Help:Project FAQ

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Here are questions and answers about projects.


Why do we have projects?

A project is simply a group of members organized around a topic or activity on WikiTree.

WikiTree is all about collaboration. Collaboration depends on communication and coordination. Projects make it easier for members who are interested in the same profiles or volunteer work to find each other, communicate, and coordinate their efforts.

Two of the most important purposes of topical projects, i.e. projects covering a group of profiles, are to:

  1. manage controversial profiles of historically-significant and widely-shared ancestors, and to
  2. develop styles and standards for editing those profiles.

Technically, all standards apply everywhere on WikiTree, but practically speaking many only apply in certain areas. (See the Style FAQ.) For example, whether "Knight" or "Sir" belongs in a Prefix, Formal First Name, Preferred First Name, or Suffix field is something that the European Aristocrats Project worked out.

It's important for community members to have a way to communicate about these rules, how to apply them, and whether they need to change. Projects are the forum for this.

What is the difference between projects, sub-projects, teams, etc.?

Top-level projects

Top-level projects are the most formal. They have all of the following:

  1. Five or more active members.
  2. A project page with a mission statement and other standard sections.
  3. A unique tag in G2G that members follow.
  4. A unique badge that members wear.
  5. At least two Project Leaders involved. This is necessary because only members with the Leader status can edit project pages, assign project badges, and project-protect profiles.

In addition, topical projects all have:

  1. A project account for managing profiles.
  2. A project box for managed profiles.
  3. An example profile. These are highlighted on the main WikiTree home page, in the Connection Finder, and on WikiTree's social media channels. The profile is also included in the Example Gallery.


Sub-projects may have all the elements listed above for projects but they're not required. This makes them less formal.

One clear difference is badges. Sub-projects use the badge of a higher-level project. The total number of badges that we can have on WikiTree is limited. We may have thousands of projects but we can't have thousands of badges. This is part of why some projects need to be sub-projects of others.

See Help:Sub-Projects.

Project teams

Projects and sub-projects are often divided into teams. Teams give volunteers choices about how to be involved and make a project "modular" so that it is easy to add and remove components as volunteers come and go.

See Help:Project Teams.

Free-space projects

Free-space projects are whatever you want them to be!

They may be brand new and completely informal. Or they might be growing and becoming nearly indistinguishable from a sub-project or project team.

Like sub-projects, they may use the badge of a top-level project. One clear difference between sub-projects and free-space projects is the page for the project community. Sub-projects use a project page (the page names start with Project:) while free-space projects, of course, use free-space profiles (the page names start with Space:).

See Help:Free-Space Projects.

Are profiles owned by the projects that manage them?

No. We never refer to profiles being owned on WikiTree. All profiles are part of the same tree and governed by the rules and policies developed by the community.

It's understandable why management of a profile can sometimes look like ownership. Private profiles of modern people can be controlled very tightly by family members. That makes it look like the Profile Managers own them. On the other end of the spectrum, profiles of widely-shared ancestors and historically-significant people need to strictly adhere to agreed-upon styles and standards. Since projects are the forums where style rules are developed, discussed, and applied, management by project can look like ownership by the members who participate in the project. However, any member can participate in a project.

Do you have to participate in a project to work on certain profiles?

If a profile is managed by a project you need to contact the project before doing any significant editing.

Don't let this scare you. :-) This is just another way of saying that you need to communicate and coordinate what you're doing with the other members who are working on the same profile, or profiles related to it. Collaborating on profiles is point I of our Honor Code. Projects are how we collaborate on widely-shared ancestors and historically-significant people.

You don't need to be a formal member of the project or wear the project badge on your profile. You might just want to send a note to project account (it will appear as a profile manager) to introduce yourself and what you're doing. You might also post a comment on the profile, or post a message in G2G using the project tag.

Can profiles be covered by multiple projects?

Technically, yes. The profiles covered by projects inevitably overlap. However, one project should usually have primary responsibility. There should never be more than two projects managing the same profile.

Who should have a project badge?

Project badges, e.g. the Puritan Great Migration Project Member Badge, are for active members of a project. They should be reserved for members who participate and contribute to the project goals.

If a project member remains inactive for a long time, the project leaders or coordinators may want to confirm if the person is still interested in participating. The member may just want a Profile Sticker that shows their pride in having ancestors who are part of the Puritan Great Migration, for example.

Other questions

Have more questions? Please ask them one at a time in G2G.

This page was last modified 16:37, 28 November 2023. This page has been accessed 10,468 times.