For years I’ve used mailing lists, online forums, query pages, and other mediums for exchange of information while conducting my genealogical research. While each of these mediums provide a unique service to the genealogical community they all have their deficiencies. When I approached the usability of this website, I wanted to provide a methodology which would solve some of these deficiencies. I call it CARTS.
Online forums and query pages are notorious for having information stored in them in which the originator of the question can no longer be found. Either the researchers email is no longer being used, or the researcher has chosen to no longer participate in online genealogy. This can also be the issue with mailing lists which are archived online. When developing this website I wanted to insure that I incorporated an additional method of contact, by allowing users to login with their Facebook account.
When a question posed by a researcher is answered by multiple people, how do you know what the right answer is? This site allows the questioner to choose a correct answer. That question is then highlighted green, indicating a correct answer.
Online message board programs have been slowly implementing a system of ranking for their users. A score is usually given for the number of posts made by a user… with the result that the more posts made, likely the more knowledgeable the person is. This hasn’t caught on as much in the genealogical community, so this site will be a trendsetter there.
- To the Point
All answers are able to be voted on. Any logged in person can either select thumbs up or thumbs down for any answer. A point is given for each thumbs up, and one removed for each thumb down. Thumbs up and thumbs down should be awarded on whether the answer to the question contributed to the conversation… not on whether an answer is right.
- Social Media Interaction
One of the most successful online movements over the past couple of years has been the social media interaction. Led by sites such as Facebook and Twitter, social media enables you and I to better relate with others of similar interests or family. This website attempts to utilize such social media in a safe and user friendly method, such as the Facebook login and Facebook and Twitter share buttons.
This site is not a message board, or a query page, or a mailing list. I hope you find that it’s something new that you can use when you really want to ask a question concerning your genealogy, whether it be specific to a locality or surname, or general as to a method of research or where to look next. One thing for sure though, is it never hurts to ask a question or give an answer!!!