Improving Collaboration through Request Feature
I love being able to request a photo on Find A Grave from somewhere in the area and I love being able to fulfill requests in the area that I live. Traveling around the world isn't possible for many of us, but I know that the information is out there if only I could connect with the right person. What if we had a feature that let people sign up to fulfill requests in an area...traveling to a local church, going to the local library or archive, providing translation services, making a referral to someone they know who lives in the area or who served in that country who might know someone who knows someone...basically just opening up the request feature to more possibilities. People could sign up for what support they can give and can put in requests for people/services/areas that they need help with. For example, I have people in my ward right now who really need feet on the ground in Tamil Nadu, India; Mauritius; China, Serbia, and El Salvador. To make it easier, it could be map based. You go to a map and click on the area until you get the specific place you can help with or where you need support. A request for leg work or specific locality knowledge. It's like a karma chain...you put in work for something unrelated to your own family in the hopes that someone will volunteer to help with yours. It's a big idea not without challenges, but if anyone could do something requiring so much global networking, it would be familysearch.
There are many such groups/websites. Two that I'm at least vaguely familiar with are RAOGK and Gen Gathering; they're both listed in the category "Lookups & Free Searches by Volunteers - General Resources" on Cyndi's List.2
In addition to Julia's suggestions, if you are active on Facebook/meta, there are many such groups. Some have a global scope while there are many that focus on a specific geographic area.1
Thank you for your comments! I thought there might be something like that out there, thank you for the leads. I looked into all the pages you mentioned, Julia, and they seem pretty US heavy. I'm looking for something a little more global. For example, I'm looking for help from the following countries: India, China, Mauritius, Serbia, and others. Each of those websites, if they had a spot for those countries, had 0 resources. I think familysearch would have the resources, including family history consultants that are called in missions and stakes around the world, to participate in this work on familysearch as a part of their calling. And to encourage their friends and families to do the same. I think a main problem would also be translation between languages. Which is part of the problem with Facebook. I have joined many groups, but many of the asian country pages are very inactive or I can't find the active ones because I don't speak/write the language that the group might be written in. I have found a lot of help from these pages in my own genealogy work in Canada and England, but I'm helping a very diverse international crowd in my ward and struggling to find the resources that I need to make any headway. Especially because most of them have no connections back that they could ask to do the leg work. Any more thoughts or ideas?0
There are a number of [Location] Research Groups here in the FS Community. https://community.familysearch.org/en/categories/gp-groups-en0
You can also have the people you are helping set up a free online consultation for those areas/languages: