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Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon

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Revision as of 00:32, 4 February 2010 by Hayford Peirce (Talk | contribs) (The partiers: Okay, I've done my dooty, pals, see ya again next month!)

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What's a Write-a-Thon?

It's a bunch of people getting together on a wiki at a particular time to do a bunch of writing. It's like an online party! Heck no, it is an online party! It's also an excuse for infrequent wikiers to show up and party hardy; to exchange ideas with people we might not "meet" otherwise.

But hey, why not show up in between the write-ins, too!


Write-a-Thons happen the first Wednesday of every month. It starts on Tuesday 1200 UTC, when it starts being Wednesday in New Zealand, and ends on Thursday 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Wednesday in Hawaii. Save the next month's date! Put it on your calendar! Set yourself a reminder!

Any new article you create, and any edit you make to somebody else's Write-a-Thon article during that time period will count, though to be a bona fide partier, you have to write your new articles when it's that day in your part of the world.

Our first Write-a-Thon took place Wednesday, August 1, 2007 and was considered a roaring good time--we had about 30 partiers creating something like 50 articles, and editing lots.

Read all about it!! Let's try this again

By popular request, we'll be trialling Write-a-Thon II, a Sunday session of the Write-a-Thon to accommodate those who work all week and have trouble making it in to the party room on Wednesdays.

Soooo--if you worked Wednesday, if you had a bad day Wednesday and didn't get to come to the party or didn't get to do as much as you would have liked, or if you would just like another opportunity to join in the fun, come on along. Starts on Saturday, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Sunday in New Zealand, and ends on Monday, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Sunday in Hawaii.

What are the rules?

Rules? This is a party! There are no rules!

Well, OK, maybe there are a couple rules:

  • We'll have a Write-a-Thon the first Wednesday of every month.
  • To participate, you only have to do two things: (1) start a new article (even just a stub will qualify, if not too short - and please remember to include the subpages template!), and (2) make a substantive edit (not just a copyedit) to somebody else's new article. Then you can list your name here as a partier. Until then, sign in as a porch-sitter, party-crasher, or total party poop.

Next month's party

February 3, 2010

The Play's the Thing
both the ones you act in, and the ones in sports

Write-a-Thon starts on February 2th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Wednesday in New Zealand, and ends on February 4th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Wednesday in Hawaii.
Write-a-Thon II starts on February 6th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Sunday in New Zealand, and ends on February 8th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Sunday in Hawaii.

The partiers

  • Aleta sends one thousand grateful thanks to this month's archivist and also thanks him/her for the formatting. She thought she had a hundred brilliant ideas, but seems brain dead and needs coffee first. Decided to start with a play on words. Who, exactly, *is* on First??? Aleta Curry 22:49, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • Suggestion: This month's write-a-thon should have been devoted to the charter and citizens writing in comments, additions, and ideas to it. Then maybe we can make some headway on something which should have been up and running more than a year ago (according to the original CZ timeline at least). Meg Ireland 00:02, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
      • For the record, I strongly disagree. Projects are projects, and that's what we have committees for. Parties are parties. Never mix business with pleasure,; or at least, never confuse business with pleasure. Aleta Curry 01:08, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
        • I always write for pleasure. If CZ was business I would ask for money. Yes we do have committees but a charter written by a committee without any input from citizens is doomed to fail. PS. I didn't know you were in charge of these monthly write-a-thons - I must have wrongly assumed it was open to any citizen. Meg Ireland 02:13, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
      • Not sure what you mean by all of this, Meg. Everything at CZ is open to any citizen, excepting possibly positions you have to be appointed or elected to. I'm the M.C. for the write-a-thons, that's all. Re: the charter, as far as I knew, everyone was invited to have input. I thought that was the way we did things around here. In any case, I'd much rather this discussion was moved to the charter talk page or the forum threads and I'd ask a CZ cop to do that, please. Thanks! Aleta Curry 03:23, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
        • If that's the case, count me out of future write-a-thons. I disagree with one person only making decisions on what should be written each month here. Meg Ireland 03:30, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
          • I had always thought that we take the ideas from the bottom of the page, after a consensus is reached? As to the Charter, it is a good idea to get people to comment. i will make an effort to read it in full and add my comments tomorrow. Chris Day 04:28, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
What's the hoohah, cobber? I don't understand a thing about the complaints in this thread. I *know* that supposedly there *might* *possibly* be a stated thread to join contributions together, but, to my knowledge, from being here two and a half years, that has been observed totally in the breach. I don't think I have *ever* written a WAT article that fell within the suggested guideline for that particular month. In other words, Aleta, or whoever, might state, somewhere, "It would be nice if we had a bunch of articles about Shellfish or Lady Olympic Skaters." And *I* say, "If I'm gonna write an article this month, it's gonna be about what *I* want to write about. And this month it's gonna be "Dr. Samuel Johnson and the Concept of Blockheads". (see And if they don't like it, they can delete the article and throw me out of CZ. Which so far, in two and a half years, hasn't happened. Hayford Peirce 05:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
There are playhouses, and playhouses, and then there are playhouses! Aleta Curry 10:26, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
If we get a playhouse it should look good too. I managed to find some good pictures on Flickr. Chris Day
  • Supten thought of playing some Cricket but found that apart from the game of Cricket, the other meanings playable with the word are yet unexplored! So he created this stub and to earn the partier's status, played with Aleta's Playhouse.
  • Daniel played around with the disambiguations for play and cricket and started play (ethology) and ethogram. --Daniel Mietchen 16:17, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Peter started on Nim, a simple but illustrative mathematical game, but may not have enough time to continue now ... --Peter Schmitt 19:41, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Another start with uncertain continuation: Games People Play. --Peter Schmitt 20:01, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Hayford put down his martini long enough (actually he won't be making one for another half-hour or so) to write a playful, ie, short, article about a tennis player from Australia named Adrian Quist that no one in the world remembers today except, perhaps, 20 million or so Aussies. He was a really great doubles player. The Tennis Encyclopedia article about him frequently calls him "Quisty" -- Aleta, is that really the case with Aussies of the time? After writing the Quisty article, then fulfilled the other part of the Partiers' contract by doing some editing to Aleta's article Who's on First?. Hayford Peirce 00:32, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

