Do we realy need to have G2G names and points like G2G Crew etc?

–5 votes

No!! it is totally unnecessary.  It is a means of power and control, forcing people to participated and climb the points ladder.  If you a Rookie what an unfortunate name indicating how humble you are.  Now, if you are at the other end of the scale, it becomes "look at me and the points I have."

This military model has no place on Wikitree.  All members should be Equal and not tagged in a way that can cause people to feel inferior.

in Policy and Style by Athol Henry G2G6 (8.0k points)
I agree with you. Just yesterday one of the later commenters on this issue put me down on G2G for being a Rookie while I was making comments on the error system. He never apologized!
Thank you Ron.  I am quite alarmed that you had this experience.  There is no need for it.  In my book Put Downs are out.

10 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Note: I added parts of this answer to the other question in this regard. 


 Athol Henry 

Welcome .. I agree if possible it would be nice for one to have the option to participate with the point system or not. 

 For What it is Worth. Addressing the behavior, I have been a member of Wikitree for about an year and I have been busy on G2G. I have found the forum to be useful, educating, informative and nourishing. I have never experienced, read or witnessed a single bully-manipulative, hierarchical-controlling , down the nose-snobbish and or self-super-ego serving G2G event and I'm thankful for that. 

Your view point(s) are keen, well taken, intelligent and I believe well intentioned.  

Fortunately, I think you will experience a nourishing and helpful culture at WikiTree. I know you will benefit and add benefit to the expertise in this community and enjoy the passionate commitments members have to quality and integrity driven successes. .. I have ..

C'est Bon Magnifique 


P.S. I have a mathematics and physics academic background which adds a different perspective to the "scale" question. Each number "point" is unique along a continuum that forms a community of numerical values that are equally unified, equally distinct and equally interconnected. The "alchemy" of their values are synergistic functions. 

For me it is not the point system nor experience elements that can lead to uncivilized hierarchical rank-ish condescending behavior you have keenly imagined.  I agree with you that those who believe their point status is a means to control, manipulative or pontificate to others of lesser rank is highly destructive, boorish and out of place with WikiTree values and should be addressed. 

Unfortunately, it is the kind of unkind behavior we detest and find everywhere.

The good news for me is that the members of WikiTree have exhibited a standard deviation value that represents the highest set of nourishing behavior.

Thank you for reminding me to remain vigilant and aware.


by Stanley Baraboo G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Rod DuBois
+17 votes
People are "forced" to participate?  How does that work?  Are people who don't use G2G kicked off WikiTree?    I've never seen any evidence of "forcing."  I certainly was never forced to use G2G.  You do have specific examples to give, right?
by Nan Starjak G2G6 Pilot (325k points)
This type of model is designed in such a way that forcing becomes an automatic part of the process in a very subtle manner.
I see.  In other words, you don't have any examples to prove your claims.

Thank you.
Nan have you missed the point?  Do we need names and points? In my view no!  This process is well documented. You may be quite surprised.
I'm not missing anything.  You've made a very serious accusation -- that WikiTree members are being "forced" to participate in G2G -- but you can't back that up.  Which contradicts your statement that it's "well-documented."

No one has to use G2G, and those of us who do don't have to pay any attention to points, etc., if we don't want to. It's really very simple.
+26 votes
If you compare the number of WikiTree members with the number of WikiTree members who actually frequent and use the G2G, you'll see that the former far surpasses the latter.  

A lot of the people who do use the G2G enjoy the points and titles (as evidenced in other threads by people who nudge me when I haven't awarded their G2G6 badge in a timely manner :) ).

Also, I'm not sure if you noticed, but we tend to celebrate when people reach milestones so it's not one member pointing out how great they are, it's other members pointing out the accomplishments of one of their peers. WikiTree is an awesome community like that.

G2G points are like badges. Some people love them, some hate them, some don't care enough either way to pay attention.

But there's certainly no forcing.  Although of course we would love it if the majority of members DID come to the G2G and use it since this is where we tend to make major announcements, discuss policy and style changes, etc.
by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
+17 votes
Athol.   I have alot of point as.  Truthfully most of them are from up votes.  Some people have more from actually answering questions. It's just a FUN thing. It matters to some people and not others.
by Anonymous Roach G2G6 Pilot (186k points)
+20 votes
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Points and names have nothing to do with the military.

