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Key contributors survey: 90-10-1 Participation Inequality

I’m doing an informal survey and would like to know what key contributors think.

There is an rule, (Participation Inequality) in internet (social) communities that describes that:
90% of Users are “lurkers”, just reading, perusing information
10% of Users contribute a few edits and adds
1% of Users actively, consistently contribute a high volume (e.g. 70-90%) of new content and corrections
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_ru...
https://www.nngroup.com/articles/part...

If you consider yourself a key contributor then what are the metrics that characterize your contribution?
———
Say, over the last month you were a 1% key contributor (because we all can’t be high all the time). You might say, “I’m think I’m a high contributor because I :
Added 20 names to FT
I added/edited 100 conclusions in FT
I added/edited 20 relationships in FT
Added 40 Sources to FT
Evaluated 50 hints.
I performed 20 Merges in FT
I added 10 memories
I indexed 300 names"
... what else?
"Also, I spent 100 hours last month contributing.” and if you want you can say how many hours it takes you to do any of those contributions (e.g.
10 minutes/merge). This is just a rough personal estimate.

For this study your time on GetSat is not part of the study. (Future).

This isn’t a contest to see who has the biggest numbers, because some of you may take 100 hours to sort through a really tough locale, or work in part of the tree that has high complexity and churn. Also, I know quality work will always take more time than higher quantities of superficial work.
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  • Personally, I may take a month or two research and getting information ready to add to FT. After doing so, I spend time adding lots of names and sources to FT. Then I repeat the process. I spend about 60 to 80 hours per month doing these activities.
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  • I’m in love with it all
    I spend about 200 hours/month on Family Tree and vary activities: attaching sources, which frequently adds new names, merging dups (less time here now), comparing partner hints, cleaning up vital info like standardizing dates & places, teaching FSFT classes, etc. I spend about 40% of my time on Memories because I've traded paper scrapbooks for FT digital albums. My activity sometimes shifts to what FS has newly added/changed, just so I can educate myself about it.
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  • I'd probably put myself in the 1% category because I do a little of my own research and provide a lot of help to stake members because of my calling as a stake consultant. I estimate that I spend anywhere from 5 - 15 hours per week in my calling.

    Over the last month I only added about 3 of my own names, but I've been purposely focusing on cleanup and helping others.

    I've probably guided stake members and others in adding around 20 carefully validated names over the last month.

    I've spent probably 40 hours doing intensive cleanup, repairing bad merges and families who are incorrectly combined. I am finding a lot of those lately. For example, one woman had a son born in the 1700s. Someone added her as the last child of a couple who married in the late 1800s, apparently because they had similar last names.

    I couldn't even begin to estimate how many sources, conclusions, or merges I've done in the last month. Probably dozens. I did about 16 merges last night and this morning as I combined a family with 8 children from extracted christening records.

    I don't know if that helps at all. You could probably pull more accurate information from the database. In fact, I'd be interested to know how my estimates compare to reality :)
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  • 1
    I'm probably not good estimating time but let's say around 20 hours per week for over half-dozen years. I almost never add names! I find names that are already there, attach FamilySearch sources (census and vitals such as marriage/death/birth), add relationships, and merge. Around a couple times per week I correct small mistaken merges or old mis-combines, and around once per month I might tackle a big mistaken merge or old mis-combine. When making such corrections, of course I attach sources but I also try to correct both "my" and "their" persons (helps show the differences and avoid problems reoccurring in future).
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  • I fall into the 1% category for this forum up until about three weeks ago. At that point, I had a major non-genealogical project that I needed to concentrate on and as such, stopped being a major contributor.

    That project no longer occupies a major part of my time and so I'm just now looking at some recent entries in the Get Satisfaction forum.

    I often find spending time in the forum takes away from time I should be spending with my relatives in the massive tree.

    When I am actively working on a relative's record, I can easily search for many hours beyond what FamilySearch offers, and add those sources first to my private database (Ancestral Quest) as well as the Ancestry tree. But, I usually limit additions to the Ancestry tree to those entries found on Ancestry, such as the yearly Kansas enumerations up through 1961.

    As to FamilyTree, once I have completed updating and am satisfied that I have covered my relative's possible records (I have checklists that I use), at that point, I will bring the Family Tree record up to date.

