How do project participants communicate with each other?

+3 votes
I had a project participant ask me if there is a way for all of us to communicate without posting on G2G. I don’t know! Should I make a Facebook group for our project?

in Policy and Style by Angelique Chamberlain G2G6 Mach 1 (14.0k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Most projects seem to set up Google Groups.
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
selected by Eric Weddington
I second the recommendation. It's easy, free, and useful if anyone is not on Facebook (which does happen).
Thanks. I didn’t think of that!
+6 votes
Personally, I recommend using G2G. I don't think people should have to join any other site to communicate with other project members. Among other problems, that leads to information silos which wouldn't be accessible to anybody if the other site (or the group within the site) becomes unavailable for any reason.
by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (530k points)
I used to feel as you do, Greg.  But I have found that there are many times when having an exchange just among project members is far more effective re: making progress on project goals. And, depending on your settings, the communications comes directly to your inbox.
Besides which - who wants to see the daily back-and-forth which would clog up G2G, apart from the people doing the 'talking'?
Jillaine, I should probably have clarified a little more about why I prefer to keep WikiTree stuff on WIkiTree (I mean, besides what I said earlier about the possibility of what I like to call the "accumulated wisdom" of the group becoming unavailable due to whatever problems might occur on the other site):

In my case, I don't use Google anything, because my real job entails me having extremely sensitive information on my computer, and Google just doesn't "get" the concept of privacy. So I'm excluded from any discussions that happen on Google services, not due to lack of interest on my part, but because I can't let what is, after all, only a hobby (at least for me) override the responsibility I have to keep other people's information private. Up to now, I have joined projects which encourage the use of Google discussions among project members, but just haven't taken part in the discussions on Google. (And, no, I'm not happy about that situation, but that was the compromise I came up with.) Maybe it would be better for me simply to drop out of any project which uses Google for discussion.

Facebook has a similar problem with lack of respect for people's privacy, combined with getting more and more annoying. I still like the concept of a nearly effortless method of keeping in touch with friends and family, but one day a couple of years ago, my feed had more spam and political ranting (despite my best efforts to filter out sources of both) than updates from any of my friends on what was going on in their lives (by a ratio of at least 4:1), and that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I closed my account a few days later (after warning my friends that I was planning to do so) and haven't looked back.

I was kind of amused, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, to read columns in the tech press, in response to various people's calls to drop Facebook, arguing "You can't quit Facebook, it's too much a part of your life." My response to that would have been "Oh, yeah? Watch me!" if I hadn't already been off Facebook for months at that point. I do miss being able to keep in touch with friends and family so easily, but I don't miss Facebook itself even one tiny little bit. But then again, I never was one to follow the crowd.

Now, I probably spend more time on WikiTree than on any other site (other than the ones I use for work), although I am on a couple of other sites that, like WikiTree, I would classify as at least partially social networking.

That said, I should probably say that there are other options within WikiTree besides G2G: take the Connectors Chat page, for example. It's just a free-space profile, but we use the comment feature to discuss things amongst members of the Connectors Project. (Although I would never criticise anybody for posting a Connectors Project-related post in G2G. Either method works fine for my, as long as I don't have to go to some other site to talk about WikiTree. That makes no sense to me. It would be like people coming to G2G to discuss a project on Geni.)

Ros, I'm afraid I just don't follow you when it comes to the idea of clogging up G2G. I only follow the tags of the subject I'm interested in on G2G, and even then, I just skip over threads that are outside my areas of interest or experience. But if somebody has something to say about a project that I'm part of, I want to see it, whether it's one of the leaders, or a newbie on the site for the first time. 

But quite aside from that, discussion is going to happen, whether here on G2G, on Google, on Facebook, on still another site, in direct emails, or wherever other means people think of (hiding notes in old marriage registry books in an archives somewhere?) Moving that discussion off G2G doesn't make it any less, it just moves the "clog" from G2G to Google, or Facebook, or people's inboxes, or wherever else.

Of course you can filter threads, but, picture this: one day earlier this year I came home from work to 42 posts from one project.  FORTY TWO!  and that was just one project.  Imagine if that was on G2G, plus all the other projects you or I belong to. There are 67 projects. That's a minimum of 2, 814 posts PER DAY.  Plus the subprojects that most of them have.   

OK, so you could filter out those 42 and only I need see them, but of course the WikiTree servers would have to cope with 2,814 per day...
I'm afraid we're going to have to disagree on that point, Ros. To me, those 2,814 messages would belong on WikiTree, not any other site. WikiTree is about genealogy, so all of that genealogy-related information belongs here, where genealogists can use it. Granted, Google and Facebook both have genealogical information on them, but for those sites, genealogy is incidental. Here, it's the whole point.

Plus the fact that WikiTree is funded by advertising, so more material on the WikiTree servers is a good thing, because it means more pages on which advertising can appear, and possibly more traffic from visitors, which means more ad revenue, which means that WikiTree can keep going. As far as WikiTree goes, more material is a good thing, not a bad thing. Hiving off WikiTree-related conversations to other sites just transfers the ad revenue to those other sites. (Which, in my opinion, would be a bad thing, because I like WikiTree, and therefore I would prefer that it stick around.)
I'm not sure I'm following Ros, but I found that un-ticking the "Email me if a comment is added after mine" when posting on a thread really helps prevent mailbox clogging.
But we're talking about ALL posts in a project, Isabelle, which of course I would want to see i.e. I would want to see all posts for the England Project, for example, whether I had commented on them or not.

The 42 posts were in a Google Group.

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