Allow volunteer indexers direct contact details for reaching project leaders
There appears to be no current method of contacting project leaders when a serious problem arises relating to project instructions. These sometimes arise in relation to some of the instructions for a specific project being completely contrary to the general rules / guidelines.
It should not be necessary for indexers to some to this forum (Indexing category) in order to post / address many of the issues that are currently raised there. The advice provided is sometimes contradictory and it should not be the responsibility of other (even very experienced) users to provide a "ruling" on a matter that very often needs to be escalated to the project leader, or even a higher level.
It is very sad that many in the FamilySearch organisation are impossible to contact directly, especially when employees rarely seem to visit (and definitely do not participate in posts made on) this Community forum.
@Paul W I can tell you we are working to address your second concern.
In regards to your primary concern, if I understand your concern correctly, I can see how that could be really frustrating. Just to be clear, you are suggesting that there are problems when working on specific projects that can only be solved by project leaders and individuals with specific knowledge to a project but it is difficult to get in contact with project leaders. You mentioned clarification around instructions as one example. Do you have an example of any instructions in particular that appear to be contrary to the general rules / guidelines? I will pass this information along for consideration.0
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Thank you very much for responding to my post.
Whilst there have been a number of issues of concern in recent months, I am particularly concerned (as others are) with the problems attached to this project:
"UK, England, Lancashire—Nonconformist Church Records, 1647–1996 [Part B][MSGD-8C1]"
The main problem here has been highlighted at https://community.familysearch.org/en/discussion/comment/441278#Comment_441278 and elsewhere.
Apparently, indexers have been provided with a date converter and told to covert dates shown in the original documents from those of the Julian calendar to Gregorian dates.
I believe this goes against the general instruction to indexers that they should record what they see, rather than make any interpretation. This practice is also contrary to genealogical convention, whereby - to my knowledge - dates are always recorded as written, and not converted to reflect our existing calendar.
Although this is a specific example of inconsistent / incorrect practice that I feel needs to be addressed, I am also making the point here for greater access to advice from individuals (I assume they would generally be FamilySearch employees) with responsibilities within the "Indexing section". In many instances it seems a "ruling" is required from a senior person in "Indexing", rather than there to be a complete reliance on advice from experienced indexers who are ordinary members of this forum and not necessarily qualified to judge certain issues.
Thank you again for your attention to this matter.2
I totally agree with the comments made by Paul W in his two posts.
I have also seen posts by a very experienced indexer, not connected with FamilySearch, which (from memory) indicated that henceforth she would not be replying to people's queries because she believed that the nature of most of them should be resolved by someone with "official standing" who could make a definite official answer.
Could you also consider the situation where batches are restricted to residents of certain countries, and how these indexers can receive official FamilySearch help.
I have in mind some Discussions I saw regarding Australian Passenger Lists, which are apparently restricted to indexers in Australia. This was of interest to me as I am in Australia, although I'm not an indexer. Even though batch numbers were quoted, the moderators of the Indexing Community said they couldn’t see the batches, so couldn’t offer any advice.
The advice, as I recall the matter, was to wait for someone to come along who could see the batch (meaning in practice another Australian indexer, as I have never seen any sign of Australian management/staff) or to use “Contact Us” details for Australia which, given the enquirer had already contacted Community meant telephone or chat. This is unlike some other countries which are provided with an email address for their area of the world. The inference to me was that this indexing project was “managed” in Australia, but I wondered how likely it was that someone on the Australian telephone line would know anything. In addition, perhaps the enquirer did not want to use telephone contact.
I thought it VERY POOR that there was no email address provided by Indexing Community where the enquirer could ask further, even the general email address for the Australian organisation was not provided.
As far as I could tell there never was a FamilySearch answer to the questions asked.
I also wondered whether the indexing project actually was managed in Australia. Nothing else I have seen on FamilySearch indicates that the Indexing Community is for USA only, (or perhaps USA and non restricted projects?) If so, it should be made clear, so Australian indexers know how to obtain help.2
Just in passing ...
Sometimes, things get back, to the ("Indexing") "Project Managers" ...
That Said ...
Obviously, the results are, NOT always, for the better ...
'Category' = Indexing
HOME > FAMILYSEARCH HELP > INDEXING
Julian calendar to modern day dating
And, the ( RECENT ) 'Comment'
And, 'Melissa', is one of the very EXPEREIENCED "Indexers"/"Reviewers", who is NOT part of 'FamilySearch'; but, who has been helping/assisting in both, the OLD "Indexing Chat" 'Group; and, the LATER "Indexing" 'Category', for YEARS ...
Just my thoughts.
Thanks, @Brett . For too many years, and yes, I am the one @MaureenE123 remembers. The one who thinks that some moderators should have DIRECT access to project managers or indexing ops to give official answers. There are times when the project instructions are vague, the field helps and the project instructions are incongruent, or the examples are wrong. It shouldn't be that difficult to take down a project until corrections are made. Let me be clear, I don't think that all volunteers should have direct access to the project managers. That would be total chaos. But, after it was decided to destroy Indexing Chat, for whatever reason, the new Indexing Community needed experienced indexers/reviewers working as OFFICIAL leaders who could answer questions and report problems, not 50 FS moderators to monitor a page and make sure everyone "plays nice". Indexers and Reviewers deserve timely, correct answers - no matter where in the world they are located or what language they speak. And that is what I hope will happen someday.