Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

I have noticed several people who have their profiles set to private or their comments moderated. This is always a bit amusing to me because it sort of defeats one of the greatest tools and advantages of joining GenealogyWise and that is the ability to make connections and thereby expand your research or break down a brick wall.

On general sites such as My Space or Facebook (both of which I am a member), I certainly understand setting your profile to private, however on GW, where everyone here is a genealogist to one degree or another, it boggles my mind.

Using the groups as an example, there are over 3000 groups now. No one could possibly visit each group to see if they wanted to join or not. Well, I guess you could if you had nothing better to do and lots of time on your hands, but I'd rather spend that time researching or creating graphics to use here.

So, the next best way would be to type in the surnames you were researching and see if a group has been formed for that name. Ok...cool and easy. But what about the groups which are more specific to occupations or locations?

I started the group "My ancestor was a Preacher", because I have several ancestors who were preachers, ministers or circuit riders. Or how about the "Sheriffs" group for ancestors who were Sheriffs, Marshalls, Deputies, etc? Would anyone think to do a search for "Sheriffs"? (Probably only as a surname.)

If a person is experienced with research on the Internet, they would probably know to type in different words to see if a group had been formed for whatever they were needing, beside surnames. Take for instance, Footnote. This is a great site for researching documents (or that is mainly what I use it for), but the search engine they use is a bit awkward for me and I thought surely there is someone who has mastered the site and could help me and others navigate through it. To that end I created the "*footnote users" group. But would you think to search for this group if you were new to GenealogyWise or if you were a new or intermediate researcher?

So, when I visit the newest members to say "Welcome" to GW or to add a "Happy Birthday" wish, and I come across a private profile, it causes me to wonder if they really understand the power and potential of this site?

GenealogyWise is not just a wonderful social networking site for people who share the hobby or profession of genealogy but it can be the vehicle to break down those long standing brick walls, connect distant relatives who never knew about one another and a great source of history not found in the books.

For me, this site is best used when we are all buzzing around at once, like those new Sprint commercials advertizing the "Now Network G4".

I mean, really, why join a genealogy site where sharing information is a key, just to close yourself off from potential friends, family and new information?

Just my:

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Comment by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on September 1, 2009 at 7:25pm
I'll put that two cents in my pocket, Sherry.

Katie
Comment by Glenn Roy Browne on August 16, 2009 at 11:28am
Sherry, I agree with you and your 2 cents. I tried to join a private surname group a number of days ago. It only had the creator as a member. I have not been accepted yet. You think they would be very happy to increase their membership by 100%. Perhaps they are a numbers person who is trying to create the largest number of groups. Who knows, who cares. Her is my two cents worth on a similar topic. Why join a Social Network and then post your photo and NEVER post one single comment or word. I'll never understand that one.
Keep up your good work. You help make up for the ones that are a woodchip on the sea of life. No goal and going nowhere.
Comment by Sherry Hightower on August 14, 2009 at 9:08pm
Many good points GeneJ. One way around the limitation at present (in my mind) would be to create a public group and then as people were identified, create a private group. Not really a true duplicate since the information in the private group would not be the same as in the public group.

Another solution, although would pull you away from GW a tiny bit, would be to exchange personal email with whomever you wanted to share specific and private/personal info with.

I like the idea of having a private section to your profile or page..like a secure chat room only those invited or approved could enter.
Comment by C. Clinton Hawthorne on August 14, 2009 at 7:33pm
You also for to mention officer of the court. Lawyer. You mention the field of law in blog. Try with the name Smith. What was their trade before it was drop.
Comment by James G Brown on August 14, 2009 at 5:33pm
Maybe if this site gave you the choice of editing you privacy choice (the sign up says this is not changeable once you sign up) it would be easier for folks to use the pages. Since I hope to add a lot of detailed data for other descendants it would be better to know who is sharing the information.
Comment by Terri O'Connell on August 13, 2009 at 1:50pm
I agree with you Sherry, how can we help each other if we keep everything private.
Comment by Christine Gibbins on August 13, 2009 at 1:18pm
Hi Sherry,
Yes I am in full agreement with you, this will only work if we all share!!! I was very suprised to find the otions to keep things closed up.

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