I am sorry I know it is meant well............ Keep on doing the good work!

+15 votes

Hi all, 

First wishing everone a verrrrrrrrry happy great New WikiTree Year, but also hope your dreams will come true in 2018! 

Now................. Please do not take me wrong as I know it is meant to encourage -mabey less active/ or new members at WikiTree. But I am NOT and got this message again at MY profile. Took a little to think it over but I think I should share my feelings............. 

I got in December about 700 contributions. So got the 100 badge. I do not mind. I am long enough here and do not mind what badge I get (as long as I get a badge!!!!!!!!!! :D LMAO I have more badges than I can show!!! So: Joking!!!).

Now what is bothering me and it happened before as I got a 100 hundred badge althoug I was almost at 1000 contributions but it is not my aim anymore.................. I get a message at my profile of one of the leaders and/or mentors. Meant well, I know, but it feels wrong. Maybe it is me. I am not sure but thought it good to share it anyway. 

After 36554 contributions, after 15 times a 1000 badges, after  7 or 8 times a 100 badges also last month December and I worked hard on profiles of others and I love that, so I really do not mind what badge I get. If I had saved more times at profiles I m sure I had the 1000 badge. But it is not important to me as I am long enough here! 

But  for the second time this message at my profile in this form is enough............... Again I know it is meant well and copied and paste to all that got "just" a 100 badge, taking lots of boring time to do........ But after I received a 100 badge at "almost" 1000 contributions - and again - I DO NOT MIND- But  I do mind the message I received at my profile again

: "Whatever the quantity of your contributions, they all count. As I always say "Quality is better than quantity" to make a great family tree."

Meant well. But meaning I did not accomplish the expectasion?????? Posted at the wrong profile. It just feels wrong at a loyal, dedicated and expierenced WikiTreeer. We ALLLLLLLLL knowing what WikiTree wants to work on quality and never on quantity. WTH!!!  I feel just disappointed by the - I know well meant -message............... maybe it is the sender........ I once jumped into the group to give all........ So took time to think that over. But it is not. Yes it is also because I was once short a member of his group and obvios forgot I am a loyal WT-er. 


Need sleep and not sure I will give all I do to WT anymore as long as I get this kind of messages even from a Leader even MENTOR that had me once under his wings. Not even remembering I was. Sad............ 

Thank you for reading.




in The Tree House by Astrid Spaargaren G2G6 Pilot (243k points)
edited by Astrid Spaargaren
Astrid, this makes me sad that the comment hurt your feelings. I guess the wording can be taken differently... If someone tells me that I obviously value quality - I don't take that as a disrespect of my quantity. If I edit 100 profiles, or 1,000; I take that as a total compliment that this person has seen that I am not going for numbers, I am going for quality. But - I can see how it can be taken wrong. Please know that we appreciate your contributions greatly! You are a wonderful WikiTree-er, and I would love to see you keep dedicating the same spirit towards profiles that you have so far.
I'm also sorry that you feel that. When I received the message last night I realised that I was just one of many to receive it but I really agreed with the sentiment!

 I just spent time researching, sourcing and correcting, errors made by someone else in the pursuit of a large number of contributions (a challenge) so the message about quality went down well with m

I received the same message and it made something in me cringe. I think the intent is right, but the wording could use some tweaking.

Add me to the group who received the message and cringed. I did look and see that it went to many contributors. I think we all agree it’s the wording.

The engineer in me was tempted to analyze my contributions to see how many were ancestor profiles added, how many were strangers now sourced, how many were suggestion fixes and how many were just to do anything but add an unsourced tag. Then I realized I could source a dozen profiles with that time.
Astrid, et al ...

I can guarantee that the message was left with the best of intentions.

I also wanted everyone to know that even before this G2G thread began, we were working on the focus of our Appreciators project. This project is full of big-hearted people, and they want so much to make sure that all of our members know that their work doesn't go unnoticed.

As always, please try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when it's clear that the intent was honorable.