    So, when it comes to FamilyTree, I probably fall into the 10% category, but with a lot of activity that never shows up on FSFT.
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  • I do research first and then I add many names and sources at one time to FT. I spend about 30-40 hours per week. Additionally I work as a volunteer in FT correcting place names in Finland and a little bit in Sweden giving time 5 to 20 hours per week.
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  • 1
    I’m think I’m a high contributor because I :
    Added around 100 names to Family Tree
    I added/edited hundreds of conclusions in FT because I always standardize, add the sources, and look at the Record Problems and try to solve them.
    I added/edited probably approaching 100 relationships in FT because I am manually comparing the information in FT with information in my research of 30 years, books that I believe are great sources and DNA proven family relationships.
    I probably add about 40 Sources to FT each time I log in helping others serving as the Stake Temple & Family History Consultant and working for two paid clients cleaning up their families. So that number would be in the hundreds each month I am sure.
    I evaluated a lot of hints. I have no idea how many.
    I performed tons of merges in FT because it is a part of the cleaning up process as I add sources, evaluate hints and get rid of record problems.
    I added very few memories because I have done a lot in the past and I'd rather research and fix things right now.
    I have reviewed in Indexing some as well.
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  • I probably fit in the high contributor category.
    Most of my effort is to work through my ancestors adding sources if I can find them concentrating on vital invormation, christening, death/burial, marriage.
    On average I probably do about 30 merges per month. Most of this is working on a family that come from extracted records and have not been "put together". There exist triples - child, father and mother that need to have all the fathers merged, all the mothers merged and sometime the children merged to make the family integrated.
    I spend not time on living people and only minimal on memories because after three or four generations there is very limited material.
    I also spend a fair amount of time on "mixed up records' attempting to unmerge or remove incorrect relationships.
    unfortunately, I do not keep track of the number of sources added or the number of hints rejected. During the last couple of months a significant number of incorrect hints have been attached to ancestors so a number of hours have been spend reviewing incorrect hints and also incorrect suggested possible duplicates.
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  • High contributor. Attach approximately 100+ record hints, add any new persons to the tree, and clean up, merge, etc
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  • High contributor. Spending all my time now attaching civil birth and religious baptism records to people previously entered through extraction and through indexing. Currently maybe 5 hours a week but has been as many as 50 - 60 in the last few months. Also combining the records of the parents to create small trees that can later be connected to other small trees. Often 200 names per week.
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  • 1
    Definitely one of the 1%.

    Overall I've added over 6000 names to FSFT in my own line and collateral lines, although a proportion of those are living individuals and so only visible to me. Probably 5000 or so dead individuals.

    Outside of my own line I've also added a great many entries, just to flesh out areas. Not sure exactly how many because I don't sync them to my own local database and thus don't have numbers. Certainly hundreds, probably well into the thousands.

    I'd say a reasonable guestimate for the number of profiles of dead individuals I've added to the system is somewhere between 7000 and 8000. That's over the last three years or so.

    As for source citations, I'd estimate that the average number of source citations for a profile I create is between 2 and 3. So let's just call it 2.5. That would mean somewhere between 17,500 and 20,000 sources attached.

    Also hundreds of merges, primarily to deal with the vast legions of IGI-derived duplicates that infest 19th century English records.

    In addition to new profiles I also have a great many sources added to existing profiles. Take profile KCJX-BPT and family as typical examples of that kind of work. Totally unrelated to me so far as I know but living in an area of the UK near where I do.

    So that's why I'd overall call myself part of the 1%.
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  • High contributor due to an ongoing cluster research project for my wife's family.

    Ever since we started work on her family shortly after we got married years ago, I've been plagued by the thought that there was no good way to make sure we didn't miss anyone unless we went line by line through every parish record. But how to keep track? If I'm going to look at every record why should any one need to do the same thing over and over? If I recorded it all would anyone else ever get any use of it? Would my genealogy database ever be able to handle it? So its just been a nagging itch in the back of my brain until Family Tree. After cleaning up both our family lines I decided it was time to finally start.

    In September 2017 I began in Ministerialbok nr. B 2, Stord Sokneprestembete,1878-1913. I've completed since then 1878, 1879, and 1880 which is 9 pages averaging about 20 names per page, making a total of about 180 names. Most of these are newly added to Family Tree since the indexing stopped at 1877.

    I have the basic family structure for most of these people since years ago I went through the Stord Bygdebok and entered every family listed in it into a genealogy database - with all the book's limitations and errors. I have the FamilySearch historical records databases to work with and the Norwegian Archives has transcribed a lot of the records for Stord. Also, the actual microfilms are all digitized and posted on line at the Norwegian archives. This all makes the research really fun.

    I make use of all these resources to add or merge in all siblings (and half siblings if any), the parents (and step parents if any), all the parents' siblings, and all the grandparents. Sometimes there are no merges, sometimes there are dozens. Each family group probably averages about 25 people assuming 6 children per family. I attach the digital images for births and marriages and all the FamilySearch sources. I attach some census records. This probably averages out to about 6 sources per person (few for the children, many more for the parents and grandparents)

    So a very rough calculation would be:

    180 people as the start for family groups of about 25 people = ca. 4,500 individuals cleaned up over 19 months or ca. 235 people per month.

    6 sources per person = ca. 27,000 sources confirmed or added = ca. 1,420 sources confirmed or added per month.

    Boy, that seems to be an overly generous estimate. Feel free to cut it in half.

    I find that because so many records came from the extraction program and from quite old research, I end up correcting/completing/standardizing almost every name, date, and place on everyone so I change a lot of conclusions, say 6 per person or 1,420 conclusions per month.

