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3:10 PM
@ColeValleyGirl I'm curious about how you distinguish between "simple and basic questions" (those the FAQ would somewhat refer elsewhere) and those that are about "Starting your research."
@GeneJ 'Simple and basic' would be something that could be answered using a dictionary, for example.
@ColeValleyGirl Even in that case, wouldn't the question be "which dictionary?"
I'm really not sure about that section -- I included it because a few other sites had something similar, but I'm struggling to come up with a very short list of resources. Cyndi's list maybe, if we get enough: 'Where can I find free stuff on X....'
I don't mean to split hairs, but genealogy itself falls in the "emerging" disciplines area.
And yes, if a word is sufficiently specialised in the way we use it.
@GeneJ Sorry -- not sure I understand.
3:15 PM
I appreciate the complexity (really, really I do).
By emerging above, I meant that things defined one way or another in say "history" often aren't applied quite the same way in genealogy
(I wasn't trying to be cute)
True -- as I've pointed out in a discussion about the use of the word proof.
I'd be happy to lose the bit on simple basic questions if everyone else is.
Yes, yes, yes.... yup, yup, yup
I'd be happy to see any reaction to the draft faq text, to be honest.
Maybe it is not "lose it" but just reword it.
Going back to your original point, questions about 'starting your research' are rarely simple even if they're basic.
3:20 PM
I find that the case, too. Those simple questions are often so broad that answers are (a) a thesis or (b) anything goes.
Answers could be ...
I really do wish that I'd got to the 'getting started' question before it was answered. I wanted to get the OP to take a first step (interviewing family members, frex, and hand-drawing the chart that resulted) and then coming back with the questions that sparked. But now we have a monolithic answer that doesn't allow valid and necessary elaboration on each point or it will be enormous.
That will come up again.
And get closed as a duplicate...
Maybe we need a "I'm just getting started" section IN THE FAQ?
This might "help" them formulate that first question??????
With links to the appropriate 'canonical' questions (so they see how Stackexchange works as well?)
3:26 PM
Great point.
I think other members would appreciate that much, too
It's probably a great application of:
Jeff Atwood on July 01, 2011

The FAQ has contained one key bit of advice from the very beginning:

It’s also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, as long as you pretend you’re on Jeopardy! — phrase it in the form of a question.

So …

if you have a question that you already know the answer to

if you’d like to document it in public so others (including yourself) can find it later

it is OK to ask, and answer, your own question on a relevant Stack Exchange site.

To be crystal clear, it is not merely OK to ask and answer your own question, it is explicitly encouraged. …

This might not go over with others, but I'd encourage folks to tell us "how" they decided to take up genealogy as part of those "I'm just getting started" first questions on Genealogy.SE. (While it might not be apparent to them, it provides a little context to their question)
It would help understand what elements were important to them and/or likely to work best for them. If somebody's getting started because they're clearing out their grandparents loft for example and have found a load of family history material, the priorities for what they need to do first may change.
We're big on (or I'm big on) references ... so we should encourage same. (References also help add context and body to a question, even when its not obvious)
Yes ...
We seem to have a split about references -- I'm in your camp, but there are others who still don't understand why the context and its prevenance ar eimportant.
3:32 PM
So a key word for this getting started part might be to include "some specifics."
It's coming ...
we're bordering on writing the 'How to Ask' text, because a lot of this is as relevant for any question as it is to 'beginning' questions.
You won't be able to final it all anyway until you have it all.
Another thing ...
Do we have the comment in the FAQ anywhere that genealogy is location dependent? (and Good idea to put your country in your profile ...
Not in the FAQ. I think that belongs in how to ask -- better still, remind posters to tag for the geography. (Makes the questions more searchable).
We're an international community. Yes. Both questions and access to resources is location dependent.
When we get a blog, we can also blog about great topics like these.
Then I presume we could reference the blog articles in the FAQ.
Ha! Help put it in context.
That would work. And be a lot of work... but fun.
3:45 PM
Hopefully help us involve more bloggers.
I'd love to see an expert on this topic or that contribute a blog article.
Especially those just releasing/publishing a book might be inclined.
Yes; and it would help make this site 'sticky' -- give people a reason to visit even if they don't have a burning question.
Well, back to the original thought in this thread. If we have a section of the FAQ for just getting started, I think that will solve the problem of splitting hairs (what is simple vs what is beginning).
I suspect more of the community will rally round that notion, too.
Wonder if you want a tag for "getting started"
Maybe there is one already
We've got a tag for getting-started on the main site. I created it (haven't finished the job yet).
Sounds like a way forward -- the section in the faq needs to be fairly short and snappy and lead to other resources, rather than expand the faq too much.
You are doing a great job. I can't believe I just heard you say "haven't finished..." to ANYTHING.
"fairly short and snappy and lead to other resources, rather than expand the faq too much." <<< I like that very much
Oh, there's all sorts of things I'm not getting done. Should have got around to the faq days ago...
3:53 PM
Been slow the last few days anyway.
Not here. I've got a bunch of beta testers finding problems with my software product. A knotty research conundrum about me great-grandfather's parents to dig deeper into (related to the patronymic question I asked). And a novel to write...
Ha! And then there will be lunch to serve.
That, too. A woman's work is never done... But if you want something done, give it to a busy person.
I wish we had a more straight forward wiki workspace on which to develop the FAQ. The Q&A format is a little bulky for that purpose.
Do others just pop it up in the FAQ, and then go through dozens of revisions?
(Err... pop up a draft)
Can everybody edit the faq? I know I can as a mod. Do you see an edit button?
Gotta go now -- partner has just appeared after a five day absence.
4:07 PM
You are right. Then, as above, I wish there was a "sandbox" in more traditional wiki workspace format that would allow for the development of those FAQs.

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