Thank you Heather, the odd kind word goes a long way for the team :-)
Hi Glen, we've updated this page now.
Yes Glen, apologies this is an oversight which I'll get someone to fix tomorrow
I think it's always hard to accommodate two pages when both have good cases to be found from clicking the logo.
If we were to make the homepage always reachable from clicking the logo regardless of whether a user was logged in or out, and only had the dashboard reachable from the "account" dropdown, would that better do you think?
Or should the dashboard be a separate button somewhere even?
Hi Linda, on your dashboard page there are a block of "Useful links" over to the right hand side and one of those is to the new homepage. Hope that helps, and as always please keep feeding your thoughts back to us!
Hi both, yes this is definitely on the list of improvements for the communities feature
Hi Trevor, that's a very decent idea which has obvious benefits to the users and I'll definitely give it some thought. To be completely honest though, my hesitation sadly is around business intelligence and how other competing organisations might use that information.
Hi Trevor, I apologise if our communication has not been great on the release of the seed sets. Of all the technical pieces we're dealing with, seed sets are the hardest to schedule as they rely on a lot other things to go right before we can publish them.
Perhaps wrongly, but we reasoned that being a bit vague compared to promising and then missing a deadline, was the lesser of two evils.
That said, our first naval set should go live today. It's not massive - about 50k names, but its a good test in readiness for the main naval set which we aim to put out within the next 2-3 weeks.
As always, it'll be great to hear everyone's feedback on this set, there's actually enough information prefilled onto Life Stories to disambiguate men more easily.
Sorry to hear that. Could you please use the blue question mark towards the lower right of the screen to send this issue to customer care. If you do it from the page you have a problem with, you can include a screenshot so they can also see the problem
Hello, I'd be happy to look into this. A plain text email is supposed included in our sending rules if HTML is not accepted, so I will investigate why that didn't happen in this case.
Could you let me know the name of your email client please, so I might also be able to replicate the problem?
After a bit of hiccup, I think the community search feature is now live. Use the search bar at the top of screen as usual, and if a matching community exists, you can view it by clicking the Communities link to the left hand side under the heading "Showing results from".
We also included a browse feature where you can go to the next (or previous) community by number via a link at the bottom of the community.
Please do let us know your comments / suggested improvements to these features.
Hi Clive in addition to those suggested work arounds from Heather and Trevor, I can confirm that the ability to search for Communities is in production and will be released very soon
Great idea Trevor, thanks for the feedback
Hi Linda, this has been added to the list, thanks for highlighting the issue
Hi Linda, we can look into this for sure. It might be this way from an initial fear of people leaving inappropriate links or something. That said I'm impressed how well everyone is behaving themselves so far! Forgive me, can you give me the community number you're referring to, so I can take a look please?
Hi everyone. I agree this would be a useful addition. Perhaps if I can throw in a few ways we could approach this and you could give your feedback:
1) Make it like a personal to do list, the notes are written by users and only seen by users
2) Same as 1, but you can choose to toggle the whole list between public and private for the times you want to get help
3) Same as 1, but you have a public and private sections permanently for the best of both worlds
4) Same as 1, but for people who are newer to the site this is a list of simple prompts for things they can do next like "Search for a relative", "Remember a Life Story", "Upload a photo" etc
Hi pdavis44 could I take a few more details to understand a little better your issues please? Are you saying that the inaccuracies are on the official document itself? The person who originally wrote it was mistaken. Or do you mean the records have been incorrectly transcribed?
Perhaps if you could share the web address of the Life Story you have been working on, I can take a closer look?
Thanks for the feedback in highlighting this oversight. I'll add it to the improvements list
Hi Linda, could you please paste the links of the Life Stories you are referring to, so I can investigate?
Hi Keith, right now, the search can't automatically substitute every letter in the name, but you can use wildcard searching. Here's some tips :
- You can use wildcards as follows: Searching for “Re?d” would give results for “Reed”, “Read”, “Reid".
