Proposal: Genealogy This proposal description is exactly the same as the Genealogy proposal that petered out before. What can be done to get it to work out better this time? Should it focus more on professionals? technology? specific region or family questions? Will there be more or better advertising?
A lot of people joining this are going to be new to Stack Exchange, and especially with the process of getting a new area going.
Each person joining needs to add some sample questions - not questions they would ask, but questions that reflect what the area will be about. They also need to vote for five of the existing questions, so that enough questions have at least ten votes.
At least, this is what I've gathered from the stats it reports. What might help is some specific instructions like that on the first page - a lot of those who've joined so far have just joined, thinking that's all they have to do, many haven't voted at all.
Blake: Well we're trying again. We've got to make a more concerted effort at the beginning and get it going so that it doesn't peter out. A good question to ask is: "How many genealogists are there out there". I could believe that number to be in the tens of millions if not higher. Surely, that should be enough to support a StackExchange Q&A site. All we have to do is let them know and get their interest.
I think it should still be the average genealogist who will be interested in getting their questions answered. However, we definitely would want professional genealogists involved, as they should have some good answers to many questions. Really it's for everyone.
And topic-wise, the really nice thing about StackExchange Q&A sites and the way they work, is that you add tags to every question. So for a specific region, you tag it with the location. For family questions, tag it with the family name. The community (us) regulate ourselves and make sure the tags are consistent and useful. The search mechanism is fantastic, to find anything quickly - and the questions and answers get indexed very quickly on Google as well. So topic-wise, it should be open ended.
For advertising, we need to contact all the writers of genealogy newsletters and all the Geneabloggers and get them to let their readers know. It's got to be a viral thing, where one person lets the next know, and then it will happen. I've posted to my blog, and I'm doing what I can. Hopefully others will follow.
Looking at previous proposal, it failed in committment phase. It failed in all 3 components at committment.
Previous proposal scored 65% on committers - ie only 120 people committed (it needs 200). This component can be fixed by the other comments above in getting the word out.
Previous proposal scored 44% on committers with 200+ rep on other sites - ie only 44 of the 120 committed people had 200+ rep and it needed 100. Maybe getting the word out will help this but I am doubtful. I suspect we also need to have people work on getting their scores up as well. Ie maybe we will get lucky and there are geeks, photograhers, cooks etc who are interested in genealogy and already have high stackexchange scores in their other hobby. More likely, we will have to get those interested in genealogy to participate in the existing stackexchange forums to get their scores up. So all the committers (myself included) should join existing groups, ask/answer questions, etc.
We can also 'target' people in getting the word out - eg tell the findagrave and billiongraves crowds about this area51 site but also tell them to join the photography site. Conversely committers who are in these other groups (cooking, photography, python, etc) should promote genealogy within their group (ie point out the overlap like 'recipes from colonial times' and then get that subset interested in our group).
Previous proposal scored 42% on committment score which is a measure of how active the committers are on other sites. The previous 200+ is measuring how deep you are somewhere else and this one is measuring how broad you are and how active you are. Wrt to passing this on in future, I feel similar to last paragraph - getting the word out may not be enough. We'll need to work at it.
Can someone post how committers can get their scores higher so we meet the 200+ rep? I am one of those who needs to get mine higher to be able to help this proposal meet this criteria.
PS - I think one of the criteria is people liking your comments - so anyone reading this can help by hitting the up arrow next to this comment.
I think a key helper would be to engage key geneabloggers (Randy Seaver, Dear Myrtle, Lisa Louise Cook, etc.) who answer a lot of questions to redirect the askers here. If, instead of answering a question directly, they could ask the person to post the question to Stack Exchange and commit to answer it publicly, there would be several benefits:
- they would be encouraging traffic and questions
- they would be contributing answers
- they could direct people in the future to the same answers rather than answering from scratch
- their answers would be "googleable" so that others might find the answer directly.