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I’m excited about the prospect of education starting up

Encouragement is needed for users to enter Reason statements - Education NOW.!

Perhaps Blog participants are the users who already insert a reason for each FT entry they make. They appreciate that it helps other users to understand and evaluate the entry when they see it in the system. It also helps the person making the entry to think more clearly and make better decisions. Exactly the same applies to attaching available Sources for all material.

When an internal messaging system is introduced to FT, we will all be able to ask others about their reasons for entries. BUT we need to educate users NOW, about the need for Reason statements. Doing so will prevent many users from being shocked and irritated when others start emailing them to ask their reasons for entries.

Suggestions: 1. FT could email every user (monthly) with an explanation of the need for Reason statements - with examples of good and bad reasons. 2. At each FT startup, an onscreen reminder about Reason statements could be given to every user.

I am always surprised when personal friends who are dedicated FT researchers tell me that they do not enter Reasons or Sources. Clearly, education is needed.

Perhaps bloggers can even offer here some examples of poor reasons that they have seen in FT. That may encourage FSFT to do some educating NOW.

Let's show our keen desire for this education to commence!
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  • I’m hoping for education to start.
    I'm disappointed to find that not a single person on the discussion board has expressed agreement with my promotion of entering REASON statements. Not even the keen users of FSFT have responded.

    Does it mean that even keen users do not understand the value of reasons for other users and themselves???

    Please read my suggestions above, for education about reason statements.
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  • Ken

    Perhaps it might have helped if you had provided some examples of what you believe might be shown as good (or bad) reason statements.

    Personally, after completing enough research to make it "justifiable" to enter an event on a person page in FT, I find it difficult to give a reason beyond something like, "Only close match found in the records". Do you believe I should list every check I have made in parish registers, etc., to "justify" my entry?

    The further back one goes it becomes increasingly difficult to "prove" anything, so whilst I may be able to provide an excellent reason for recording an event for an assumed ancestor, this still does not mean I'm correct.

    As an example, I have an ancestor, Isabella Lauder, who was born in 1871 and who was married in a parish a few miles away (in Durham, England) from where I had found a close-matching Isabella Lauder birth. After years of research I found she was actually born about 85 miles away in Scotland! The census and other records helped me here, but if she had been born a hundred years earlier I believe I would have reasoned that the individual born locally (being the only person found bearing that name within a fifty mile radius) was almost certainly my ancestor.

    Leading on from this, if I am (say) 95% sure of my facts, should I record nothing or enter the detail with a comment to reflect the slight, niggling doubt?
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  • I’m a bit dismayed at the silence of FSFT
    Thanks, Paul, for your response. (BTW: Many of my ancestors are from Durham too.) Your response may help FSFT staff to be more aware of the need for education on this matter. You are helping them to see the questions in the minds of submitters.

    Yes, I could collect and write lists of what I think are useful reason statements, or otherwise. I was actually hoping for those to come from other users and from FSFT educators. Perhaps in the future I will post some. But I'm still hoping to see some interest expressed by FSFT staff and users. I was told by one staffer that my reason statements are better than those offered by 95% of users.

    When I, on a rare occasion, see a reason statement offered by a submitter/changer of some data, I get an idea of why they think the data is correct. That helps me in my consideration of any conflicting data that I am considering. On the other hand, when they write "because it's correct," the statement is just as useless as writing nothing.

    I'm sure that a person who can write as you have done above, is capable of making sensible reason statements. And you probably do so. Your statements can save other users from wondering why you made a merge or why you changed a date or place.

    However, if nobody from FSFT thinks the subject is important enough to say something on the subject, perhaps FT shouldn't even ask for reasons, let alone provide any education on the subject.
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  • Paul, when I've been faced with a situation like yours with Isabella, I have entered: "This Isabella was born at about the right year and in the area of our Isabella's Durham marriage. I am not fully convinced that she is the right Isabella but it is looking likely." I may just put that in 'Discussions' and think about it for a while. Later, depending on all that I learn, I might even go as far as putting her in as my Isabella, perhaps still with any remaining ambivalence expressed. That encourages other researchers to give the matter some thought and research.

    If I gave no reasoning, other users would not know whether I have sound reasons for entering her or not. Most would just accept what I entered and an error would be perpetuated.
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  • Check out this link to a James Tanner blog post that deals with this issue in a great way: http://rejoiceandbeexceedingglad.blog...
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  • Absolutely we want users to create great Reason statements, as I mentioned in various threads, especially early on as FamilyTree was being deployed, and various enhancement ideas.

    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...

    Thanks for your ideas but it takes a lot of time to get through all the Get Satisfaction input and to post relevant replies.

    How you get a message out is complex, too much "spam" and users ignore everything from that organization. Once the user hits "unsubscribe" the organization loses that user. You could imagine how much email a user would get from FamilySearch, and the various church organizations if all those orgs sent email. There's thousands of things we could teach in the emails (witness just the GS threads).

    Many users are annoyed by startup screens. Very infrequently do you see these from say Google. Annoyed users become less-visiting users...

    So there is thinking of more impedance on the Reason statement. So if 50 users have contributed or are watching a Person, when a user tries to change it they are warned that n-users are watching that so make a good Reason statement and include good Sources.
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  • I’m pleased that someone is considering this topic
    Joe, I understand your comments about 'spam' on startup screens and emails to all users. However, I believe the subject of providing reasons is such a fundamental one for users to learn about, for the improvement of FT data quality, that SOME education steps need to be taken.

    Your idea of warning users that n people are watching or working on this name is a fantastic one. Thanks for making your comments.
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  • I’m hopeful for wide education on Reason Statements
    Thanks for that good Blog article, Robert. I would just suggest that the introduction be changed to put a bit more pressure on users to always give a reason, rather than making it sound so optional.

    I do wish that statements like the article were not just available to users who study the Blog or who proactively search FT Tips & Tricks. Educative efforts are needed, or Reason Statements will never become common. They are important for high quality data.

    I especially like the author's approach to the occasional use of the grammatical first person in reason statements. I agree that first person is sometimes quite appropriate.
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  • Keep the Light Bulb/Tips coming on Family Tree. It is subtle Training, so badly needed in many places.
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  • I WISH FAMILY SEARCH WOULD TRAIN THEIR MISSIONARIES BETTER TOO, AFTER VERY POOR SUPPORT FROM THEM, I AM MIGHT HAPPY TO GET THAT SO PEOPLE ARE AWARE THAT WHO KNOW WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT YOUR GOING TO GET FROM THEM!
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