Thank a Contributor campaign oops
On Family Tree I am a very productive contributor to some surname studies and other projects. I see the 2021 "Thank a Contributor" campaign is having a likely unintended consequence:
Several recipients of the campaign message have messaged me with About line "Thank You! • FamilySearch" and the rather off-putting content "Who are you?" or similar.
The about line "Thank You! FamilySearch" comes from the campaign. Then anything in the body of the message is from the user. If they are asking who you are, you should tell them. They don't recognize your user name and they are wanting to know how/why you are contributing to their family and if you are related to them.0
Consequence? Again I would think a fairly normal response - people would like to know how you might be related? Anonymous...? Nothing that should cause 'off-putting' - it could be responded to or ignored... Or just mute the campaign ...0
The about line "Thank You! FamilySearch" comes from the campaign.
That's what I thought.
Many Family Tree contributors do know me, and vice versa. I don't even know where in the tree these other contributors are attached. The campaign doesn't give me that information, and perhaps they would rather not share that information as it necessarily reveals information about living persons. This is why I wish the campaign were based on where contributors work on the tree, not where their private profiles are attached to the tree.1
@genthusiast who are you? Anonymous...? Why are you messing with my tree?!0
This is why I wish the campaign were based on where contributors work on the tree, not where their private profiles are attached to the tree.
That makes sense from contributor point of view - but consider the related - they see a 'high contributor's work' and wonder - who is this contributing so much work! I should at least thank them...!
That's I think why the campaign focuses on 'highest contributors to 'your tree' - how else are they to have a campaign to thank contributors for 'someone else's tree'?0
they see a 'high contributor's work' and wonder - who is this contributing so much work! I should at least thank them...!
That clearly is not what many of them think. The majority of Family Tree members contribute little or nothing to Family Tree. Instead, they do what so many bloggers recommend: they just follow pages, and they don't like it when changes on Family Tree cause its topology to diverge from their tree on Ancestry or wherever.
I got a "who are you?" campaign response from someone who helpfully mentioned their immediate family. I edited that family 1 time, attaching a source, in the process of detangling a conflation in an unrelated family.0
But the campaign is still going to send to the 'near relations' ...
Yes, exactly. And to many, perhaps even most, it may irritate far more than it pleases.1
Please be aware ...
"Family Tree" (and, its predecessors), of 'FamilySearch', was ORIGINALLY "Created", by the Church, for (and, to assist) Members of the Church, to do (and, work on) their Genealogy/Family History, of their OWN "Ancestral" Lines; plus, to allow them to follow, the "Tenets" of the Church.
Later, "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', was graciously made available, for those, who were not member of the Church, to ALSO do (and, work on) their Genealogy/Family History, of their OWN "Ancestral" Lines.
The latter, in the hope, to establish and build, a bigger and better, SINGLE "One" World "Tree".
Those Users/Patrons, who are Member of the Church, principally work on their OWN "Ancestral" Lines.
The same holds true, for the vast majority of Users/Patrons, who are not members of the Church, to principally work on their OWN "Ancestral" Lines.
As such, MANY Users/Patrons, like to be in contact with, OTHER Users/Patrons, who are ALSO working along their "Ancestral" Lines.
The reason being, that these, "Unknown", Users/Patrons, may turn out to be a "Distant" Relatives; and/or, Family member (possibly, an "Extended" Family members).
As an aside ...
In "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch' ...
I for one, like to be in contact, with OTHER Users/Patrons, who are working along, my "Ancestral" Lines.
And, of course, naturally; being, a Member of the Church ...
I especially LOVE, to be in contact, with OTHER Users/Patrons, who are Members of the Church, who are working along, my "Ancestral" Lines
The vast majority, of Users/Patrons, of "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', are NOT working on the likes of, "Surname" Studies; or, "One Name" Studies, projects; and, especially, not in the creation and maintenance of, So-Called, "Project Pages", of nonexistent individuals/persons, in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
That is NOT what 'Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', was created for; or, is all about.
There are OTHER Programmes/Websites; where, the likes of, "Surname" Studies; or, "One Name" Studies, projects, can be pursued; but, "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', is NOT one of them.
Using the many OTHER Parts (eg. "Search" Records), to obtain "Details" and "Information", for likes of, "Surname" Studies; or, "One Name" Studies, projects, by ALL, is just fine.
That Said ...
Please try to understand, the true 'nature' and 'purpose', of "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', that being for Users/Patrons, to do (and, work on) their Genealogy/Family History, of their OWN "Ancestral" Lines.
Then, you may understand, the value, in the "Campaign", to "Thank a Contributor", that is 'resurrected' often (at least, once a Year), by 'FamilySearch'; and, not be concerned by such.
I hope this may help/assist, somewhat.
Further to what Brett has profferred ...
FamilySearch does have a dedicated Genealogies site for 'Guild of One-Name Studies' project trees:
I have no idea how such projects are submitted to FamilySearch (haven't looked into it). Notice how data accuracy is known to be 'moderate' ...
