Saturday, April 7, 2012

If I were a rich man...

Borrowing a quote from Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, I began to wonder if having a small fortune would really make any difference in what I was doing right now. The answer is quite simple. Not much. I wouldn't mind going to New Zealand or Australia some time in my life, but other than thinking about traveling, I would really much rather spend more time, if that were possible, doing what I do now.

Right now I am working on a couple of projects where I could use some help. My main scanning project will have to wait for a grandson or nephew to get out of school for the summer, but there are some ongoing projects that someone out there in blogland might like to assist me with. I have never been reticent about asking for help so here it goes.

I am working on the Utah Project of the FamilySearch Research Wiki. A Wiki project is a cooperative effort to provide a lot of content for areas of the Wiki in a relatively short period of time. There is no preset time commitment since almost all work on the Wiki is voluntary. You need only do what you have the time and inclination to do. In the case of the state projects, one of the main issues is trying to make a consistent and useful interface for the user. If you look around on the Utah pages of the Wiki, you will see that the Project participants have succeeded in making a pretty consistent look and feel.

This consensus does not spring out of the work done on the Wiki spontaneously, we have weekly meetings where we discuss exactly what content and format do we collectively want to include. If you would like to see how the pages begin to be developed, you can have a look at the Experimental county page, where ideas about the content of the county pages are being discussed and developed.

Since I am the Wiki Moderator for Utah, I have been around long enough to see the progress that has been made during the course of the Utah Project. It is really incredible what a combined effort of just a few people can accomplish. When I first became aware of the Utah pages in the Wiki, I was disappointed at the lack of content. Now, the amount of content is credible and there are plans to make the pages even more informative.

If you don't feel like working in Utah, then you might consider the other state for which I am moderator, Arizona. If you compare the pages in Arizona with those in Utah, you can see the impact a Wiki Project can have on the content and format of the Research Wiki. It is the nature of wikis in general to grow at differential rates. Since content comes from volunteers' effort, there is no way to get uniformity other than to work cooperatively in something like a Wiki Project. Fortunately, the Wiki contains all of its own instructions. If you want to help with adding content, you might want to check out the following pages:
These pages lead you to many others that are linked from these pages, will get you going in contributing valuable information to the Wiki.

No comments:

Post a Comment