Letter From Management
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.
FamilySearch Wiki Product Management
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:
- The Community Center for the Wiki.
- The Guiding Principles of FamilySearch Wiki.
- Learn to Search for Articles.
- Learn how to Help:Edit and Contribute.
- Check the Manual of Style.
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)