It's like television: If you don't like what is on, ignore it or change the channel.

No one is forcing you to be here.

I don't give a flying rat's ass about the points and titles. I came here because of my interest in genealogy, having a place to store my information so it won't get lost, and help other people when I can, in a collaborative environment that is trying to do genealogy in a good way. And to top it off, the good people here strive to keep this place free to use.

So feel free to ignore the forums. Or this website. Or use the forums. And this website. Nobody cares whether you do or don't.

If you don't like the way it's done here, then feel free to go start your own genealogy website and forums, with your own rules. I'm sure you can do it better.
by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (384k points)
+16 votes
some people find it useful to determine how long a person has been around here, when answering their G2G questions. If somebody is a rookie then it tells me I need to maybe explain things a little rather than assume they know everything about the way the site works. Of course they could have been on the site for ages and not really used G2G that much, so it's not infallible. I also quite like the badges as it is a yardstick for my progress and I can see which people are involved in which projects just looking at their profile. Having the badges for 100 and 1000 contributions gives us something to work towards when the frustrations make us feel like stopping. So there is a reason to have them, but nobody forces you to take them so seriously.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (263k points)
+5 votes


You have received so many negative answers and comments, so I thought I should give you a litle support. I think your stament is very well said and I couldn't agree more!!. I have really been surprised by the attention to points, levels and badges here on Wikitree.

I participate in G2G when I can and I enjoy when I can help someone by providing information from Danish or Swedish sources that are relatively easy for me to use because I can read and understand the old handwriting (most of the time). I would much rather have a personal comment about whether the information I have provided is useful than any number of points or badges.

I recently discovered that I get points not only for receiving "up votes" but also for giving the same. That is probably the reason that almost all questions get a number of "up votes" even when it is questions that are impossible to answer and have not been thought through like "Who know Jens Petersen’s father from Denmark?” with no dates (not even a century) or places (other than country) mentioned.

But I realize that it is a minority here on Wikitree that share your and my opinion on this matter, and as it has been mentioned in other posts, if we don’t care, then just don't pay attention, so that’s what I will do.

by Torben Friberg Sørensen G2G6 Mach 1 (12.7k points)

All of this is called gamification:

Gamification, is just a way of doing something. By itself, it's neither bad nor good.

Some people like it. Some people don't like it. And that's ok.

Can it be overdone? Sure.

If the original question was posed in this way (i.e. is the gamification on WikiTree / G2G overdone?), then I think it would have garnered more sympathetic support.

What has turned people off is this idea that somehow, someone is "forced" into some "militaristic" system causing some people to feel "inferior".

No, that's called being histrionic. Nobody likes that.

So, is the gamification overdone here on WikiTree and the Forums? 

Most forum software that I know about, has some form of gamification / levels that show involvement. I doubt you're going to get away from that.

What about the badges on WikiTree itself? Most of those show association with some sort of group. There are others that show participation in different contests (further games). There is just one that shows contributions towards WikiTree.

Is it overdone? Sometimes it feels like it.

But ultimately, if I don't like it, the solution is for me to ignore it. Not to try to change the rest of the community to my opinion. Because ultimately, the gamification is harmless. It hurts no one. 

I have already accepted that we are different and some like it and others don't.

But Wikitree is always trying to point out that we should be serious genealogists striving to the most accurate and well souced profiles. I agree to this and to a certain point I think that what you call gamification could give some people the idea that this is a game and what counts is to make as many "contributions" as possible (and it is easy to make a lot of contributions, just make a lot of typos in your profiles and then correct them one by one). Or to get point on G2G you just have to give out as many up votes as possible, you don't even need to read the questions.

