Can G2G and Comments on profiles fully substitute for wiki Talk pages?

+1 vote


On a separate question, Erin Breen wrote: "Like Wikipedia, each profile should have a 'Talk' page, separate from the main bio and info. That way, any differing information can be discussed openly without cluttering the main page. If Lianne and I are arguing over the profile for Landry-17, and I say the parents are known and she says there's no way to know them, that should be made public on a Talk page instead of a back-and-forth email exchange. It holds everyone accountable for opinions and changes, and lets other contributors see what is now kept 'behind the scenes' as it were.
Lindsay Coleman commented: "'Talk' would easily be done in the bulletin board, I think... it notifies the Watchlist and can track what was discussed."
Like Lindsay said, the Bulletin Board (aka Comments section) on profiles was meant to be a more user-friendly substitute for wiki Talk pages.
I know those comments appear on the main profile page and it might look cluttered, but that could just be a design issue. And also note that comments flow to a separate page when there are more than 10, I think it is.
We added the Private Message system for when discussions need to be private. I agree that it's better to have the discussions be public if possible. Same with what happens in the historical ancestor user groups. I'd rather those are moved to a more public forum and linked from the profiles.
G2G is meant to play a big role on this in the future. As you know, you can now associate questions with profiles. If you ask a question from a profile, the question is linked from the profile page. Soon G2G Q&A will be tracked and displayed in Activity Feeds. So, eventually, I think G2G will end up being a much more powerful and user-friendly system than what we'd get by going back to wiki Talk pages.
Erin, any more thoughts? Anyone else have input?
in Genealogy Help by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

1 Answer

0 votes
I LOVE Wiki talk pages. But I can see your point, that G2G could replace that, if people use the link between questions and profiles.

As for user-friendliness, are Wiki talk pages not user-friendly? I'm not sure I can accurately judge that, because I've used Wikipedia for so long, so talk pages seem natural to me.

In my experience, when people have something they want to say to me about one of my profiles, they PM me. People rarely use the bulletin board (except on active members' profiles). Hopefully use of G2G for this purpose will grow, since that feature is still fairly new. But right now, I just get private messages, and so I repeatedly have the same conversations in private. Of course, there's no guarantee that people would use a talk page, either. Unless they're also Wikipedians, that is. :)
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (423k points)
Hey Lianne,

Today, I think, we're taking the big step forward in G2G integration: tracking questions and answers in Activity Feeds. I'm so psyched about this change.

Regarding the user-friendliness of wiki talk pages, I'll be real curious to hear if anyone else has input. They don't feel intuitive to me. A newbie doesn't know what to do with them. They don't fit a model of interaction that the average person is used to seeing, which is generally either forums, comments on blogs, and/or Q&A. But I don't have evidence for this, it's just my sense of things.

Regardless, between you and me (and anyone else who reads this), you're about to get the chance to experiment with wiki talk pages on WikiTree. We've set up the Project namespace along with Project_talk. Let's see what you can do with it! If anybody can get used to the talk format, it will be Supers and the other active WikiTreers that participate in user groups and other projects.

If G2G and/or wiki talk pages work out, we can let the profile bulletin boards wither and die. Or we can fix them so they do what they're supposed to do. It may just be a matter of design and presentation.

And then we also have Facebook Comments. I keep debating whether they just add to the confusion. They do have the benefit of inviting a person's friends and family on Facebook to view and participate on the profile. But they're not a good forum for interacting on the profile because the activity isn't tracked.

Eeeeee! That was me squealing with joy over the Project namespace being up! :D

I found the Categorization project page. I see you spelled categorisation wrong again. Haha, jk.
Ive never done talk pages, but some method to the madness of communication on a given profile would be awesome... no real suggestions on this, for me... even the bulletin board that I mentioned, I dont really like as it clutters up the profile if we were to have a real discussion on it.

Im excited about the g2g activity tracking, though... I wish we could "Watch questions" we comment on, even automatically unless we uncheck watch... I never know when comments or answers are posted unless I re-read the WHOLE THING or its directly to MY post.
A new voice to the mix: I was surprised not to find Talk pages implmented here. I'm used to using them to work out with other collaborators how best to present something, or to discuss contradictory evidence. Right now I'd really like to be able to discuss with other PMs of the Edmund Rice profile how best to coordinate the merging of dupes related to him and his family. The results are dealt with in private messages and emails that are then not recorded anywhere for others to see, or for us to easily track progress against. Any logic worke out or agreements reached is not documented.

I "kinda" get that you're trying to use G2G instead, but then, as someone else pointed out, the results are displayed on the profile page. That clutters the profile page, then.

-- Jillaine
Jillaine, have you experimented with using the bulletin boards on profile pages? Those may clutter the page, but they don't have to. We currently only show the 8 or 10 most recent. They're not at the top of the page. And when we redesign the profiles we could move them down still more.
Chris, welcome back from vacation. When I heard you were on vacation at the same time that Dick Eastman promoted WikiTree through his popular newsletter, I winced on your behalf: seems like there is never a good time for a vacation. You must have returned to a slew of messages. For my part in that, I apologize. Kinda.

Yes, I've been using the bulletin boards on the profile pages, but someone else recommended against that because the people you're hoping to reach via that method won't necessarily be alerted that they are present. They're also not threaded or grouped, as they could be on a Talk page. On a Talk page, one could organize the discussion something along the lines of:

1. How do we best handle Edmund Rice's non existent son, Edmund?

-- delete all the pages

-- merge them with son Edward (since that appears to be the source of the confusion)

2. What are the best sources for the maiden name of his wife?

-- response 1

-- response 2

3. Etc.

Hi Jillaine.

I see what you mean.

One note: Just a few weeks ago we changed things so that you do get an alert by e-mail if someone posts a comment on a profile you're managing. You also see it in your Activity Feed if you're on the Trusted List. That's something that wouldn't be possible with Talk pages unless you were watching all of them, which would be impractical (large Watchlists are a problem here).

You seem very wiki savvy. That's awesome. I'm really glad you joined us.


> You seem very wiki savvy.

Thanks, but watch out for me: I know just enough to get myself into trouble. I try to be nice, but I have opinions. Heck, I've already got five thumbs down! Have I even been here that many days?

I cut my wiki teeth over at; WikiTree seems to be the only reasonable alternative to WR. You seem to have figured out the privacy thing so that people can have pages for living people. WR just bans them. (I don't have an opinion about this, because I don't use genie wikis for living people.)

Both have limits on how far back you'll accept births in uploaded GEDCOMs. But WT has a tighter limit on numbers of people in a GEDCOM. Probably a very good thing.

I'm frustrated a bit by the Profile Manager feature. But that's mostly because I'm on a merging roll (rant?), and want to clean up the colonial New England 'space' and a few PMs are unresponsive. (Yes, I've followed the recommended steps for that.) I'm a bit impatient. That said, I think the benefits of having PMs may outweigh the frustrations.

Over at WR, when one posts to a Talk page, we're given the option to watch the page if we want to be notified. That's different than here; here you have to in essence, watch a page (i.e., join the trusted list) before you can post. Well, kinda. Yeah, I see what you're trying to do with the "bulletin boards".

I might be able to live without Talk pages. The women's maiden name, thing, though? Expect me to keep pushing on that. ;-)

Now it's my turn to go out of town.

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