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WikiProject Biography recently celebrated its tenth birthday. As the largest WikiProject on Wikipedia, WikiProject Biography boasts over one million articles dedicated to detailing the lives of notable figures throughout history.
The project began after editors disputed a number of issues regarding the most effective way to format birth and death dates. These intial discussion boards grew from ten members to a thriving community of nearly 800 active participants currently. In this week's Wikipedia Signpost, the volunteer newsletter on Wikipedia, three members of WikiProject Biography, Kaldari, Road Wizard, and John Carter, discuss their involvement in the project and what it takes to navigate a biography on Wikipedia.
The three editors agreed that the appeal of biographical article lies in its innate simplicity. “The subject area is in general much more clear-cut than many other articles,” John Carter explained. “This is not sayng that some biographies of disputed people from early history are not also at least a bit contentious, but the same holds true for most non-biographical articles related to those eras well.”
WikiProject Biography’s tremendous scope reflects the complexity of Wikipedia itself. “Every article on Wikipedia involves people in one way or another,” states Road Wizard. “If it is about a book then someone wrote it; if it is about a natural phenomenon then someone observed it. Biographies are a logical extension of the encyclopedia.”
For more insights into Wikipedia Biographies, read the full interview on The Signpost.
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