    If you run a Find in Family Tree for Stord, Hordaland, Norway for 1878 to 1880 you can see the results of all this. Click a random person and check their four generation fan chart to see the three generations I have cleaned up. I do this through my wife's account, with her enthusiastic permission, because it is her family. Of note, because of the small area and stable population that Stord covers, I find that my wife is related to about 90% of these people. As a final note, I find that I am adding or making completely valid about a dozen green icons a week. As I check back I see these getting reserved, printed, and shared with the temple by others. I've also found a good number of surprising possible duplicates that have connected family lines that start in the US, travel back to an immigrant ancestor, then stop. It has been particularly satisfying to be able to merge these with the correct person in Norway and add several generations more to other's lines who were stuck getting back across the ocean.
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  • This 'suggestion' is a no-brainer for the computers at BYU, all the data there is 'ready to use' as every time you do an operation of any kind, your name / username is recorded for every operation you do. It would also be able to pull out all the operations that are wrong and give them back to that user to clean up, with oversight to see that it gets done and to also help to get it done. With the capabilities of today's computers, nothing is impossible, just a little ol' engineering problem. I might qualify for the top 50 % but that isn't a priority. I focus on the input that is found in family published manuscripts, materials that I receive from family members,obits and every other scrap of material. So go ahead, play the game, but I think that your time would be better spent on transcribing microfilms, whose lifespan is slowly coming to an end, or for those that are able, tracking down old forgotten church records and shining a light on them. Just for fun, I think I will count how many new persons I have entered this past week, just for the fun of it. Regards, Ken G Moyer
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  • 1
    I would say I fall in the 30%-50% area. If it is time spent online doing FSFT and the forums here only, then it would probably drop down to 25% or less.
    I have been spending hours upon hours of research at other sites as well and I have hundreds of pages of paperwork I have been getting it all sorted, scanned, digitized and ready to upload.

    If you ask my family they would tell you I am in the 95% *L* But it seems I am the family genealogist for my paternal, maternal and my husbands whole family (living and deceased).

    I also help other people at the FHC and at our local library doing research.
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  • 1
    As a stake consultant down the the southern tip of Texas, the field is white and ready to harvest, but the laborers are few. I spend a lot of time working on a localish cemetery project that BYU Record Linking Labs is helping with, averaging over 100 names a week. The great majority of those names are new to the Tree and I attached a minimum of 2 sources to each, sometimes many more. This is in addition to what I do as a consultant and on my own research. I added at least a dozen names doing descendancy research today (only counting the ones that didn't get merged after thorough FS and Ancestry searches, adding as many sources as possible. Yesterday was similar. I also hosted a ward in our FHC (I'm the only consultant), met a sister there for a couple of hours outside of scheduled time another day and helped her add up to 3 generations on one line. I also worked with a couple of members via email and suggested avenues of research and offered to meet to help them. I helped my 9 year old do 2 batches of indexing and did 1 myself. I will often attach sources or fix data problems as I sit waiting for the kids at the bus stop, or at my 4 year old's bedside while he falls asleep. Basically family history is what I do whenever I don't have to do anything else.
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  • You are all truly amazing! This is good stuff.
    For almost all of you this is not a job, like a professional genealogist, so your tenacity with a far-from-perfect system and users is commendable. Your experience and work ethic explain why we see so many "passionate" posts. It can be frustrating but for the most part, most users here are hoping to help other users. We may all have different ways of doing that but everyone's heart is in this. Thanks - and keep your comments coming.
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  • 2
    While my contribution is small compared to others who have responded, I think we would all agree we do it because we really believe it is important to help gather Israel on the other side of the veil. Besides research, I generally have been spending a couple of days in the Temple as an ordinance worker and a patron.

    A side benefit is that it can be like detective work and interesting to get to know your family and extended family, but I do not think I would be doing this if it wasn't for the main reason we do this. It is why I sometimes get a too passionate and then have to make some apologies. I think the time we spend is a testimony of how strongly we feel about this work.
    • I agree completely with your observation that the commitment for LDS people comes from the desire to help the dead in ways they cannot help themselves. That provides the passion and the concern we express when we lack family members to help us get the temple work completed but have thousands of researched names on our temple lists.
      I know for me the new code that lets temple goers know they have family names available to do is not something I can be excited about. No one else is connecting to my little Irish families because the records available are insufficient to connect the individual family trees to other little trees. I am just using the indexed source records of everyone with my family names in their area to create individual families, then submitting these names for temple work, counting on the fact that someday records will be found to connect them and do the final sealings.
      I am counting on random temple attendees to help, but find because of the new program, many may never help with random names shared with the temple again. Their lines will consume all their time. So I am concerned and wish there was something in the code that would weight a name that it would be done next if it had been waiting a certain time period. I know they use something like this in computer code so that a process cannot forever be bumped by other processes with higher priority.
    • Plenty are getting unrelated names from the general temple file when they use Ordinance Ready. I have played around with it a fair amount using trees I have access to in my consultant planner and it is quite often that a related name will not be found and an unrelated one offered.
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  • 4
    Although I have posted some topics, and commented on others on this Forum, I don't "do" Family Tree at all. I am a non church member and my interest is mainly in the Historical Records and the Digital Library, and the viewing of these.

    I have however read many of the posts about changes to, or deficiencies of, the technical side of Family Tree. Given the many people above say they are high contributors, why hasn't FamilySearch utilised them, or other experienced users, in testing before introducing changes which seem to have had such negative impact?
    The people who are making large numbers of entries are surely in the best position to comment in a test environment why they feel changes are good, or bad, before the changes are released more widely.
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  • I probably spend an average of 25 hours per week working within Family Tree. My main project of late has been to ensure I have added all known siblings of my ancestors and to then add all of their children, spouses, etc.

