Project: Profile Improvement/Talk archive

This is an archive of the talk page for the Profile Improvement Project. We are no longer using the talk pages, and are using G2G instead. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on G2G.

This archive was created on 24 April 2013.


How to use talk pages

If you're not used to using other wikis, you may not be familiar with talk pages. To start a new discussion, create a new section. For example, I created this section by typing == How to use talk pages == and then starting to type on the next line. To respond to someone, just add your response underneath what you're responding to. It's customary to indent responses with a colon, so the first response would start with : and a response to that would start with ::, etc. That makes talk pages easier to read. Please sign your comments with ~~~~, which will display your name and the date and time of your comment. I hope that helps! :) Lavoie-74 22:37, 1 July 2012 (EDT)

Thanks for telling us how to respond. Not sure that I am a fan of these. Cant wait to see this project underway, though! (On another note, I hate the 4~ Signature makes a red/invalid link for your user name!) Stough-48 15:04, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
No problem! Anyway, we still have G2G, in case the talk pages don't work out. As for the red links on user names, that's because they link to pages like User:Lavoie-74 instead of just Lavoie-74, and WikiTree doesn't use User pages. Chris's link shows up green, though, so there could be a way of changing it. Lavoie-74 10:22, 5 July 2012 (EDT)
Chris is just special like that :p Stough-48 19:07, 7 July 2012 (EDT)
FWIW, this is just a cosmetic issue, i.e. red vs. green links. The "User:" pages redirect to the profile pages. Whitten-1 09:44, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Lianne - I really think this Profile Improvement project is a great idea. Keith Baker 23:42, 7 August 2012 (EDT)


I'd be willing to work on cleaning up profiles, but am not at all sure I understand what should be left....I've only recently started linking to my sources, (yes, I've got one of those 'only one copy" books, too (see Sharp-661). But, what I'm concerned about is ...well, go to Varner-124, check what I've done under Sources. If this OK, fine, if not please advise. Once I get this straight, perhaps I can help clean up my and other profiles. Tom Bredehoft Bredehoft-6 22:24, 7 July 2012 (EDT)

Tom, I think what you've got on Varner-124 is good. Of course, the more information for sources, the better. If you can detail what comes from what using "ref" footnotes that's valuable. When you say, "what should be left", what do you mean? My philosophy is to not remove anything that might conceivably be helpful to someone. That includes false information. You just have to describe where that information comes from, why it can be misinterpreted, etc. Whitten-1 09:44, 24 July 2012 (EDT)
Since I have been using FamilySearch a LOT in the last couple of years of online research, I find it really nice that at the bottom of each results page is a Source Citation that can be cut and pasted into the 'Source' area on the profile thus providing not only the source info, but a working link to it. For an example see: Zimmermann-75 FWIW Keith Baker 23:48, 7 August 2012 (EDT)
Chris, thanks for pointing out not to remove anything that might be useful.
Keith, thanks for that (at the bottom of each results page is a Source Citation). I wasn't aware of it and will be using it in the future. That's far better than cut/pasting the link, not knowing if it's going to work or not.Bredehoft-6 22:01, 11 August 2012 (EDT)

More Standards

Here's what I am doing: In the free form section:

[Categories: etc.]

= Merging Notice ==

... link to Historically Significant user group ...

= Biography ==

This is for stuff like birth, marriage, death, parents and children, occupation, military service ... If it is readable text, I don't try to rewite it. I know better than to try because my grades in English composition were a lot less than stellar.

= Sources ==

  • Source: Author, Title Publishing info, Place, Year and a link, if I have one...

= WikiTree Contributors == I list the people who seem to have done the individual profiles that I've merged, including myself as doing the merging. Is there a way to do this without having the WikiTreers appear on Google???

I want WikiTree to be the BEST IN CLASS, so please add your comments. Becky Syphers July 9, 2012

Hi Becky! As an overall structure I think this is pretty standard across WikiTree, which is good. (It's the stuff inside those sections that gets a bit crazy!) The one thing I leave out is the WikiTree Contributors section. I figure, it's all in the history anyway. If someone actually wrote (not copied) a big fancy biography of a person, I would of course reference it as being written by that person, but for a profile as a whole I don't think it's necessary. Maybe that's just because a lot of the profiles I merge are just piles of stuff imported from Ancestry, so often the contributors didn't actually write anything themselves anyway. So I guess that varies by profile. Lavoie-74 22:35, 9 July 2012 (EDT)
Thank you, Becky! This is fantastic. I agree with Lianne that the details of what different contributors did is on the Changes page. But if you want to help put that in context and make it easier for people to understand, that's a valuable contribution. Moreover, I often put notes about who researched what in the source, e.g. this source as researched by this person. Often our sources are second-hand, e.g. a lot of our personal family history comes from you and your mother. I can list the source that you list. The would put the source on the page and my contribution in the history, but it wouldn't tell the whole story. Whitten-1 09:50, 24 July 2012 (EDT)

