What is the proper etiquette for adding information to an open profile that has a profile manager?

+14 votes
I've seen people add themselves as managers to open profiles and merge those profile without a word to existing profile managers.  Should we at least leave a message that says we have information before we make whole sale changes to profile?
in Policy and Style by Living Harris G2G6 Mach 2 (22.1k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
Hi Michael,

I agree such things could be discussed first, or at least mentioned while doing.  It would be a good example of collaboration and a way to keep from ruffling feathers.

I believe only Leaders can add themselves as manager to a profile that already has managers, and even then only if it fits certain criteria.  Leaders are not perfect, but are most certainly working for the good of the tree... probably for a particular project.  They have been screened and educated, and receive ongoing guidance from higher up.  Sometimes they are correcting a large issue involving many profiles and are not able to contact all of the other managers who have interest.  It's understandable :)

Thankfully if you find anything amiss, you can defer to the sources and correct the information.  All changes are tracked so you could undo them.

Great question, great post.  Have a super day!

I'm curious to know who "screens, educates and provides ongoing guidance" to leaders. And who selects the leaders. Is there some place on the WikiTree site that explains the hierarchy? Is there a "Grand Wiki"?
Hi Tom,

This page tells about Leaders: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Leaders

Also, Abby Glann, one of our team members, is our Leader Liasion.  It's mainly she, along with support from the team, that helps educate and guide our Leaders.

"This page does not exist."

Hi Tom,

The full process for selecting and approving Leaders is not public information.  Candidates are nominated, vetted, interviewed, and offered the position if all the stars line up.  Other Leaders and the WikiTree Team are involved.  Team member Abby Glann, Leader Liaison, has the final word and is the contact person for Leaders and Candidates.

There is not really any hierarchy as we all play parts in this venture.  We are all Wiki-Genealogists working together.

There are some things on WikiTree that can only be done by people who have been approved to do so.  Only those who have qualified can work on Pre-1700 or Pre-1500 profiles for example, and only those who have signed the "honor code" can edit profiles.

Leaders have other privileges such as marking or un-marking profiles as Project Protected, adopting profiles that otherwise are not adoptable, and editing G2G posts for content.  There are more.  None of these "special powers" are for the benefit of the Leader themselves, but rather are there to enable the Leader to assist other members.

Education is provided in a couple of ways.  There are detailed "private"  Help Pages specifically for Leaders.  We are in close  communication with each other through google-groups and collaborate daily, discussing all things WikiTree.  New Leaders are often paired with experienced Leaders who can guide them.  When possible, Leaders attend the Global Family Reunion, RootsTech, or other educational group events.

The WikiTree Team are who you might consider the top-level if there is one.  They have the most access and control of the WikiTree system.  For privacy reasons, they are the only ones who can access every corner of WikiTree.  They make sure the website works properly, seek to improve functionality, protect us from hackers, market the WikiTree name, etc... the big stuff.  All to support the average person who uses WikiTee.

So maybe there are 7 basic permission levels on WikiTree right now:  Guest, Genealogist, Pre-1700 Certified, Pre-1500 Certified, Leader, Team.

Maybe there are 3 groups... Genealogist work on the tree, Leaders are Genealogists who support and guide the community, and the Team manages the website and general direction.

I hope this answers your question appropriately :)

5 Answers

+9 votes
I think the general answer is yes.  Here are some guidelines on that subject.  If they don't address your particular topic of interest, please post again with specific questions.

by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (576k points)
+10 votes
Should there be a corresponding expectation that the profile managers should know something about their profiles, and remove themselves if they don't?
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (650k points)
There should but without discussing it first how will you know who has the better information?
Also RJ until you do some research on the person in the profile you never know anything about them, and research takes time.
Shouldn't you research before creating a profile or linking one profile to another ?
That is true Helen, but sadly most new members have only poorly sourced and researched and do not know how to do the research. That was true even for me when I joined, and I am still learning after almost 3 years here. I research existing profiles on here every day to improve them and I am finding errors from early 2011 profiles that started off as a GEDCOM import long before I even heard about WikiTree.
+11 votes

I have no problem if someone were to edit a profile I manage If they have some source for their changes. There seems to be a general feeling that if you are the profile manager for a profile then you know more about that person than others, but that is not always true. I sometimes work on unrelated people and if the line looks like it has a lot of leads I do not set them free right away. There are many projects on WikiTree that involve working on unknown or unrelated profiles.  Communication prior to editing is always welcome but sadly not required.

by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
The problem also is that some sources contradict each other.  Until it's discussed how do you know which to use?  What if the change is to remove sources they don't agree with?
My problem is with changes and NO sources so there can be no discussion without them. and the original question said nothing about contradicting sources but rather if we should talk first before making any changes on profiles managed by others.

I agree, I have very little info about sources on my tree but have done extensive research from family histories and at the Houston Clayton Genealogical Library including census records, published genealogies for different states/religions, and published family histories. 

+10 votes
I would like to add that leaders can only adopt profiles 200 years old and older. Those profiles connect to many, many descendants.

Also, there are really a couple of different situations. If you have taken the pre-1700 exam, you will recall a lot of the answers you ask for pre-1700 profiles.  Most changes are to be made immediately, especially if in error or inadequate sources need to be replaced. Sources are required.

If a profile has a carefully written bio and sources, then care should be taken and I agree the manager should be contacted before changes are made. A note can be left on the profile.

If the profile has a GedCom biography, it is in the guudelines to replace this and no permission is needed.  

Sources like ancestry are often removed for better sources but they should not be removed it they are the only source and replaced with an unsourced template. They can also be left and other soures added if it is not pre-1700

We are a collaborative community and things are often changed or added by Arborists as they work through a list of changes to be made like merges.

But it is always best to notify any interested party before making changes in data or relationships. A note on the profile lets every interested party know and it is best to state the source at that time.

If someone is habitually changing your profiles without notice or sources, you might want to mention to them you would appreciate advance notice.
by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (287k points)
+10 votes
Michael , I notify every manager when I want to make a change. Sometimes I get a response and sometimes I don't. I very rarely get any communication when my profiles are changed. Very rarely does someone even state what the edit was . Then when I ask I'm told the person doesn't have time to leave a reason for the edit and doesn't remember what it was. Then I check all sources over again to see if everything still matches sources. I try to keep a small watch list I can check everyday and maintain. Because of lack of communication and collaboration.
by Anonymous Roach G2G6 Pilot (201k points)
I check everyday because of  that.  I never get responses when I ask why a change was made.  I check the changes and a couple times had to revert the profile.  One time a leader needed to step in because they changed everything, even the name and birth in formation.

I get that we don't own a profile but when some details are in dispute having someone impose their side of the argument just causes too many issues.

My issue is that ignoring each other is not working together which is what we are supposed to do.

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