Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Please answer three questions to get this thing started:

1. What is the most important objective of the group(s) you have created on GenealogyWise?

2. What do you think is the promise of GenealogyWise that will make it succeed where other social networks have not in bringing genealogists together?

3. (Dream with me here) What is the single feature you would most like to see as part of GenealogyWise. "It would be cool if we could . . . "

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Replies to This Discussion

Greeting to all! And thanks to Jim for starting this discussion. While I am not new to genealogy, I am new to being a Group Admin, so having this group to learn from is wonderful! In response to your questions . . .

1. Sharing information, learning, providing moral support when needed, and generally connecting with others interested in the same topic or families, whether they are possible relatives or not.

2. Everyone on this social network has one thing in common -- genealogy -- and that focus will provide the freedom to stretch out and use the entire network for that purpose. The other social networks allow for the subset interest groups, such as genealogy or anything else someone wants to set up, but the emphasis there is on the "social" part and it is easy to get distracted with other interests.

3. I'm thinking it would be cool if there was a centralized, categorized, indexed and searchable database/file location where we could move what we, as group admins, determine to be essential information to and which would become a repository for all to access (but maybe just group admins to update?). For example, links . . . almost every group is going to have links to information/sites, etc. posted in comments and discussions. Many of those links will be posted in many groups. But it is very quickly going to become cumbersome, if not overwhelming, to read through all the comments in order to find the link you remember someone posting so many moons ago (like on the existing RootsWeb, USGenWeb, etc. discussion boards). If there was one place that we could put this information, or check to make sure it is there already, then that would save everyone a great deal of searching, which would save GenealogyWise servers a great deal of system load during those searches. The same thing could be done for ancestors as individuals and family lines. I remember spending hours combing through all the messages on Rootsweb within a particular family/name group, searching for any leads on my own research. This could be how this network differentiates itself from the others, and provide the organization that I think others in this group are sensing is needed.

Thanks again for being there, and listening!
I flirted with the idea of removing the Comment Wall since it is so cumbersome to go through looking for the needle in the haystack. But I wasn't sure what to do with the comments that had already been placed there. (Formatting - and links - are lost when you copy and paste into a potentially new discussion thread.) And I think some people may prefer leaving a comment to starting a discussion thread.

But starting a Discussion thread entitled "Links" or something similar creates a place where you can find the links quickly -- and where the group member knows to mention new ones they find.

I was also considering taking a cue from my college days back on Usenet and create a group-specific FAQ.
I remember Usenet! And you're right . . . there were a lot of good lessons learned from it.

Thinking about it, perhaps the Comment Wall should be considered more of an Introduction Wall. It seems to me that it is a good place for members to introduce themselves as they join, but as you say,since things have already started, maybe that's another Discussion thread now.

Am I correct in assuming, at this point, that since we are involved in this at the ground level (or 1st floor), we, as Group Admins have the challenge of making formative decisions that could make or break our individual groups? Should we try to come to some consensus agreements (maybe even start our own thread?) on "Best Practices for Group Admins"?
Gene,

This is an excellent concept and one I have personally spent some time with. AniMap by GoldBug and other place-name authorities could really help here. Google Maps and Google Earth are also working on historical projects. With so much happening, we are certainly going to be able to integrate into these services to help with place names and how they have changed over time. Indexing photos by name, place, and data also makes a lot of sense.

Thanks Again,
Jim
1. What is the most important objective of the group(s) you have created on GenealogyWise?

A community of Users of a Genealogy Program. Users helping other Users. A place to share experiences and to help How do I do ....


2. What do you think is the promise of GenealogyWise that will make it succeed where other social networks have not in bringing genealogists together?

Perhaps to provide tools to help manage our Group. I have started a Discussion on one such request.



3. (Dream with me here) What is the single feature you would most like to see as part of GenealogyWise. "It would be cool if we could . . .

