Genealogy Wise

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Here are some suggestions based on my few days on GW. Feel free to sling dirt at me! ;-)

1. The front page search function is great, but the results are a bit hard to dig through. It would be nice if the results were neatly tabulated as Members, Groups, Comments, Forum Posts, Blog Posts, etc.

2. The entire site should be indexable by Google web crawlers. Not sure if this is currently happening. I realize the site has not been around long, so Google might not have fully indexed the site. A current search of google looking only at only seems to show groups and member pages being indexed. I think the more usable data will come from comments, forum posts and blog posts about particular surnames, areas, etc. i.e., Google should be driving users to GW when a surname is matched.

3. Don't show as many groups at the top of the main page. In fact, show the blog posts and forum posts at the top and reduce the size of the groups page. I don't think it's necessary to see that many groups on the front page. Perhaps have a group-only search box in that group box. I always find myself scrolling down to see the latest forum posts and blog posts.

Just my $0.02.

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Comment by Stephen Garnett Cox on July 17, 2009 at 5:15pm
Good point John. My twisted view of the world might not satisfy all. Maybe it's best of the front page has some customization options.

It will be interested to see how far down Google indexes the site. I think that will have a lot to do with the continuing growth and success here.
Comment by John Newmark on July 17, 2009 at 3:02pm
The #1 and #2 hits on the google search right now that you link to are blog posts. (Chris Dunham's posts on Patrick Dempsey and Jeff Goldblum) so it is clear that blog posts are being indexed.

Personally, I am much more interested in the groups than I am in the forum posts. The forum is so chaotic since there are no categories that I don't find it worthwhile much to go there. I'd much rather go to a group where I know I am interested in what they are discussing.

I subscribe to all the blog posts in a news aggregator (Google Reader and Bloglines are the most popular) - so I have no reason to see them on the main page.

Of course, everybody's preferences are going to be different, so GW is probably right in highlighting each section of the site equally.




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