Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-02-05/Interview

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Interview with The Rambling Man, Wikipedia's top contributor of Featured Lists: Lessons on Creating a Featured List
Vladimir Putin 18 February 2008-1.jpg
The presentation of awards by the Laureus World Sports Awards, a prospective featured topic worked on by The Rambling Man.

The Rambling Man has written the most featured lists of any Wikipedian. This interview dwells upon his editing process, and how he gets articles up to Featured List status.

  • When did you begin editing WP, and what brought you here in the first place?
    I think it was around May 2005, someone at work told about this new-fangled encyclopedia, and I looked up Harold Faltermeyer, and edited it. The rest is history.
  • Can you give a brief outline of your methods? '
    Quality, quality, quality. My usual day on Wikpiedia is:
    1. Check WP:OTD for tomorrow.
    2. Check WP:DYKQ for the next two sets.
    3. Check WP:ITNC.
    4. Check WP:FLC.
    5. Do my own thing.
  • Some editors are daunted by the FL process and steer clear. Briefly, what advice would you give to FLC tenderfeet?
    Are they really? FLC is about as easy as it gets in the big arcane process machine. I'd say to anyone who was thinking about nominating a list and thought it was difficult to contact any of the delegates or the director for advice. FLC is a pretty friendly place so it's unlikely that anyone's going to get burned by asking questions.
  • What is unusual about your FL research process? What have you learned to do differently in your FL prep?
    I don't know. Nothing I do is unusual to me, I like picking up half-made lists and doing the research, finding the references, but I don't do much differently from when I started other than maintain a proper adherence to WP:MOS.
  • What originally attracted you to write the series of The Boat Race articles? And how has your interest in the topic group changed since you began?
    I coxed at Cambridge, not the University boat, but my college first boat, and since then I've had an inherent interest. I think I have around 160 good articles and a handful of featured articles about the Boat Race, and continue to update and maintain the articles. At some point I'd like to make it a featured topic but there's a lot of work to be done there. Nothing has changed, I'm still interested in high quality Boat Race articles, and to make a comprehensive history of it here.
  • How have the limitations of available sourcing shaped or propelled your work?
    I had access to a few sourcing websites thanks to Wikipedia, British Newspapers etc, but those have all gone now, which is a real shame. I'd love to get more access to those kinds of sources for the articles I'd like to write.
  • What is your preferred style of collaboration in your featured work?
    All-in. I don't divide anything with anyone. I am technically competent within the Wiki markup, tables, etc, so I get a few request to do that, and will happily mop up after others who are creating content.
  • How have you handled working with unwitting collaborators?
    Collaboratively. When creating content it's all about the editors. Come one, come all. When generating decent articles, we usually aren't held back by the boring and pointed Wikipedia police.
  • What kind of feedback have you received on your featured work off-wiki?
    I don't personally get any feedback really, although I do see featured articles I've written being highlighted on Twitter (for example), but that's not why we're here. I just get joy and pleasure from seeing articles improve.
  • Do you have examples of content that for whatever reason you had to kill during the course of editing? How do you approach the idea of deleting portions of your work during the course of editing, and what do you do with the extraneous content, if anything?
    A recent thing, List of international goals scored by Ferenc Puskás, arguably one of the best players in history, and I can't find decent reliable sources for each goal. So, while I haven't "killed" the project, it's definitely on pause. I could push all the work I've done to the mainspace, but it'll be murdered in a tag-fest and I'll probably be blocked for controversial opinions.