Can someone please explain the relationship of categories to projects?

+13 votes
For example. I have ancestors who owned slaves.  They were Quakers.  They bought and kept slaves , educated them  and freed them at about 21 years of age. So is this project material or category. Then how much info should be added to the profile. I hear people complain all the time about long profiles or remove info because a profile is to long. Deed books list alot of info. Name of slave , age , children  , who has the care of them.  How much they were given in cash , stock or land to start their lives. Is this all info that should go on the profile of a slave owner or just slap a source on the profile and forget about it.
in Policy and Style by Anonymous Roach G2G6 Pilot (186k points)
recategorized by Keith Hathaway

Hi Trudy

The Category FAQ: What's the difference between categories and projects? might help clarify the difference.

Isnt this FAQ crazy confusing?!?!?

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Hi Trudy,

I think the FAQ gets straight to the point. Projects are the people working on the profiles, categories are the way we sort them, just like you'd sort yarn into bins or books on a shelf.

Projects: groups of people with a similar interest in a class of profile, Quaker ancestors in your case. The Project helps to develop guidelines for developing these profiles, goals for adding and improving them, helps others with their research in this area, gathers resources, and aids in the development of categories related to them.

So Projects are the people working on the profiles.

Categories: groups of profiles with similarities. Categories sort things so we can easily see what profiles share in common. We can put everyone who was a Quaker Slave Owner into a category for that. Maybe we want to break it down further into meetings, too so Quaker Slave Owner, XX Meeting. Everyone we find who meets those criteria we can put in that category. Then we can easily see that this particular meeting had a large population of slave owners working to emancipate slaves or this one had a particularly small one. We might also categorize their slaves by who purchased them, John Smith Slaves, if the had many come through so we can easily see all those he aided.

In both cases, anyone can create a project or a category, but discussion on creating them on G2G helps a lot. Something may already exist that you missed or others may have similar interests and want to help in developing your ideas.

Also, in both cases, a profile and a member can belong to many projects and many categories. It's very much up to the member doing the contributing.

To answer your other questions, a too long profile is often due to many merges and lack of consolidating information after the merge. If you are presenting information in a clear and concise way, then you're probably okay. Lists of sources at the end take up a lot of room but are absolutely necessary. A written biography with facts and citations is fantastic. If you feel that it's getting too lengthy because you've included a transcription of something, many people will put just the transcription on a free-space profile, especially if it can be linked to several people, like a husband, wife, children, and their slaves, for example. Then you don't have to type it out more than once and you can easily link to it if people want to see the full details, while just quoting important information from it in your biography.

If it were me, I'd add as much as you like, so long as things are cited. You can always ask for the Profile Improvement Project to take a look and make suggestions if you are afraid things have gotten too long, too. They have a category you apply to the profile you'd like looked at and they get back to you with suggestions:
by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (559k points)
selected by Carolyn Martin
Thank You Abby.  This is exactly the answer I would have chosen as best answer. Since I am the the person who asked the question and it best gives me would I need.

Then you don't have to type it out more than once and you can easily link to it if people want to see the full details, while just quoting important information from it in your biography.

I agree and we need to connect related concepts to a profile like

  • location
  • how life what at that time
  • good genealogy resources
  • maps available
  • good information about quakers.....

I think the best way of connecting information to a profile is using Categories

  • You get an inbound link (video) between the profile and the category page
  • You can easily navigate from the category to other profiles
  • On the category page you can easily add more information or add links
  • A category can be a subcateory to something more general concept or have subcategories with more information/profiles

    On most Wikis you also develop navigation templates so that you easier can navigate to related concepts see picture of History of Europe below and compare to a category structure....

  • Category links are nicely presented at the top of the profile easy to navigate

As we never knows what is interesting for the reader connecting profiles to concept that can interest them for further reading/make genealogy research easier I think that is what makes a good Wikitree profile....

E.g. yesterday I was on the movie The Danish girl that movie made me more interesting to learn more about the following "concepts"

I think its the same with profiles. A good profile starts a process where we would like to learn more about Quakers etc... and we can't have all information available on the internet on a Wikitree profile page so we need to link/connect information to make it possible to hyper read in an easy way.

