When must one add a project as manager for a profile?

+8 votes

Please bear with me while I explain carefully why I ask the question, because I do not want replies dissecting the merits of a specific case, I want clarification on the policy itself. And please do not add the surname tag or the particular project tag. They have been omitted on purpose.

I have been a WikiTree member for a little less than two years now. Sometimes I can no longer imagine any other way to do genealogy properly, but sometimes, as on this issue, I feel as if I still have a lot to learn.

I think I understand what PPP is about. There is some founding father about whom there are divergent views, e.g. which of several obscure hamlets in 18-th Europe lent him its name, and his profile gets edited to and fro by adherents of either view, each in the process "correcting" the work of the other. The management of the project protects the profile by activating a setting that only they can change, so that warnings are splashed whenever anybody presumes to edit the profile. It also actually freezes certain data fields so that carefully researched facts can't be changed by just anybody who has signed the honor code.

I think I understand what a project is about. It collects a lot of helpful stuff that people working on the project would need, but the main thing is its project group. When you join that, it is like being on the watchlist of hundreds if not thousands of profiles: you get e-mails whenever something, usually just a comment, happens on any of them. There is a tacit request that if you can help, please do.

Apart from getting the profile onto that virtual watch list. I am not so sure what the project-as-manager is about.

In this case, a very experienced (joined Nov 2013, over 100000 contributions) WikiTree member added a project as profile manager, and has been asked by an almost equally experienced project leader to undo that action on the grounds that the profile does not fall under the criteria of a profile that needs PPP. Let me repeat that I do not want a discussion on whether that particular request is justified: if two persons of such experience disagree, we are not going to get it sorted out on G2G.

What I would like to know is what I, or any other rank-and-file WikiTree member, should take into account when deciding whether to add a project as manager. Remember now: the consequence of that action will be that everybody on the project's mailing list is informed whenever a future change happens to the profile.

I have in the past added projects as manager when the profile is in the scope of the project, plus any of the following reasons:

  1. I plan to remove myself as manager and don't want the profile to be orphaned when there is a project under which it could fall.
  2. I have done all the research I could, written a nice biography, and am fishing for compliments.
  3. I have done all the research I could and, having hit a brick wall, am hoping that some of the experts on the project will sooner or later take in interest in the profile.
  4. The profile is open but badly needs some attention, which it has not got from its apathetic manager in the three years since its creation by GEDCOM import.

Rarely if ever have I added the project as manager of a profile because it seemed to need PPP.

So here again is my question: When must one add a project as manager for a profile?

WikiTree profile: Petrus Johannes Redelinghuis
in Policy and Style by Dirk Laurie G2G6 Mach 3 (36.2k points)
Great question, Dirk, and eloquently set forth.  I have never seen any policy about this, but it seems to me that there certainly should be one.  I also think your statement of reasons is an excellent proposal for such a policy (by the way, without consciously structuring it, I have often used the same criteria for adding projects as manager).

I have seen several battles fought on G2G about when a project should be a profile manager by different individual projects and members, with divergent opinions fervently expressed on both sides.  I don't believe policy should be set by individual projects - it needs to be universal.

I will be watching this topic with great interest. Thank you for bringing it up.
Hi Dirk,

Apparently the leaders had a discussion on profiles managed by projects. The little bit I could deduce was that exceeding the limit of 5000 is now strictly a big No. That leaves quite a few projects with more than just a few headaches.

A profile cannot have a Project Box without the project being on the trusted list as manager. That really screwed some projects who have thousands of profiles in maintenance categories.

Then there was the issue of categories and stickers which has only very recently been clarified. (Allow project boxes to be replaced with categorised country/state/town maintenance etc. stickers)

See where I'm getting to.....It is a really slow process.
Do you mean that merely putting {{Project Title}} on a profile I edit is enough to put the project on the trusted list, let alone make it manager? In that case: Houston, we have a problem.
Well, it will probably produce a project box which will say something like "This profile is managed by the xxx Project" - which it won't be.  It won't *make* the project the PM/on the TL, but why would you want a template which says it's being managed by a project when it isn't?
It seems as if I have some cryptic writing style. Picture this.

A project has ten thousand profiles managed by the project with maintenance categories on its project boxes. WikiTree says, you are allowed only 5000 profiles.

What does the project do? Removes itself from being manager of 5000 profiles. Problem: This creates a mountain of errors for the data doctors, because the project boxes have to be removed as well. Next Problem:  Profiles loose their maintenance categories when profile boxes are removed.

Solution: Add maintenance categories to a sticker and replace project boxes with stickers.

