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Revision as of 16:52, 12 September 2011 by Benrbennett (Talk | contribs)

Family History Millionaire

I see that your article "Who Wants to be a Family History Millionaire?" is a new featured article on the wiki. It's a good article with a great title. (It certainly got my attention!) I suspect that it will receive increased traffic over the next few days. Therefore, I ask your permission to make a style edit. Currently many of the headings are in all caps. That's not standard on these wiki pages. Do I have your permission to modify these headings? Charlene Pipkin 13:16, 12 September 2011 (UTC)


Hi Charlene - Feel free to make any changes that you'd like to see made... thanks for your help!  = Benjamin R. Bennett
=

Summary

Ben Bennett 2008 01.jpg

I'm currently the Chief of Staff for FamilySearch Patron Services and Product Manager for the FamilySearch Wiki. I've been in the high tech and customer care industry for more than 14 years and joined FamilySearch in 2009. Prior to joining FamilySearch, I held various positions at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA and Convergys Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah.



Family History Research Interests

While I'm familar with high tech and organizational innovation and collaboration (including community building), I'm relatively new to Family History and am working to learn quickly. I have considerable respect for genealogists (both professionals and hobbists alike); you bring a dicipline to your work that is admirable and impressive.

I'm currently reading Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case by Christine Rose and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy by Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls (both highly recommended by my Family History Library compatriots!). If you have other reading suggestions, let me know via User_talk:Benrbennett.

I'm keenly intrested in research related to the following family lines: Freeman, Godfrey, Rowe, and Arnold

 

Favorite Quotes

  • "After this life, you will be restored to that which you have here allowed yourself to become." –Elder Neal A. Maxwell
  • “Success is a poor teacher. It convinces smart people that they can do no wrong.” -Bill Gates
  • "May we dedicate our lives to serving the Lord and not worry about offending the devil." —President James E. Faust
  • "You cannot stay on the summit forever, you have to come down again, so why bother in the first place? “Just this – what is above know what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs – one sees. One descends – One no longer sees, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.” - Rene Daumal (French Climber)
  • “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” - Steve Jobs
  • "Brethren, shall we not go on to so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! ... Let the dead speak forth ... praise to ... that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison"- D&C 128:22

Experience

  • Chief of Staff - Patron Services, FamilySearch Nov 2009-Present
  • Sr. Director, Windows Global Support, Microsoft Aug 2006 - Nov 2009
  • Sr. Group Manager, Global Outsourcing, Microsoft 2004 - 2006
  • Sr. Account Manager, Global Outsourcing, Microsoft 2001 - 2004
  • Sr. Business Manager, Convergys Corporation 1999 - 2001
  • Various positions, Convergys Corporation 1995 - 1999
  • Kitchen Manager, Snowbird Corporation 1994

Professional Affiliations and Certifications

  • Member, Global Operations Council (GOC)
  • Registered Coordinator, COPC VMO Standard
  • Registered Coordinator, COPC CSP Standard

Education

Masters of Business Administration candidate 2011
Seattle University
Seattle Washington

Associates Degree - General Studies
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake City, Utah

Also attended:
Brigham Young University
Utah Valley University

Feedback Requested: Proposed changes to the FamilySearch wiki license

Summary:The FamilySearch wiki uses a creative commons non-commercial license vs. the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license which is used by Wikipedia.org (as well as many other well known wikis). As the host of the wiki, we are proposing a change in the licensing of our content in order to allow our community at large greater flexibility for legitimate use of wiki content. Prior to doing so, we want to solicit community input on this planned change. Please let us know what your thoughts are during the feedback period which we'll conduct during the next 14 days (11 February 2010 to 25 February 2010). After the feedback period is complete, we will communicate the planned decision and appeal process should any contributors disagree with the outcome. Additional details (and links to the exact language for the different licenses) can be found below. You can voice your support for or against this change by contributing to the proposed Wiki license change post in the forums.

References:

  1. Current FS Wiki License: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike
  2. Proposed FS Wiki License (pending community input): Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike
  3. General Description of all Creative Commons licenses: Creative Commons Summary - All Licenses

Note that the full legal language of each license is available by clicking on the "Legal Code" link at the bottom of each page.

Additional Detail: FamilySearch originally selected a non-commercial license for the wiki because we did not want a commercial company to be able to put a different face on the content and wanted to keep our content ad-free. That said, as we've looked at ways that other wikis are run, organized and licensed (namely Wikipedia.org [1]) and considered how our community and FS may want to use content in the future, we think that a license change may be in order. In support of this intention, some research with our legal advisors at FamilySearch has helped us understand why a non-profit, community site such as Wikipedia.org [2] might choose a license that permitted “commercial” use of the content. The legal advisors informed us that “commercial” is associated with anything where money is being charged. The ambiguity of the non-commercial license could place restrictions on the FamilySearch wiki, limiting future use of the content, even for legitimate non-commercial purposes.