But there is no restriction of these type projects in Family Tree - it's open-edit. Thanks to all contributors contributing sourced/good data.
(sorry for the related but not specific issue fork to this thread above/below)
I have already mentioned my preference of 'restricting open-edit for near generations' ... A hybridization between the 'current open-edit model' and 'completely curated model'. Nutshell: An 'essentially complete profile/tree of nearest 4/5 generations' could be restricted to a Family Group - or essentially read-only/locked by FamilySearch - to distant/non-descendant edits/'requests to edit'. (Yes it's just an idea - and could have significant impediments to implementation on the 'current open-edit model').0
Re those being irritated by the campaign, I am referring to FamilySearch members who perhaps do not follow all their ancestors within the scope of the campaign parameters, who get a campaign message inviting them not just to see who has been moving their cheese, but to thank those cheese movers.
For me there has been a recent surge of:
- Message alerts (red dots), but no message. My suspicion is messages are removed by FS because they contain language triggering some filter.
- Messages about Family Tree content that might be driven by the campaign but don't have the tell-tale "Thank you" header. These have all been substantive, and very welcome. They are collaborative, and coming from other contributors who know how to use the FS messaging features.
- "Thank you" campaign messages: 1/3 thanks, 1/3 requests for research help, 1/3 "Who are you?" One thank you message, from a contributor familiar but not personally known to me, was really, really nice.
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
I can completely understand your arguments and explanations, but I am "not with you" when it comes to some of your comments and/or expressions.
Regarding your comment:
"Later, "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', was graciously made available, for those, who were not member of the Church, to ALSO do (and, work on) their Genealogy/Family History, of their OWN "Ancestral" Lines."
I appreciate the fact that the Church has made Family Tree available to non-members, but I do not see anything "gracious" in this (especially when I read a dictionary definition of the word as "courteous, kind, and pleasant, especially towards someone of lower social status"! I chose to take part in the Family Tree project partly for my own benefit, but largely as I wished to share my findings with others - LDS or otherwise.
Perhaps I missed something when I "signed-up" but I did not notice any advice / instruction to only work on my own ancestral lines. When I find other users have made careless merges, involving individuals of similar identities, I "unmerge" the IDs concerned and usually carry out work on the line(s) unrelated to me (adding parents, siblings, etc.) so these unrelated "Millers", "Wrights", and whoever can be more clearly distinguished - in a hope the separate individuals / families will not be confused (and merged) again, in future.
I have also carried out work on a couple of "famous", totally unrelated persons on whom I am carrying out genealogical research. The background to one of these is that I read a biography, which included ancestral details of the subject that didn't seem to hold true. Is it so wrong that I used Family Tree to try to construct an accurate pedigree for him? I believe my work could be very useful for other users - who might even be related to him, of course!
In summary, I see your points about surname and one-name projects, but surely there is no hard and fast rule about recording this type of detail in Family Tree (especially if an ID is created for each individual and is properly sourced)? After all, one of the primary aims of the project is "collaboration".
Sorry to the originator of this post for going so far away from the original topic, but I just wanted to make it clear that I don't see anything wrong in getting involved with any "unrelated" branches - especially if it helps in differentiating between individuals who have been (or are likely to be) confused (and merged) with others of similar identity.
BTW - I don't expect any "thanks" for anything I contribute to Family Tree, and neither do I take-up the option of being notified of such campaigns.3
All my work here serves others.0
You guys are AWESOME! I've only received one Thank You and how are we related?...and luckily it was someone whose profile name showed a surname that I was familiar with! I do tons of research on Family Tree. I so love seeing families put together and connecting dangling grandmas with their parents. I love that this campaign can connect family members who might otherwise not have connected. I am a bit leery of the who are you? question in this internet-base world, so I was glad that this person's surname was visible. Can you also click the person's name and either View Relationship or Request to View Relationship? I've made my connections visible, so I would love to teach others to use the View Relationship tool too. Hey! Maybe they could add a note about the View Relationship tool to the campaign and we wouldn't get so many Who are You? questions.1
Perhaps I missed something when I "signed-up" but I did not notice any advice / instruction to only work on my own ancestral lines.
I don't know if anything was missed either - but the option to work on 'unconnected persons' is fairly hidden - or one has to Find someone of interest in the Tree. When you login to FamilySearch and go to Family Tree - it defaults to 'your tree' (you as starting person - unless you change that profile setting). All the implications indicate that you are working on 'your tree' (ancestral lines - whatever you would like to call it).
Yes, none of this prevents anyone from entering, editing, merging or attaching any persons or records in the Tree - it's open-edit (free-for-all). Hopefully respect for the 'nearer related/descendants' data, etc. is observed by all. Thanks to all who add good data to Family Tree.1
I read the Terms of Service before I joined FamilySearch and again just now, as I see they have been updated. They were and are very clear that you consent to edits by any other contributor. Also, Family Tree is based on historical records not family lore or personal attestation.