    My work on unrelated families still usually involves surnames in my branch. For example, if I have two John Sinclairs with something closely in common (e.g. place of residence in 1851) I would want to add as much detail to the one for whom I cannot find any link to my family - to try to prevent others mistaking his identity and/or carrying out an incorrect merge.

    Things I rarely do (or just haven't given priority to, up till now):

    1. Add memories or life sketches
    2. Manually add sources (found outside FS records) - I do provide detailed reason
    statements to back my inputs, however. (e.g. "GRO index shows mother's
    maiden name WILSON" or "FreeREG record, which shows full parish register
    detail of burial entry").

    Things I do most days:
    1. Add a more-distant relative (in relationship, not time), providing back-up that extends to all important / available FS sources (e.g CMB / BMD and full census records). Finding a sibling who goes missing from the area where the family lived can take hours - especially if they have emigrated.
    2. Merge duplicates and amend relationships. I dread finding a person who is listed
    with a separate ID for each child he had christened and whose spouse has been identified with a "?" symbol (and ID), multiple times.

    Most of the time I have Family Tree open in a couple of tabs, the FS Search page open in a couple more and (for my mostly England research) I usually have open FreeBMD, FreeREG, the GRO website and a specialised database that deals with the specific county applicable to my "current" research.

    Sorry if this is not in quite the format required, Joe, but it has made me realise that we really could do with more stats relating to our inputs, as this is not just helpful to those who make this enhancement request mainly so they can then brag about their wonderful efforts! Ken G Moyer makes good points in his post above - I'm sure a computer routine could analyse my inputs to Family Tree far better that my own perception / guesswork about the work I really do carry out within it.

    I suppose I make a relatively high contribution, but whether my time could be spent more "productively" (e.g. giving-up looking for a really elusive record and moving on to something where I can add, say, a number of sources to a large family in a short period of time) is probably questionable. However, perhaps my 35 years of experience in this type of research means I'm better suited spending my time as I do, rather than doing the sort of thing that would give me great looking results, statistically - if these were ever to become / made available!
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  • 1
    I would say 15+ hours a week. It really depends on what else I have going on in my life. Regarding what I do... it completely depends. Sometimes I'll spend several hours just cleaning up a bad merge or an incorrectly combined NFS record. Sometimes I go to the brick walls in my tree and look for any way around them. On the days that I specifically spend my time trying to add new names, I can probably add 10 to 15 in an hour--especially if they are grouped in families. If I'm spending my time doing sources, I feel like I can add hundreds of those in an hour. I am currently working on a project for my local historical society to research the early settlers in our area. Because I'm a member of the church, I'm simultaneously adding the information to Family Tree, so I'm adding photos, docs, new names, reason statements, and life sketches a lot right now. It would be really interesting, though, to have a way to compare my perception of how much I accomplish to the reality of how much I accomplish. In my mind, I feel like I accomplish a lot, but I haven't really ever measured it.
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  • 2
    One interesting factor is to see that three female persons who formerly made useful, regular contributions to this forum do not see to have given up on it altogether!

    Any chance are "coming back" on a more frequent basis, K, C & H? I know you have your other commitments but your posts & responses here were very useful to me in my "early days" and could prove the same to participants in future.
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  • 3
    Joe, I'm just wondering about the purpose of your "informal survey"????

    You can fairly quickly substantiate that ratio (90 - 10 (or 9?) & 1) by noting there are 20,225 folks registered in this forum. 1% would be 202 "actively, consistently contribute a high volume (e.g. 70-90%) of new content and corrections"

    I'd guess that's reasonably close, with 2,023 users who "contribute a few edits and adds." I think I'd classify the other 90% as LEARNERS, rather than "Lurkers."

    Some reasonable advice from one of your posted articles:

    "Reward — but don't over-reward — participants. Rewarding people for contributing will help motivate users who have lives outside the Internet, and thus will broaden your participant base. Although money is always good, you can also give contributors preferential treatment (such as discounts or advance notice of new stuff), or even just put gold stars on their profiles. But don't give too much to the most active participants, or you'll simply encourage them to dominate the system even more."

    "Promote quality contributors. If you display all contributions equally, then people who post only when they have something important to say will be drowned out by the torrent of material from the hyperactive 1%. Instead, give extra prominence to good contributions and to contributions from people who've proven their value, as indicated by their reputation ranking."


    That second paragraph might be VERY applicable toward users of FamilySearch. I hope that highlighted suggestion is not too subtle.

    Quality over Quantity -
    "Records Worthy of all Acceptation."
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  • I have a few topics I've been thinking about that are relevant to this survey of users. 
    1. How do key contributors work, their quality and quantity of work? And how are they affected by other Users? It's about designing and improving the functionality and the check and balances of the current product.

    2. A lot of my focus is around providing the right kind of help, to a user that is unaware, or un-trained in some feature, or stuck trying to accomplish something, and becoming part of a community.

