Multiple forums?

Ask questions and discuss topics of interest related to the FamilySearch wiki found at http://wiki.familysearch.org.

Moderator: ForbesMM

User avatar
nixiao-p40
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:21 am

Postby nixiao-p40 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:29 am

I feel we may be losing some of our users who may want help with research guidance because the forums are not touching this critical area for the Wiki at this point. I suggest a new forum which has a list of thread categories on the main page broken up into groups. For example, "Beginning Researchers" (group) could contain thread categories or topics such as Census, Southern States Region, Western States Region, etc.. "Contributor's Community" (group) could contain topics/threads inlcuding Polls/Research, Editing Articles, Suggested Improvements, etc.. "Professionals Corner" may include topics such as Methodology, Research Strategies, etc.. It would help all users determine where they want to be at a glance because the grouping and names would help direct the user to the location that best fits the user's needs. Those seeking research advice would not need to wade through the red tape issues of Wiki functionality.

The_Earl
Member
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 am

Postby The_Earl » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:06 am

nixiao wrote:I feel we may be losing some of our users who may want help with research guidance because the forums are not touching this critical area for the Wiki at this point. I suggest a new forum which has a list of thread categories on the main page broken up into groups. For example, "Beginning Researchers" (group) could contain thread categories or topics such as Census, Southern States Region, Western States Region, etc.. "Contributor's Community" (group) could contain topics/threads inlcuding Polls/Research, Editing Articles, Suggested Improvements, etc.. "Professionals Corner" may include topics such as Methodology, Research Strategies, etc.. It would help all users determine where they want to be at a glance because the grouping and names would help direct the user to the location that best fits the user's needs. Those seeking research advice would not need to wade through the red tape issues of Wiki functionality.


I think putting this information on the Forum would further fragment the wiki user base. These should be areas of the wiki.

There is a lot of energy around the gazeteer / portals on the wiki, but there is a lot of other things that need attention.

The Earl

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:15 am

The Earl wrote:I am of the opinion that most of the FS Wiki stuff needs to be on the FS Wiki. I would hope that after a bit of startup noise, the forum will settle down, and the Wiki pages will take the brunt of the traffic.

I worry that starting a new forum now just for the wiki will add another place for people to go, and end up abandon when the wiki pulls the information in.


Yes. And as far as putting the wiki stuff on the wiki, we're moving to do that, but not entirely the way you and I have discussed in the past, Earl. We've gotten feedback from genealogist authors on the wiki that they don't contribute to the best practices discussions on this forum for the following reasons:

  1. This site is named "LDS Tech Forums." Genealogists don't feel welcome in a forum that seems to be titled for engineers.
  2. To contribute to this forum, people need to create a new account that's separate from their wiki account. These folks just want to leave quick feedback, not go through another registration process.
  3. Once users have registered here -- and even after they have confirmed their registration through their e-mail -- there seems to be a lag time in which they can't post to the forum. So by the time they are able to post, they've forgotten the issue they were going to report.
  4. Since LDS Tech forums tend to attract engineers, the threads in even this forum about Wiki.FamilySearch.org are often so technical that a genealogist looking at them says to themselves, "This isn't the place for people like me."
  5. Non-LDS contributors to wiki.familysearch.org who see the name of this system -- "LDS Tech Forums" -- don't feel welcome here.
For all these reasons, we're testing a few forums apps and MediaWiki plugins in order to move the site of our forum(s) to operate within a frame of the wiki itself. That will allow us to pursue our own title, branding/skinning, single sign on, and fix all the issues listed above.

All of this won't solve the problem you and I have discussed before -- the problem of when to discuss issues in a forum and when to discuss them on a wiki page -- but at least we can smudge the line between the wiki and the forum a bit and lift the barriers preventing genealogists from leaving feedback and taking part in the discussions on data organization, naming standards, and other best practices.

Michael

The_Earl
Member
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 am

Postby The_Earl » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:22 am

The Earl wrote:I think putting this information on the Forum would further fragment the wiki user base. These should be areas of the wiki.

There is a lot of energy around the gazeteer / portals on the wiki, but there is a lot of other things that need attention.

The Earl


I guess I should clarify....