See my answer here. I have a very specific interest in this family name beacuse of my ongoing research in the life and times of Johannes Hendricus (Redelijkhúijsen) Redelinghuis (bef. 1756 - 1802)   who died in the Hague 1802 and whose second wife went back to the Cape Colony with some of their children who eventually also married into amongst others some Italian names - see my comment on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Redelinghuis-46

3 Answers

+4 votes
Only after you have contacted the project and they have agreed.  You should never go behind their 'backs' and make them the project manager.
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
I was manager of this profile and added the project as active co-manager. I did not go behind the back of anybody in doing so.

With a real person, normal procedure prevents your going behind their backs.

That's certainly how would I do it with a real person.
Most projects, though, give you blanket permission by putting a message like the following on the project-as-person profile (this project is not one to which I belong, I have picked it almost at random):
To add this Magna Carta Project Account as a profile manager:
  1. On the profile you would like the Magna Carta project to help watch over, click the Privacy tab.
  2. In the "Add to Trusted List" section, enter: wikitreemagnacarta[at]googlegroups.com (changing out [at] for @)
  3. Click the "Add this Person" button.
  4. Scroll back down and click [Add as Manager] to the right of the entry for WikiTree-36.
Some projects don't, however.  They like you to ask first.  And if Leaders are being asked to tighten up on their 5000-profile limit, maybe that Magna Carta message will go away before you know it...

I must add here that in the course of looking at enough projects to justify my "most projects" sweeping statement, I found that the criteria for adding the project as manager seemed to differ from one project to the next. So at present the answer to my question seems to be: 

Search on the last name Wikitree. Click the appropriate project profile and read what it says there.

true that different projects have different ways of doing things - being a true "mutt"  my ancestors going back fall into a lot of differnt projects and going through my tree I have to stop and change modes at the border - so's to speak as I do - I understand the question as sometimes you get your person in there and wish you had not as it gets quite complicated - but I am also grateful for the expert advise, the links to sources etc. the project folks have at their fingertips - it is a choice that has to be made, and sometimes all the information is not there to decide
+4 votes

The criteria for project protection (and hence adding a project account) are here:


More about Project Accounts is here:


by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)
edited by Jillaine Smith
In addition, all profiles that are ppp (project protected) need to have a project box and the project account as manager.

Not all profiles that have the project box and the project account as manager need to be ppp'd.

Hi Jillaine, I'm just home from being away for a few days and did not see the comment of one of the project leaders (I'm one of the managers of this profile). I also do not understand why it does not fit the requirements for in this case not falling under a certain project. A lot of harm has been done by the decision [following a rather rather childish battle fought out in the G2G over projects having too much or too little weight or influence or 'power'] it seems to restrict projects to less than 5000 profiles per project. Insane if one considers the Holocaust project must surely have more than 6 Million profiles? There were also more than 5000 settlers in New Amsterdam? [etc.] Your links does not answer any of these or Lauries concerns. 

Hi Philip.

The 5000 limitation is not as a result of some choice someone made, but a system limitation to handle up to 5000 profiles on a watchlist
In which case the system needs changing. I do not buy that in these times of mass algorithmic computations, that a system cannot handle more than (what also seems to be an arbitrary number) of 5000. This was a choice, not a system failure. And if it is a system failure, it begs addressing.
Solution. Give everybody who has a WikiTree account a T1 connection because that is where the biggest performance degradation happens. Throw in unlimited resources for bandwidth and performance. Wow what a dream!
I don't want to hijack this thread by going off on an unrelated and irrelevant tangent, but ...

umm, Philip, about the Holocaust project ... there are nowhere near 6 million profiles in it - perhaps a few thousand, probably not even over the 5,000 limit.  I presume your 6 million is based on the commonly reported number of Jews who perished in the Holocaust, but the project also includes non-Jews who also suffered the same atrocities at the hands of the Nazis, as well as non-Jews who gave aid and protection to the Jews being persecuted, and it even includes individual Nazis who perpetrated the atrocities.  It will be a very long time before the number of profiles in the project gets out of control, though.

Philip, The links may not answer your question about the 5000 limitation but they certainly answer (especially the second link) Laurie's question "What I would like to know is what I, or any other rank-and-file WikiTree member, should take into account when deciding whether to add a project as manager. "

Perhaps. Most likely it does not answer our uncertainty.

Please read this answer for clarification from Chris Whitten

Indeed as I said. Arbitrary. Yet a project is not a person. And if say a secondary source as "Genealogies of old Cape Families" (very old school; manually labour intensive) could handle 80000 or more family "profiles", a computer should easily be able to compute that amount and a project (as you yourself have argued in the past) collaboratively handle a watch list of thousands more than 5000. WikiTree broad that will amount to millions yes. Yet I'm not going to argue here the policy of WikiTree. Many projects will have much more than 5000 profiles on their "watchlists". Time and innovative technology and a will to insight will overcome any issues. I rest my case and will now return to shifting the work load manually with help of computer and algorithm.
+2 votes
What if it were possible to add tags to other types of page besides space pages?
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)

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