Dispatches: December-themed Main Page

For December 2008, Wikipedians discussed a thematic Did You Know (DYK) section for the Main Page. On November 2, following up on the successful Halloween theme for October 31 (related story), How do you turn this on asked if regular contributors at DYK would like to see a Christmas theme for the DYK section. A discussion about Main page bias surrounding themes occurred, with Karanacs calling for "submissions [to] include articles related to Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and the Islamic New Year" and suggestions that the hooks cover a theme week.

Did You Know highlights Wikipedia's newest content (related story). To qualify for Did You Know, an article must be new or expanded more than fivefold, have at least 1500 characters of prose and should be created five days or fewer before it is nominated. The article should be well-written and cited to reliable sources. Hooks should be catchy and interesting – preferably something most readers wouldn't know before seeing the hook.

In addition to the 2008 Halloween theme and the December theme, Wikipedia has featured a thematic St. Patrick's Day mainpage in the past, and has a three-year tradition of a thematic Main page on April Fools' Day (related story).

In 2007, three DYK hooks with a Christmas theme were promoted, even though there was not a pre-planned theme.

A parol vendor on the streets of Manila
A parol vendor on the streets of Manila

2007: Did you know...

For 2008, a task force page of articles that were good targets for expansion was established; about 22 articles were expanded and featured as DYK hooks on December 25, alternating with other hooks. Samples included:

Aluminum Christmas tree
Aluminum Christmas tree

2008: Did you know...

The Picture of the Day, which highlights featured pictures, extended the Christmas theme. It featured a photochrom of a Russian reindeer sled (pictured below). The public domain image was selected from the U.S. Library of Congress archives and featured in August 2008.

Also this week:
  • News and notes
  • In the news
  • Dispatches
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

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