Dispatches: Halloween Main Page contest generates new article content

For Halloween 2008, Wikipedians from various projects designed a thematic Main Page.

Halloween 2008
Halloween 2008

Did You Know (DYK), which highlights Wikipedia's newest content, held a contest and listed Halloween-themed DYK hooks on the Main Page. The idea for a series of Halloween-themed DYKs originated with the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta article, verified for DYK on October 19. Victuallers asked DYK regulars to hold the article until October 31 and they agreed. He later suggested a contest in which the best Halloween-themed article created before October 31 would receive a spot on the main page. The suggestion was later expanded to use Halloween-themed DYK hooks throughout the day. The "Did you know Halloween contest", which waived the usual "five days to list a nomination" rule, began on October 20, 2008. It successfully generated 28 Halloween-themed articles, providing most of the new DYK articles on Halloween. The DYK articles ranged from the mythological Cerberus to the very real vampire moths, phasmophobia (the fear of ghosts), Halloween in the Castro, and NASA'S "Galactic Ghoul" cluster of stars. Some of the sample hooks were:

Did you know...

Wormian bones: In addition to the usual centers of ossification of the cranium, others may occur, giving rise to irregular isolated bones.

The Picture of the Day, which highlights featured pictures, extended the spooky theme, featuring an illustration of two skulls that shows the location of Wormian bones. Wormian bones are abnormal extra bone plates in the cranium. The image was uploaded by LadyofHats and featured in March 2008.

The Featured article of the day was Treehouse of Horror, describing a series of Halloween-themed special episodes of the long-running animated television series The Simpsons that are broadcast annually near Halloween. To date, 19 episodes have been created; they are usually based on a horror, science fiction, or supernatural premise and often parody well-known films or books from these genres. "Treehouse of Horror XIX" premiered on November 2, 2008. Treehouse of Horror became featured in January 2008 after its second nomination at featured article candidates. Its main author was Scorpion0422, who is a Featured list director and author of much Simpsons-related featured content. While on the Main Page, the article drew in over 103,000 views.[1]

A mock-up of the Halloween mainpage can be seen here, adjusted to include all of the DYKs that appeared throughout the day. DYK is planning a themed "Did you know" column for Christmas, with efforts towards that to begin on December 1, 2008.


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    == Copied over ==

    From here:

    Wikipedia:Did you know/Halloween 2008 successfully generated 28 new/expanded Halloween themed articles - 24 hours worth of new DYK articles to present on the Main Page during 31 October 2008 - in the ten days since Did you know/Halloween 2008 was initiated on October 20, 2008. The DYK articles ranged from vampire moths and Halloween in the Castro (San Francisco's gay village) to NASA'S The Galactic Ghoul cluster of stars and the use of candy pumpkins to influence U.S. Senators to extend U.S. daylight saving time to cover Halloween. The gang at FA readied and posted The Simpsons Halloween episodes for display on the Main Page and Picture of the Day presented Wormian bones. -- Suntag 17:09, 31 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Does anyone know where/how to get a link to what the mainpage looked like on Dec. Oct. 31 ? The article should link to that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:14, 4 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    You mean October 31. Someone added it. Royalbroil 02:32, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, added already. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:33, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    The article needs some beef. Whose idea was the Halloween contest? How many submissions were there? How many editors involved? What is the highest assessment that has resulted from the new articles? Any detail that will inspire editors to add more content and make the article interesting. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:29, 4 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Idea originator text added. There were 2 submissions that were not used because they were too short - do you think this needs to be added (why focus on failure?)? DYK has nothing to do with assessing articles - GA and FA assessments are completely separate. Would it be interesting to state that articles were added all the way up to that day? I know I added a successful DYK nom with only hours left in the day. Royalbroil 02:32, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    I know DYK has nothing to do with assessing articles, but since this Dispatch covers several areas of featured and mainpage content, it would interest our readers to see how far the new DYKs have gone. Anything of interest can be added: it's still a bit short. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Skip that: I checked some of the assessments on some of the articles linked, and they just show the irregularity in assessment between different Projects. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Royal, we had a couple of edit conflicts, but I think they're OK? What do you think of using the sample DYKs like that? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:55, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Sorry about the edit conflicts. I has thrown down some quick text and I was planning to proofread it at a GA+ level after I added it. Then there were some quick obviously bad things that needed cleaning. I do like the sample DYKs, although I think an article shouldn't be mentioned both in the text and in a hook. Royalbroil 04:42, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Sounds good (but you have to leave enough text in there to get through that long banner :-). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:57, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    I tried some of the other hooks (without saving), and I like it better the way it is right now with the duplication. You did a great job of selecting the most interesting hooks. Royalbroil 05:34, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    I've done some copyediting. Please let me know if you would like me to do more. Awadewit (talk) 17:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Yes. DYK includes not only the best new articles plus articles that were expanded at least 5x in a 5 day period. I can't figure out how to word that concisely. Royalbroil 19:17, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Actually, DYK doesn't highlight the "best" new articles - it makes no distinction between good and poor articles. I'm also not sure that we need to explain about the expansion bit - that is still new content. We are not explaining DYK in this Dispatch - we are explaining the Halloween main page. How about changing it to "highlights Wikipedia's newest content" instead? Awadewit (talk) 19:32, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Good point. The focus is new content not necessarily the best new articles. I've changed it to your wording. Thanks for the copyediting! Royalbroil 20:26, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]


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