Italy has been a sad case of neglect and abuse on Wikitravel. Despite having a large Italian version of Wikitravel, and the fact that Italy is easily one of the world's top travel destinations, the country's articles have seen few regular contributors, and hordes of unmoderated spam (as well as other well-meaning, but clumsy contributions). Lately we have rather successfully de-spammed Rome, which was the single biggest task for the country. But much is left in neglect.
De-spam Italy's major destinations. (All those in the cities/other destinations lists, as well as the Amalfi Coast and others that contributors think of.)
Consolidate out-of-control ad-hoc regions (see example)
We already, I think, have shown that we have enough users with an interest in cleaning up Italian articles where I think this collaboration could be very successful. --PeterTalk 16:40, 5 August 2009 (EDT)
With the Olympics coming to town in six months, I'd like to see Vancouver and the other host city articles in tip-top shape. Hopefully, it could spur one of them, or perhaps Vancouver 2010 as a whole (once some content is added), to be DotM for Jan or Feb 2010. It would also be great if it helped push some of the Vancouver district articles closer to star status.
Stuff that I see needing work:
Manual of style review - A general review and proofreading would be good, but some specific issues for each city are:
add addresses and contact info for each venue, and the events that will be held there (available on the Vancouver 2010 website ); I can fill in the more local knowledge stuff like how to use public transit to get there
Add some pictures - Any good photos will do. Some photos I'd really like to see are a better lead picture for Whistler, something for Granville Island, anything for East Van and some of the downtown landmarks other than Canada Place (we've got lots of nice skyline and up high shots, but not so much of what it looks like at street level)
Not sure this is within the scope of a CotM, but check room prices on the hotel's website if provided. Vancouver's listings have been added at various points over the last six years so they're inconsistent and out of date. I've been trying to harmonize them -- standard room rate (no discounts) during peak season (July/Aug). The Vancouver/CBD-Yaletown, Vancouver/West End, North Shore and Richmond articles would be the most important ones to check.
For anyone who's familiar with Vancouver, write brief introductions for sections of the article that don't have one.
I'll fill in any areas that require local knowledge. For timing, I'd prefer Sept, Oct or Nov, so there's time to pull it all together before the Olympics start. Shaund 20:45, 15 August 2009 (EDT)
Support I think it's always great to polish up Olympic city articles prior to the event, and Vancouver may attract newcomers. I've never been there, so I don't know if I'll be able to do much, but I support the nomination. ChubbyWimbus 20:14, 18 August 2009 (EDT)
Support. It's good to have lots of tasks as this nomination does. I'll be happy to run imports of street maps from OSM (and cut down the junk to size so we can actually edit them). As Shaund expects, though, I'm not up to adding icons & key-related information to them ;) I'll have way more time to devote to the cotm next month, so hopefully it will work a bit better than our current, floundering project. --PeterTalk 19:31, 20 August 2009 (EDT)
Since my previous nomination didn't offer enough to do, I'll propose Iran. I've been reading a bit about Iran lately and think it is a very interesting country to improve—especially to the negative Western perception.
A decent article, but there are several big problems with it:
Buy — This section needs to be cleaned up & should include some things which are great to purchase in Iran.
See - The most famous attractions in the nation should be noted.
Pictures — There are just 5 pictures on this lengthy article. More quality pictures are needed to make the large blocks of text more attractive. Pictures of historical sites, mosques, the countryside, etc. The Tehran article has a few good pictures.
Regions — The country needs to be divided into appropriate regions. Of the other language versions, the Italian version has broken the country into Azerbaijan (north-west), Western Iran, Central Iran, Eastern Iran, Caspian Sea, & Hormuz regions, even giving cities/provinces in those regions. I'd probably add Baluchistan to that. You can use Google translate to help translate the text.
Update Map — After appropriate regions are created, the map should be updated to show those regions.
Move 'Other Destinations' content — The 'Other Destinations' section is filled with information that ought to be either moved to appropriate cities, or moved to a new (can't think of a name) section under 'Understand'.
Understand' — Iran has a very rich history and certainly deserves decent 'History' section under 'Understand'. Due to the Western (or at least American) perception that Iran is nothing but terrorists & anti-semites, we should probably add a 'Culture' section deriding those perceptions (from what I've read in articles/blogs, most Iranians are quite hospitable & friendly to Westerners...even Americans). There is some content about this buried in the 'Stay Safe' section...but that should be moved to the top to be more prominent. At the end, mention to see the 'Respect' section for more.
Stay Safe— This section has a lot of text...can be broken into sections or add a picture to make it more eye-pleasing.
