Saturday, August 20, 2011

Is the Screaming Over Yet?? The Full Moon Affect.

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Well, I certainly hope so. It has been quite the week in the land of online genie research. Web site name changes upset many, that, along with several of our favorite genie sites changing their focus, search parameters, and even access rights, it has been feisty and noisy for much of the last week.

As I read and watched from the sidelines I had several thoughts, they went sorta like this (you might want to sit down and hold on, while my thoughts take a wild road trip):

There was a full moon this week.

Even tho a lot of us really love our tech toys, have embraced twitter, Facebook, and Google+, webinars and more, and for the most part we have embraced them with vengeance, we do not particularly like it when changes are shoved down our throats, especially at our favorite research sites.

There was a full moon this week.

If you put it on the Internet, expect it to be read, borrowed, stolen, copied, and plagiarized. That includes your family trees on such sites as Ancestry, Geni, and others.

There was a full moon this week.

If you have shared your research with cousins, near and far, your research and photos may show up somewhere on the Internet. Refer to item above, if you put it on the Internet, expect it to be - - -

There was a full moon this week.

If you want control over your family trees, think hard about sharing with others.  Do you really want your family trees on sites such as Ancestry and Gini??? It is your choice, and if you go there, then you must accept that you have just given up control of that data.  I think this week's events have shown us that you can loose control of YOUR family tree pretty fast.  So do you really want to loose control of YOUR research??   It IS all about CHOICES!  Your choice for your family tree.

There was a full moon this week.

BTW, I escaped much of the drama this week, because I choose to not have my family tree stored online.  For the most part my family tree is NOT online, however, part of my tree IS online in one place. You will find it in the old Ancestral File from the LDS library. I submitted the tree way back in 1995, just before they went online with it all, after they told us they were NOT going online with it. If you ever find that tree, mind you to be careful, the basics may be valid, but, whewie, the details have really undergone a LOT of changes since 95. Noting the date of 1995, you probably have figured out that this submission was done before genealogy on the net is what it is today. Given the choice today, I would not have submitted.

I readily accept the probability, which is pretty much 100%, that whatever photos or data I put online, here at Reflections and sites connected hereto or at Find A Grave, or anyplace else I submit data too, well, they are gonna be clicked and claimed. Period, end of discussion. I can put all the copyright notices I want out there, for all the good they do. And, my take, is they don't do a lot of good. Reality, folks, just reality, AS I SEE IT.  All that said, my entire family tree is NOT online here at Reflections, and probably will not be in the foreseeable future.  And, besides I CONTROL Reflections.

So, I choose what I put out there, I reserve the right to change what I put out there in the future.  But for now I've made my choices.

Make your choices - - absolutely do what is right for you - - share and reap the benefits of others sharing with you - - or keep your tree off line and maintain total control of it.

So, is the screaming over yet???

Did I say there was a full moon last week?? I did say that, right??

* The above thoughts are mine, my opinion, my story (and I am stickin to it).  You don't have to agree, I know a lot of you will not.  I love how the world keeps spinning even though we look at things so differently.

** The disclaimer:  Ancestry, Geni, Find A Grave and any other research site I have mentioned in this post have not given me one thing to mention them, and I doubt they ever will. They own their own copyrights,  and anything that means or entails.  You will note I do not have $$ making widgets on Reflections.


Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Perfect Carol, totally perfect! I agree with you 100% and apparently you and I did the same thing way back by submitting an early work that got that wasn't perfect, LOL! I vowed then never to do it again and I haven't. I have had to come to a peaceful place in my mind about my blog photos and information being lifted. I have often copied other people's photos for my own keeping but never to publish without permission. I know others do it and I know it will make me mad if I see them published without reference to ownership. I try not to go looking though. I do want my family to have access to these photos and information so I just have to get over it. I work hard to keep mistakes out of my blog. Sometimes that work helps me discover things I wouldn't have discovered otherwise. I felt good that I could read the full moon stuff from the inside looking out...cause I'm not out there and I don't have to be screaming.

