Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Editing limitations added to the FamilySearch Family History Wiki

The following announcement was made by FamilySearch concerning the Family History Wiki (previously called the Research Wiki):
For many years, the FamilySearch wiki allowed open editing for everyone. In recent weeks, however, the wiki has been plagued by spammers taking advantage of this system. The wiki team is now asking that you register as an editor by filling out a simple survey form. You will be cleared by the wiki team and given editing rights. The process may take up to 48 hours but probably will be much quicker.
I might point out that the Research or Family History Wiki has always only been open to editing by registered users of the website. I might also point out that the Family Tree is also a wiki based product and some of us believe that some of the additions to the Family Tree also constitute "spam" in a general use of the term. If both programs want to maintain their integrity in a highly politicized and religiously persecuted world, then controls on the contributors were and will be inevitable. Maybe it is time to examine the "contributions" of the "registered" users of both programs?

The following notification has been put on each of the pages of the Family History Research Wiki. 

The red letters say:
If you are unable to edit the wiki after logging in, you will need to request editing rights using this form. You will be notified when editing rights are granted.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about the fact that most of the contributing and editing of the Research Wiki was moving "in house." In response, I got a series of protestations that editing and contributing were still open to the general, genealogical community. However, communication regarding the Research Wiki has become entirely internalized in an "invitation only" Yammer forum.

Currently, the number of active users or contributors has crashed to just over 200 in the last 30 days. In the past the number has been close to 1000.

The value and content of the Research Wiki have not been diminished at all by this lull in activity. I am guessing that most of the slowdown in activity is a result of the fact that adding useful information that is not already present is getting to be a much harder task and requires a much higher level of expertise. As a side note, I am expecting the Family Tree to go through the same cycle of activity.

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