    3. As for the 90-10-1 rule, here on GetSat participation, that's not what I care about today. It's about contributions to the FS and FT information. Forum participant behavior does not necessarily match contributions to FT. There is already a huge imbalance of GetSat posters vs. FT contributors - I mean there are some high contributors to FT that  don't have time or rarely get involved in the verbose discussions of GetSat. I want understand those silent high contributors.

    Another reason I don't give more weight to voting and volume of responses - I look at quality of response, and contribution. So reputation has always been an interesting concept but can break down and skew in unpredictable direction as it devolves into the popularity-contest model. So this topic is very convoluted as it deals with very complex human nature, perception and behavior.

    ----


    What happens with this? I have know idea. I'm just educating myself, with user data. I'll make suggestions. Where it goes after that is beyond my control because my recommendations may not adhere to status quo. I know this is a long term effort,

    For example: I too wish that the software model of continuous delivery could better test and validate with small sets of users, both experienced and inexperienced. To put into practice it requires new protocol, timeframes and is operationally very complex. Not saying what is the right amount of testing before rolling out a new feature. It's a balance of resource to apply, and waiting two years for a new rollout vs. a month. 
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  • I would put myself in the 1% category.

    Over the years I have submitted/contributed thousands of names - I lost count long ago. But the number of names does not matter, that is only an indication of the time and effort spent in this pursuit. What does matter is the accuracy and the sources used.

    A few years back, due to job changes, I had to put my family history work on hold. Now that I am able to return to it, since last summer I am spending my time:

    Fixing bad merges/combines.
    Hunting for lost temple work that no longer displays in FSFT.
    Contacting Help via phone for problems I cannot solve myself.
    Finding original records on films that have not been extracted/indexed and attaching them as sources.
    Hunting for duplicates that are not automatically displayed.
    Working on end of line persons to verify their existence and relationships.
    Attaching hundreds (maybe a thousand or more?) hints.
    Merging hundreds (thousands?) of duplicates.
    Revisiting names submitted years ago to add sources and notes for each conclusion.
    Cleaning up vital info by standardizing dates and places.
    Adding new names by tracing lines back into new parishes.
    Adding data to lines that are not mine so that they will not be confused with my lines.
    Writing detailed notes and reason statements.
    Listening to BYU and other podcasts to learn more about FSFT.
    Searching this forum for answers to questions.
    Working with ward members on an individual basis to help them learn how to use FSFT.
    Praying that no one else will go in and destroy or overwrite the information that I have so carefully and painstakingly added and verified.

    I don’t spend much time adding pictures, memories, or life stories, but I would like to.

    It is not uncommon to spend 6-10+ hours a day in FSFT. I struggle to convince myself that there are other things to do in life besides family history:)

    MaureenE made a very good point above. The active members of this forum may only be 1% of its total members, but aren’t they the ones who can give the best feedback and be the best beta testers? Aren’t they the ones who should really be listened to when they voice concerns?

    Thank you, Joe, (and all engineers) for all that you do to constantly improve FSFT!!
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  • 3
    I would have to put myself in the high category.

    I like to travel, so that only applies to when I am home. An exception to this rule is when I travel, I like to take grave photos. I've added over 93,000 photos to BillionGraves from over 100 cemeteries. I also transcribed over 30,000 of those.

    I consider myself a sporadic contributor to the forum.

    I am not an LDS member, but I love working on genealogy.

    Almost exactly 1 year ago, I started keeping a log of my FSFT activity. In that time I've interacted with over 3,400 different person records on FSFT.

    For some strange reason, I focus on connections. I love to see how people are interconnected. A few years ago, when my wife's uncle died, his wife gave us a few family photos that he owned. Two of the photos were class photos of two of my wife's aunts from their small town in Wisconsin. The photos included the names of every kid in the class, a total of about 60 in all. I was able to build a small tree for all but one member of the classes. This included about three generations for each kid. Many of them were eventually connected by marriage. Many of them had existing records in FSFT. I even found that my wife and were distantly related, even though we met a thousand miles from that town. That project took at least six months.

    My normal process is to try to adequately identify a person with birth, marriage, death and census records. I then do the same for their spouses, children, parents and siblings. I concentrate on tree structure and how everyone fits.

    I add sources, maybe an average of 5-10 for each person I add to the tree. I may end up doing a couple of merges. For example, there seem to be three sets of birth records for everyone in Iowa. Those were used to create twigs on FSFT. I usually end up merging these two extras sets of families.

    I do not work on a specific family lines. My tree additions look much more like a banyan tree than an elm tree. Most of my additions go sideways in the tree.

    I add few memories or stories to these persons since typically I am not closely related to them. I am hoping that people who are more closely related can fill in the leaves when I've built the tree.