Porch sitters--article creators who didn't edit a new article

John decided to start Macbeth, then head off... John Stephenson 07:35, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Apropos of nothing, Lady Macbeth has always been one of my favourite characters to play. She's just so horrible! Aleta Curry 10:28, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Party crashers--article contributors who didn't create a new article

Rather late and missed the boat!

The shy ones, absent-minded profs, and other modest creatures

The total party poops

Special requests

Some say I have a short fuse (disambiguation), but, when PeterPaul asked if it should be "proximity fuse" rather than proximity fuze, I went off and updated fuze, wrote fuse (pyrotechnic) and fuse (electrical). Looking at proximity fuze, I started updating Jensen Engineering concepts. Edward Teller led me to do some updating on fusion device. I can't resist smiling when PeterPaul quoted WP about fuse vs. fuze -- and got it wrong.

Actually, this raises some interesting questions: I was thinking about getting into more depth in the fusing of explosive systems, and asked myself "self, while the information is out there if one thinks to look for it, should there be concern about giving the details of explosive tradecraft?" For example, a fuse-with-an-s is a burning or exploding cord that sets off loud noises, directly or indirectly. Now, since it looks like string or rope, people who don't know the correct technique may extend the fuse by knotting it as they would a non-exploding string. Let me merely say that doing so can cause the extended part not to be ignited, or for the burning to jump suddenly beyond the time delay. The correct technique is quite simple, but not obvious (I don't think). There's technique even in something as seemingly simple as lighting a fuse with a match (although it's better to use a purpose-built fuse lighter). In the sixties, a lot of commercial and military explosives handbooks were freely available. They aren't any more.

Where is the line between letting knowledge be free, and reasonable caution? In explosives, where is it appropriate to have information available to debunk conspiracy theories? Some of the 9-11 conspiracy theory people clearly have never taken a close look at setting a controlled building implosion, which involves a great deal of skill, material, and preparation -- including quite large quantities of materials that would be quite hard to conceal. --Howard C. Berkowitz 20:32, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Charter and constitution

Please take a look at Charter and Constitution and help to get them into shape for the drafting period.

That was not what I had in mind — rather, I thought that we should start/ improve the charter and constitution articles to provide background for the above. --Daniel Mietchen 10:29, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


It's a wrap!

Bonus point winners

Standing orders

Related pages

We had a special request for people to start stubs from the Related Pages of existing articles. A good idea which will help us to complete clusters.


Please take a look at Category:Need def and help to bring the number of items on that list down. You will also find links for this by Workgroups!

empty form

Official libations


  • Inaugural - beer!
  • September - champagne
  • October - we were refurbishing the bar and only had coffee!
  • November - made up for last month with more vodka than was good for us and plenty of rum.
  • December - eggnog and wine


  • January - Whisky and the Cocktail of the Month, a pharisee
  • February - schnapps and the Cocktail of the Month, the caipirinha (considered the national drink of Brazil)
  • March - port wine (which should probably live at port (wine), no? (Someone put that on their list, please....Oh, *someone* did--thanks, Ro) and the Cocktail of the Month, a Dead Aunt
  • April - Akpeteshie hot and fresh from Ghana. And cool shandies and spritzers if that took your fancy. Lotsa staggering around the bar after this party!
  • May - Was it champagne? No, we were dry, I think.
  • June - Were we abstaining yet again?
  • July - Sherry
  • August - pineapple juice Well, that's all right, I guess!
  • September - Given the music theme, i assume it was pop?
  • October - Cranberry juice. Some nut who shall remain nameless but whose initials are HP suggested Drano, (i.e. what cleans better than Drano?) but....
  • November - Spring water (Now Bruce just has to write it! Aleta Curry 04:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC))
  • December - Piña colada - get some light rum, mix it with pineapple and coconut cream. Instantly warp back to the eighties.