Free Space Profiles (School, Cemetery, Church, etc)

So kind of new to this conversation but is there an intention within this group to try to standardize how certain types of Free Space profiles are "created" or is it primarily for personal profiles. I can totally understand it going in either direction. I can see for the majority of Free space profile topics it can look however the person wants it to look as it is largely a personal thing, but for public edifices (including landmarks, memorials, etc) or institutions (like noted in the heading) does it make sense to have a more standard format? Just curious. I know for myself as I create these things I have saved the "coding" into a Word file and then just copy it into the new biography section and edit as needed. It saves me time and keeps things consistent. I am working on a similar thing for my personal biographies and have been extremely interested in the discussions abou that. Chelton-4 11:17, 13 August 2012 (EDT)

An example to work on

A few people have mentioned that we should work together on an example profile, which should bring up questions/discussions about the ideal profile. So, I found us one: John Alden Jr. (I don't mean to pick on Becky! :) We all have profiles like this that have been merged a lot and become huge!)

All I've done so far is gone through and removed all the <references /> tags except for one at the end. This already cleans up the page, because every one of those tags was displaying all the references that had been defined so far on the page. Now they just appear once, at the bottom.

What should be done next? Please do not go through and do the whole cleanup! Just fix one thing throughout and talk about it here, discussing questions as they come up. Lavoie-74 19:22, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

My thought would be to remove the redundancy of "Source" sections and also to remove redundant sources. I would also take out all the GEDCOM type upload and transfer information from the top of those sections and 1)either dump it entirely ~or~ 2) collect it together at the very end of the "Source" listings. Forrester-158 23:01, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
Already we've come to something that people disagree on. :) I agree with you about cleaning up the GEDCOM import stuff. Personally, I just delete those, since you can get the same info from the changes page anyway. But not everyone agrees on that. I guess as long as they're put together and formatted so that they don't take up a lot of space, I'm not too bothered by that. This also brings up to the similar issue of sources from Ancestry trees, etc. Lavoie-74 09:35, 23 August 2012 (EDT)
Please keep the gedcom info - clump it all at the end if you must, but I've found several gedcoms that I trust the info in and several that I don't. I'd like to know what info came from where. With an HSA, what I've been doing isn't practical, but I've been writing a biography based on posted info and keeping all previous info (see Watkins-311 for an example - not real pretty, but all the info is there and you know what came from where). Liz Shifflett

I think the Alden page looks pretty good, although it includes the paragraph: "This profile has had about 65 component profiles merged together, some for the Pilgrim John Alden and some for the son, Captain John Alden, Jr. About 50 sources were listed, which have been backed up on my computer." Wouldn't it be better to create a free-space page with the extra sources? At the least, say who the "my" is. Liz Shifflett

An Historically Significant (though more recent) Example and Question

(Originally sent to Lindsey Coleman - she suggested I share it here) As I happily hop around on WikiTree investigating various things, I happened to start wondering about this specific Special Project of yours in relation to the "non-user group managed, but historically significant" profiles on the WT. I searched several well-known names from the past history of the US, and the one that REALLY caught my attention, in terms of duplicates needing to be merged or something was: Abraham Lincoln. I lost count of how many Abes there are with a Kentucky birthdate of 1809 and a death date of April 1865 (meaning that they are all intended to be THAT Abe Lincoln), but it is an overwhelming number. Is this the type of thing I (we? this group) can tackle and start whittling on right away? Comments from anyone/everyone here please?Keith Baker 16:52, 31 August 2012 (EDT)

Thanks for all you, Keith! I wonder if there would be interest in a US Presidents Project? Whitten-1 11:23, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I definitely think there would be interest in that! In my experience, people love doing genealogy on the presidents. Just like I love working on the royal family profiles. :) Keith, if you'd be interested in leading such a group, I could help you get a project page set up for it. Lavoie-74 12:04, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm certainly willing to give it a shot, if you can abide my frequent coding errors... Keith Baker 14:34, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

To remove Ref or not

Above, Lavoie-74 mentioned she removes all refs from a page. That made my stomach turn over because those are the internal footnotes and citations that come with a gedcom. So what's the logic for removing citations? Thanks for helping me understand. Smith-32867 07:36, 18 October 2012 (EDT)

