Spring 2012 is an exciting time for Wookieepedia. The warmer months of the year traditionally lead to an increased rate of article-writing by the community, including the production of Featured, Good, and Comprehensive articles, but this time around, more of those articles are going to be shown off the world. Beginning April 16th, a new Good article, or GA, will be showcased on Wookieepedia’s Main Page every day. In advance of this new policy, and since we chatted with CavalierOne about Featured articles last month, Wookieepedia NewsNet thought that now would be a perfect time to show our readers just what GAs are all about.
Like their Featured brethren, GAs contain all known information on their subject, conform to all of Wookieepedia’s policies, and have undergone a peer review process. You can tell if an article is “Good” by the check mark in its upper-right-hand corner. But why the differentiation? Why is an article “Good” instead of “Featured?” Well, the primary distinction is that GAs are usually shorter. Typically, they’re between 250 and 1000 words long. Unlike some monstrous FAs, GAs are quick and easy reads that you can finish before you’re halfway done your morning coffee. But does that limitation mean that their quality is any worse?
Cal Jedi, a user who has written twenty-three GAs in the last year, certainly doesn’t think so. “All status articles should be of the same quality. Good articles should still be as quality as Featured articles, and Featured as quality as Good articles,” he recently told NewsNet. “Wookieepedia is not run the way it used to be, where an article got status depending on how quality of an article it was.” Cal is right — before the peer review process was administered by the AgriCorps, the requirements of a GA were far less strict.
Perhaps nobody remembers this better than Eyrezer, who has written a staggering 129 GAs over the last six years. “There is no doubt that the quality required for Good articles has risen,” Eyrezer claims. “In its first iteration, the GA system recognised both articles on constrained subject matter that covered all information to a high standard, and articles on more extensive subject matter that had decent, although not comprehensive cover.” These days, the Agricorps hold every Good article candidate to a very high standard, and if any were to only contain “decent” coverage, they would be denied Good status in a heartbeat.
Yikes. Writing GAs sounds pretty intimidating. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Too many Wookieepedians to name have contributed to the site’s 1400+ Good articles, and if you, the reader, have ever tossed around the idea of writing here at Wookieepedia, you should definitely consider GAs as a starting point. Clone Commander Lee, who has written sixty-five of them, believes that his experience has helped improve his overall writing, especially since English is not his first language. “I believe it is safe to say that your writing improves with time,” he says. “Many errors are things that you do not know, such as context, Point-of-view, or some other stuff. And that’s gone after several Good article nominations.”
So can anyone write a Good article? Without question, the answer is: Absolutely! We’re not talking about a thesis that requires exhaustive research. “I like that I can easily compose a Good article nomination in a single night,” says Eyrezer. “Star Wars has great vibrancy and detail. It is populated with an elaborate cast of minor characters, locations, species, events and technology. The GA system provides an avenue to showcase this background material on the Wookieepedia, and it does not require significant investment to do it.”
Writing is not the only cog that keeps the GA machine going — reviewing others’ work is a very important piece of the puzzle. Although the Agricorps are ultimately responsible for awarding articles “Good” status, any member of the Wookieepedia community can participate in the peer review process. Clone Commander Lee is very active at reviewing GA nominations in addition to his writing; when asked if reviewing helps improve his own writing, he answered in the positive. “You can help a lot by reviewing articles, and you’ll learn the rules for promoting an article.” And, perhaps most importantly: “Without reviewers no articles would pass.”If you’re still humming and ho-ing over whether or not you should give GA writing a try, why not check out the site’s enormous GA repertoire? The variety ranges from the Force power Wall of light, to the Order before 66, to the always-outrageous Tumble bunny trainer. Cal Jedi shared some of his favorites with us — from his own portfolio, his first two GAs are quite sentimental: Unification Policies and Offices of the Imperial Head of State. However, the incredibly badass Guybrush Threepkiller is the one he likes to show off. From others’ portfolios, he’s fond of Darnell Reggs, a recent GA from Green tentacle.
For a closer look at GAs, keep your eye on Wookieepedia’s Main Page from April 16th onward. Our newest Good articles will be showcased from Monday to Friday, while the weekends will take you back to 2006, 2007, and 2008, to show off some of the site’s earliest GAs, such as KT-10, the Imperial Ace, and the spittering and sputtering Space duck. In fact, It was Eyrezer himself who wrote Wookieepedia’s first ever GA: Kelbis Nu. If you’re interested in giving GA writing a try, feel free to ask any member of the Agricorps for help, or, better yet, just pick a subject, write it, and nominate it! We hope to see your work soon.