Working with BB was terrible
Interview with a Scavenger
To learn more about the Flea Market, it's a good idea to talk to some of the people who have done it. In this issue we interview Geggs, who runs Quote of the Day. He has two credited Flea Market Rescue to his name:
- Warren Ellis - Author of Comic Books, based on Warren Ellis, writer of comicbooks and other such items by Flatscan.
- Google Games, based on Googlewhack by DMK.
As well as co-writing Discworld Noir, an article that hopefully will make the front page soon.
Bluebottle: Would you like to tell about each article that you have been involved in rescueing?
Geggs: Well, first I'll run through the FM-sourced ones.
The original entry on Warren Ellis contained little more than a list of his works an a few biographical details. I was rather into Warren's work at the time, and had been for some years. I knew about some of his earlier works that weren't mentioned in the entry. So, I set about fleshing out the list, and providing more details about his various comics. Admittedly, it's about 10 years out of date now, but it was right at the time.
In the original PR thread for the Googlewhack entry, Bright Blue Shorts suggested that the entry should be expanded to include other games that can be played with Google. So when it dropped into FM I picked up that idea, and created the Google Games entry. Though I still made use of DMK's googlewhack for that section of the entry.
Discworld Noir, now, this was your idea wasn't it BB? We'd both played the game, and felt we could both help bring the entry up to the standard to get through PR, so you suggested a collabrative FM rescue. Had that ever happened before by the way, or are we pioneers1? So, you worked on bits, I worked on bits, we both re-wrote each others bits, re-ordered the entry a bit, and then released it to PR. Where, thankfully, it didn't get torn to bits.
Could I also ask for a number of related incidents to be taken into consideration?
Like Death's Head - A British Comics' Character, which was based quite largely on Death's Head - Freelance Peacekeeping Agent - an entry that I just happened to find while searching the Guide. The original entry had never been submitted to PR, and so is not technically a FM rescue, but it is a rescue from obscurity.
And Firefly - The TV series, which was based on Firefly, again not an FM rescue, but another find while searching through the Guide. The two entries don't actually share much in common apart from the subject, but the one did at least provide the inspiration for the other.
Finally, there was Arthur Dent and 'The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven' which was inspired by The Real Arthur Dent. Now that was submitted to PR, and I suggested that adding some detail about Arthur Dent might make the entry more interesting. When the author Elvised both Tufty and Lanza suggested I write the entry with the detail that I had suggested. So I did some research and wrote it, and the original PR thread was knocked back to entry. So it was a sort of pre-emptive FM rescue.
Now I know that none of these three really count as FM rescues, but I do think of them in as similar entities.
Bluebottle: Would you only rescue articles about subjects you know well?
Geggs: I'd say no. Okay, most of those I've rescued so far are on subjects I already knew a lot about, but I was merely aware of the existence of 'The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven', so I had to do some research to be able to provide some analysis of the contents. Also, all I know about the Schlieffen Plan is what is in the entry at the moment, so I'll have to find out whether it's actually right before I start doing any work on it!
Bluebottle: Have you approached a Flea Market Rescue any differently to how you write an article from scratch? Is it easier or more difficult?
Geggs: It depends on what is in the entry already, I guess. The Googlewhack, Warren Ellis and Firefly entries were little more than stubs, so I approached them as I would any other entry, and they were just as much work. The Death's Head entry, however, was fairly substantial to begin with, and only really needed a bit of editing to get it ready for PR. So that one was most definitely easier.
Bluebottle: Would you recommend doing Flea Market rescues to other researchers?
Geggs: Definately. I kinda look at entries in the Flea Market as those which failed at the final hurdle. The original author wrote an entry, submitted it to PR, but for whatever reason wasn't able to see the entry through the PR process. Then the great and good of Peer Review decided, in their collective wisdom, that the entry is not quite good enough for the Guide, but only just, because if it was completely unsalvageable it would be sent Back to Entry. So, the contents of FM are the entries that nearly made it, and just need a little push to get them over the top.
Bluebottle: Is there one that stands out as the most fun to write?
Geggs: Google Games. I just had a laugh writing that one. I threw a load of jokes in there to. If you're writing about something that is supposed to be fun, you might as well have fun writing it.
Bluebottle: On the other hand, was there one that proved to be the most difficult to complete, if so, why?
Geggs: Discworld Noir. Working with BB was terrible.
No, it wasn't. Honestly, it was fine. It was a bit odd though, because you had the editing rights on the entry, so could tell you what I wanted in the entry, but couldn't do it myself. I was more concerned about treading on your toes than altering the text of the original author. That made things slightly awkward, I guess, but not really difficult.
In all honesty the most difficult was probably the first one - Warren Ellis but I think that's just because I found it a difficult entry to write anyway. It all came out rather dry. But I wrote Google Games in the very next month, so I can't have been horribly traumatised by the process.
