Sunday, June 29, 2008

Please Enter Sources in NFS

I am probably guilty also. I'm not too happy with the way New FamilySearch (NFS) prompts for sources. I stand among the ranks of those that have mostly put off entering my sources into New FamilySearch except in cases of well-established wrong information.

(I've been meaning to blog on my experiences entering Utah death certificates for, oh, about a year now. Each certificate took so long that NFS would log me out before I finished. And this was back in the days when it didn't remember where you were when you logged back in! Frustrating! Anyway, I don't want to be one of the useless whiners, so I haven't blogged on this until I have time to give particular examples and suggested rehabilitations. But I digress...)

The lead product manager for New FamilySearch is Jim Greene. Given Paul Nauta's recent comments concerning the meaning of "New FamilySearch," I should be more exact. Greene is the P.M. for the present incarnation of FamilySearch FamilyTree and "Online TempleReady." I don't know if his assignment covers the next incarnation of FamilyTree being worked on at FamilySearch Labs. But I digress...

Recently Greene responded to a suggestion that people hold off entering sources because the information might be lost once the source feature is overhauled and fixed up. (Was I responsible for that rumor? I can't remember which ones I've started and which ones I haven't. But I digress...)

Here's the message that Greene posted on FHCNET:

In my presentation on new FamilySearch at the BYU Computerized Genealogy Conference in March 2008, there were a number of questions on notes and sources that I responded to. It appears that I have left the impression that we should not enter notes and sources at all. I would like to correct that notion. Entering notes and sources will be beneficial to all, at any time. While it is true that there will be improved ways of doing this in the future, it is always good to capture this information and share it with others. Entering it via GEDCOM could case duplication, that method of entry should be done cautiously and with discretion. The benefit of having them available and shared with everyone is great, hopefully greater than any inconvenience you would have in entering them manually, or reformatting them in the future.

No data will be removed or lost, we go to great lengths to make sure of that, at all times.

1 comment:

  1. Sources will be the saving grace of nFS. An improved sourcing structure and source image upload feature will bring experienced researchers on board. My problems with the sourcing is that it's essentially lost in an ugly pile of IGI sources, and that they're not promoted when added. A death certificate is obviously more important than the 27 IGI sources attatched to every event.

    I truly LOVE what I see in Life Browser, and the concept systems leaked by Dan Lawyer. Clearly promoting "evidence", uploading source images, allowing discussions, promoting biography writing, and the like.

    What I'm worried about is the combining and the un-combining. If a source is added for Gunther Cuthbert, and he is composed of 15 combined records, and then someone determines that there are two different individuals there, where do the sources go? They obviously don't pertian to both men, and maybe there's a mix of the two. Is the un-combiner the one who decides where sources go, or the person who uploaded the source?

    nFS is reinventing genealogy. There's been efforts to create "One World Tree" before, but the logistical issues seem to have doomed each of them, or relegated them to the back burner. With the financial backing, member support, constructuve criticism from attentive users, and several major miracles, hopefully this one succeeds.

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