To provide more Text on Emails that are sent from a Genealogy Group to the Group Members. We only see what someone posted a message on the Group page, or a Discussion Reply. The text or a summary of the reply is Not there. I have to go to the Group to See what was posted.

One step further, not only does it not provide a summary, IF I do click on the link in the Email, I am NOT taken to the specific Reply involved. I have to Look around the Discussion to find that reply.

Thanks for allowing us to answer these questions.
1. Objective: Sharing information/acquiring new information locations and correcting genealogical errors of the past. My groups are all pointing to my 100% English ancestry (3 Canadian born ancestors all have English ancestry). My Blog was attempting to do that by my sharing my daily thoughts on my genealogical research.
2. GenealogyWise brings together in one social networking site a world wide group of researchers looking at particular names, particular places and particular time frames. Its growth rate has been quite phenomenal. The Guild of One Name Studies had an advance notice so that it was possible to set up our one name studies in advance of the launch of the website.
3. Need to dream a little more. Right now I am pleased with all the facets of GenealogyWise. The ability to provide all of the links in such a straight forward manner is very handy.
1. What is the most important objective of the group(s) you have created on GenealogyWise?

I started a group because there wasn't one:) Hertfordshire Genealogy.
I think there should be a group for every county / canton / arrondissements etc or at least sub-groups for counties / cantons / arrondissements etc. under the country.

2. What do you think is the promise of GenealogyWise that will make it succeed where other social networks have not in bringing genealogists together?

I think it will succeed, as it's Genealogy oriented, whereas the other social networks are more generalized.

3. (Dream with me here) What is the single feature you would most like to see as part of GenealogyWise. "It would be cool if we could . . . "

have non-duplication of groups, have the database reject any duplicate names by not having case sensitive titles i.e. Group = group= gRoup = g r o u p etc. I haven't actually come across this on GW, but other networks have this problem.
I'll send you more suggestions as I come across them.

Al
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
1. To increase the quality of genealogical research and to move genealogists toward family history and social history.

2. IF GW ever gets organized in a major way, as GenSeek promises, by piggybacking on FHLC/LC localities and headings...

3. See my discussions about the GW niche, categories, rankings, professionalism, etc.
1) I am still SOOO clueless about this whole topic of online social networking. It's not something I enjoy and the only reason I created pages on FaceBook, GenWise and the others is because several of my readers (and my kids) badgered me into it. That said, my most important objective was to get folks to stopped bugging me to create a space on GenWise. Sorry, just being honest.

2) Hopefully, serious genealogists will gravitate to this site and we'll be spared from the childish and pointless posts that so overwhelm the other sites. However, I see that several of the groups of which I'm a member provide little substance, no movement, just a place for like-minded researchers to sit quietly. Not sure why those groups were even created ... they seem like little more than rest stops. My group (Got Genealogy?) isn't much better 'cause I don't really know WHAT I'm supposed to be doing. I've posted a few discussions and have gotten some interesting responses, but other than that, why have a group at all, other than to drive them to my Web site? Am I missing something here?

3) It would be cool if we could spend more time doing research and less time doing social networking.

Okay, so I sound like a grinch, but I much prefer to be in the trenches digging, online, through Ancestry.com, Godfrey.org, several of my favorite vital records Web sites, the Canadian Archives, etc. To have to spend so much time updating my blogs, my various groups and pages takes away from my research time. I don't want to be anti-social, but I have so little time for research to begin with ...

... sigh.
1. To bring attention to my BOXALL (and Variant) One Name Study. Even though the Study was begun about ten years ago there still relatively few who know about the study.

2. With the rate of growth GenealogyWise has already had and the fact that it is restricted to Genealogy there is no reason to hunt for someone with ideas and helpful advice, it will all be in one place and easily accessible.

3. I noticed one comment that was to have a way where groups aren't duplicated; for instance my group begins with the name BOXALL but includes all the many variants that are around today: BOXELL, BOXWELL, etc. are just two of the variant spellings that are to be found. It would be redundant to have a group for each of the spellings when the One Name Study incorporates all of these and more.

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