So yes, I think it has been overdone, but it is just my humble opinion. It is obvious from the comments here that the prevailing opinion is that it is not overdone.
Well, of course the answers are going to be pro-games.  It's whose who like to play games who are going to answer any "open" question (i.e. one where opinions are useful vs finding particular facts.)  The real question is whether or not the result of the particular game gives benefit to the community as a whole.  I think it manifestly does, if only for making lots of people ask/read questions and learn either by the answers or researching to learn how to answer a particular question.  We're here to collaborate with each other and look at real life - games are a big part of enculturalization.
+7 votes
Personally I think you just came up with question because you wanted to get a bunch of G2G points via people answering your question!  <g>.  The purpose of the points is to encourage people to do the things which are wanted to make G2G an active and helpful place for WikiTreers to come.  Now lots of people, particularly people new to WikiTree have,questions so the points for an answer are 100 vs 30 for a question, though there's some sort of points given for each answer received for a question.  Anyway this gives an incentive for people like me who like games to answer as many questions as I can honestly provide help with.  Obviously you can game the system by providing useless answers as well as giving up-votes to every message you read.  Up-votes are encouraging, but I make it a rule to only up-vote where the question or answer gives me information or ideas.  But i do admit to hanging around the new questions to answer quickly if it's something I have knowledge (or opinions) about.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (410k points)

Dave, I am sorry that you think I am a point grabber.  If this was the case I would have not raised the issue.  I had no idea that points were given out in the way that people have indicated.  This gives me more resolve to address this issue.  I have noticed that some people have targeted me rather than the issue or policy.  This also gives me more resolve.  I did not know that you gained points for up ticks and Minus Ticks which are put downs.  These too should be canned.  In future, I will not be giving out any form of ticks.  The policy needs to be seriously and properly reviewed.  I hope Wikitree has a process to do this with members able to contribute. I have yet to find one.

Sigh, no I apologize.  I keep forgetting how easy it is to miss irony.  I did put in a <g> which in the early days of personal computers meant "grin"  And I never said anything about people getting points for down ticks.  They don't.  And I actually agree that the -s aren't really needed.  I've never issued one and have only received a few.  

I think that the reason you're getting push-back is that you're attacking something many people enjoy.  It would be one thing if you were actually being required to do something you didn't like.  But it sure looks like you want to have other people be forced to accept your position.  Anyway, enough on this subject.  Take a last shot if you want.
Dave, thank you for your apologize, Excepted with Good Grace. Lets move on.
+8 votes
I'd like to just chime in here and say that I am completely unaware of anyone "gaming" the system to get points. If they do, what's the harm?

There are no rewards for points. As someone else mentioned, it's merely a way to gauge someone's experience ... or ... to just have fun. ;-) I'm pretty sure it's also just a feature of this forum software, and I'm not entirely sure it can be shut off. Someone smarter than me will have to answer that.

Quite frankly, I hardly ever notice anyone's points or "levels," and I can't even tell you what "level" I am. I honestly don't care.

If you are involved in the community here, you come to recognize that most people are quite serious about making valuable and accurate contributions to the tree, but that doesn't mean that we don't all want to be silly now and then. (Some of us more than others <-- I'm in that camp.)

I think there are far better things to get worked up about if you have the time. ;-) As a matter of fact, I'll be posting a note about a pretty important one here in just a few minutes!

While you're waiting, breathe deeply ... in and out ... in and out ... ahhhhhhhh.
by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (430k points)
+4 votes

I earned most of my points from: 

Initially Reading & answering All of the Un-Answered questions. Not only did I benefit & am becoming a more productive & efficient WikiTreeer the WT community has benefited as I added free source that were found in these questions; to Kitty's Library page: .

Nobody here asked or requested that I undertake this endeavor, I did it as to "Learn The Ropes" for myself & to help build this page.  Furthermore some have suggested the the name of the above page be changed to: Kitty's & John's Library page! 

My answer to this idea is: Not no but Heck NO. IMHO this page doesn't need more input / Sources from me... it needs it from everybody. I am not here to gain any control of anything . I am not here to compare my "Apples" to anybody's "Oranges".

Every person on WT has a unique set of skills...finding where these skills fit & how they help the community is not easy.

I am Ex-US Military, WikiTree is not predicated towards any Military model I have seen.

 What have you done to enhance your & other WikiTree members experience?

What are your future plans to enhance your & other WikiTree members experience? 

by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (241k points)
John, I think those last 2 questions are fantastic ones for us all to ask ourselves from time to time.

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