    Like every user, I would like to thank Joe Martel and the rest of the team who help create this incredible resource.
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  • 1
    Joe, has familysearch considered adding any projects other than indexing that users could participate in? If you would like to broaden the participation rate, there are some rather easy activities beginners could do.
    I know as I was helping Dutch friends add to their trees, I realized how simple it was to add hundreds of new names to their already researched tree simply because the records were so exact and so plentiful. Even fairly young teenagers could be trained to add those people. They just need a starting point like the end of a line with several hints available. It would both rapidly increase the Dutch part of the tree and might be a way to interest both LDS and non-LDS people with Dutch ancestry in participating, especially if you showed them how to see if others they knew were related to them or explained how expanding the size of the tree is being used to identify genes that cause disease through research projects done through the Utah Population Database.
    Also, it is quite simple to build little trees in the newly indexed Italian records because most of the mother-father pairs are unique in a given town and most of the records have not yet been touched. If necessary, these records could be used to provide Italian names for baptisms for the Rome Temple. Or they could be left until more records are indexed and then connected to larger trees. You would just need to provide the person a name where the mother-father pair was not yet in the tree and show people how to connect the siblings born in the same town. It would not pick up everyone, but would get us started. When the hints on the parents ran out, a new name would be provided. I am doing this in Ireland, but it requires more research since many of the mother-father names are not unique until you check for the townlands as recorded on irishgenealogy.ie but which were not indexed in familysearch. So Italy, yes, Ireland, no, for beginners.
    I am sure others here can think of activities that they have found in their research area that require little genealogical skill.
    Just a suggestion to vary the activities available for those who wish to do something other than indexing. All the work needs to be done and it is a thrill to actually add a bunch of new names to the tree. Especially for young people who want to contribute but are members of families where most of the research has been done.
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  • 5
    I am a high contributor to the tree. I have added several thousand named over the last few years and added many sources. I've also cleaned up a lot of messy families. I have done quite a bit of descendancy research, this adds many people to the tree with minimal effort. I strive to document and source everything as completely as possible so that hopefully no one will need to correct or document my work. I don't bother keeping my own database, I put everything in FamilySearch and put on a watch and watch my people carefully. I honestly have no idea on numbers because I reserve the temple work I can do in the next few months and leave the rest green and let others take them. But I work most every day on the tree.
    I have also worked on verifying my very large tree going back. Every line of my family is a pioneer line with a lot of research done for years. But when I work to verify everything from original source documents, I find many errors in the previous research done. Sometimes I may spend 20-50 hours on one family to get it right. I have many ancestors from early New York and Pennsylvania or other places where the records are minimal and very in depth research in many sources is required to prove relationships. Because there are not vital records available, even more record hints will not help in these situations, I think that in depth research will always be required. My biggest obstacle is overcoming the long standing traditions about who my ancestors really were because every time I correct, dozens of people put it back to the wrong way because it's in their family's old books or papers, so I recorrect numerous times until people finally get the point that the traditional pedigree was wrong. I continue to persist and add notes, sources, and life sketches to explain clearly how the previous information was wrong. Eventually the truth prevails over tradition.
    I am also a stake temple and family history consultant and was a ward consultant and have looked at hundreds of trees over time. I've taught many members to work on the tree. I have yet to see a tree where there is not a significant amount of work to do, unless people have ancestors are from a place with limited records like Ireland or Cambodia. Anyone with ancestry from the US or Western Europe will have plenty to do for a long time.
    When I teach others I focus on helping them on descendant lines using record hints and basic searching so that they can have immediate success so that they will be encouraged to continue. I like the swimming pool analogy. In the old days to swim in the genealogy swimming pool, it was all deep and you needed swimming skills. With the technology we have now, the pool has multiple levels. There is lots that can be done with wading in a little and much can be done with minimal skills. There is still a deep end of the pool where complex skills are required, but everyone doesn't have to work in the deep end. I love that deep end most myself, though, because it's challenging and interesting. But not many people will get to the deep level, though we definitely need more that will.
    I hope to see more records indexed in Latin America and more records obtained. We need a lot more done there. Our Spanish speaking members are still limited in what they can do on their families until more records are obtained and indexed. Unless they are from Mexico where there is a lot indexed.
    There needs to still be more improvements to the hinting algorithms, particularly for Denmark and England. There are many common names and in Denmark sometimes 10 men of the same name even in the same town, so many of the record hints are wrong and inexperienced users can make a huge mess in a short time that takes a long time to sort out.
    I know that Family Tree isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn amazing and it continues to improve in what we can do with it. It's the best tool we've ever had up to this point. I am very optimistic about the future and what will be accomplished. I am seeing a gradual but emphatic shift over time in the accuracy of the tree. It continues to improve in accuracy and more sources are listed and more people add to it. I believe it will yet become the flagship for genealogy and the source everyone behind with when they start to look for their family.
    • Jeniann, I LOVE the swimming pool analogy!! I have been looking for just such an analogy. One of my biggest concerns is the "either-or" thinking that seems so prevalent: We have to make family history seem effortless (with all the resulting errors and misconceptions) because the only other option is difficult, expert research. But that's a false dilemma! There are many levels in the pool, as you pointed out.

      I think what Joe is driving at, and what your analogy highlights, is that we need to match the right users with the right area of the pool. And we need to help those who are interested to progress from one area to the next.
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  • 1
    1% / high contributor.

    My NM lines have an extremely high number of 2 people confused/bad merges.

    (I would say on any given day if I were to check NM lines there would be at least 20 "messes" where 2 people are confused, such as bad merges.)