Hi Jillaine! I'm glad you're potentially getting involved in the users groups. :) I'm not sure what comment you're referring to, or exactly what you mean by refs. What I remove on profiles I'm collaborating on are the following (reasons in parentheses):
  • refs that say it's someone's personal knowledge, when it's a 200+ year old person (this is just automatically put there on profile creations and doesn't really apply in these cases)
  • sources that say this is from so-and-so's gedcom (as Chris would say, these are the wiki way; that info is available in the history)
  • Ancestry member trees (can't be viewed by most people, and aren't reliable)
  • gedcom stuff that becomes meaningless on WikiTree, like IDs that reference other profiles, but only in the database on the user's computer

Let me know if you have arguments against any of those, or if I didn't mention the thing you're referring to. Lavoie-74 11:12, 18 October 2012 (EDT)

My misunderstanding. I thought you were saying you removed any instance of ref tags. I support your reasons above. Btw, I didn't get any notification of a response here. If I'm watching a page and someone edits it, shouldn't in be getting a message to that effect? Smith-32867 00:35, 25 October 2012 (EDT)

Jillaine, have you checked the "Watch this page" box just above the "save page" button? Keith Baker 11:37, 25 October 2012 (EDT)
You know I always wondered what that check box does. I have it checked on several pages and have never - to my knowledge received an update. Try it though it may just be something with my machine.Chelton-4 02:30, 26 October 2012 (EDT)
watch box checked. No notification. Also does not appear on my contributions list. Smith-32867 07:48, 26 October 2012 (EDT)
This Watchlist stuff is confusing and I apologize. On WikiTree, we created our own system of Watchlists designed around profiles. These Watchlists, the ones you access through your "My Watchlist" link and get updates about, only work for profiles of people and free-space profiles. When it comes to "conventional" wiki pages such as Projects the watch function is the conventional/old one. We haven't disabled this old Watchlist system but we also haven't done anything to clean it up or make it more accessible. It's only accessible to Supervisors. As for making it easier and more integrated for WikiTree users, we've been going in a different direction. Our next priority is a system for watching surname activity and tagged activity in G2G. As for immediate alerts via e-mail, that happens for comments on profiles and G2G (and Private Messages and Merge Proposals) but nothing else. To be honest, I'm still a little split on Project Talk pages. I'm not sure if we want to invest in them or improve G2G instead. Whitten-1 08:57, 26 October 2012 (EDT)
G2G is much easier for novices to use (and where talk pages are concerned, that includes me). Barton-1090 22:11, 26 October 2012 (EDT)

Featured Profiles

As you may or may have seen, there's a discussion on G2G about having some kind of featured profile process, similar to the featured articles on Wikipedia.

First things first, we'll need criteria for makes a great profile page. I think we should work those out here, and then make a help page on the subject. To start us off, here are my initial thoughts, based on the Wikipedia criteria, altered a bit to make sense for WikiTree:

A featured profile is:
  • well-sourced: All facts presented in the profile should be accompanied by reliable sources.
  • well-written: The text portion of the profile should be enjoyable to read.
  • well-structured: The text portion of the profile should be structured in a way that makes it easy to read and easy to find information, as well as visually appealing. Large amounts of text about a place, event, etc. should be split off into a free-space page.
A featured profile should be Public or Open (possibly an exception for living famous people, like presidents, etc.?).

What do you think? What should be added, changed, etc.? Lavoie-74 20:30, 24 January 2013 (EST)

I think all your suggestions for this are excellent. The only thing I would maybe add is something we wrestled with when starting the presidents group and that is what about this profile makes it a genealogical profile/biography and not just a Wikipedia article. The will obviously have an overlap but what are the hallmarks that would showcase the genealogical aspect of the profile. We never really reached a consensus but this might be a place to show different people's approaches to achieving this goal. For instance, I could see - and would like to see - included in a profile a brief narration of the process for collecting the information presented especially if interesting brick walls were encountered and over come. I do not know just a thought.Chelton-4 08:38, 21 February 2013 (EST)
Just trying to bump this discussion again to see if there is any interest in this group to tackle this. I may take some time and try to put something rough together and maybe that will spark some interest. Personally I think the better the consistency and quality of the work produced on WikiTree the better it will be for the tree and all those involved. Honestly I think this is excellent task for helping this group to pursue more cohesive standards for profiles. We have excellent style guides and other resources but - and I may be missing it - there is really not one place where you can go and find "it all put together". Been sick all week so not sure if any of this makes sense. Let me know if anyone else is interested in pursuing this?
Just as an aside I can totally see this branching out into the various types of Free Space pages as well.Chelton-4 16:15, 28 March 2013 (EDT)

This page was last modified 15:38, 20 June 2019. This page has been accessed 691 times.