Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cousin Collaboration

I was reading Genea-Blogger Ginger's Blog on her blog. The topic is important, with the topic being collaboration. Please stop by her blog as she makes some important observations.

Genealogy By Ginger's Blog: Downloading Someone Else’s Online Tree and then Uploading it as My Own

One of the nice features of an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) is that it does allow for collaboration between researchers and cousins. Currently, each AMT has an "owner". The is the person who created that specific tree. AMT's are FREE, but the OWNER has control over who can see what, who can do what, IF anyone can find the AMT.

For example, I have several Ancestry Member Trees online. MY working file is on my computer, in Family Tree Maker Version 2012. That version has the TreeSync™ feature which allows me to maintain the file / tree on my PC, but to also have it Online in an AMT. I do that so that I can access and work on that tree when I am not at my PC at home. The TreeSync feature allows me to work on the AMT (online) then sync that online tree with FTM2012. I can update the tree online or on my PC, AND keep them both in Sync.

This tree, however, is 1) not picked up by Ancestry's search engine, 2) privatized, so that no living persons information can be seen, 3) BUT I can invite someone to see my tree.

Another example, I was doing some research for a colleague of mine, I did the work in FTM2012, uploaded the file to a new, private AMT, and Invited my colleague to see the work that I was doing. There are 3 options for someone who I might invite, 1) view, 2) edit, 3) contribute. Each setting has different capabilities for the person invited. The ability to view some of the data to completely able to update the AMT, just like I would. ALL Online.

This is where the collaboration comes in. It's MY Tree, but my colleague has the same capabilities that I do, when I work online.

As Ginger points out, the file can only be controlled by ONE Computer. That makes sense to me.

The file that I have been collaborating on, with my colleague will ultimately be handed over to this person when they get FTM2012 and are ready to work with the file on their computer. When that happens, I will do a File, Back Up, Back up the file to Dropbox, or File, Export, invite the colleague to do a File, Restore or Copy the file from Dropbox to their own computer.

When that happens, our roles will be reversed. Their AMT and they will make me a contributor, we we go in that direction. I will probably not have to do that, as the research was for them.

Two limitations that I think Ginger is having is 1) One Computer for ONE FTM2012 file, and 2) One FTM2012 file for one AMT. From my testing, the use of Dropbox for the storage of the FILE does not handle the link to the AMT file and the ability to maintain the AMT from the two computers.

Bottom line here, is that I have the ability to collaborate with others, but it's MY file and MY AMT and that I have control. My Sharing of the information that we have collaborated on, is 1) it's online, 2) I can share charts and reports, or 3) I can share the file external to the Family Tree Maker program, but using the features of FTM2012.

As Ginger points out, both the AMT view and the FTM2012 file do NOT contain all of the same information. For example, Comments a user might make on the AMT will NOT be included in the FTM2012 file. At the same time, Fact Notes, Research Notes, Tasks that might appear in FTM2012 will not be included in the AMT view of the same tree/file. Or All of the information in FTM2012 and the AMT will NOT be exactly the same.

As the security settings in AMT provide different levels of information, some of the information is not shared or available on both. A good example would be for Pictures that might be in my FTM2012 file can be marked NOT to appear online. A Find-A-Grave image, that is not mine, I do NOT want to be online, until or unless I had the "owner" of that picture's permission to use it. Another example, in my file I might have a social security number but do NOT want it seen online.

But, what about the Comments or Tasks that are not in both places? For my collaboration project, I generated a ToDo / Task List PDF Report and emailed it to my colleague. So, I CAN share my ToDo list. Although I didn't run into any comments (yet), I would probably incorporate the comments into the Person Notes that IS IN both places, as a comment in the notes. Person Notes, Research Notes, or Fact Notes in FTM2012. Again, making the data / information available in both places.

I appreciate Ginger's blog post that encouraged me to see if I could explain how I handle the Collaboration effort that she it trying to accomplish. Thank you Ginger.


Copyright © 2013 by H R Worthington

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