Bluebottle: When you write a Flea Market rescue, how do you decide what to keep and what to edit, and how much of a right do you feel that you have in making decisions about the article?
Geggs: Do you know what? I've never really thought about this before. I guess that must mean that I've never feel any restriction in changing the entries I've worked on. The original version of all the entries still exist in the larger guide, and always will, so none of the original authors' words are really lost. I suppose it's a qualitive issue - if the original author's work is good, then I'll want to keep it. If I think I can do better, I'll just extract the facts and re-write it.
Bluebottle: How do you think you would feel about being on the other side, about someone else making changes to an entry you had written, if someone tried to rescue the entry?
Geggs: As I say, my work will still exist onsite, so if someone else wanted to pick up an entry I'd abandoned and use it to create another, then I've got no problem with that at all. Not I'm planning to abandon an entry in PR, mind you. So I've got no intention of the oppotunity arising, but if did, then it's fair game, I reckon.
Bluebottle: How much revision do you think proper in a FM Rescue?
Geggs: I think I've already touched on this, but it really does depend on how good the original entry is. If it needs a complete re-write, then I'll completely re-write it. If it just needs a little editing to make it ready, I'll try to do as little as possible.
Bluebottle: Are there any questions you think I should have asked, or anything else you'd like to say?
Geggs: Here's a question "When did you last look through FM, and are you considering another rescue?"
And the answer: we've already mentioned 'The Schlieffen Plan' as being in my plans, and as for the last time I looked through FM - that was a couple of months ago, I think. But I'm having a look now that I'm thinking about it. The entry on 'The Sims' looks savable, as does Fireball XL5. Oh, I've just found The use of perspective and ‘deep focus’ in Citizen Kane - I'd need to have a good read through that to see what needs to be done there, but it's quite substantial already.
Though, if anyone else wants to grab them first, that's fine by me. It is a great and noble job to rescue entries from FM, to give life to that which lies dormant, to give them wings and let them fly. So go on, all you lot reading this, run to FM and see what you can save.
And that's all the questions answered, though not necessarily in the right order. I hope you can piece them back together into an structured interview.
Bluebottle: I'll see if I can do that - thanks Geggs for sharing your views and experiences of Peer Review with us, and we look forward to seeing Discworld Noir on the Front Page and The Schlieffen Plan in Peer Review soon!
Last Chance to Rescue!
Many articles have been in the Flea Market for up to and over a decade or more with no interest shown in rescuing them. Rather than let them gather dust for all eternity, the time has come for them to return Back to Entry. But before they leave the Flea Market for ever, the h2g2 community has one last chance to rescue them, as long as someone volunteers. All you have to do to is volunteer to rescue them, or argue why they should not be removed. You can let us know in the Flea Market thread, or in our Ask conversation.
All articles that have not had any interest by the start of October will be removed from the Flea Market for good, so this is your last chance to rescue them. The results will be announced in next month's Super Market!
|Article||Author||Flea Market Discussion|
|Computers in schools||Cubix||Discussion|
|An article focussed on Computers and the UK's National Curriculum around the years 1999-2002.|
|Kipp: Knowledge is power program||RedSky||Discussion|
|An article about schooling in Texas|
|Uses for outdated Guide Entries||Rotundity||Discussion|
|Discussion about what to do with guide entries|
|A Brief History of the Letter I||Captain_SpankMunki||Discussion|
|An article about one of the letters of the alphabet|
|Mac or PC - which is better?||Munch Dûnadan||Discussion|
|An attempt to answer that age-old question.|
So why not rescue one of these? Or your chance will be lost forever!
Edited Flea Market Rescues
This month we are proud to announce that three Flea Market Rescues have been Edited, bringing the total of Flea Market Rescues to 247!
- Bluebottle has written Mersey Beat - From Newspaper to Sound, a rescue of Mersey Beat by merseybeat1961.
Bluebottle has also rescued Jim Henson - Storyteller and Puppet Master, based on Jim Henson - Muppeteer, Filmmaker, Television Producer by Opticalillusion
SashaQ has succeeded in getting The Guy Paul Morin Case - a Canadian Wrongful Conviction to the front page, a rescue of Guy Paul Morin: justice fails by pyrotechnic4.
New Entry to the Flea Market
This entry has entered the Flea Market, ready to be rescued, since the last issue:
Flea Market Rescues Currently in Peer Review
These are the articles being rescued from the Flea Market that are currently in Peer Review. Why not help by reviewing the new version of the article?
Aricles in Bold are new entries which have been submitted since the last issue of SuperMarket was published.
Everyone who reads through and comments upon these articles helps to make it the best it can be.
, the Flea Market needs You!