Updating the main page Did You Know section using interesting Glossary terms

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Should we use Glossary terms as some items in the Did You Know section?

Poll ended at Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:03 pm

Strongly disagree
1
17%
Disagree
1
17%
Agree
2
33%
Strongly agree
2
33%
 
Total votes: 6

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Updating the main page Did You Know section using interesting Glossary terms

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:00 pm

As I was browsing the Did You Know section today and later the Glossary, an idea hit me: using terms from the genealogical glossary pages would be a great way to add interesting items to the Did You Know section of the Main Page.

The glossary is a source very interesting trivia, which is really what a Did You Know is all about. For instance, in the A section today I stumbled across the term "Ahnenpaß." Since I was aware of Ahnentafels, I was interested to know what this unfamiliar term was and how it related. I learned it was "A type of record kept by many Germans during the Nazi era, starting in about 1937. It documents four generations of a person's family. The information was usually verified from civil registration records and parish registers. The English term for this type of record is ancestor passport." This was so interesting that I found myself wanting to read other glossary definitions. I wanted to read a dictionary for fun. :eek:

Scary, huh? But this is exactly what we want from a Did You Know section -- we want readers drawn in to interesting facts about genealogy -- stuff that will make them think of genealogy as interesting rather than just a chore for geeks.


Now, would I put this particular term in the "Did You Know" section? Probably not because it's politically controversial. Wikipedia has policies guiding folks to avoid controversial titles and articles, and we should follow their learnings. But the Glossary is chock-full of interesting terms we could use in Did You Know. I think it would be wise for us to use one each day or two until the community hits critical mass and they start submitting enough Did You Know items.

I think, too, that as we add glossary terms to the Did You Know section, it'll spark us to do something even better. Many of our glossary terms could ideally link to deeper informational articles about each term, whether on our site or on others. So a glossary definition on Ahnenpaß could lead to an article on the Web which gives the history, use, analysis, repositories, and provenance of these records. Powerful stuff.

So how do you feel about this?

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:41 pm

LOL obviously I was tired when I voted on this -- it was my first poll using this app, and since I was in a hurry I voted Strongly Disagree while meaning to vote Strongly Agree.

Duh.

Thomas_Lerman
Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 am

Postby Thomas_Lerman » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:27 pm

Can we have the current "Did you know?" and another box with random glossary terms? I can see both would be beneficial. In other words, do they have to be intermixed? Can we keep the meat and potatoes from mixing? Just kidding about the food, I would rather have the potatoes. Anyway, I really can see it either way as it both in the same box or in separate boxes. In other words, I agree that terms would be nice on the main page to learn about. Just where is the question. By the way, do these automatically change on a daily basis or some other way (I do not think I have seen it change on the Wiki, but could be wrong).

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:09 pm

The Did You Know items don't change systematically. We have to manually create them. Since we don't have a critical mass of contributors on the site, that also means I'm having employees do this to keep the site looking somewhat fresh. That's one big reason I'm proposing we inject interesting glossary terms into the Did You Know section -- it's an easy way to populate it regularly with content we already have.

We can also make the glossary easier to find, if that'd satisfy your needs. I'd already planned to do that. There's a Category for glossary, but it's not linked from anywhere prominent. That'll change when we create the high-level categories and add a Browse By Topic link to the navigation bar.

Thomas_Lerman
Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 am

Postby Thomas_Lerman » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:37 am

Special:Random already exists for a random page from the entire Wiki. One can also go to a random namespace (e.g. Special:Random/Template, Special:Randompage/Talk, Special:Random/Category, etc.). Consequently, it would make sense to be able to go to a random page within a category. I found that Extension DPL does this.

However, I just went to: https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Category:Glossary and see that we would have to grab a random term out of the random page. Sounds like another extension to me or an extension to the extension.


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