User group meeting agenda & minutes 27 Feb 2008

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Proposing ideas for this agenda

To propose or discuss ideas for this agenda, please use the Discussion tab above. As the meeting draws near, we will review the items proposed on the Discussions page and decide which ones should get highest priority on the agenda.


Administrative items

  1. Assignment of time keeper, note taker, and facilitator
  2. Introduction of members: 10 seconds for name and desired takeaways.
  3. Today's agenda preview
  4. Where we'll look for initial ideas to cover (feedback page and agenda discussion page)
  5. Where to propose items for next agenda: Michael

Information items

  1. Categorization: Michael
  2. Special pages: Mollie
  3. Managing volunteer contributors: Darris

Discussion items


Facilitator was Michael Ritchey. Note taker was Anne Roach

. Time keeper was [name here].

Michael Ritchey:'''
The FamilySearch Catalog info does help people find information, so working with David Rencher's group to help us gather information about how they organize info so we can better categorize information in the Wiki. That doesn't mean we will use all of their terms, but we will use some of the concepts. Library of Congress searches uses a tool that we could also consider using: when we search under one term, it will bring up a preferred search term, described as, 'See also.' When a term is ambiguous, the search will take you to a page to help narrow the search or redefine what was really meant by that initial search. What are the best terms to use? For example, Native Races, Native American, Indian: which term will point to the correct location and information? Library of Congress is an idea mill if we don't know how to categorize something. Sub-categories may also be used to help us point users to the correct information. This is not based on the search engine, rather categories that tie similar pages together.

When we do a search, and it doesn't work, we need to report a problem. There are links missing from the glossary that will need to be added to fix this problem. The page explaining Categories is located by searching under 'Categorization.'

Molly Forbes:'''
Left side, 'Special Pages.' Look at 'dead-end' pages or 'orphans.' We want all pages to link together, so to link, edit the page and add a link to another page page. Uncategorized pages also need some work to help. When you add a category, eg. Denmark, creates a page called Category: Denmark. Flat list of categories: Sub-categories of categories: Denmark, Sweden

Darris has had experience using categories. Once Wiki goes live, we will have domain moderators who will help others figure out what to write and to feel comfortable jumping in.

Geoff Morris won't be able to put everything in on Denmark. It is best to get others involved in the process. Sometimes it seems easier to put the material in yourself. If you can get 2-3 people to use this first, and teach them how to help do tasks that don't require expertise, such as categorization and linking pages together. Then know how to help solve the problems that arise when making these changes. Darris taught a class in January to teach individuals help contribute to the Wiki in a specific category. He needed face-to-face contact to make that happen. They usually come back with questions and suggestions to improve the system. So rather than just adding the data by yourself, invest time to grow the information. He has worked for 2 months with a group and they are almost done with the initial project. They are comfortable using the Wiki Editor tool, and are growing in their knowledge. He didn't set a deadline. They are now contacting him with a request for a new task: They are asking for a new project: What will be the most useful tool.


This may require a new skillset and a greater investment of time.

Geoff Morris:
Fomatting becomes an issue, which software is being used, Excel, Word, etc..

The real problem is that we need the communities to work on the project by themselves. That is when we become productive, when they don't

On the portal page, put a list of things to do to help focus on the real needs for a community project.

Community knows what they need, so negotiation can take place to keep from dictating what they need and allowing them to come up with the ideas. We want to do things that will help them to get excited and develop their own projects. There is a balance between helping them identify what they need, vs. what we think they should be doing. We want them to help us drive the expansion.

Phil Dunn:
Populate Wiki with knowledge that will excite people about Wiki, Maps, etc. Tools that will be truly helpful and excite people. Capture their attention.

Majority of people have questions about working in pre-1700 records: Project: list of microfilmed pedigrees, but film numbers didn't match ours, so volunteers worked on this.

Phil Dunn:
Do we have a list of acceptable files that we can use and load on Wiki: Put it on the agenda. Also, watch file size


Virginia Ackerson, James W. Anderson, Barbara Baker, David Crowther, Phill Dunn, Mollie Forbes, Jim Ison, Geoffrey Morris, Jimmy Parker, Dee Richards, Michael Ritchey, Anne Roach, Cara Wahlquist, Darris Williams.

Action items