I do not think that creating a separate forum area for research guidance is beneficial. I worry that creating specific forum areas for beginners, or wiki editors would end up with genealogy content split between the forum and the wiki.

nixiao wrote:For example, "Beginning Researchers" (group) could contain thread categories or topics such as Census, Southern States Region, Western States Region, etc.. "Contributor's Community" (group) could contain topics/threads inlcuding Polls/Research, Editing Articles, Suggested Improvements, etc.. "Professionals Corner" may include topics such as Methodology, Research Strategies, etc.. It would help all users determine where they want to be at a glance because the grouping and names would help direct the user to the location that best fits the user's needs. Those seeking research advice would not need to wade through the red tape issues of Wiki functionality.


These should definitely be wiki areas. We need to create spaces for these. I would probably start at: https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Portal:Get_started_with_this_site.

The Earl

The_Earl
Member
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 am

Postby The_Earl » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:25 am

ritcheymt wrote:<snip>
All of this won't solve the problem you and I have discussed before -- the problem of when to discuss issues in a forum and when to discuss them on a wiki page -- but at least we can smudge the line between the wiki and the forum a bit and lift the barriers preventing genealogists from leaving feedback and taking part in the discussions on data organization, naming standards, and other best practices.

Michael


You know my thoughts on forum / wiki. I agree that some things, especially early, benefit from the forum style of interaction.

If there are meta-issues that are preventing people from participating here, then those need to be addressed. I agree that naming and skinning can help, and single-signon is a must.

We have also discussed forum-like functionality for MediaWiki which would alleviate some of these problems.

Thanks
The Earl

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:28 am

nixiao wrote:I feel we may be losing some of our users who may want help with research guidance because the forums are not touching this critical area for the Wiki at this point. I suggest a new forum which has a list of thread categories on the main page broken up into groups. For example, "Beginning Researchers" (group) could contain thread categories or topics such as Census, Southern States Region, Western States Region, etc.. "Contributor's Community" (group) could contain topics/threads inlcuding Polls/Research, Editing Articles, Suggested Improvements, etc.. "Professionals Corner" may include topics such as Methodology, Research Strategies, etc.. It would help all users determine where they want to be at a glance because the grouping and names would help direct the user to the location that best fits the user's needs. Those seeking research advice would not need to wade through the red tape issues of Wiki functionality.


What you're describing is very close to what we've been planning to build. Mind you, the LDS Tech Forums are not about getting research advice, so we couldn't create that kind of forum here. We are going to build forums which are based on how to do find ancestors from various geographic locations. Eventually there will be forums on ethnic, religious, or racial groups, and probably on FamilySearch products, as well. We're going to integrate those forums with wiki.familysearch.org. And we'll probably move this forum into that instance as well.

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:32 am

The Earl wrote:I guess I should clarify....

I do not think that creating a separate forum area for research guidance is beneficial. I worry that creating specific forum areas for beginners, or wiki editors would end up with genealogy content split between the forum and the wiki.



These should definitely be wiki areas. We need to create spaces for these. I would probably start at: https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Portal:Get_started_with_this_site.

The Earl


When a Church member wants to research their Cambodian ancestors and there is no advice on the wiki, they need a place they can go to ask a bunch of people who know how to do Cambodian research how it's done. That's why we're going to create forums. The forums will replace a CRM system model we've been using in the Family History Department for years that is a very poor model for answering our customers' questions.

User avatar
nixiao-p40
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:21 am

Postby nixiao-p40 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:01 pm

So this is what I envision for the Wiki to reach the needs of all of our users. I know that that this is an entirely different subject, but yes, we can even learn how to be great from the oldest and most successful motorcycle forum. This forum does what we are trying to do: build a community and provide expertise access and answers to the users. I love how they have made the new user's experience so intuitive. You can immediately determine which forum thread and category to visit. Rather than send you to the site, I have attached two screen shots here to examine forum expertise at work :)
Attachments
Forum 1.jpg
Forum 1.jpg (47.47 KiB) Viewed 3720 times
Forum 2.jpg
Forum 2.jpg (32.9 KiB) Viewed 3718 times

User avatar
WelchTC
Senior Member
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:51 am
Location: Kaysville, UT, USA
Contact:

Postby WelchTC » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:35 pm

ritcheymt wrote:Y
  1. Once users have registered here -- and even after they have confirmed their registration through their e-mail -- there seems to be a lag time in which they can't post to the forum. So by the time they are able to post, they've forgotten the issue they were going to report.

I'll add that this is not how it is setup. Once you "confirm" you have posting rights immediately. i get some complaints that people did not get their registration email but when I check into it, it says that they are registered and usually it is because they find the email in the spam folder.


Tom


Return to “FamilySearch Wiki”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests