New Expanded FamilySearch Section

Discussions around Genealogy technology.
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WelchTC
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New Expanded FamilySearch Section

Postby WelchTC » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:18 am

For those of you who are frequent visitors to our forums, you will noticed that we have greatly expanded the forums around FamilySearch technologies. We hope that this expanded forums will encourage and spur many more discussions around these technologies. Let us know what you think.

Tom

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:43 am

tomw wrote:For those of you who are frequent visitors to our forums, you will noticed that we have greatly expanded the forums around FamilySearch technologies. We hope that this expanded forums will encourage and spur many more discussions around these technologies. Let us know what you think.


I'm a huge fan of family history work, and I'm grateful for all that is being done on this forum and so many other places to further that work.

The one thing on this forum I find a bit odd is some of the project management posts regarding the FamilySearch wiki. Frequently there will be posts that mention specific people in the project management team, who will need to approve this or that, things that will happen in a meeting, etc. Of course in the spirit of wiki this is a collaborative effort involving the whole community, but it seems like some of the posts end up being for insiders only, and that such posts could be handled with some sort of private communication. I try to review every new post, and it seems that the FamilySearch wiki area is the only one where I end up wondering why some posts were made in this forum. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding how that project is managed to include both Church employees and the larger community, and so my comment is inappropriate.

However, I completely agree that there needs to be a discussion of extensions, templates, categorization, etc. -- as has been mentioned, it's a tough call as to when that should be done in a wiki talk page, or on the forum, but as long as poeple can find the discussion, I would tend not to worry about it. The trick would be to somehow link the two efforts (so that someone who looks in the wiki talk pages would somehow get directed to relevant forum posts, and vice versa).

Finally, Tom, thank you for your positive moderation of the forum at large. We need someone who speaks to the issues that affect the whole technical communication effort, and you do that with tact and grace, yet with firmness when needed. It makes a difference.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:43 am

tomw wrote:For those of you who are frequent visitors to our forums, you will noticed that we have greatly expanded the forums around FamilySearch technologies. We hope that this expanded forums will encourage and spur many more discussions around these technologies. Let us know what you think.

Tom

I have to admit that I have had the exact same thoughts as Alan at times with the FamilySearch Wiki posts. Could you perhaps explain the background of the Wiki being established, its goals, and to what extent its development is internal to the Church and external to the community at large?

Thanks.

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Wiki

Postby The_Earl » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:00 am

mkmurray wrote:I have to admit that I have had the exact same thoughts as Alan at times with the FamilySearch Wiki posts. Could you perhaps explain the background of the Wiki being established, its goals, and to what extent its development is internal to the Church and external to the community at large?

Thanks.


I got frustrated enough with trying to figure out what was going on with the wiki that I went to the user group meetings. I am not a member of the internal Church wiki team.

Here is my 2c.

The wiki is REALLY new. It is a new concept, and relatively new that it involves the public. The group working on the wiki has built at least one wiki site that was not public.

So the wiki team is having a hard time with its identity, and with how to best include the public. There is a LOT of stuff that goes on inside the church team, and 'privately' that the community does not see. Even the user group minutes are (IMO) cryptic and useless.

The wiki team needs to be better about making its meetings and information public. They need to help people feel included. They need to get good guidelines published so that people can contribute in positive ways.

Some of this is a bit premature. The Church team is still working out things like policy and procedure, that might not lend itself to public discussion (see the copyright info). A lot this policy and procedure is implicit carryover (again IMO) from the previous iterations, so it is common knowledge among the inner circle, but not as obvious to us outsiders.

The wiki team is working to get a webcast of the users groups available. Barring this, your best bet may be to get to a meeting in person.

They (we) also need to get better about posting discussions and guidelines on the wiki, and keeping the wiki and the forum in sync.

The major players on the wiki team are also very responsive to forum and talk page messages. You may get your questions answered that way. Of course, expanding the 'inner circle' is not a viable long-term strategy.

In short, I feel you pain, and I am trying to do something about it. If you would like help, let me know what would help you best.

Thanks
The Earl

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:08 am

Thanks for the feedback on the wiki. There has been a lot of discussion about it. I agree that many of the discussions around the wiki are in an effort to "find our way" on how best to use the wiki. However I'm sure that the Family History department will review these comments and act appropriately.

One of the major goals of these forums is to allow other departments of the Church to interact with the community. We appreciate your understanding and support as we figure out the best way to do that.

Tom

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Postby JamesAnderson » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:54 pm

The wiki is a massive project in and of itself. This will take some time to sort itself out, and become a more community-driven project.

Much of what is going on in hte user group meetings appears to be more aimed at getting things more organized, once that group is more solidly doing things, along iwth the CHQ developers and managers of hte project doing their end of things as they have been telling us about, things will really get going on a community level.

Things already have, such as work on some of hte major portals, particularly Wales, the US, and a couple others. There are particular organizational concerns being addressed as to structuring some content at present.

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Goals of FamilySearch Wiki

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Mon May 19, 2008 3:58 pm

mkmurray wrote:I have to admit that I have had the exact same thoughts as Alan at times with the FamilySearch Wiki posts. Could you perhaps explain the background of the Wiki being established, its goals, and to what extent its development is internal to the Church and external to the community at large?

Thanks.


An article and a PowerPoint of the wiki's goals are located at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/The_Vision:_Why_We_Built_FamilySearch_Wiki.

The concept of a community-developed Website is very new to the Church, and as has been mentioned, we're still learning about how to make our development goals, backlog, and sprints more public. The user group meetings are now held not only in person but also via Adobe Connect; for more information see https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/FamilySearch_wiki_user_group_meeting

So far, as The Earl said, we've done a pretty good job of responding to wiki users' questions. To do an even better job of that, we created our own iteration of forums at http://forums.familysearchsupport.org/index.php There you can find a forum devoted to questions on the wiki itself. Since it is not easy for us to monitor forums here and there simultaneously, we closed our wiki forum on LDS Tech Forums when we created the new ones at familysearchsupport.org. We invite folks to direct their wiki questions and discussions there.

Thanks,

Michael Ritchey
Manager, Community and Virtual Reference
The Division With No Name
FamilySearch.org


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