User group meeting agenda & minutes 6 Feb 2008

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Information items

  • Introduction of time keeper, note taker, and facilitator
  • Introduction of members: 10 seconds for name and desired takeaways.
  • Agenda intro: Michael
  • Format of these meetings: Michael
  • Where we'll look for initial ideas to cover (feedback page and agenda discussion page)
  • Where to propose items for next agenda: Michael
  • Linking: Mollie Forbes
  • Direction for Q1 2008: Michael
  • A peek at portals: Mollie
  • A recap of proposed takeaways for this meeting's future

Action items

  • Assignments: time keeper, note taker, and facilitator for next meeting


Facilitator was Michael Ritchey. Note taker was Mollie Forbes. Time keeper was Kip Enger.


Eleven people attended: David Crowther, David Dilts, Kip Enger, Mollie Forbes, Jim Greene, James Ison, Fran Jensen, Kay Merkley, Geoffrey Morris, Jimmy Parker, Michael Ritchey

Desired Takeaways

Each attendee was invited to mention what they hoped to gain from user group meetings. Jim Greene took notes on the desired takeaways each attendee voiced. (Jim, please add notes here.)

Running the meeting and adding new agenda items

Many of us have been to user group meetings which descended into chaotic question and answer sessions that left attendees feeling unsatisfied. We don't want that here. Each week, we'll have an agenda, and we'll stick to it. Members can post ideas for the coming week's agenda on that agenda's Discussion page on the wiki.

As the meeting draws near, we'll look at the suggestions for agenda items on the agenda's Discussion page, note which items seems to have received the most requests, and add them in priority order to the agenda.

A word about philosophy here. FamilySearch Wiki is about empowerment. It's about seeing, owning, solving, and doing any changes we need to make the site better for users. That said, we encourage users to go beyond merely listing their problem issues as agenda items. We ask that each member dig down deep and be ready with alternate solutions to propose regarding the issues they raise. If we transcend a focus on problems and focus instead on always suggesting solutions to the problems we see, we'll enable ourselves to improve much faster.

Adding links to the wiki

Create an internal link
Create an external link

Direction of wiki in the first quarter of 2008

We ran out of time and could not cover this. We'll add it to a later agenda.

A peek at portals

Wikipedia has been experimenting with Portals for years. Portals allow for more attractive presentation of site content, and make it easier for users to find the content they want in a major page. See examples by visiting Wikipedia's normal India page and their India Portal page. We plan to use portals for places and ethno/religious or racial groups. Mollie, David Crowther, and Amos Coletti are working on features that will allow us to create those portals. Portals aren't currently easy to do: It takes some wiki coding to make them work. We're working on a way to enable users to add portal elements to a page and then contribute content to the portal. We plan to create 3-5 portal examples soon, after which we'll ask users which layouts they like so we can decide upon the best initial layout to use for our place pages. Mollie has done a mockup of the Utah page on our test server and will add this mockup to our production server soon.