- Searching for “T*y” would give results for “Tommy”, “Tammy”, “Timmy”, “Toby
Hi Tracey, thanks for the feedback. I discovered the same thing in my tests today too. However I also noticed if you ignore it or refresh the page, the duplicate goes away and the single record remains alone. I promise we'll fix that very soon!
Heh, thanks to you both for your comments!
Our thinking was that users like to see some sort of visual feedback that their changes had been accepted, but you're right, adding an extra click soon gets annoying.
If we were to include a "please don't show me this again" type checkbox, would that be acceptable?
Or just make the visual confirmation flash up and disappear quite quickly maybe?
Hi Richard, great feedback and I'm glad that people are questioning the assumptions we've had to make in order to get the project as far as we see today. I'll attempt to answer everything you've raised, but there's quite a bit there, so do nudge me if I've missed or misunderstood anything:
1) Contributors not being able to create Life Stories
We decided to retain the rights to do this (initially at least) from a quality point of view. Whilst I believe that you and many other users knowledgeable about history would use this ability responsibly, we felt that some other might not. It might not even be malicious, but we felt it wouldn't be long before we had Bart Simpson and Mickey Mouse as Life Stories. Also we have the issue of this site being largely open to the public, and thought it was a strong possibility that the living relatives of people in Lives might create themselves on the system. Of course this opens up privacy questions we are not 100% equipped to deal with compared to if we focus on running a site where the vast majority of information on the site relates to people who are sadly not still with us.
We felt that if these things did come about, whilst we can of course fix them and to an extent "police" against them, this is all effort that would be better put into building new site features.
One such feature that we do hope to get to would be a system where some trusted members can graduate to an administrator level, at which point they too would have the rights to also create Life Stories.
2) Merging Stories
As you point out, merging does in a sense imply some sort of irreversibility. The alternative to us at least seems to be uncertainty as to which Life Story should I or am I allowed to improve. Plus we might get into situations where we have competing versions of the same person. Details are not yet 100% nailed down yet, but I think we favour a more Master/Slave type approach where everything remains visible, but it's clearly signposted which is the master record, and is the right place for all improvements. Hopefully this would allow a future separation too if needed. But like I say we can still be influenced on the design of this feature, so very happy to hear ideas you might have.
3) Adding new data, which increases duplicates:
Life Story pages are only created from some special record sets, the rest of the records are there so they can be attached to those already created Life Stories, to add more colour and background to their lives. By this arrangement hopefully fewer duplicates are created. The person served in the Army and then the Air Force yes might get duplicated when we create Life Stories from each major record set. In all cases those, this disambiguation is very difficult to write programs for, and human eyes should be more accurate
On this point, I think you're saying that by charging for some records, we stand a lower chance of records having as many eyes as possible to correct any issues in the records? Please do correct me if I'm wrong.
As for Life Stories themselves, there are a number of ways to improve a Life Story, many of which will always be free. We hope too that people will pitch in to help take facts from letters and diaries once we have build the document viewer for that. I have the diary of my Great Uncle from 1918 and once I get the chance to upload it, I would never expect a charge levied for other people to collaborate with me to transcribe it.
Hi Richard, at this stage you're right, there are a few too many cases where there's very little to go on and it's hard to determine whether you've remembered the right individual. The answer of course is to add more record sets, which I hope you believe me when I say doing this is one of our highest priorities! Fingers crossed we'll have more to share in the next week or so.
Yes, without a doubt. We're very interested to take this beyond just "men in uniform" as it were. We've only started this way because those record sets are easier to tackle. Do you know if record sets already exist covering this group? Either way I'd love to hear more about your research and any advice you have on how best to get this group set up on Lives
Over 420,000 Life Stories have now been added from the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Division.
We are working on Royal Naval Officer Life Stories and they will be on site soon.
Please see the following page for an up-to-date list – https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/a-z-of-record-sets
Good point EC, we're constantly looking to see how we can add connections
..and yes, now the Seamen records are on the system, we can do the extra work needed for the Lives website to take a record set and create the Life Story pages from that data.
They definitely will be added. We started with medal index cards just because that was the largest record set, and that gives us around 4.5 Life Stories. But other forces and nationalities will follow as soon as we can manage