How can we make pages easier to find, & what can we do with profiles not connected to others?

+5 votes

After merging the false parents of one person into their supposed "son" recently, I received an email explaining not to do this and was sent a link to the (Recycling WikiTree IDs) page.  I did not know this page existed - in fact, I've searched for it many times.  I think the name of it kept me from finding it.  

I search for WikiTree help by putting a topic into a search engine with the word "WikiTree" included.  There are so many different topics that are and need to be covered by WikiTree that I can't find them any other way.  I don't normally think of trying to find a way to get rid of unneeded profiles as recycling, and I call each page a profile, not an ID.  Should this document's title be rewritten so that people like me can find it, perhaps including at least one phrase such as "deleting WikiTree profiles"?  

The profiles I was trying to find a way to discard of properly appear in a part of my genealogy where I am the only person who has this group of ancestors on WikiTree, and it's not likely that anyone will ever be able to connect to the profiles in mind.  It also seems to me that unconnectable profiles make life "messy" for others, particularly during a Connect-a-thon.  I was under the impression we only want profiles on WikiTree that we can connect to the main body of profiles in some way.  Is there a place on WikiTree that profiles that are not likely ever to have a connection with others can be collected, possibly with a special "disconnected" sticker to place on them?  I see there's a place for IDs with the last name of Unknown.  

It did help me to learn that what I did corrupts both the change history of the profile and damages how Google indexes WikiTree.   Therefore I plan not to do that anymore.  

in Policy and Style by Bertram Sluys G2G6 Mach 3 (33.3k points)

3 Answers

+3 votes

Go up to the dropdown menus top right.  Click on the one called 'Help' and scroll down to 'Help Index'.

The Index is unfortunately not very comprehensive; however, on the right is a small box where you can search for any text.  For instance, search for 'delete' (without the quotes), and every Help page which has the word 'delete' in it will come up in the results.  Say you searched for 'unresponsive' - and every page with the word 'unresponsive' on it will appear in your results.

When it show you the results of your search, you will first have to scroll down past 3 or 4 Google ads.

by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)

And we don't just want profiles which will easily connect to the main tree.  We want all profiles.  Some will connect easily, some will be harder, some will be harder still. But that doesn't mean we don't want them.

Each profile (yes, WikiTree calls them that, too) has a Wiki-ID attached to it.  Yours, for instance, is Sluys-6.  If you recycle a profile, you recycle the Wiki-ID attached to it.

Thanks, Ros.  That helps a little.  I looked down the list, and found I still couldn't find anything on deleting profiles (as in, don't do it).

Don't look down the list.  Use the little search box on the right.  Remember what I said in my previous post?

The Index is unfortunately not very comprehensive; however, on the right is a small box where you can search for any text.  For instance, search for 'delete' (without the quotes), and every Help page which has the word 'delete' in it will come up in the results.

I just searched for 'delete'.  After I had scrolled down past the Google ads, the SECOND item was
Help: Deletion FAQ

I went there, and it says "We don't delete duplicates, we merge them."

These weren't duplicates.  And I used the little search box.  If I hadn't recognized the page already sent to me, I wouldn't have known it was what I was looking for.
I'm with Bertram on searching for help pages. Neither the help category nor the help index is helpful, in my many years of trying to use them. I go to google and enter

Wikitree help subject

where "subject" is the help text I'm looking for. I have found I do not need to use in the search string.

I get what I'm seeking 100% of the time.
Why open yet another tab to do a Google search, when there is a Google search box already on the Help Index page? And because you see ads on it, it probably helps WikiTree financially.
Ros, my problem with the Help index is that I didn't find it on my own.  You had to direct me to it.  I was wondering if WikiTree had something like that.  Now that I know where it is, I will probably use it in some of my searches.  But it's actually easier to do a Google search from the general internet, and I sometimes get information from G2G discussions that way too.  Plus, every time I search from a search engine WikiTree's documents get put higher on that search engine's list which means people who don't have an account on WikiTree get more exposure to it.  

One problem is under the 5 search categories there are 82 sub-categories. And I'm likely to guess wrongly what many of the sub-categories mean.  If, for example, I wanted to search out a topic on WikiTree, if I do it from WikiTree I would expect to go to "find" and then "search" under that. That brings me to a search for names, not topics.  If I'm dedicated enough to keep searching, I'll eventually find it under "help" and then "help index".  But it's easier either to use something else to search with or else give up at this point.  I do think it's important to keep the number of sub-categories - they're all helpful. But the sheer number of them is... well, overwhelming.
Ros, I have not found the search box on the help index to be helpful. I don't know why it works differently, but since I get 100% positive experience using google search the way I do, it is totally worth opening up a separate tab.
Then I'm afraid it's a matter of you and I searching in different ways.

If I search the database (for names, dates etc) I click on Find-Search.

If I search for topics to Help me navigate the website, I always go to 'Help'.  Not just on WikiTree, but absolutely any website about anything.  Sometimes you have to scout around for it.  I have even found the Help link in the footer of a page!
@Jillaine.  How sad that you do not find the little box useful (no sarcasm intended).  I find it quite the opposite.  You just put one word in there, and up come *all* the pages with that word in.  You don't even have to put in a whole sentence.  But still - different strokes for different folks. :)
+1 vote
Hi Bertram

regarding your question of our wanting to only create profiles for people who can be connected to the overall tree, that is not accurate as far as I know.  There are several profiles in my part of the world that were created, whose parentage and exact place of origin are unknown, but they did come here and had an impact, I am referring to clergy mainly.  They are mostly under project management.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (462k points)
+2 votes
While WikiTree seeks to connect as many profiles as possible, some will not be connected.  Profiles in the Disproven Existence project are by intention disconnected from all other profiles, but we retain them so that others won't inadvertently re-create them.

And most profiles earlier than the year 700 probably should not be connected because reliable sourcing for the connections don't exist and much sourcing that they are based on is legendary.  Many are connected now, but as the slow process of researching and improving profiles continues, it will be felt that they must be disconnected.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (378k points)

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