Curators -- and how YOU can help
The goal of Geni has always been to create a shared family tree, so our users around the world can meet new cousins and discover how they relate to historical figures and celebrities. A group of users have been designated as Curators to help achieve this goal. Similar to Wikipedia administrators, Curators are users who are active and well regarded by the community.
Curators have the following privileges:
- Designate Master Profiles and, optionally, lock them down so that only Curators can edit and merge them
- Add curator notes to profiles to help prevent bad merges and edits
- Edit and merge public profiles that are already on their tree
- Convert historical living profiles to deceased
- Convert deceased famous and historical profiles to public (if they don't have any close relatives on Geni)
Only users with a good track record over an extended period of time have been granted these privileges and, of course, they can be revoked at any time if necessary. Each of these privileges also contains safeguards to make sure that they are not used irresponsibly, even by accident. As expected, Curators have already had a significant impact on the quality of the data on Geni.
How Curators Help
Presently what Curators can help you with is:
- "killing zombies" - Zombies are historical profiles that are wrongly marked as living, and thus block merges. Please continue posting these requests here: http://www.geni.com/discussions/6000000008897331095
- Make public – if a historical profile is wrongly marked as private, we can ask the system to check if it should be marked public.
- Complete pending merges between ANY pair of public profiles.
A MAJOR caveat to their work is that they can only help with profiles/trees already connected to the so-called [Big_Tree big-tree] (really a forest) of almost 50 million profiles
If you find a duplicate tree that is NOT yet connected, Curators can’t help. You’ll have to go the usual root - initiate contact with the manager(s) of the other tree.
Curators most STRONGLY recommend that you ALWAYS first try and contact the other managers. You WILL get better and faster results that way (we are a last resort).
Curators also HIGHLY recommend that anyone who is serious about merging in the shared parts of our tree, join the Collaboration Pool. You will find there 500+ people there all wanting to help each other out. Read about it and JOIN here: http://www.geni.com/discussions/6000000008539319639
While initially Curators would like to concentrate on cleaning up the shared parts of the historical tree (such as European Royalty), they can and will assist anywhere needed.
What Curators can’t and WILL NOT do is:
- Do YOUR work for you. If you see duplicates in a tree, and can stack them, please do so, BEFORE you ask us to complete the merges. Do the maximum that you can. There are 5,000,000 of you users, and only 24 Curators... WE need YOUR help at least as much as you need us. This is a TEAM effort.
- Before you ask us to merge a "stack" of pending merges, do through the stack yourself, and check if all of the profiles belong there. It is NOT too hard, and you'll save everybody a lot of work and grief. You might find the following guide useful: http://wiki.geni.com/index.php/Resolving_Merge_Issues
- Connect new trees to the “big-tree”. If you want to do so, please have the courtesy to explain to the manager(s) of the unconnected tree, what this means and involves. MOST problems in the “big-tree” are due to people being dragged into it, against their will or without anyone explaining what this means.
- MOST importantly - We will NOT force ANY decisions on any one. If you have issues with the other manager(s), please try and work them out first.
Post requests for Curators to help in the ATTENTION Curators, please assist discussion.
How You Can Help
- Look for and respect the occasional "Work in progress" messages from Curators for some difficult areas - we're doing our best to fix these. They are temporary :-)
- Avoid using Hot matches to merge - most bad errors seem to be initiated by these
- Be VERY careful when linking profiles to be merged. The wrong merges and errors happening out there are absolutely incredible ...
- Always open all the profiles involved in a conflict and read the information BEFORE linking them to be merged (learn to use multiple tabs if you don't already)
- Open profiles and try to REDUCE stacks, checking carefully if the profiles stacked are really the same. There are a LOT of bad stacks out there with many different people linked to be merged. Unlink and/or ask for help. These "bad stacks" usually lead to a lot more bad linking. (Post the remaining merges to our upcoming "Curators needed" thread - will be up soon.)
- Tell Curators what areas you are or will be working on to avoid chaos caused by several people involved in the same lines simultaneously. Important for the "busy" lines of the tree only, i.e where there are many managers and errors/issues.
- Stick to areas that you know very well, and start reading/studying before entering a "new" area - educate yourselves :-)
- Avoid (and delete) references to private websites and your own private Gedcom-notes as "sources" - use PRIMARY sources and where is exists: scholarly articles. A Rootsweb or LDS page is NOT a "source" - some of these are the cause for some very wrong connections out there.
- Read and start Public Discussions for profiles where there are questions about connections etc. A lot of the time somebody can help. (Tip: profile names/areas etc in Topic, not just "Who are the parents?" - that way we know what area you are talking about without everyone having to read everything.)
- Read our Naming Conventions, and leave Name conflicts to Curators/main managers (normally: keep data from Main). If a name looks weird you might want to ask why instead of changing it.