Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My wiki

(click on the image to go to the wiki)
The other family thing that has kept me busy is my wiki. I was looking for a way to easily share information with fellow researchers. I decided on a wiki. I'm rather proud of my Branches and Twigs. It is so simple to update, if a little time consuming. But I am learning shortcuts all the time.
Originally I password protected the pages so I could maintain some control over who saw the content. But I have, after much deliberation and soul searching, removed the password. Several reasons - my main concern was that people might misuse the information if it was open to anyone and everyone. But then I discovered that a Google search would return the actual documents from the wiki (rather than the wiki page itself) which effectively by-passed the password requirement. And there was nothing to stop someone who had been given the password from misusing the info, or claiming the research as their own. I have had this happen when I gave a lady access to my tree on GenesReunited - she copied the lot into her own tree and put it onto her website with nary a mention of where she got the information. Worse still, she has refused to respond to my messages to her. At least with the wiki everything would have to be hand entered, as I don't add GEDCOMS, only pdf documents and web pages. Also, I have been contacted by several previously unknown fellow descendants and by making the wiki too private I would miss these opportunities. I have told all fellow researchers that if they want anyone privatised I can do that on an individual basis, rather than supressing details for living people as that makes the resulting reports very clumsy and quite useless. Most people are happy to see where they fit into the descendants. Also, I never add current addresses or phone numbers (except my own) so it is only names and dates that could potentially be used for identifying purposes - and perhaps surprisingly I have more unknown birthdates for living people than I do for those gone before. Hope I'm not being naive, but I think I have made the right decision to remove the password. I am still contemplating paying for my wiki so I can make it that only members can look at it - but apparently that also prevents search engines 'seeing' my wiki so I wouldn't get hits from people who don't already know about the wiki. A real problem to know what to do for the best.

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