You will notice that throughout my blogging, I will mention the genealogy website WikiTree quite often. Why?
I spend a very large amount of my free time on WikiTree–adding to my family tree, helping others to improve their trees and making connections. Again, Why?
I first became acquainted with WikiTree when a client asked me about joining the website to add her tree there. I had heard rumors about the website and was concerned because I was told their genealogy standards were very strict–perhaps too strict for the novice genealogist. So I checked them out.
From day one, I was hooked! Here are my favorite features:
- WikiTree is free. What is not to love about free?
- I quickly appreciated their high standards which ask you to add good original sources to each and every family member you add to your tree. This creates a higher accuracy rate than other sites.
- WikiTree is about ONE GLOBAL SHARED TREE. This means that you work to connect your tree to others. When you find a place where you match an ancestor with another member, you merge those profiles into one. Then you share it by collaborating on research.
- WikiTree is about collaboration. Not just with those with whom you share ancestors, but also those with whom you share common research interests. Collaboration may also take place in the form of helping others with their family research or with navigating aspects of the website.
- WikiTree is friendly. From day one you are welcomed by a Wiki Greeter–volunteers who take turns at the job. You receive messages from mentors who check in to see if you need any help. The Question and Answer forum, called G2G, is always kept to a friendly tone.
- WikiTree loves input and suggestions from members who want to improve or add value to the website. Everyone is given a place and a stake in the website.
- There is so much to do! WikiTree is like a genealogist’s playground. From name studies to special events and places studies, there are dozens of research projects members can be a part of.
- WikiTree is fun! There is so much to do on the website including contests amongst members and ways to volunteer to help improve the website or help other members. Points are awarded for all contributions to the website, which for those of us motivated by such things, is–well, motivating! Which leads to…
- BADGES! Members are awarded badges for activities such as volunteering to help improve the website and winning contests. Members can give badges to each other for helpfulness and going above and beyond what is expected. You can receive badges for joining research projects as well as leading groups. Did I already say how much I love those colorful badges?
But WikiTree is not only about fun and games. Because we connect and collaborate with others who share ancestors, there is help for breaking down brick walls. There are projects such as: DNA, One Name Studies, One Place Studies, Mayflower, Migration, Adoption Angels and even Black Sheep. There is something for everyone.
So if you have a few minutes or a few hours this weekend, I highly recommend you check out the website and see for yourself what it is all about. While you are there you can see my biography on the home page as the featured member of the week. From there you can click on my profile where you will find my spiffy badges and the winner’s cup below which I won by leading a team in the first ever WikiTree Clean-A-Thon. The purpose was to clean database errors from the system to make it run more smoothly. My team worked on naming errors; thus the team name: A Rose By Any Other Name. In 72 hours we wiped 11, 977 errors away. How awesome is that!
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