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Please add simple rewards and acknowledgement

You depend on volunteers to input and verify 10’s of thousands of names and related information. Why not make the process a little fun.
1. Setup an award system. Nothing fancy, take a look at Microsoft solitary game. As you play it gives you a new status when you reached certain levels. beginner, amateur, rookie.... Every x number of records you get advanced into a new status. The only thing you get is a small firework show around the announcement box. You could award different status based on the number of records entered or processed.
2. At set levels 1,000, 5,000 10,000 20,000 50,000, send (email) out an award, a simple printed award and an written acknowledgement thanking them for their work. When they reach 50,000 send them a wood plaque with indents for achievement coins, then send out a new coin for every additional 50,000.

My point is that people like being rewarded for volunteering their efforts. The dinner last year was an excellent example.

My wife hit 1/2 million and she received nothing from FamilySearch, That is just wrong. Follow Jesus teachings, he gives us feedback and encouragement.

Invest a few pennies and reward those that do your indexing.
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  • Welcome to the community support forum for FamilySearch. FamilySearch personnel read every discussion thread and may or may not respond as their time permits. We all share an active interest in using the resources of this site and as users, we have various levels of knowledge and experience and do our best to help each other with concerns, issues, and/or questions.

    Genealogy fun? It already is when you discover a person for whom you have been looking. To make this a game? Sorry, but I was initially not in favor of such a move. As it is, a number of attempts have been made to entice people into doing research.

    In thinking about this, that really might be an idea worth considering, based upon the number of edits, additions, sources, discussions, notes, reason statements made, and other actions regarding relatives.
    • By the way, I realized that you were talking about indexing, but when it comes to actually doing research, that is something that not everyone does.

      I spend a lot of time "fleshing out" my relatives' (and near relatives') records.

      Being rewarded for helping make the records of the people in the massive tree should also be rewarded and hopefully, it would act as an incentive to work for quality, rather than quantity.
    • I sorry, I ment indexing. We need both. A few years, quality was measured, but not anymore. It would be ease to include both as part of the reward program.
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    For what it's worth, in my case absolutely none of those "incentives" would have any affect on me.

    I spend the majority of my time validating and correcting inaccurate data that exists in the records of my ancestors and other relatives. Only a small portion of my time involves the adding of new records. Others may be focused on different areas of their research based on their particular circumstances as well. So developing a crediting mechanism that would be an equal incentive for everybody would be problematic.

    Unless, of course, they started handing out free coupons for Dairy Queen products. That might get my attention :-)
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    I have long thought that a few incentives for indexers would be good for FamilySearch and genealogy. In particular I have advocated for FamilySearch to reconsider their partnerships with Ancestry, FindMyPast etc and instead of automatically giving out free accounts to LDS and automatically not giving accounts to non-LDS, to introduce a reward scheme so that genuine volunteers are rewarded. The present system just assumes that all LDS tithe (and that some of this money goes to FamilySearch) while all non-LDS make no volunteering contributions (whether financial or non-financial) to FS.

    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...
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    • Tom,

      When I said:
      The church has a goal that they are working towards with FSFT. They give us the opportunity to contribute towards that goal if we want, but they will achieve it even if not everyone participates

      by "contribute towards that goal" I was referring to working on correcting and building the FSFT. I was not referring to monetary contributions.
    • Robert,

      I do understand. My comments above were more focused on the thoughts that A van Helsdingen had presented which were dealing more with what some consider unequal benefits between member and non-member patrons.
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    Robert

    Please do not get me wrong ...

    But ...

    Why the need for being rewarded for volunteering?

    But, for the life of me, I do not care to be rewarded for what, I have done; or, am doing, in, either, working in "Family Tree"; or, doing "Indexing".

    I know that one person shared that keeping "Statistic" helped them set "Goals"; but, as to "Rewards", not necessary.

    I do not need to set "Goals", to do either ,"Family Tree"; and/or, "Indexing".

    And, I certainly DO NOT, need; or, want, to be "Rewarded" for, either, working in "Family Tree"; and/or, doing "Indexing".

    I do it for the LOVE of it; and, for my Ancestors; plus, not to mention, to help others.

    But, perhaps that is just me.

    Again, do not get me wrong.

    Brett
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  • People are motivated by different things.

    People who love the work and need nothing else impress me.

    People who set goals and achieve them amaze me.

    If getting recognized help get the work done, why not?
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  • Good comments about rewards and acknowledgement. Indexing has the "confetti" ack when you complete a batch. One of the balances regarding reward is considering people's internal drive and how to couple that with the external reward. Personalities come into play. 

    As soon as you make it a numbers game it becomes more competitive, " I got x ..." and the external motivation/reward can color peoples new objectives. We've all seen the push for a number X and some participants get sloppy in their work to arrive at the top 3. So the recognition aspect becomes complex.