  • January - Bloody Mary - because, as Nietzsche said, we should only love that which is written with blood. Controversial enough?
  • February - Absinthe - updates last month, but doesn't it make one forget? (No. Urban legend, except that 50-percent-plus alcohol does do its mite)
  • March - Energy Drink - pump that caffeine into your system so you can burn through all those pesky definition subpages!


  • January - Hot toddy - for our friends in the Northern Hemisphere.

Write-a-Thon Theme Suggestions

New Suggestions and Discussion

  • "Hometown Heroes" - write about someone famous from your part of the world (either where you're from, or where you are now).
  • "Poles Apart" - find the spot directly on the other side of Earth from you, and write about someone or something in the vicinity. (Contributors on other planets, follow a similar procedure for whatever planet you're on. Contributors not on planetary bodies permitted to write about whatever they feel like.)
  • Fill in an item from this interesting list of natural objects. Or this interesting list of people.
  • All articles must start with the same letter of the alphabet, allowing for diacritics and transliteration (so Å, Á, and あ would all count if A were the letter, for instance).
  • Photo stubs - no minimum word length, no theme requirement, but must contain an image.
  • Choose a random number from 1 to 500, then go to Special:WantedPages and start an article on the topic currently at that rank.
  • How about an alternate weekend date, say the Sunday after the official Write-a-Thon, for those of us who spend our Wednesdays working at places that frown on extensive personal use of company computers? --Petréa Mitchell 19:15, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
There's a current forum thread on this-the proposal was to move the WaT to the weekend. Your suggestion might pose a good compromise. Aleta Curry 21:33, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I would be a lot more able to participate on weekends. My weekday workdays are 11+ hours.Pat Palmer 02:51, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
  • What will people most enjoy writing that could lead many different contributors to a short, but complete and interesting article that links to larger articles? Maybe "Events" could be a theme - pen-portraits of memorable sporting moments (see try, or notable historical events - including tsunamis, eruption of Krakatoa, comet collision with Jupiter, the birth of Dolly the sheep, freeing of Nelson Mandela, the sinking of the Titanic, assassination of Martin Luther King, the Mutiny on the Bounty, the discovery of the Americas? Can I suggest asking that every new article should have at least one external link and links to other articles here?Gareth Leng 12:31, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I like this idea. Further, definitions and other subpages are preferable, even for stubs. Chris Day 17:01, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Dare I suggest that even stubs can and should be non-orphans? Basic criteria: Howard C. Berkowitz 18:00, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Reachable from the front page or a core article/workgroup page
  • Link to at least three other articles, even if they are redlinks in a Related Articles subpages
  • Have at least three other articles link to them
  • I propose "childish things" as a topic. --Larry Sanger 15:51, 6 May 2009 (UTC) talkin' 'bout me again??? You can always tell who's got a toddler at home, huh, Larry? Aleta Curry 02:57, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Myths and mythology. Every culture and every field of study has them! --Joe Quick 15:36, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • School. Institutions at any level, government and non-government organizations, desk supplies, anything at or about school. --Joe Quick 20:42, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
See Drew for schools of fish. I've been working on madrassa. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:06, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Please take a look at Category:Developed Articles and help to improve items on that list.

You can also go for this by Workgroups:

Natural Sciences

Category:Astronomy Developed Articles · Category:Biology Developed Articles · Category:Chemistry Developed Articles · Category:Earth Sciences Developed Articles · Category:Mathematics Developed Articles · Category:Physics Developed Articles

Social Sciences

Category:Anthropology Developed Articles · Category:Archaeology Developed Articles · Category:Economics Developed Articles · Category:Education Developed Articles · Category:Geography Developed Articles · Category:Law Developed Articles · Category:Linguistics Developed Articles · Category:Politics Developed Articles · Category:Psychology Developed Articles · Category:Sociology Developed Articles


Category:Classics Developed Articles · Category:History Developed Articles · Category:Literature Developed Articles · Category:Philosophy Developed Articles · Category:Religion Developed Articles


Category:Architecture Developed Articles · Category:Music Developed Articles · Category:Theater Developed Articles · Category:Visual Arts Developed Articles

Applied Arts and Sciences

Category:Agriculture Developed Articles · Category:Business Developed Articles · Category:Computers Developed Articles · Category:Engineering Developed Articles · Category:Food Science Developed Articles · Category:Healing Arts Developed Articles · Category:Health Sciences Developed Articles · Category:Journalism Developed Articles · Category:Library and Information Science Developed Articles · Category:Media Developed Articles · Category:Military Developed Articles · Category:Robotics Developed Articles


Category:Games Developed Articles · Category:Hobbies Developed Articles · Category:Sports Developed Articles


Category:Eduzendium Developed Articles · Category:Topic Informant Developed Articles · Category:Technical Team Developed Articles

Future Theme Schedule

See also

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