I think everyone got that message.  Please don't let this message spoil how you feel about the tree.  I have not had much contact with you, but you sound like an incredibly hard worker.  Your heart is in the right place and we not only need you at Wikitree, but more importantly, We want you here! The only reason Wikitree is as successful as it is is because of members like you and you must remember that.  We don't always get acknowledged for what we do, but in our hearts we know what we do.  It's members like you that teach the newer members like me how to become as dedicated to the tree and knowledgeable as you are.


Hi Astrid, 

I'm sure Guy was just wishing everyone a wonderful New Year and thanking everyone for his or her contributions.

My mum thought me to always count until ten before responding in a way I perhaps might regret later, because maybe I just misunderstood or interpreted something wrong or not how it was intended, this advice helps me a lot here at WikiTree, because as we all know, with all the different languages we often are having trouble to express ourselves or make things clear in a way that's clear and friendly for everyone from all over the world and not hurting anyones feelings or perhaps upsetting someone ..but that's not always easy eeh, things are interpreted different by everyone ..maybe it helps if you read the message over with a French accent or watch this episode of Allo Allo with the hilarious officer Crabtree :P

Happy New Year everyone and Guy please keep up the wonderful work I'm sure Astrid and everyone else can and will forgive you the wording, especially now they all know you meant so well. 

There's something else about this approach that needs re-evaluation. In addition to wording that isn't coming off well, a blanket approach to acknowledging people for the *quantity* of their contributions (in this case over 100 in a month), is skipping over quality. This message was also posted to a profile of someone who is repeatedly adding profiles and attaching parents a) without sources (or just adding "ancestry.com") and b) without communicating before editing. There were even two posts already on this person's profile gently reminding them to do both. Does the Appreciator review comments on profiles before posting this message? The "appreciation" message might very well make the recipient believe they can continue to do the things the other commenters were recommending against.
I really cherish genuine praise from someone that has actually seen a profile I manage and likes the way I do it.

I also see the point of automatic encouragement with the Club 100 and Club 1000 badges.

However, I agree with Astrid that a message appearing to be personal but actually sent indiscriminately to everyone that got a Club 100 but not a Club 1000 badge feels like faux appreciation.

4 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer
Hi Astrid,

I am very sorry if my message upsets you.  Probalby wrong wording from a french speaking wikitreer.  

As I understand this thread, I will not post anymore congratulation messages as I might hurt some with my poor english.

I wish you a Happy New Year and may 2018 bring you all you need to be happy and healthy and I thank you for being a great wikitreer. (like it is said in my message).
by Guy Constantineau G2G6 Pilot (350k points)
selected by Bea Wijma
Guy, you are Wonderful WikiTreer, and I hope you will continue to do your wonderful work on WikiTree as always.

You left the exact same message for me, which I took as encouragement, which was your intent. Also because I know you, and your kind heart. So my slight confusion on the wording was left behind as I saw the signature, and thought, "I'm so glad Guy is still active on WikiTree!" Like seeing an old friend in a crowd...

It is so difficult to get meaning across without voice inflection and facial expression -- words alone are normally only part of a message, but our new Internet world leaves out the rest.

Instead of drawing apart from what is clearly, unintentional offense, I hope both you and Astrid will continue your vital contributions to WikiTree, and know that there are many people you have never met in  person here, who care sincerely for both of you.

(And I hope my message of caring gets across, and does not create further unintended offense!)

April Dauenhauer

Loving WikiTree is not only loving my ancestors as I uncover their lives with my many cousins, it is loving my newly discovered cousins who are helping me find those ancestors!
Thank you, Guy.  I appreciated your comment because sometimes I feel that 100 contributions in a month is considered not really that important and that the whole impetus is to add more,work more quickly.That's not how I work best. I'm far better at researching one thing in detail. I  may get  one contribution for a day or mores work transcribing a 17th C will,
April -

What a lovely message, and it is exactly the impression I have of Guy, as well.

He is always there to help and support others, and we are a better site because of him. :-)

Thank you for everything you do, Guy. You certainly make my job easier!!
Guy in any language you are the best!   Guy est tres bon!  

