FamilySearch Wiki talk:WikiProject Professional Genealogists

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
(Blanked the 2009 question about the non-commercial-only license because we changed the license in 2010, so that discussion would only confuse people now in 2012.)
(Posted an explanation of the project.)
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== Purpose? ==
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== Why this project? ==
  
Perhaps the best way to connect wiki users with professionals is to highlight the article "Hiring a Professional Researcher" on the home page every once in awhile. I'm concerned about a separate community of genealogists being created. The above-mentioned article already links to the online lists of the APG, BCG and ICAPGen. Is the intention to link to other online portal-type services? To just create a list of researchers that are in the know of wiki use might show favoritism. Charlene M. Pipkin [[User:Pipkincm|Genguide]] 13:41, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
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=== Background ===
  
:The idea is not for FamilySearch to create the lists of researchers or the researchers' pages, but for the researchers to do that. The community owns the wiki. Anyone can participate. We&nbsp;anticipate that individuals, research companies, and professional associations will all have a way to get listed.&nbsp;There's no favoritism involved because it's the community that creates it, not some centrally-located&nbsp;office. The idea is to allow researchers to post<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1245930481750_822" /> more than "here are my rates and here are my specialty areas and credentials" so that customers can&nbsp;have more information by which to select researchers. The idea is also to level the playing&nbsp;field -- give a better opportunity for individual researchers, who don't have a&nbsp;big marketing budget, to be seen as easily as&nbsp;research companies&nbsp;who have&nbsp;large marketing budgets. There's&nbsp;no charge to be listed here, so it levels the field for the "little guy."&nbsp;[[User:RitcheyMT|Ritcheymt]] 11:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
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In early 2008, Don Anderson, Director of the Patron Services Division at FamilySearch, (the division that developed the wiki, still supports it, and contributes half of its content) directed me to invite professional genealogists to the wiki to promote their services there.  
  
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=== Objectives ===
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Two objectives drove this decision. First, we wanted professional researchers to add content to the wiki, and one way to incentivate them to discover how easy it is to edit wiki pages would be to invite them to create pages that would help patrons find them.
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The second objective was to satisfy our patrons' need to find professional help. Many FamilySearch patrons need professional help solving tough research problems, and they often ask us who to hire. Today there's no clear answer: APG, BCG, ICAPGen, various international organizations, various members-only Websites, a constellation of research firms and mom-and-pop shops, and a veritable universe of individual freelancers. The choices are myriad, and this is confusing to patrons. They would like to have one place that will show them everyone they could hire, all on a level playing field.
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=== Alternatives in the market ===
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Many directories of professional genealogists exist, but most charge fees for a listing, so none of them really approach comprehensiveness. A directory on FamilySearch Wiki, where researchers can write their own listings for free, has the potential of becoming comprehensive. To patrons who need professional help, the wiki could become the best place to find a complete listing of professional researchers.
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=== Inclusive information ===
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The idea is to have researchers post their genealogical education, professional and volunteer experience, credentials, report samples, specialties, services, contact information, and links to their business Websites on their wiki user pages and subpages. There would be other pages on the wiki like "Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio" or "Professional Genealogists Who Do Ohio Research" that would list all the professionals for the area in a table and link to their user pages. 
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=== Types of wiki pages to use ===
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Part of the thinking around having this information on user pages is that user pages are not included by default on the wiki's search engine. When you do a search on the wiki, the search engine ignores user pages by default. So user pages are a great place to "hide in plain sight." When wiki users add information to their user pages, they are not spamming the wiki's search engine.
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Besides these resume items on a professional genealogist's user page, there would be directory pages like "Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio" which would contain a table listing professionals and linking to their user pages for more information. These directory pages would be normal wiki pages in the main namespace, and would therefore appear by default on a wiki search. This is ideal because it would help patrons find professionals when they need help.
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=== Links from other pages to directories ===
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To make it even easier for patrons to find professional help, links to these directory pages would be created from other existing wiki pages. So a page like "Ohio Vital Records" would contain a link to "Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio." The link's wording might be something like "For a list of professional genealogists who can procure vital records, see 'Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio.'"
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=== Linking to service providers is no more commercial than linking to fee-based digitized records ===
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Some folks worry about linking wiki pages to professional genealogists. But the wiki already has thousands of links to commercial offerings -- most of them digitized records available for a fee. Professional genealogists provide the same kinds of information these fee-based digital record sites do -- they just do it in a more customized way. If genealogy were the food industry, the big companies that offer digital records might be likened to a McDonald's or a Stauffer's, whereas the professional researcher might be a mom-and-pop restaurant. If the wiki's Ohio Vital Records page can link to a Website of a company offering digitized records for a fee, why should it not also link to Websites of professionals offering to find similar records for a fee?
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=== Your input is welcome below ===
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As FamilySearch embarks on this project, we welcome your input as to how we might do it best. Please leave your comments below, thanks for sharing, and remember to "sign" your comments with four tildes [nowiki] [[User:RitcheyMT|RitcheyMT]] 12:10, 19 July 2012 (UTC)[/nowiki]! [[User:RitcheyMT|RitcheyMT]] 12:10, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Revision as of 12:10, 19 July 2012