Support. Iran can be a fantastic place to visit. Fascinating history, center of several empires that at certain times included most of what are now Central Asia and South Asia, plus large chunks of territory further West. Huge influence other other countries. Plenty of culture and artifacts: carpets, architecture, rugs, music, carpets, metalwork, rugs, woodwork, carpets, a long history of poetry, and of course Persian carpets.
Support It may also be useful to have some tasks for the capital city's page or some major tourist city pages, but even as it is, it seems very doable. Does anyone have any opinions about this for the August collaboration? Barcelona is not ready, and none of the collaborations seem to have much support (or comments). ChubbyWimbus 00:15, 28 July 2009 (EDT)
Neutral. I still think this is a risky nomination, since I'm not sure we'll have any one particular user with a special interest in the destination—who will carry the nomination on their back and thereby help keep the collaboration alive. I will commit to helping finish the regions discussion, and will take care of the map. --PeterTalk 16:22, 1 August 2009 (EDT)
There seems to be alot of contributors interested in Kyoto at the moment, and it's a big international destination with loads of visitors which increases the chances of luring new contributes to chip in, so maybe we could emulate the success of Rome with this one. Efforts to districtify the city is currently ongoing on the talk page.
Agree on district borders
Move listings to the appropriate districts
Scour flickr for cc licensed pictures for the new districts
Create a district map - nearly all major streets are plotted on osm.org, so creating one should be pretty trivial (I'll volunteer on that one, when my life hopefully calms down again soon)
Add general information to the main Kyoto page: Meaningful descriptions for local delicacies in "Eat", clean up "Buy" section, more information in "Drink" section, proofread "Do" and "See" sections (maybe add to them)
Provide descriptions and additional information for current listings (All of the formerly blank entries now have descriptions however, content such as phone numbers, addresses, prices, opening and closing times, and websites are still needed for many entries.)
Get each region article to at least "usable" status:
Kyoto/Arashiyama (More Arashiyama tasks: add listings to "Drink" section, more "Eat" and "Buy" options, info in "Contact" section)
Kyoto/Central ( More Central Kyoto tasks: Put current listings in manual-style format, More "Do" listings if any, "Contact" section needs content. Guide status is not far out of reach!)
Support As you said, a lot of the current contributors are familiar with this city and it's popular enough that random visitors should also be able to contribute. Do you think the districtification should occur prior to it being the CotM? At any rate, a concensus is close to being reached, and a map would definitely make it the more clear. ChubbyWimbus 09:49, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
Support, on the same grounds cited by ChubbyWimbus. My own view is that we should aim to lay down the borders and have the district sub-pages up by the time Kyoto is named CotM (in the hope it gets that far, of course!), so that collaborative work can focus primarily on the last three tasks (moving listings, adding district-specific pictures, adding district-specific content). That's just my two cents as a newbie, though; I'd be very grateful for veteran advice. --Diego de Manila 03:44, 26 May 2009 (EDT)
Support. I like the process of finding something people are currently collaborating and which has activity, and making it COTM. I think it will work well. And Kyoto is a great city that will benefit from a great guide. --inas 07:58, 26 May 2009 (EDT)
Support, and since they're still fresh in my memory, I'll volunteer now to districtify the lodging section. - Dguillaime 01:34, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
Kyoto was a wildly successful collaboration, boasting a full 285 edits, making it the second most successful collaboration after Rome (which, in fairness, had nearly 2x as many edits). This may be attributed to the fact that Kyoto was in much better shape to begin with, and because it also saw significant collaboration beforehand, in June. The most edited page was Kyoto/Arashiyama, with 72 edits, 69 was the next highest number for Kyoto/North; the main page saw 55 edits. All tasks were completed, despite some of them being a little beyond the scope of what a CotM can usually hope to accomplish. Having had districts drafted in June, the city was fully districted during the collaboration; amazingly, all the brand new districts were raised to at least usable status (and the main article to guide status); all blank or otherwise poor sections of the main article were well filled out; and a WT-style districts map was created. Kyoto is now likely ready for a DotM nomination.
The biggest weakness of this collaboration was the extent to which it was carried by only one contributor (User:ChubbyWimbus). This is not unique to the Kyoto collaboration—It has become increasingly clear that a successful CotM does require at least one especially motivated contributor (and the Rome collaboration was likely so successful because it had 3+), but still, it is desirable that the collaborative effort be sustained throught out the majority of the month.
Let's try to get another showcase article like San Francisco, Chicago etc. under the belt of the wikitravel community. I'm currently in the process of getting all the districts up to guide level status (it's also always nice to have a target to work against). And this means that we can get the targets very specific, and have something to work on that doesn't require too specific knowledge about the destination. I'd prefer March a something a little while of, to have time to finish - I'm current stalled since I have to get time to visit the northern suburbs, to get a buy shopping section finished, should get around to that after christmas is over and done with.