Some examples of activities that are not allowed under the current FamilySearch wiki license are included below:

  1. I contribute a large portion of information to begin a new article. Others edit the information, but the bulk of the content is still my original work. Later, I want to utilize the information with edits in a class syllabus for a conference. Under the current license, I would not be able to do this as a paid conference presenter. I could use my original contribution, but not any of the updated, current information contributed by others.
  2. I am teaching a free family history class, but no Internet access is available at the venue. I want to print copies of a few articles from the wiki for the participants in my class. I need to recoup my copying costs, and so I want to charge a small fee for the copies. It is questionable whether or not this would be allowed under the current license.
  3. I am a commercial company and I want to contribute content to the existing wiki, rather than create my own online research tool. I determine that the FamilySearch Research Wiki is the best place to send my customers to get the most current research information. I want to provide links to the wiki on my website to show my customers how the wiki may work with my own products and still provide a unified, good experience for my customers. By linking to the wiki, I will drive more traffic to the wiki and help my customers get the research help they need. Some of my customers may even become potential contributors to the wiki. I cannot do this under the current license.
  4. A non-profit entity realizes that some parts of the world do not have access to the Internet. They decide to print relevant articles of interest for those parts of the world, and package them in a small booklet to be sold at cost to peoples in these regions. This would not be allow under the current license.

While the commercial license has been implemented with Wikipedia (see [3]) , it is interesting to note that we have been unable to find any company who has chosen to risk using this license in a commercial way. The general ambiguity of the Creative Commons licenses appears to have limited commercial companies from using the content, possibly due to the potential risk of unclear interpretations of the terms of these licenses.

Once again, we look forward to your feedback. You can voice your support for or against this change by contributing to the proposed Wiki license change post in the forums.

Best regards, Ben Bennett FamilySearch Product Management

To All FamilySearch Wiki Contributors: An apology is in order...

By way of introduction, my name is Ben Bennett and I’ve recently joined the FamilySearch team as the product manager for the Wiki and Forums. Put simply, my job is to ensure that your experience, as contributors and users of the Wiki and Forums is excellent. To this end, an apology is in order.


As you know, we recently implemented a new user ID/sign in process for the FamilySearch Wiki. As we implemented this new system, I personally heard from many of you. Many of you shared with me problems that were occurring for you as you tried to sign in, edit or do other things that resulted in lost work, lost time and frustration for you, our key contributors and users. Please accept my sincere apology for the poor performance and poor experience associated with the Wiki during the past few weeks. Please also accept my commitment that the FamilySearch team will learn from this experience and do all that we can to prevent situations like this in the future. To this end, I wanted to share with you a brief list of the lessons that we’ve learned and vow not to repeat:


  1. Communication: We need to do a much better job communicating with our community in advance as to what we’re doing, why we’re doing it (and what’s in it for you) and what you should do if you have problems.
  2. Testing: We need to do a better job of testing our planned user experience.
  3. Timing: This implementation occurred just before the holidays when many of our users were active and key staff members were offline. We need to ensure that major changes are not made when key resources are not available or just prior to major conferences and events.
  4. Resolution of critical issues: There were critical issues that were brought to our attention that were not resolved as quickly as they might have been.


The FamilySearch team is currently reviewing these failures and putting plans in place to ensure they don’t occur again. Going forward, we’re committed to the following:


  1. We’ll improve our ability to listen to you – Some of you have noticed that our FamilySearch staff has been much more active in the Forums. We will continue to do this and if we plan to do something that impacts the community in a material way, you will have an opportunity to provide your thoughts and feedback.
  2. We’ll improve our response to your suggestions – We’re working to add resources to improve our response time to requests and to take action on feedback from the community. It is predictable that there will be some changes that we will need to make to ensure that the Wiki remains a viable resource for all. Regardless of what we do, we’ll always work to provide advanced notice and to solicit your opinion and ensure that your voice is heard. Your part in this process is to speak up – we need your feedback to make the community better.
  3. We’ll improve how we test changes – Prior to making future changes, we’ll test the solution, with those of you who wish to participate, to ensure the changes enhance your work related to the Wiki and community at large. In addition, via the Forums, we’ll listen closely after a change is implemented and respond quickly to problems you may encounter.


There are a number of changes planned for the Wiki in preparation for upcoming conferences and other new FamilySearch products. As such, we’ll have an opportunity to put our commitment to you to the test. Look for posts on the Forums outlining these changes and requesting your feedback.


As the host of the Wiki, it’s fair to say that, while we won’t always be perfect, we are committed to improving to ensure that the Research Wiki becomes an even more valuable resource for you and the genealogical community at large. If you have suggestions or feedback, please feel free to share it with me via the Forums. Thank you for all you do. Without you the Wiki wouldn’t be what it is today – the largest collection of free genealogical research advice online… by the community and for the community.

Best regards,
Ben Bennett
FamilySearch Wiki Product Management




I think it's time for the apology to disappear from the home page. Time to move forward! Lise 22:09, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

 Welcome...

Hello!

The Welcoming Committee is here to support you and offer a warm welcome to a Community that loves Family History. Thank you for your contributions! Please continue editing and consider joining the Welcoming Committee or Projects Seeking Contributors where you may work with experienced users who will help you feel comfortable. This message is posted on your talk page which is associated with your personal User Page. You may practice editing on the Wiki by creating a User Page about yourself. We hope you like this place and decide to join in.

There are a few pages you may find helpful:

You may find additional editing assistance from experienced contributors in the Social Groups on Forums.FamilySearch.org. We have groups for Newbies to the Wiki, Help for Wiki Contributors and Wiki Tech Power Users. Please sign your name only on discussion/talk pages using four tildes (~). This will automatically create your username with a timestamp for your comments. If you need personal assistance, feel free to contact the Welcoming Committee Members.

Again, welcome! CK Whipple 00:00, 5 January 2010 (UTC)