What are the concrete steps decided on?

+17 votes

Regarding this question of Jillianne - Is it time for a moratorium [etc.] (and with reference to this recent one of Robin, this recent one and countless others), could I ask what the leadership of WikiTree has decided on ...

Reason: on feeds such as these usually there many posts on the pro's and con's of possible measures / solutions to the issue regarding the duplication (either by GEDCOM or manually) and resulting validity of profiles on WikiTree ... But then it fizzles out and we hear nothing for some time.

I had taken a week off from WikiTree, delegating and letting go as (co) project coordinator. I had a taste of what it could be like if there was heaps of time to do other (for my own personal genealogical legacy) more private to-do list. The reason - we work very hard in our project validating WikiTree and time and time again have to merge duplicates, correct bad data, and the struggle to keep standards up with also an error database and cleaning up the backlog of GEDCOM'd and manually created profiles, including creating those new one's neccesary to complete the settler`s community which the {{Dutch_Cape_Colony}} project represents. This in a setting that facilitates easy collaborative editing in existing profiles that does not de-validate, but validates.

And I realized that perhaps my time would be better spend elsewhere if the status quo does not change for the better .... though we have a beautiful project and a wonderful team and I would sorely hate to see it and the good practices that we developed with it, go to the dogs ....

in The Tree House by Philip van der Walt G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
retagged by Robin Lee
Philip, I fully agree with you. I have stopped being fully committed to the Dutch Cape Colony project due to the constant reworking of profiles after every new GEDCOM import that has an impact on this wonderful project.

I have been very active on DB Errors since the start and there it is also very evident that every week there are new duplicates created by new GEDCOM uploads.

It feels like we are fighting a loosing battle.
At the risk of sounding a bit simplistic, most sites want to increase their user base, and if you cut off GEDCOM uploads, you cut off new people from joining and adding to WikiTree. Sure, people could still join and add records. However, without a GEDCOM upload it wouldn't be nearly as easy to see  "their tree" here. Never mind that it really isn't "their tree" at all; rather, it is a collective tree; but they probably didn't really understand that when they first joined.

People seem to be into "push-button" trees: to wit, the HUGE numbers of bios that are never cleaned up after merging. Merging bios is more than a push-button exercise... But that is a topic for another post.

In the case of leadership decisions, it appears to me that no news is certainly not good news in terms of the question regarding a moratorium on GEDCOM uploads....

There have been many good decisions made in the past, as well as communicated by the leadership, and I'm certainly impressed by many of them.

However, this one basic fact that profiles are still getting increasingly duplicated both manually and through GEDCOM for various reasons not yet sufficiently addressed, is worrying. And when good intentioned new folks decide to stick to GENI because of the complexity of WikiTree, this is also a sign that they haven't understood WikiTree when they joined. Also the same reason people do not clean up after their GEDCOMs. It has been suggested many times before that some measures that makes WikITree less easily accessible and more "unfriendly", might improve the quality. I have used this comparison before - one does not give a child or inexperienced person a car to drive. Why should we give new members with no experience carte blanche to create new profiles, even manually up to 1500 (because the pre-1700 test has proved meaningless countless times in the past)? It is ultimately self-defeating ...

Concrete example: this pre-1700 duplicate profile was created the 9th of October of this year and yesterday (26 Oct 2016) got the following {{Unsourced|Netherlands|South Africa}} template while the validated (baptism image) profile already existed: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/De_Klerck-8

5 Answers

+8 votes
Philip and Esme

I agree.The perpetual management of "new" profiles round the clock is slowing down progress, and can make one feel disheartened.

But look at the bright side. We will always have something to do :-) forever !!!
by Ronel Olivier G2G6 Mach 7 (77.5k points)

Thanks Ronel :-) You brighten my day but we have only so much time on earth do to certain things. I have realized if the current policy / stance on duplicates and contributing to WikiTree is not changed for the better, I will have to start looking at other alternatives to add value and bring my personal genealogical legacy in order, something that I have put on the slow burner because in the end the project profiles have to be in order for my own (and all of the South African profiles) to be in order (i.e. validated genealogical and DNA lines ... ). When the many solutions offered in the past are disregarded or just partly implemented or even not communicated back from leaderhip, I do feel personally insulted. As I've said before, time equals energy. I make many choices in prioritizing my energy, and if those efforts prove a waste because of ultimately avoidable recurring issues, I have at one point in time choose for efficacy and better quality [read: validity]. I do love WikiTree and I think it does have a future, yet bigger and even more endeavors have gone aground under it's own success. I just would like to have clear cut anwers from the leadership on certain offered solutions. A DB of errors alone will not salvage this enterprise - it also needs a rethink of certain very basic premises and processes.

+3 votes
There's no requirement to put in x amount of work on specific projects here.  OTOH, it's like raising a child;, you need to have a commitment over the long haul.  But merely because you see a need for children to be taken care of doesn't mean you have to raise every child in the the world.  You need to spend time on your specific part of the tree, to spend some time helping those in need and some in just having fun.  What balance you select is your decision and it can change over time.  

