Is it time to require registration to post on G2G?

+30 votes
403 views
Many anonymous users post questions to g2g, then disappear. Many times, volunteers here spend a fair amount of time researching and answering these questions. Anonymous postings prevent volunteers from following up. Registration also conveys at least a willingness to be more involved than just asking a question then disappearing. It's not clear to me that allowing anonymous posting provides any value to the wikitree community. And given the high percentage of non respondents, my sense is that volunteers will stop researching and answering anonmously posted questions, thereby eliminating any value to anyone.

Am I missing some other value of allowing anonymous posts?

Also pretty much every bulletin/discussion board I see online requires registration. So it's not an inreasonable expectation.

What do others think?
in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (767k points)

10 Answers

+17 votes
 
Best answer

I agree with you that the anonymous posts take time away from improving other things on here if we require them to register a lot of them would shy away from here. By allowing them to ask questions and by answering them along with encourageing them to join we stand to gain some possible new members who could add to our efforts. The key is to include a short sales pitch such as

"If you sign up with our totally free membership you will gain access to our already large database of information and find it easier to have your questions answered in the future".

  I think that by doing that we will not be wasting our time and could add to the value of those posts.

Another take on this is to find or create a profile on here answering their question and adding another incentive for them to join.

by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
selected by Paul Curran

Another take on this is to find or create a profile on here answering their question and adding another incentive for them to join.

Hi Dale,

There's actually a project designed to focus on things like but it's been a bit slow going.

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Integrators

Hi Eowyn,

It is hard to integrate answers properly if the "anonymous person" never replies with to the answer supplied & the integrator can't add the information on the questioners profile page. The best we could do is if there is an exisiting profile for the person the question is being asked about place the information there, otherwise the G2G answer appears to hit a dead end.

All the best

Billy
+9 votes
I'm with you, Jillaine. I shy away from anonymous posted questions if they take any significant time.

Regards,

Ann
by Ann Carmel G2G6 Mach 3 (30.3k points)
+10 votes
I'm inclined to think you might be right, Jillaine. I'll be interested to see if others post here with opinions.

One downside of prohibiting anonymous posts is that our members could miss out on information that might otherwise be gained from anonymous visitors. For example, there was an anonymous post on this question today: http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/104360/expert-needed-stumped-trying-reuben-harlow-smiths-parents

Raising the barrier to posting marginally decreases the number of people who will post. The difference might be small, but it won't be zero.

That said, we did prohibit anonymous comments on profiles. (Because of spam problems, not because of a decision.) We could look at re-enabling comments for anonymous visitors and disabling G2G conversations.
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

I reckon leave the anonymous posters be ~ its their perrogative to be annonymous and really its no skin off anyones nose. For those who respond to them with no conditions attached good on you! I for one although I'm hardly here anymore have no issue with answering annonymous questions. It is my pleasure :)

Please don't ruin wikitree with too many conditions - it may in the long run come back to bite you! I know for my part the politics and egos have almost put me off from time to time ... so lets not frighten people away by being too pedantic smiley And as you have pointed out ...

One downside of prohibiting anonymous posts is that our members could miss out on information that might otherwise be gained from anonymous visitors.

Raising the barrier to posting marginally decreases the number of people who will post. The difference might be small, but it won't be zero.

 

I agree.  And making registration a requirement could potentially lead to duplicate or at the very least many unconnected profiles.  Heck, maybe even bogus profiles.  

I don't mind answering their posts when I can.  It could lead to something positive.
+7 votes
I totally agree.
by R W G2G6 Pilot (259k points)
+8 votes
It appears to me that some (but not very many) anonymous posts are by registered users who accidentally posted after being automatically logged out. Requiring registration to post would eliminate those errors.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
That's true, Ellen.
+13 votes
I don't understand what difference it makes.  I enjoy doing the research sometimes and I don't really care who asked the question.

Also, there is at least one person who prefers to post anonymously and is full of helpful information,
by Maureen Rosenfeld G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
+7 votes
Someone contacted me yesterday saying they frequently get on G2G because they enjoy helping people with research. This person doesn't log in to provide this service. There may not be many like that, but it is a point to consider.
by Debby Black G2G6 Mach 8 (81.0k points)
+5 votes
I would like to see G2G registration, However, I am also concerned that new members when they first join Wikitree, would shy away from G2G registration at the begining of their first experience of Wikitree if the had to register for G2G, their first thoughts would be "what else do I have to join to experience this so called community". I thought we were trying to engage them no scare them.

''The thoughts are the writers opinions alone, all names, if any, have been to protect the innocent, and any verdict has been left to G2G members''
by Paul Curran G2G6 Mach 1 (15.4k points)
The suggestion isn't to have a separate registration for G2G; it's just to require one to be a WikiTree member to post (as opposed to posting anonymously). So registering for WikiTree would still be enough to post here.
My bad, I was on the wrong track and look where that got me, headingin the wrong direction

My Humble apoligy

Paul
I totally agree with Lianne, this is the road to follow.
+7 votes
I see nothing wrong with allowing anonymous posts because of the good that it can bring, as already pointed out in previous ansers.  In addition to answering questions, they also often offer additional information and/or let us know of errors in profiles that are here,

There is complete freedom here - members can answer anonymous requests for information or not, as they choose.

I also think Dale's suggestion for members to make a point of including a little advertisement extolling the benefits of membership whenever interacting with anonymous posters is an excellent one!
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (820k points)
+3 votes
How about a simple tag, so we know which questions are posed by members, and which are posed by visitors. This enables you to see their status, and decide how much time and effort you are willing to spend answering that question.

Always strikes me as rather odd that folk come on here seeking to trace ancestors and relatives, yet wish to remain anonymous, does seem like a contradiction.
by Tim Perry G2G6 Mach 3 (30.9k points)
All questions, answers, and comments already have the name of the person making the post.  If it's not a logged in member then the word "anonymous" is there instead.  Isn't that enough of a tag to identify who's asking (or answering)?

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