Your heartfelt encouragements are part of what makes WikiTree such a great place.  Don't stop encouraging others.  Perhaps ask how to phrase what you were saying in a way that those who took it the wrong way would accept.  What you were doing is something that is good for many on WikiTree and should be encouraged.  So maybe those who did not like the way it was worded could offer a positive way of saying thank you to those who are making the effort to contribute.  Some people only have time to do a few things each month while some can do something every day.  We need more people like you who look for ways to encourage others no matter how large or small the contribution is.  

My suggestion:  "Thank you for the contributions you made this month.  Every contribution helps to build and strengthen our shared tree."
Guy, I also appreciated the message you left me. I definitely had done less than the month before, but also did more substantive corrections than the several hundred references tags I corrected the month before. It sounds like you thanked a number of people and that must have taken some time. Much of my work lately has been spent either on my family (which rarely connects to anyone else) or on orphans or profiles without active managers. I appreciate the thanks.
Don't worry about it Guy, you are not alone. I sometimes get flagged in G2G because I have not mastered those special niceties of the English Language. In my own ears it sounds perfect but somehow the English speakers always manage to get offended in one way or another. So I have just accepted and move on.

We all appreciate your efforts and contributions. It’s just wording...very often email and written messages are misunderstood, even in your native language.

To some extent, we can also be influenced by what we’ve recently seen on WikiTree. Sometimes I begin to feel overwhelmed trying to add good sources to profiles as I see how rapidly new profiles are being added that need sources (I’ve seen more than 1000 a month for the past 6 months with “ancestry.com” as the source).
Hi Guy,

First I am sorry it took so long before I reacted. But I was away.

I know and said that in my post also, I know it was meant very well. Thank you Guy! Wishing you all the best for 2018 and more too!

It was not on you personal but it became that way anyway and I am very sorry about that. I am apologizing for that, as it was never meant to hurt anyone, but I am really sorry if I hurt you.

No need to stop your good work.

It is about the randomness - these messages are posted. Not only by you. But by me too!

I think awereness of who needs and do not is the keyword.

I am sorry it went this way over your spinal and do not like that. I am Dutch, so I make language mistakes. It is unavoidable and if it is done it is never done wrong on purpose but with the best intentions.

I know  you meant it sweet and good. OF COURSE!! you did.

Okay I hope we can shake hands and leave it here, As it was never meant wrong from your site and never personal from my site Guy.

All I can hope for is that mentors, leaders, rangers and greeters are able to post messages that fits better, taking a closer look at profiles instead of just copying and pasting messages. I know that is hard. Messages fitting all?

 I am sure as a greeter I made the same mistakes, as I copied and paste hundreds of standard messages and as a member of the DRP too. I think/know I sometimes did/do not look close enough at profiles. So I need to do better and you learned me. Thank you Guy!

Sweet regards from The Netherlands,

+26 votes

I like many others recieved the same message congratulating me on my contributions.  The wording used was a little bit confusing but I know that the writer of the message did not mean to imply that the number or quality of the contributions was laking in any way.  I noticed that he is fluent in French and feels he is at an intermediate level for English.  I think the particular wording of the message was due to English being a second language for him.  His intention was to thank the recipient of his message for the contributions to Wilitree that they had made and  I believe he was saying that all contributions are important.  And it is so very true that you make many contributions to Wikitree in a number of areas including improving Wikitree profiles and working with the Integrators project.  So. I want to add my thanks to you as well.  Keep up the fantastic job that you are doing !
by David Douglass G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
+14 votes
I would also find a message like that discouraging. It is unclear what the objective of the message is and it gives the indication that the writer thinks you are not paying enough attention to quality, which we know is not the case.

I hope you can put it behind you and continue to contribute.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
+15 votes
You guys are lucky! I've never received any message regarding my contributions...
by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (220k points)
I received the same message this month and  thought it was odd and slightly thoughtless, but I blew it off as funny and ironic.  And thanked the sender for it.  WikiTree can be a little odd and ironic at times.  So just wait until you get it!  Hopefully it will be edited a little before that happens.

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