    The high number of bad merges are because 1) there are very few sources available and 2) sometimes siblings were given identical First Names 3) the Hispanic Surnames and changing naming patterns from Modern Hispanic at the beginning of the tree to different Ancient Hispanic naming patterns at the top of the tree---all results in constant confusion of 2 people.

    Thousands of Sources in my source box.
    (I may spend hours per week looking for a single NM source to add to an ancestor. There are just so few for the distant past and all are outside of Familysearch.)
    Hundreds of people added. I created my NM lines from nothing by looking up a couple and searching for baptism records to locate all children and put all children to each couple...all the way up until the point where there are no Familysearch records--about halfway up the tree or so--at that point when you go further back in time any sources have to come from outside of Familysearch (a book or article or outside website).
    Dozens of link-heavy, source-filled Discussions for warning/disambiguation purposes to prevent bad merges.
    (Many people contact me and thank me or ask me genealogy questions due to the discussions.)
    Uploaded several genealogical articles as Documents for warning/disambiguation purposes.
    Several Stories, usually for warning/disambiguation purposes.
    Several Photos as Portraits for warning/disambiguation purposes.
    Several Lifesketches with Links to Sources for warning/disambiguation purposes.
    Several Custom Facts with warnings in the title for warning/disambiguation purposes and links to sources in the reason statement.
    Several Timelines in which I create Custom Events with good explanatory titles and explanatory secondary text section for warning/disambiguation purposes and links to sources in the reason statement.
    Undoing bad merges.
    Undoing wrong names/names of other people. (Oftentimes people change the profile by just changing the name to that of a totally different person.)
    Detaching wrong sources (usually result of incorrect source hints). And undoing associated wrong data/family members.
    Merging duplicates (to prevent bad merges).
    Good explanatory Reason Statements, usually with Links to Sources.

    Once I fixed a page and thought that the changes might be jarring, so I made a Discussion explaining the state I found the page in and what fixes I did and why I did them.

    Once I visited a page and found that the father and son were merged and could not be un-merged, and so all the Discussions and Sources I placed on the father and son were now combined on 1 page----but I needed to add important Sources, so what I did was to label each Discussion and Source clearly with "Father's name and PID" or "Son's name and PID now is the same PID as the father" so they remain useful and it is understood which goes with which person even though the father and son cannot be un-merged.

    I try very hard to make my contributions readable and helpful for the other patrons. Sometimes I even ask for editing advice to to communicate important information as clearly as possible.

    Problems:
    There is a particular page/set of pages that I see other patrons writing comments on that show there are people clamoring to get the page/pages fixed ["Family Legend" vs Records/Y-DNA Study]----but patrons themselves cannot fix the page. Having identified the problem(s), I could try to get the page fixed and to do that I would need the help of Joe Martel and possibly the Getsat community too and I may ask for that help at some point.

    Thanks:
    I am also very thankful that this forum exists and very appreciative of all the help I have received on this forum.
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  • Joe I could say many things about how I use family search and why, so all I am going to say is this, I feel it really needs to improve, lots, but how ever not on the feature end, yes their could be nice features, to add, but I am talking about many of the other things.
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  • If it would help to know what I would find most useful, I would love to see all the rest of the civil birth, marriage, and death records for Ireland digitized and indexed. I have been told Family Search does not have all of them on microfilm. Is it possible to obtain copies of what we now do not have?
    Then, to index the Irish Catholic Parish records. I know FindMyPaxt and Ancestry have already done this source, but having records easily attachable in FamilySearch would be really wonderful. I believe with these two record sources, we could finish most of Ireland. I believe the numbers of people are about 50 million. There are supposed to be 70 million people with Irish heritage in the world today, so many would find this useful.
    I know people might complain there is no need to index separately on Familysearch records that are already available elsewhere, but we could do a better job by providing truly useful indices, rather than the limited ones that now exist. We could include in our indices the names of the father and mother, the townland/city address, and the father's occupation on the birth registration, and the name of each father, whether or not he is deceased, and each father's occupation and place of residence, and bride and groom's occupations and places of residence on the marriage indices. On the death indices, we could add fields for townland/city address, and whether married, widowed, or single, age at death, and name and relationship of person reporting death. This would constitute a huge improvement over what is available for searching currently on irishgenealogy.ie. As it exists now, I need to open each index record based on name and year of birth, marriage or death, then the image attached to it, to see if it belongs to the family I am seeking. Then I have to type into FamilySearch all the information that could be automatically transferred to the newly added person if it were included in the index record.. Sometimes there are thousands of people with the same surname as the one I am researching in each registration district, making it a huge problem to then locate all the siblings. I have to open each index record, then open each image record before typing in matches into FamilySearch. I finally resorted to just typing into FamilySearch each record I opened so that I did not need to reopen and reexamine each one as I added a new family. Obviously not doable for any surname except those with small numbers. The 35,000 Gallagher birth records finally defeated me..
    Properly indexed records would only give me the ones I was seeking. And allow for better research since with the townland and father's occupation, I would be less likely to put two different families together by accident, something that is all too common in Ireland because the first names used are small in quantity and seldom include middle names and the surnames are clan names often existing in one area, so it is possible to have two couples with the same names, but obviously different when the father's occupations and townlands are compared.
    Maybe the holders of the records at irishgenealogy.ie could be convinced to share records if Familysearch would share the better indices when we are done. I hope they will be attending RootsWeb in London and you can demonstrate how powerful this would be for them. Anyway, for Irish records and the work I am attempting, this is my two cents worth.
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  • This reply was removed on 2019-04-07.
    see the change log
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    • No my comment is NOT incorrect.

      https://catholicgene.wordpress.com/20...

