that could still use a refresh? What are the project's plans for growth over the next decade?
Wesley Mouse: Prior to the overhaul that happened in September 2013, the project's look was very bland and felt uninviting. After viewing how other project's stylised their project pages, it became clear that a "makeover" was required to add new life to the project and hopefully entice editors to join the project as active members. Navigation around the project's pages was not an easy task, and so simple navigation tabs were introduced to make getting from one project area to another much swifter for members. Also as part of the makeover, a new colour scheme for the project was adopted. The previously used pale blue, which felt cold, was changed to use a more warm, neutral scheme. An events countdown was added to the project's main page, to provide a reference for members of how many days until the next event is scheduled to take place. This also allows members to know of a time-scale for articles relating to each of the respective events, and assist them with managing time between contributing to articles and time to do whatever real-life things they wish to do - taking away the unwanted stress of feeling pressured to have as many articles created/updated in what they may feel are required urgently.
The project is always looking at new ways to improve itself in what it does, with periodic project discussions held to debate such matters as and when they are required.
Does the project run into an sourcing or notability issues for contestants, songs, or other articles about the Eurovision contest? Are there any particularly useful resources available for improving Eurovision articles?
Wesley Mouse: Sourcing is always a serious issue when it come to articles for WikiProject Eurovision, as it does for any articles within Wikipedia itself. Because the contests are an international event, many of the sources are not always published in English first, and this can cause confusion for those who rely on online translation tools to aid them with translating something into their native language. A page within the project was created to provide a list of useful websites that members may wish to use in order to help them resource what it is that they are contributing towards. If there are sources found that a member feels is dubious, then they tend to initiate in discussion with fellow members of the project in order to reach a decision on whether the source is deemed reliable or not. With the main Eurovision Contest been in existence since 1956, then there will always be new websites being created to dedicate to the contest. And we as members welcome the addition of such new websites, bearing in mind that we check for their reliability status before adding to the list of reliable sources to use.
The project also has what we've called "Skeleton Articles", which are basically a draft article showing the basics of how an article should look and to give example of what the style that an article should be aiming towards. Ever since the introduction of these 'Skeleton Articles' the group has been writing articles relating to a respective annual contest to a very high standard, with articles looking like 'Good Articles' before they have even been promoted to such article quality rating.
Does WikiProject Eurovision collaborate with any other projects? What can be done to improve collaboration between WikiProjects?
Wesley Mouse: Although there are other "sister" projects that are in relation to and/or connected with the Eurovision concept of music and television. It is very rare that the project has relied on joint-discussion with other such projects - unless of course it has been felt an extra set of eyes and ears are required. One such example was when the project enlisted the additional input from WikiProject Music on a inter-related matter. A lot of the collaborations are done unknowingly between any other projects; such as an article for Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest which would also come under the scope of WikiProject Denmark; to name just one example. WP:ESC members would actively update the article. However it is unknown if members from connected projects also contribute towards articles. Such help like that would ease the burden and lighten the workload whilst keeping Wikipedia as up-to-date on articles as possible.
What are the most urgent needs of WikiProject Eurovision? How can a new contributor help today?
Wesley Mouse: There are several articles created within the project's 10-year history that require constant maintenance updating to improve their quality ratings. As was mentioned earlier in the interview, the contests themselves are an annual occurrence, and so new articles are created regularly. And this in turn results in maintenance work on articles being delayed even further. Therefore the more members the project has, the easier it becomes to keep on top of the everlasting maintenance of articles.
Until next week, check out our previous reports in the archive.