That being said, I'm certainly in favor of limiting access to importing GEDCOMs.  Maybe something like allowing one profile from a GEDCOM for every 2 clean, sourced profiles you've entered  So if you entered fifly profiles by hand, you could use them to enter a GEDCOM with 25 profiles.  Exact rules to be discussed and feasibility determined.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (408k points)
+18 votes
I think we need to have a serious discussion about the requirements of what to do "after a GEDCOM load".   If everyone who did a GEDCOM load was "required" to clean up those profiles before they could load another GEDCOM, that might help.   Maybe putting a category, of GEDCOM clean up required that a person could get to from their watchlist....just like their unsourced profiles.   There is a balance here that we need to maintain.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (714k points)
Automatic addition of the category makes so much sense that it seems like a no-brainer!

Profile managers could use it to do their own follow-up, sysops could use it to determine if a member was ready to import another GEDCOM, and other members could use it to clean up the tree.
+6 votes

I think the only way and what was discussed and mentioned in many G2G's already,  is to educate people right from the start and have some sort of introduction period or something with a course or place (you tube videos were mentioned or something like the beginnershoek from the Dutch Portal), anyway a place for new members where they can learn it all themselves, a place where we also can refer people to that are member but still having trouble with understanding, remembering or learning how specific things work. If new members think or say they know it all already they at least must show they understand what WikiTree is all about ...so maybe:

1.Members first stay guest member for a short period, where they can take the course and work on their own (limited) family only, when it looks like they understand how it all works and the profiles all look good and are sourced and so on.

2. Than become a confirmed family member and sign the honor code. 

3. For the gedcoms people had some great ideas as well, and a few are added here already by Robin and Dave, so that's something that probably could be changed to help prevent duplicates and reduce the workload of other volunteers as well. 

by Bea Wijma G2G6 Pilot (282k points)
edited by Bea Wijma
Excellent suggestions Bea! How long do we have to wait (also regarding the other suggestions on other feeds) for policy changes?

As for the Gedcom imports, some of the ideas probably will not take too long to be implemented, so something like the GEDCOM clean up required template probably is not taking so long. But as we all know changing policies or making drastic changes sometimes just takes a lot of time, thousands of members, many different opinions...and we of course need to figure out ways that could work/help and stay as Wiki as possible. 

But and hope it helps, because of your G2G and the ones you referred to and many before that, we all are now discussing and working on things and Aleš is going to help and look if maybe there's a way to analyze Gedcoms before they are imported and to hopefully find a way to prevent duplicates and other problems people are experiencing during or after the imports.

So I don't know how long it takes exactly of course, but people are working on it now and there were a lot of great ideas so I'm sure things really are going to be improved :)

+9 votes
We already have added a NO pre-1700 profiles imports from GEDCOMS.

Now, in addition, I think we need to implement the following 3 rules:

1)  The first GEDCOM import from any NEW member is limited to 25 profiles, preferably starting with the Member's Parents and going back from them.  Siblings, aunts, uncles etc., of course, are welcome.  All new members will be told this clearly when they join.  They will also be told that while we have a collaborative one world tree, they are responsible for "cleaning up" the profiles they manage or adopt, checking names and dates and having at least ONE valid source that confirms the person's existence.  The "Other Last Names" box also needs explaining.  Perhaps there ought to be a "adding and editing profiles" tutorial ?

2) After 60 days of membership, a member may import a second GEDCOM, limited to 50 or 75 profiles (Sysops can decide a number between 50 and 100), again preferably linked to their family tree.

3) After this, members are free to import GEDCOMS back to the 1700 date limit.   A clear rule will state: Only ONE new GEDCOM per member every 48 hours (to give our operators time to check them for duplicates - some problems have come because new members uploaded multiple GEDCOMS in one day!)  Hopefully this will give both Newbies AND the Mentors/Arborists who help them learn the ropes of WikiTree both the ability to upload via GEDCOMS where one to one creating profiles might be too much work and then check their responsibility level - how they work with the profiles etc. etc. before they overload.

One thing I have heard from members is that they would like CLEARLY STATED POLICIES about these matters.

We might also consider adding something to the Honor Code that states:

       "I accept Responsibility for managing the profiles I create or adopt on WikiTree; this includes editing the biography & sources sections to confirm what is stated and cooperating with other members when merges are requested."

I think these are what is possible to grow and still keep our "wiki" character, but limit the number of duplicates created inadvertently and Unsourced profiles.


Chet Snow-2128
by Chet Snow G2G6 Mach 5 (53.2k points)

Thank you Chet, I think this has it all and could really work ! And if during the 60 day period people also would have a place (see this G2G and Julie's answer) they could go to where they all could learn everything  I think it would prevent many problems people now sometimes bump into because they just don't understand how everything works exactly, and not their fault, because some things just are pretty difficult to learn / figure out and although now everything can be found, it's spread across WikiTree and You Tube, so finding it sometimes can be hard or difficult as well. 

So I think we also really need to work on a page or some pages where everything is explained with example images or the you tube how to videos where people can find and learn everything about WikiTree and where we all can refer to if it looks like they could use some help. 

Chet, like all your suggestions, but I would also add this should apply not only to GedCom's but also to those individuals who manually add profiles.  I would highly recommend that all new members to WikiTree be required to take a course or view a tutorial on doing sources before they are allowed to add or upload more than 100 profiles.  I know of one instance where an individual has manually created over 1,900 profiles - several of which are duplicates, and ALL 1,900 profiles are still unsourced almost a year after they were created.

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