Barbara Poole said...

I'm with both of you. Learned the wrong way many years ago. Back when you got paid $10 from FamilyTreeMaker to submit your information! Both them and the LDS site received some wrong information from me. Anyway, fast forward, this week was great for reading blogs, I saved a lot of time by not reading from the complainers, always the same ones too. Good post Carol, good comment Lisa.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

No, it's not the full moon. It's the fact that a large company can run over small people. And as long as the genealogy community cannot stick together, they will continue to do so.

Susan Clark (Nolichucky Roots) said...

Agree with all you wrote, Carol, though I've made different choices with what I do. Like Lisa I want my research available to other researchers and have decided to cross my fingers and hope they use it well. My blood pressure does rise when I consider that some may use my freely shared information or images to make a profit so I do my ostrich imitation and ignore it.

@Debbie - there is no single genealogical community. There are people with a shared interest in the subject but varied motivations and perspectives. We are no more unified than those who are interested in politics or religion. It makes for interesting dialog and frequent dustups. Thomas & others work hard to maintain the big tent, but that will rarely extend to speaking with a single voice.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

Maybe not, Susan, but as long as all of you say, "Well my information wasn't on Geni, so I don't care", then things like this will still happen. The bad thing about is, I was not the one who put my information on Geni, a cousin did and I'm only trying to help him. But no matter who it was, I would not take the attitude of too bad for you. I just don't like big companies making a profit at the expense of the little guy.

Carol said...

Debbie, there is no one, and I mean NO ONE, that feels worse for you than I. My heart bleeds for all, especially family researchers, when they loose control and feel the way you do.

Believe me, I don't think ANY of us here are saying, too bad for you! I know, I am NOT! If you read my post that way, then, please know that is NOT how I meant it.

But, I sorta agree with Susan, I don't think that Geni cares enough about our small GeneaBloggers community that our outcrys and roaring bloody murder is going to change much. I really don't think that Ancestry/Footnote/Fold3 cares one whit that we do or don't like their new name for Footnote. I hope some day in the very near future you can tell me I was VERY wrong about everything I wrote in this paragraph!

Bless the GeneaBloggers and their outcries and their strong opinions, but the sad reality is we are about 2000 strong, and that is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the number of subscribers or users one of these sites may have. If Ancestry or Geni or whatever site/company cared, they might consider coming to our little community and asking via some type of poll before they change the names, for example.

Many of these sites are big business, they may or may not have board of directors and stock holders they have to answer to FIRST. And, they are gonna jump and ask "how high?" when that board of directors says, "J*U*M*P".

Believe me Debbie, I fully understand your opinion and feelings on this, I fully understood after our wonderful lunch in Grapevine last December. I am so sad to hear you are in this situation.

My daddy used to say, "Nothing stays the same." And, I believe that is probably the strongest lesson he ever taught me. Sadly, I believe it applies here.

I sure hope you figure out how to get your research and photos off of Geni. Let me know, ok???

Greta Koehl said...

"Nothing stays the same." How true. Sometimes things change for the better, but often not. In many cases when something good is created, the profit-makers, second-raters, hangers-on, etc. have to come in, perhaps coast a while on the reputation of the people who created the good thing, and then they have to make their mark (= get a promotion or make more money), so they change things - but they do not have the talent of the first group (the creative/innovative people), so what they make is not as good, does not work as well - but they will promote and advertise it as though it is the greatest thing ever.

Not that I'm paranoid or anything.

Karen said...

Great post, Carol. Online, you're dealing with all of the same elements of society as when you open your door and step outside: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And it's hard to tell which is which sometimes.

Cheri Hopkins aka You Go Genealogy Girl #2 said...

Shows how far behind I am, but this was a great article Carol and I do so agree. I am kind of greedy I guess but my stuff is mostly on my computer...I work hard on it and I own it! You garnered a lot of really good comments too.