    I certainly believe in acknowledgement, and I understand the human nature to count things and to be #1. I'm an amateur athlete and that was a big thing to me, in younger years. Now I just focus on doing my personal best, and most important - enjoying what I do. 

    I wonder if there is a ack system that takes into account quality of the work, and understand that a beginner at something would have a different classification than an experienced, like age groups in races? Also the difficulty of a task can be different. Indexing a german script batch is harder than a typewritten draft cards (a favorite for cranking out #'s). Finally the quality of the contribution could come into play. 

    And that word "play" is meant to be from the perspective of not making this a game, but a consideration of what is the most meaningful approach to acknowledgement that creates user behavior that is appropriate for this work.
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    Great comments!

    Drop the word reward and replace it with acknowledgement.

    Add Quilty, experience, and how hard the projects are to do into the determining of the points toward the acknowledgements,

    Give names to each "Level".

    Now we are getting somewhere.
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    Hmmm. Given that FamilySearch is self-described as a "social network" site (FamilySearch->Help->Getting Started), I wonder what other (social network) sites do to incentivize users.

    This much is agreed: if people are positively incentivized, they will come and use. That's good.
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    Dennis Brimhall (FS CEO), wrote the following in 2014:

    https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/...

    Q. Is this fair to volunteers who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    A. These agreements do not change the status of volunteers who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All records publicly indexed through FamilySearch indexing are still free and will remain available on FamilySearch.org without a fee.

    Further, donations from Church members fund FamilySearch. These contributions and the efforts of thousands of missionaries who work without pay are the means by which FamilySearch has been able to gather records for more than 100 years and make these records available to the public at no cost through FamilySearch.org, at the free Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and at the more than 4,700 family history centers around the world. This is an enormously expensive undertaking that is unparalleled in history. Clearly, these people deserve our thanks for enabling this work to go forward and for making it possible for tens of millions of people to discover their ancestors.

    This seems to make it clear that FS wishes to reward volunteers. My complaint is that only LDS volunteers and donors are eligible for rewards in the form of free accounts with Ancestry.com, FindMyPast etc while non-LDS, no matter how much they donate or volunteer. Brimhall's remarks ignores the many non-LDS who make donations in the form of money, indexing and FHC volunteering.
    • I think I see what you are getting at. But still:

      only LDS volunteers and donors are eligible for rewards in the form of free accounts with Ancestry.com, FindMyPast etc while non-LDS, no matter how much they donate or volunteer


      Although some may consider it as such, the "free accounts" that you refer to are NOT "Rewards" for anything. If that were the case, then many members who have done very little indexing, volunteering, or even tithing would be able to get "free accounts"! :-)

      FS contracts with an organization such as Ancestry.com to allow them access to FS images so that Ancestry.com can pay someone else to index them. That way Ancestry.com can publish the fully searchable indexes along with the associated images from FS for their customers on their website. In return, Ancestry.com allows members of the church access to those newly indexed records via the free accounts which they provide.

      Again, I think it is more how contracts between the organizations are legally set up for both organizations to benefit. For people who do not belong to either organization, it would be difficult to set up and enforce a whole line of contractual agreements to allow for those people as exceptions to the rule. That is especially true when Ancestry.com would likely look at those "exceptions" as people who should be their customers.

      I know that FS attempts to set up and provide as much access as they can for all patrons, but it would be foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater. When negotiating one of these contracts, I'm sure that an organization like Ancestry.com would not want to have to pay lawyers to add many more pages to the contract to define, set rules for, required monitoring for enforcement, and the allowances for people who are not members of the organization that they are contracting with (i.e., the "exceptions") to also have access to their databases for free. It's one organization contracting with another. The more nitty-gritty exceptions you want to add to a contract, the more likely that you will not get a contract.

      If FS were to insist on such a thing during negotiations (in spite of how much more expensive it would be for both sides), they could easily have a failed contract, in which case NOBODY benefits.

      In a sense, all of our contributions of time and effort to the databases maintained by FS have nothing at all to do with the contracts that FS sets up to try and optimize information access for patrons.

      I'm certainly not in the legal understanding of what's happening here, but that is how I've come to understand it.
    • I do not think that my ideas are as difficult and expensive as you suggest. Ancestry is willing to give FamilySearch a certain number of free accounts. That number can be written into the FS-Ancestry contract. FS can then devise a scheme for rewarding volunteers. Ancestry doesn't care who gets the free accounts, only that the number of free accounts is limited. All they have to monitor is the number of free accounts, which probably isn't difficult- they should be able to track the number of subscribers and Ancestry accountholders.

      "For people who do not belong to either organization"

      According to all the public releases about the partnerships. It is FamilySearch, not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who has entered into the partnerships with other genealogical companies. We non-LDS FS accountholders are "members" of FS to the same extent as LDS FS accountholders are.
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