One of the major parts of h2g2 is its Edited Guide. Anyone can write an article about anything, simply by following easy Writing Guidelines, and submitting it into Peer Review or the Edited Guide Writing Workshop. Sadly, not all of the articles submitted to these make it into the Edited Guide. The most common reason is sadly that the author Elvises – they leave 'the building', never to return to h2g2. The best of these articles are not abandoned to be neglected and lost for all eternity, but saved in the hope that someone will take it under their wing and resubmit it to the Edited Guide. The name of this treasure trove of abandoned articles? The Flea Market.
What is the Flea Market?
First of all, it is important to emphasise what the Flea Market is not. It is not a dumping ground for all of h2g2's flotsam and jetsam. The articles within the Flea Market are there by design. After an entry has been abandoned by the author, h2g2's Scouts only nominate the best abandoned articles to go to the Flea Market, the articles which they feel have the potential to interest another writer in rescuing them.
Articles in the Flea Market can be considered h2g2's rough diamonds, hidden treasures and tarnished silver. Covering a wide variety of topics, each articles has the potential of being an exciting, interesting read and making it into the Edited Guide with the rough edges smoothed over and given a bit of a polish, something sadly the original author left before being able to complete.
One of the joys of browsing the Flea Market is seeing the wide variety of topics and writing styles contained within. It is a good way to see how different people have approached writing something for the Guide.
What is in the Flea Market?
The Flea Market, like the Edited Guide itself, contains a wide assortment of articles on almost any imaginable topic.
Many are about Places. Have you ever been to Aberdeen, South Carolina, Newport, Monmouthshire, Lubbock, Texas, The Yorkshire Dales, Bunbury, Australia, Macedonia or St Petersberg? These places, and many, many more from all around the world have entries awaiting rescue in the Flea Market.
And much, much more!
We would need hundreds of paragraphs to begin to list the different topics contained in the Flea Market. Articles on Books and Bands, Hobbies and History, Films, Food and Philosophy, Games and Geography. Whoever you are and whatever you like to do, chances are there is an article in the Flea Market that covers somewhere or something you know, and can rescue.
How You Can Help
There are many, many articles in Flea Market that are currently neglected but with a little love and tender care, may well find their deserved place in the Edited Guide. If you spot an Entry in the Flea Market that you'd like to take on and finish off yourself, here is how you rescue it:
- Firstly post to the relevant Conversation thread in the Flea Market to say that you wish to rescue the Entry or Entries that have caught your eye.
- Visit the Personal Space of the original author and post a polite message there saying that you found their Entry in the Flea Market and would very much like to finish it off for them, providing the relevant link. Ask them to drop you a line should they return to H2G2.
- Visit the existing Entry, and copy it into a new Entry. Add the original author as a Researcher on your copy, using the 'Edit the Researcher List' section of the 'Write / Edit an Entry' page. Every Researcher has a U-number, and you simply need to type that number into the 'Researcher List' section and saving when creating your new Entry.
- Post a link to your copy of the Entry in the relevant Flea Market Conversation thread below, and invite any comments. When you think the new version of the Entry is ready for Approval, put it into Peer Review by clicking on the 'Submit for Review' link, selecting the Peer Review forum and providing links to the original Entry and any other Peer Review threads. Ensure you also leave a note on the Flea Market thread concerning the rescued Entry, along with the A-number of your rescue and a link to the new Peer Review thread.
Why not browse through all the Flea Market and see if there are any articles that take your fancy?
Flea Market Facts
At time of writing there are 10,383 Edited Entries in the Guide, and fewer than 500 entries in the Flea Market. There have also been approximately 250 Flea Market Rescues. This suggests that h2g2 has been overwhelmingly successful in getting articles into the Edited Guide in the first place, and almost third of articles in the Flea Market get rescued. This proves how valuable the articles in the Flea Market are.