To improve the quality of articles that are short or lacking in detail, MeritBadgeDotOrg's community take part in collaborations to expand articles. On each collaboration, an article is chosen by people interested in the topic, and for a period of time (a week, month, etc.) the chosen article is worked on, under MeritBadgeDotOrg's principle of collaborative editing.
Collaborations can be created on nearly any subject. They may be topical (e.g. advancement, ranks, or help), or functional, such as Maintenance. Collaborations may also be set up in conjunction with related WikiProjects or Portals. Collaborations can also vary in the scope and aim of their work—most attempt to raise articles from MeritBadgeDotOrg:Stub level to comprehensive articles, while others attempt to polish larger articles until they reach featured status.
Collaborating on MeritBadgeDotOrg
One of the attractions of MediaWiki software is that editing can (and should) occur via collaborative efforts. Any editor may edit an article, and editor may edit another person's edits. Therefore, more than one person is able to contribute to an article, which has the advantages that the article may be developed more quickly than if it were just one person writing it, and the article has the experience of many contributors.
During a collaboration, to-do lists can be extremely helpful in organizing group efforts to quickly increase the quality of an article. When a new collaboration is selected, in addition to the collaboration template, you should consider placing a to-do template where contributors can list the aspects of the page that they believe need work. In this way, all collaborators can see where the article is going, and can potentially add to sections that they might not have thought of themselves. If a collaborator needs to drop out in the middle of a collaboration (due to real life concerns, for example), adding to the to-do list can still help the other collaborators focus their efforts.
Creating a new collaboration
- 1. Create the main collaboration page at MeritBadgeDotOrg:Collaborationname. (See Starting a new page)
- 2. Create an outline on your collaboration page:
- Most collaborations have the following content: introductory overview text; Template:COTWs; a notice of the current collaborations; links to subpages listing previous collaborations and failed nominations; selection process rules; directions for nominating articles; the list of nominees; a list of the templates used by the collaboration; and a list of relevant collaborations on other projects.
- 3. Identify topical areas within the scope of your collaboration:
- A good way to do this is to copy the listings of Special:Whatlinkshere for the most important articles related to your project.
- 4. If possible, link to a sample article to let other Wikipedians see what the collaboration hopes to achieve.
- 5. Advertise!
- Create a collaboration notice template, and insert it at the top of the talk page of current or nominated collaborations.
- Post a notice at the Community portal to alert potential new members.
- You could also notify any appropriate Wikiproject
- Look at the history of contributors to articles that fall within your collaboration's topical area. Many of them might Collaborate!
- See Category:Collaboration templates for collaboration templates.
Most collaborations use templates to mark the current collaboration and candidates for future collaborations. General practice is to have the template marking the current collaboration at the top of the article in question while leaving the candidacy templates on the talk page. As talk page templates these candidacy ones should use the Coffee Roll format established at Template standardisation.