      To quote from that article, "But the facial peace between Catholics and Mormons has been strained by issues related to genealogy. ... Not being a member of the LDS church I’m hesitant to characterize their purposes other than to say that I am informed that it has to do with so-called re-baptism of non-LDS ancestors. That is the least what the Vatican knew in 2008, when the Holy Father instructed Catholic parishes not to cooperate with Mormon records seekers.

      "This issue had been brewing for quite a while. ... In 2001, Pope John Paul II approved a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which stated that baptism in the LDS church cannot be held to be a valid Christian baptism. ...

      Nothing much seems to have happened on this issue between 2001 and 2008. But then in January 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a letter which expressed “grave reservations” about the Mormon practice of posthumous baptism. A few months later, Pope Benedict XVI approved an order that each bishop should not “cooperate with the erroneous practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Cooperation includes allowing Mormon genealogists to have access to Catholic parish records."

      So I am factually correct that there is quite a history there. You do not get papal instructions issued over issues like this without there being a significant history. I am also correct that Catholic churches have been forbidden to cooperate with Mormon institutions. See said papal instruction. So if the Catholic churches are actually obeying their spiritual leader (which is another question entirely of course) then the chances of Catholic parish registers ending up on Familysearch are indeed vanishingly small.

      I am not casting a negative light on Catholicism at all. I am factually reporting what has actually happened. I personally have plenty of doctrinal disagreements with both Mormon and Catholic positions, with fewer disagreements with the Catholics. That doesn't stop me considering Familysearch to be a very valuable resource. That doesn't stop me considering the Catholic ban to be somewhat pointless since if they're doctrinally correct then said ban won't have any effect on Catholics at the second coming etc anyway, so why not cooperate and increase the store of human knowledge? However I can also see why they would take that position. It's not as strident as the Jewish position on Holocaust survivors and LDS ordinances, but the friction is still there.
    • David, I agree with Joe. You are incorrect. The Church has thousands of microfilms of Catholic records from all over the world in its catalog. There are Parishes that continue to use the record preservation services offered by FamilySearch.

      The conflict is nothing new and has little to do with preserving and making available records. It has to do with a doctrinal difference, which has always existed. As the directive, you really need to read the entire article you cited.

      Regardless, this has nothing to do with Joe's request for information and doctrinal differences between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other religious organizations, institutions, etc., are decidedly off-topic for this forum which has to do with the operation of FamilySearch and its vagaries.
  • 1
    Responding to Joe's additional questions from a week ago:

    > 1. How do key contributors work, their quality and quantity of work? And how are they affected by other Users? It's about designing and improving the functionality and the check and balances of the current product.

    Aside from periodically checking the change list, I tend to work one family at a time, with one person at a time being my focus. When I worked on Pieter Claesen, I spent almost a month doing the research I needed to do to find the pertinent sources for the conclusions that I eventually included on his record. That included processed images of (out of copyright) early documentation. The one work that I wanted badly to include many sections was published within the past decade but was a scholarly look that all of the records. I used it to track down the original sources as best as I could, but all of that took time. Even now, there are many things that still need to be done, such as all the variant spellings by which Pieter's name was recorded. A lot of these depended upon the original record language, of which there were at least four.

    > 2. A lot of my focus is around providing the right kind of help, to a user that is unaware, or un-trained in some feature, or stuck trying to accomplish something, and becoming part of a community.

    This is so true. Unfortunately, it takes away from my personal research time, so I have to start focusing my efforts and let others do the work. I still have a list of unresolved issues and when I see some of the "new" features, I am almost at a point of tossing in the towel at helping with Get Satisfaction. Personally, unless there is a high priority effort put to several areas of the tree, it is my opinion that FamilySearch could use some better, more focused leadership, including all the way to the top of those responsible for site development.

    > 3. As for the 90-10-1 rule, here on GetSat participation, that's not what I care about today. It's about contributions to the FS and FT information. Forum participant behavior does not necessarily match contributions to FT. There is already a huge imbalance of GetSat posters vs. FT contributors - I mean there are some high contributors to FT that don't have time or rarely get involved in the verbose discussions of GetSat. I want understand those silent high contributors.

    That's understandable. I think most of them, and now me, included, need to focus on what we can do, rather than try to get FS development teams to do what really needs to be done. As such, some of the discussions about new features really tends to irritate more than anything else. As such, I doubt you'll see that many responses from my in the future. Maybe a set of them within a few day period and then long periods of time with crickets chirping.
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  • Thanks all for those that have provided very helpful replies. Closing this thread to let it cool off. May reopen later. 
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