Would you use a tag browsing tool? May create one for Volunteer Coordinators.

+15 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

Today Erin and I were talking about the still-developing Volunteer Coordinators Project.

The project has been going since last year, but it's been relatively small and its role has been limited. We started it when we introduced the requirement that if you're adding pre-1700 profiles you need to be contact with the appropriate project, if there is one. Since we were making this a requirement we wanted to make it easier to do. The Volunteer Coordinators Project was set up to make personal introductions between new members and project leaders.

Last month, when we started having all new volunteers enter the surname/topic tags that they're interested in, right when they volunteer, it opened up a lot of new possibilities for the Volunteer Coordinators (can we say VoCos?).

It's now infinitely easier to know what projects a new member might be interested in. That means a VoCo can do much more to proactively reach out to new volunteers and make suggestions that would get them more involved in our genealogy community.

We're still trying to figure out exactly what this will mean for the VoCos and what that project will become. Ultimately, I think the VoCos could become as significant as Greeters and Mentors, and parallel to them. The third leg of a stool that supports new members.

To make Volunteer Coordinating a little easier, we're thinking about a new tool. I wanted to mention this here because it might serve a variety of other purposes as well. Maybe you'll have ideas for what it should be.

Basically, it would be a tag browsing tool.

It could list all the tags that members are following along with some or all of the following:

  1. Number of members following every tag.
  2. Number of G2G questions with the tag.
  3. Number of profiles with the tag as an LNAB.
  4. Whether or not there is a project associated with the tag.

You could resort the list on any of those, or browse the tags in alphabetical order.

You can already see the number of members following a tag and whether it's associated with a project by going to the Genealogists Index page for it. For example, you can manually create a URL like http://www.wikitree.com/genealogists/XXX where XXX is the tag, e.g. <http://www.wikitree.com/genealogists/ACADIANS>. But that's not convenient.

The number of G2G questions associated with a tag might not be useful for VoCos. And again, you can see this information. It's at <http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/tags>. But that list isn't sortable. Some members like Julie and Keith have already asked about a better way to browse those.

Similarly, the number of profiles with a surname might not be useful for VoCos. I don't know. But it may be interesting or useful to others? We do daily and monthly lists of the top surnames, but there's no way to browse the overall most common ones.

Erin asked if there would be a way for Volunteer Coordinators to see just the tags that were added in the past 24 hours, or something like that. You can see this on the new volunteers page but the page isn't optimized for viewing the tags. They're mixed in with the comments.

I can see how date-based sorting would be important for VoCos but, unfortunately, I don't think it would be easy to include in the tool. We don't have the data readily available.

Any thoughts?

Any ideas for how you might use a tool like this, or how you might use it if it could include some other data?

Onward and upward,


in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
I'd love to see sortable tags and a tag cloud might be nice too.
Hi Chris, pre-1700 only covers around 25% of our Dutch_Cape_Colony project. It would make much more sense to make it pre-1800. That would be appr. 93% of our project. It is really a matter of urgency that we change the pre-1700 to pre-1800. Also for the Dutch_Roots_Project.
But great stuff - really - have to study it a bit more, but awesome that you (we) are thinking out of the box - even letting go of the box perhaps :-)
The first thing that comes to mind for me is that similar tags that need to be consolidated will become obvious. Also, with the ability to sort alphabetically, it will be easier to find tags, too.

That's all my tired brain can come up with at the moment. :-)
Now you are speaking my language - "similar tags that need to be consolidated" - this is what I do for a living - not consolidating them [yes - that too] but working from and with different key-word systems where "tags" have been consolidated already or are ordered in some kind of system, in my daily work of cataloguing books, content and information. And ordering it into libraries, whether digital or physical.

Indeed - you are on the nail.

1 Answer

+6 votes
Thanks for posting this, Chris! I'm really excited about how tags can help WikiTreers find each other and work together :)

If anyone is interested in potentially joining the Volunteer Coordinators project, or has stories to share about how they've connected with other WikiTreers, I'd love to chat. There's a lot of potential as this grows. Shoot me an email at erin@wikitree.com.
by Erin Breen G2G6 Pilot (353k points)

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