Compare the concept cloud auto generated based wikidata

  • Picasso on Wikitree Picasso-1 - nearly no information
  • Picasso on english Wikipedia Pablo_Picasso - big article
  • Picasso on Wikidata Q5593 - all resources linking to Picasso object
  • Picasso auto generated concept cloud Q5593 based on wikidata


+10 votes
Use Free Space profiles for large amounts of information.
by Joop van Belzen G2G6 Pilot (129k points)
Thank you Joop.
Especially when that info pertains to multiple profiles. Then you can link to it from them.
Especially when that info pertains to multiple profiles. Then you can link to it from them.


Also it seems your profile is related to at least two projects. Quakers, American Slavery and depending where and when they lived, Southern Colonies.
Jilliane , thank you. Does adding a category automatically add a profile to a project.  Or does a profile have to be added to a project. I think that the fact Quakers brought slaves when they were young and sort of had a foster system until they reached maturity is very interesting . Also a history of last names was kept in the deeds. I'm finding that alot of info can be found in this area.
Trudy, I can't speak for all projects, but the projects I'm familiar with start with a project template; when that template is placed, it usually includes the addition of a category. For example, if you add {{pgm}} to a qualified profile, it will add that Project box as well as [[Category:Puritan Great Migration]].

If someone only added, manually, [[Category:Puritan Great Migration]], it would not be marked as a project.
Thank You Jilliane. That helps me understand.
+6 votes

I feel the question is bigger than just projects and categories. I would say how should we work together and how should we give the reader a good reading experience

And isn't the problem at Wikitree that we miss interesting profiles with a lot of text?!?!? My hope is that we get more "writers" on wikitree and that we can easily reuse the knowledge by connecting more profiles to this information...

Below my thoughts today on the subject what tools we have inside Wiki

A) Info that could be used on other profiles you could as said use == Free Space Profiles

A-1) If you would like to also have the text from the Free Space profile in the profile then write {{Space: Quakers story}} ==> the text from the Free space profile Quakers Story will be included

A-2) If you add a title at the top of the Free space page ==> you will have an edit link next to the included Free space profile ==> that you easy edit the included page see video

A-3) To see how the Free spage page is used I add a noinclude section with a Whatlinkshere URL on every Free space page I create ==>

''[ Inbound links]''

B) How to connect profile to different information sources?

For me genealogy is finding related information to people and learn more ==> you start with a profile and then starts navigate the information available ==> genealogy is perfect with a product like a wiki that is designed to help people navigate between information sources and hyperread.... BUT we need to add the information in a smart way so it can be "reused" is my opinion....

B-1) Status today inside Wiki use projects - my opinion

People add a project template ==> if you are interested in the subject then you can be part of that project and add your profiles to that project

B-2) Other possibilities god and bad with a wiki - my opinion

As said a wiki is created to make hyperreading easy ==> you have 

B-2-1) external links

==> [ my text] ==> you just link to something else

+ as a reader I find more interesting information
- we don't use better tools inside a wiki see below... 

B-2-2) Inbound links.

Inbound links are created with Categories [[Category:Söderala (X)]] ==> you connect the current profile to a category Söderala (X) with an inbound link


[[:Space:Lilla Dammtorp]] ==> an inbound link is created but your profile is not associated with the Free space page as it is with a category.. (that is the main difference between a Category and a Free space page still you can use  Whatlinkshere URL)

+ You create good information inside Wikitree that can be reused...
+ You connect profiles that are related to an information source ==> can give additional value
+ Using Categories ==> you get all the links at the top of the profile that sometimes makes it easier for the reader to find the related information.... 
+ Using Categories you also get an information hierarchy ==> easier for other people to navigate 

- there is no consensus in Wikitree if hyperreading using categories should be part of Wikitree or not 

B-2-3) Inclusion see above A-1 ==> you add the text on one place and include it on many profiles

+ no duplicated info and we reuse  

- maybe more complex for editors than cut/paste

B-2-4) Cut/paste all information to all profiles 

+ easy for the writer the first time (not when the information should be updated)
+ maybe more complex for the reader.... compared to links and inbound links....

I am right now participating in a training from the University in Basel about reading literature in the digital age and its no easy answer what is best is my feeling but as said a wiki is an excellent tool for genealogy and share/connect information....  


by Living Sälgö G2G6 Pilot (275k points)
Thank You Magnus.

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