Memories contributed by others are respected; that is why other contributors cannot remove them. But memories are not historical records. Some memories that are images of historical records may be accepted as historical records by other contributors. Even then, caution is required. In uploaded Memories I have found altered records!
I utterly respect authentic, factual, true data. Unfortunately, so many contributions from family lore, however well intentioned, are none of the above. So, in the interest of all concerned we should reject the proposition that nearer relations are somehow more entitled than others. On the contrary, nearer relations raise the index of suspicion for false data. Moreover, it is appropriate to hold nearer relations to a higher standard of evidence. If someone claims special personal access to historical records or genealogy research, we can and should expect them to prove it by providing sources. Proof is a foundational precept of genealogy.0
Correct - that is the 'science' of genealogy. But I am sure you would recognize the 'incompleteness' of historical records. Notice in FamilySearch Search> Genealogies> Oral Genealogies - a collection of culturally important 'family lores' with "HIGH DATA ACCURACY" - this is the 'art' of genealogy.
Until perfect truth is established - there will always be the continuum between science and art. The Tree may depend more or less on one or the other in different branches. Where there is no historical record comment - family lore may have comment. What is 'genealogical essential completeness'? To me that is of import.
Anyway I hope some of this reasoning is clear. Yes records are super important - but historical records are a 'thin' representation of a person. Thus easier (possibly?) confusion of merging individuals when based solely upon records...
Near relations have a basis/collection - based upon reality of 'living' near relations upon which to build 'their representation/assertions' in the Tree. The importance of this 'living record' (descendancy) I don't think can be overstated. Whether historical records correspond to this 'living record' or not - this 'record' cannot be denied - this is truth (in my opinion).
Moreover, it is appropriate to hold nearer relations to a higher standard of evidence.
Agreed. Thus my even caring about 'near relations' having any more 'claim' to edit privilege.
Sorry to continue ... perhaps a thought exercise would help to demonstrate. Consider your immediate family representation in Family Tree. Who would you say has more claim to edit privilege? Now extend back one generation - who has more claim now? Does the group of editors with 'exclusive claim' (more/most knowledge especially in family lore) expand (yes obvious the family relations have expanded)? Does this deny that anyone - now/in future - could locate bmd/vital records and enter such historical records in Family Tree? No it denies no such possibility - it only indicates the 'near relations/descendants' have a 'primary claim' to edit privilege (my opinion) - or for denying 'future edits' when the person representation is 'essentially complete'. Does it change the accuracy of the historical record? No it shouldn't - not IF correct. But IF incorrect - yes the 'primary claim' should have edit privilege (my opinion - plus as you indicate their edits (data) should be 'higher standard' ). Now just continue the thought exercise as it extends back through 'near related generations' - yes collaboration/open-edit becomes more desirable - family lore only extends 'so far' ... How far? Well that depends upon how records/lore have been passed down and 'how complete' the historical records have been searched/attached (example: Oral Genealogies collection).0
Regarding the question of near relations and edit priviledges, some semi-random thoughts.
One, privacy laws often mean that actual documentation for one's nearest relations is the hardest to come by.
Two, the paper trail does not tell the whole story. For example, a marriage register can record a marriage, but it can't tell us how those people met, especially when they're from opposite ends of the country and have different religions. You need the things that can only be documented in the form "as told to NN by MM on [date]" to fill in those details.
And three, the people who can fill in the gaps from points one and two are not necessarily actually related to the people in question, except by marriage -- and sometimes, not even that. This doesn't make their contributions any less valuable.2
Who would you say has more claim to edit privilege?
No one. I would say no one is inherently more entitled than anyone else. Or, if someone were more entitled, I would say professional genealogists are more entitled.
Professional genealogists often stay away from their own immediate families on Family Tree, on the same principle as Wikipedians are not to edit topics in which they have a special interest or personal information. Like Family Tree, Wikipedia is based on sources that are both reliable and public.0
On https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Avoiding_common_mistakes the first two items are:
- Articles from personal knowledge
- Autobiographical articles . . . you should not be writing articles about yourself or people with whom you have a close connection.
On the latest "Thank the Contributor" message I received, I'm the highest contributor in my corner of the tree, 4 times higher than anyone else. Not going to say thanks to myself.1
This. Consider how it looks to those others. You likely stand out, far out, on the little graph the campaign sends them. They may find that, um, alarming. It is a rather startling way to find out they are not alone, and many contributors here do start off thinking they are alone.1
Several of the campaigns have been more than a little strange. There was one a few months ago highlighting immigrant ancestors. Only he wasn't an immigrant. He was from one of my branches that has been in the US since before it was the US. He was born in Idaho and as an adult, he took a cruise.
He showed up on a passenger manifest - clearly marked as born in the US - and that got him highlighted as an immigrant.1
On reflection, perhaps the primary intent of the campaign is to impress on everyone that we all share Family Tree with everyone else.2