User:Ryancormack

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Greetings

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I'm here to help make this wiki a little bit better. I have quite a bit of experience editing on Wikipedia, particularly editing in source code. I hope to make a difference here as well.

Have a great day!

Strengths and Areas of Improvement for FamilySearch Wiki

There is nothing like Familysearch's Family History Research Wiki. It is an excellent resource for both novice and veteran genealogists to identify the online and offline resources that can help them add names and stories to their family tree. If researchers find a shortcut or an inexpensive alternative to what is currently listed, they can change it. In a rapidly changing online environment, having a wiki that anyone can update and modify is a very effective way of staying relevant. It also empowers local experts to ensure accurate and reliable sources are mentioned and provide some tricks and tips to those who are new to researching that area.

That being said, there is room for improvement. On the guiding principles page it mentions that the purpose is to "teach the world how to do genealogy research". This general purpose is not stated in other editor help areas, such as here or here. I would think that this message about teaching would be seen everywhere, but it is rarely mentioned. What is mentioned elsewhere is a desire to create more pages and to be a "resource". More, more more, as though page numbers is the best measure of success for the project. To be like Wikipedia (except without the resources to maintain such a beast). I would humbly suggest that the message "the purpose of this Wiki is to teach the world how to do genealogy" should be stated often. If it is not stated frequently, the wiki runs into the risk of becoming a repository of links and resources with little explanation regarding strategy, hints, details, or things to consider when accessing the items on the list. Like Cyndi's list, I think there is a very limited usefulness for these lists with no explanation.

Consistency is also important. I would like to see a sample of a dozen pages that are considered ideal, that all new editors should be exposed to. To see some ideal examples and tell editors, try to work toward this, helps to create a clear vision and provide a more consistent product.

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