Update Tag & Comment examples on Volunteer page

+12 votes

Could the examples on the Volunteer page be modified? Currently the example box looks like this:

Often as Greeters, we see new volunteers follow those examples EXACTLY. The problem is, that makes their tags basically useless. We then spend time helping them figure out how to delete the tag and add new ones since tags can't be modified.

After discussion, we would like to recommend that the example be modified to show a tag and comment together. Here is a sample provided by Karen Tobo as part of that discussion:

Surname tag example:

    • O'Reilly is my mother's surname. Her family came from County Cavan to Boston in the 1870s. I'd love to collaborate.

Location tag example:

    • My Thibodeau ancestors lived in Port Royal and later migrated to Quebec. I have information to share.

Project tag example:

  • DNA
    • Looking to confirm my grandfather, break down some brick walls, and find new cousins
in WikiTree Tech by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (276k points)
edited by Debi Hoag
Comments can be edited; tags have to be deleted and recreated.
I like the examples, but, if we are going to modify the "Volunteer" process, I think we need an explanation of just what "Volunteer" means.

I get 1 or more emails per day indicating the applicants do not understand the concept. Many think they have to immediately jump in and spend, as one person put it, umpteen hours a day working on the site.

Typical comments are;   I don't know if I have time to volunteer, I don't know what I can help with, I don't think I am good enough on the computer or genealogy to help others, maybe when I retire.

Any feedback from other greeters?



I get that a lot as well.  I just reinforce the idea that each person works at their own pace as they know their own schedules, responsibilities and abilities.  

Basically being a WikiTree genealogist volunteer boils down to them committing to adding their own family tree.  Then I add that when they are more comfortable with navigating the site they can help others when asked.  Or take on other projects as they wish.

Is this what you were looking for?  :-)
LOL Just noticed that I spelled IMPROVEMENTS wrong in the tags. fixed that
I also get a lot of that kind of message Bill. My reply is that volunteering in the Wikitree sense just means to add their branches responsibly and collaborate with others if/when they find an ancestor is already documented here. Like Cindy, i also add that there is not time limit or set amount that has to be done and that they are in complete control of the time they choose to spend on Wikitree.

I do see where you are coming from though. A little more clarity on volunteering would be nice.
What Wendy said.

Perhaps a paragraph could be added near the top of the Volunteers page, beginning with something  like "What does it mean to be a volunteer on WikiTree?", followed by the gist of Wendy's comment.
Great example, Debi!  Perhaps add DNA example.
Rob, Would you write the DNA sample in the format of the other examples. I'll add it to the initial post so that, if a change gets made, all the suggestions will be in one place for easy access by the Team.

Project tag examples:

  • DNA
    • Looking to confirm my grandfather, break down some brick walls, and find new cousins

If space is too tight and you have to remove one surname example, I would keep O_REILLY because it informs about the apostrophe, but add a "I'd love to collaborate ..." sentence to it.  It's such a nice, friendly, inviting thing to say.

Great point about O_REILLY, Rob! I love Debi's examples and your DNA example.

When people ask what it means to volunteer, I tell them that they are invited to add their own branch of the tree, but it's not required. If they want, they can correct typos here and there, or work on one profile that really interests them.
Thanks, Rob, for the example. I've updated the suggestions based on your feedback.

Thanks for the compliment on the examples, Carole, but I can't take credit for those. Karen Tobo is to thank for the original surname and location samples.

5 Answers

+9 votes
I would love to see the Tag examples updated!  Tags are the number one point of confusion for new members.

I do wonder why the project tag was chosen for removal in the example?
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (662k points)
Karen didn't include a project example and I copy pasted what she had. There also may be a space consideration with the size of the box. Would you add a project example as a comment to the original post. That way the PTB will have an easy time if the change can be made.
What is the PTB, Debi?

Oops, sorry. Too many years working in government where you knew someone had to make a decision and it couldn't be you. PTB = Powers-That-Be.

Also the only form of higher deity that I ever reference as, in my opinion, one is as valid as another.

+11 votes
It will be a great deal better when we say what we mean instead of the current situation which as pointed out gives an example that when followed precisely results in exactly what we do not want.
by Anonymous Wood G2G6 Mach 2 (21k points)
edited by Anonymous Wood
I always feel so bad saying to a volunteer "Thank you so much for adding exactly what we told you to. Now here's why we need you to change it:"
+10 votes
As a Greeter, I often see guests add tags that combine surname and location, then the description of that tag fades into oblivion because it is a combination, andhas to be redone. Then guests who wish to become members get frustrated and never volunteer.

There is a necessity for more clarity I think, and the suggestion covers that fantastically.
by Wendy Sullivan G2G6 Pilot (144k points)
+4 votes
I absolutely think that this is the answer to most of the questions we receive as Greeters, Messengers and Mentors!  If we do not have to spend so much time answering the Tag question, we would be better able to help Guests and New Volunteers with many other aspects of starting their family tree on WikiTree.

I really hope that the Team can help us make this happen.  We are the friendliest website on the entire world wide web, so make our volunteer process match that claim to fame!
by Cindy Lesure G2G6 Pilot (110k points)
+5 votes
Thanks, Debi! I've added it to our improvements suggestions.
by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (409k points)
Thanks, Abby. There may be a couple more tag suggestions from other members. Projects and DNA have been suggested. As they come in, I'll add them to the initial post so that they're easy for you all to find.
Thanks so much to both of you for doing this!

For what it's worth, I've seen more effective tags as I have greeted over just the past two days. Maybe volunteers are finding this thread?
Thanks so much Abby!  Our aim is to make WikiTree better for all.

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