Contents

Why this project?

Background

In early 2008, Don Anderson, Director of the Patron Services Division at FamilySearch, (the division that developed the wiki, still supports it, and contributes half of its content) directed me to invite professional genealogists to the wiki to promote their services there.

Objectives

Two objectives drove this decision. First, we wanted professional researchers to add content to the wiki, and one way to incentivate them to discover how easy it is to edit wiki pages would be to invite them to create pages that would help patrons find them.

The second objective was to satisfy our patrons' need to find professional help. Many FamilySearch patrons need professional help solving tough research problems, and they often ask us who to hire. Today there's no clear answer: APG, BCG, ICAPGen, various international organizations, various members-only Websites, a constellation of research firms and mom-and-pop shops, and a veritable universe of individual freelancers. The choices are myriad, and this is confusing to patrons. They would like to have one place that will show them everyone they could hire, all on a level playing field.

Alternatives in the market

Many directories of professional genealogists exist, but most charge fees for a listing, so none of them really approach comprehensiveness. A directory on FamilySearch Wiki, where researchers can write their own listings for free, has the potential of becoming comprehensive. To patrons who need professional help, the wiki could become the best place to find a complete listing of professional researchers.

Inclusive information

The idea is to have researchers post their genealogical education, professional and volunteer experience, credentials, report samples, specialties, services, contact information, and links to their business Websites on their wiki user pages and subpages. There would be other pages on the wiki like "Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio" or "Professional Genealogists Who Do Ohio Research" that would list all the professionals for the area in a table and link to their user pages.

Types of wiki pages to use

Part of the thinking around having this information on user pages is that user pages are not included by default on the wiki's search engine. When you do a search on the wiki, the search engine ignores user pages by default. So user pages are a great place to "hide in plain sight." When wiki users add information to their user pages, they are not spamming the wiki's search engine.

Besides these resume items on a professional genealogist's user page, there would be directory pages like "Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio" which would contain a table listing professionals and linking to their user pages for more information. These directory pages would be normal wiki pages in the main namespace, and would therefore appear by default on a wiki search. This is ideal because it would help patrons find professionals when they need help.

Links from other pages to directories

To make it even easier for patrons to find professional help, links to these directory pages would be created from other existing wiki pages. So a page like "Ohio Vital Records" would contain a link to "Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio." The link's wording might be something like "For a list of professional genealogists who can procure vital records, see 'Professional Genealogists Serving Ohio.'"

Linking to service providers is no more commercial than linking to fee-based digitized records

Some folks worry about linking wiki pages to professional genealogists. But the wiki already has thousands of links to commercial offerings -- most of them digitized records available for a fee. Professional genealogists provide the same kinds of information these fee-based digital record sites do -- they just do it in a more customized way. If genealogy were the food industry, the big companies that offer digital records might be likened to a McDonald's or a Stauffer's, whereas the professional researcher might be a mom-and-pop restaurant. If the wiki's Ohio Vital Records page can link to a Website of a company offering digitized records for a fee, why should it not also link to Websites of professionals offering to find similar records for a fee?

Your input is welcome below

As FamilySearch embarks on this project, we welcome your input as to how we might do it best. Please leave your comments below, thanks for sharing, and remember to "sign" your comments with four tildes [nowiki] RitcheyMT 12:10, 19 July 2012 (UTC)[/nowiki]! RitcheyMT 12:10, 19 July 2012 (UTC)