Ability To Make Contact With Owners Of Communities
The ability should be given to be able to make contact with the owners of 'Communities'.
I have noticed that there are now two communities set up for the same Royal Navy ships (HMS Defence and HMS Formidable - and this could extend to other efforts) and there is no way to make contact to coordinate efforts and avoid duplication.
The ability also to set a category for a 'Community' might help folk to determine whether a certain 'Community' exits before embarking on setting one up. For example the two mentioned ships should be in a category of 'Royal Navy Ships'
We recently introduced member-to-member messaging on site, to allow you to contact other Lives of the First World War users.
I quite agree! There should be an alphabetical list of all the Communities to stop duplication and encourage community "owners" to share information. Surely sharing information is the reason why the digital archive was set up in the first place?
Michael de Stacpoole commented
I'd go further and suggest that it would benefit the content of the LFWW website if members/contributors could contact each other. For example, I'd like to be able to contact the History Officer First Battery Royal Artillery. Contact could be designed in a way that need not involve the disclosure of email addresses.
Quite agree that when researching, it's essential to be able to see the other pieces of the puzzle, but this is exactly the idea behind Lives of the First World War - crowdsourcing all that information and bringing it together in one place. Perhaps we could have made that comment clearer; we'll give it another shot!
If two people are working on one Life Story, the information will still be added to just the one Life Story. Similarly, if an Life Story is added to two communities, both communities will show up on the one Life Story.
For example, if I'm researching my grandfather John Smith and adding details to his Life Story, and you're also researching him, we'll both be adding information to the same page. If I create a Community called "Smith Regiment" (for the sake of argument!), and add him to it, and at the same time you also create a Community called "Smith Regiment 14-18", and we both add John Smith to those Communities, the only duplication is the click by each of us to add him to each Community. His Life Story will show clearly that he's been added to Smith Regiment and Smith Regiment 14-18.
Is that a bit more helpful?
If you're talking more specifically about the work done to research exactly who belongs to a Community, the way Lives of the First World War is set up means that the actual research behind that - original documents, official records, etc - should still be connected to the one individual Life Story.
Have I missed the point of your concern?
Gerald&Fiona Wilson commented
Dear Project Team, your comment on Aug 13 is a little naive in respect of genealogical research. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. Half a puzzle is no good, but if someone else has the other half, then you want to be able to put it together. Without the two halves it doesn't constitute a Life Story, and won't be posted. Furthermore you may need to compare notes with other researchers just to establish what names should be in a community.
Clive Tucker commented
Hi, as the manager of one of the Formidable communities ('HMS Formidable 1915') I can tell you that I would like to remove it (by arrangement with the manager of the other Formidable community) however I cannot do so unless I become a subscriber. As I am already a subscriber to FMP (the dataset and search facility from which constitutes about 90%+ of LivesofWW1 functionality), I am somewhat reluctant to subscribe all over again just to be able to delete a now defunct community. Sadly, I cannot even delete the one member I added from that community unless I subscribe.
Also, Trevor: we very much take your point and are thinking about this. But in the meantime, the only 'duplication' that may occur is people adding the same Life Story to two Communities. Untidy perhaps, but not a lot of work. If both people are working on researching a Life Story (let's say John Smith, for the sake of argument), all their work will appear on John's single Life Story page, as a collaborative effort.
This doesn't resolve Trevor's original point, but Heather: if you go to the main search page with no search terms set (ie click here: https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/search ) you'll see all the Life Stories on the site - and, if you switch the category in the left hand side of the page, all 1140 Communities.
Heather F commented
Agree! I find it frustrating that there isn't a way of seeing *all* Communities that are set up on the site, rather than just the most recent. Even when I find a community, I cannot help the owner with information I have because (unless they've added a website address) I can't get in touch with them.
Some sort of private messaging system would help.