Proofreading/copy editing - I'm not a native speaker, and especially in my written English, I make stupid mistakes and occasional "Danglish" entries, so the districts could use some proofreading and editing. again, I'll be around answer any questions.
And some secondary tasks:
Lead article - I need help building the main article, as I've noticed this is definitively not one of my strong points (much better with specifics), I'll be around most days to answer any questions for anyone who doesn't know the city may have, just leave a message on my talk page or at sertmann AT gmail DOT com
Identify any missing entries - Anyone who is familiar with city, please comb through the article and districts and identify any missing entries, and just add them (i'll try to fill out anything missing from any entries, so even just the name of a place would be fine) or leave a message at the city/district talk page.
Identify needs for clarification/push for star. I'd like people to read through the articles and identify anything/any entries that needs to be extended/clarified for someone who doesn't know anything about the city beforehand, and anything you would comment as objections to a Star nomination/Destination of the Month, so I have a chance to address these points, before nomination.
(Hey, count those three edits I did in February  towards the results!) --PeterTalk 16:30, 4 March 2009 (EST)
Creating maps (unless the nominator is offering to do so) is a task to steep for cotm collaborations, and adding missing entries is very difficult for contributors unfamiliar with the location. The other three tasks are good, but can you think of any more useful tasks to keep us all busy? Aside from that, we don't have another cotm lined up for April, and you mentioned before that these articles were not ready—will they be? --PeterTalk 00:47, 21 March 2009 (EDT)
Well, er den rede? --PeterTalk 15:10, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
Nej, den er ikke :) trying to remember my loose ends on this, I think it should be perfectly feasible, to get this ready for next month, but Copenhagen/Amager, Copenhagen/Frederiksberg and Copenhagen/Vestegnen is still missing info in some of the more boring sections, and a day or two of exploration, now that spring is coming along, there is no need to put that off any more, as it should be quite enjoyable playing tourist in the sunshine. --Stefan (sertmann)Talk 15:21, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
Deleted the mapping part, as I found a method to do this, without the need of my broken linux box. --Stefan (sertmann)Talk 15:25, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
As a result of the depressingly low level of work done during this collaboration, User:Peterfitzgerald ceased work early on, and was too depressed by it to tally the results. This collaboration had potential. The big lesson, I believe, was that a CotM is likely to fail when it lacks at least one especially dedicated user, who will carry the CotM on his/her back if necessary, and thereby keep the CotM in the public eye, and attract collaborators throughout the month. Alas, real life conspired to successfully remove our most dedicated-to-improving-Copenhagen user during this month. --PeterTalk 17:05, 1 August 2009 (EDT)
This was a slushed destination of the month not too far back, and that discussion spurred the idea that the article should be split into districts by park (which makes a lot of sense). Similar issues were also discussed during its failed star nomination. I am hesitant to suggest that a successful collaboration could get the article to either of those featured statuses, since that would require a ton of difficult work, but it should at least set the guide on the right track for more dedicated users to achieve those goals.
Move listings to districts.
As far as is possible, add meaningful descriptions to attractions/rides.
Move all park-specific prose to districts (see the Get around section).
There is discussion about whether the standard to-scale Wikitravel-style map with overhead satellite-type accuracy is appropriate for park maps. If not actually creating maps, we should figure out what path a would-be resort mapmaker should take in creating one. There is already a map available to play with.
Price ranges are needed for all sleep listings. Looking those up can be a pain, but anyone can do one per day.
Listingify all listings. This is less important for attraction listings, but it will make it easier for wiki-illiterate contributors to join in the work in the future.
Note that WDW was collaboration of the week in March 2008. I don't know if that affects its suitability for selection here or not. On another note, price ranges should be easy because WDW uses its own categories for lodging that neatly divide them up (although technically they have four levels and not our standard three). Regardless of the details, though, some help getting the ball rolling on districtification would be most appreciated; I've outlined some of the major issues on the talk page (under Talk:Walt Disney World Resort#What is needed for star status?). LtPowers 11:54, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
153 edits, 62 to the main article, 39 was the next highest number for Walt Disney World/Epcot. More than that was accomplished, though, in discussion, where we resolved nearly every outstanding question and point of contention (with the question of how to display maps being the only one unresolved). We finished 4 out of 7 tasks (although lots of progress was made on the map question), which is a little disappointing. All in all, this was without a doubt a worthwhile and reasonably successful collaboration, in that it gave the guide (which was rather stuck) a huge push in the right direction, and it now seems reasonable that it could now be pushed up to dotm status with relatively little work (by addressing the remaining non-map tasks, plus at least one map). Any faults with this collaboration stemmed from the relatively small contributor base compared to, say, Rome. It's quite possible that this destination had limited appeal to certain possible contributors (although it did bring it new ones), and that should be something to keep in mind in the future.
Root out any remaining spammy hotel listings (I nuked this big time a while ago). We have way too many hotels listed for the central districts. This isn't something we've really had to deal with anywhere, and it's going to take some discussion to figure out how best to do it, but it needs to be done if our Rome guide is ever going to be readable.
I know this can get a bit city specific, but this city needs a major dose of love, since leaving it unattended have proved disastrous, for one of the worlds top tourism draws - it gives WT a bad name, since it's a very likely entry point for many guests here. Hope we can gather a team of 5 or 6 users to root this out over the course of a month, and maybe check the history logs for some good contributors and mail them for help.
--Stefan (sertmann)Talk 14:53, 5 February 2009 (EST)
Support. Good nomination. I think our Rome article may be Wikitravel's greatest shame. It's one of the world's greatest and most popular destinations, and it's one of our messiest and least useful city articles. I've got a districts map of the city center, and will upload it soon.
Comment. Before district borders are clearly defined, it's quite difficult for an average contributor to help with anything in the list. And I think we have only 2 or 3 people here able to create maps--which also help a bit in districtifying. This is why I started with listing street-by-street borders for Barcelona (but admittedly never finished yet). --DenisYurkin 18:20, 4 March 2009 (EST)
Don't worry, I'll be adding a districts map, with districts defined by street, in the next couple days. --PeterTalk 23:01, 4 March 2009 (EST)
What about giving lat-long coordinates to listings: (a) is that important within COTM; (b) is it legal to use them from Google Maps? --DenisYurkin 14:02, 5 March 2009 (EST)
This post was re-edited by User:Sertmann to create a coherent list
536 edits, 215 to the main article, 63 was the next highest number for Rome/South, not all of them relevant (naturally). This was a wildly successful collaboration—I would venture the most successful collaboration in Wikitravel history. Interest in the collaboration was sustained throughout the entire month, and enough momentum has been built up that valuable new contributions (and contributors) are continuing over into April. Virtually all tasks were completed (with the notable exception of writing a good prose section for "See" in the main article—a task unsuited for contributors with limited knowledge of the area). Districting and "listingification" proved to be tasks well-suited to collaboration. Surprisingly, so was the creation of overview regions/districts-style maps.
There is loads of great content in this huge city compilation, and (unlike most half-finished huge city articles) has an excellent district structure, but the districting job was left only half done. A CotM might be able to get the articles into DotM shape. Additionally, Wikitravel's Latin America coverage is pretty shoddy (especially outside Brazil), so it would be good to make this a flagship of sorts. Since the content is mostly there, it would be an ideal CotM—one for which contributors could mos one subsection of an article on any given day.
Finish moving listings to districts — there aren't actually that many to do, and some basic google maps reference should allow anyone to do five or so per day in about 15 minutes
Listingify all the listings — another task that anyone can do in small quantities spread out over the month. There are a ton of listings that need this, but doing so will make it more obvious which fields are missing.
Fill in basic details for listings (addresses, addresses, addresses) — another simple task when done in small doses by many contributors, but difficult for one person to tackle throughout so many articles
Replace moved listings from the main article with prose — here's the difficult part; I'll volunteer to do the heavy lifting
Scour flickr for more photos — another basic task made much easier when many people each do a small amount of work. Just take a glance over articles for interesting things, then search flickr for them.
I'd support it, looks like a solid Cotm. I don't know if I can help much, but I'd try. What month were you thinking Peter, Jan? Feb? Keep smilin,edmontonenthusiast [ee].T.A.L.K. 18:55, 22 December 2008 (EST).
56 edits in February, not all of them relevant (i.e., some vandalism & reversions). All said, though, that's a tolerable number compared to most previous collaborations (remembering that most previous collaborations lasted only one week). The majority of the edits came within the first week, while interest seemed to falter pretty quickly after that. The front page link appeared to attract a trickle of anonymous contributions throughout the month. Progress was made, but none of the listed tasks were completed. A special thanks to registered users who worked on this collaboration: User:2old, User:Fabz, User:PerryPlanet, User:Peterfitzgerald, and User:Vidimian. --PeterTalk 15:49, 4 March 2009 (EST)
As a follow up, I tried looking into this one night, but the district map was too inaccurate to use it to move the listings (atleast for someone who doesn't know the city), which is something we should have in mind - --Stefan (sertmann)Talk 16:18, 4 March 2009 (EST)