As an industry, genealogy is making a huge mistake, I believe. Somewhere along the way many in this area of work have decided that numbers are what it is all about. Bigger is better. Sending a message often that numbers count, quality and accuracy do not!
I have been reading more and more about mega trees. Mega genealogy Wikis, even (to me a crazy idea) a Wiki of all the wrong postings (just wait until someone stumbles across that site, doesn’t bother to read that they are all wrong and just takes it and uses it).
All this effort. All this focus on bigger. In my book, or IMNSHO, is dead wrong! We as an industry must curb this talk about bigger and focus on QUALITY!
I cannot tell you how many times I get approached by someone who, when they know I work on genealogy, ask as their first question of me ‘how many names are in your tree?’ I want to shout to the rafters that it MAKES NO DIFFERENCE how many names are in my tree! Instead, I answer that I have documented my ancestry and my wife’s back to the 1500 and 1600’s in Bohemia, Italy, Cornwall, and Kent. I would much rather have ten accurately documented people in my tree than 100 with no evidence or shoddy documentation.
We MUST try and stop this useless focus on numbers. I know that is how many measure. I imagine it has a lot to do with how much they can charge for advertising and sponsorship, but it is WRONG! Having some giant tree that is ‘for the good of mankind’ is absurd in my view. At least not with the quality of a ton of what I see out there!
I say we need to quit counting simple numbers as a way of illustrating supposed success!
Personally I stay away from these sites. I prefer to spend what precious genealogy time focused on sites that are content-rich or have tips and help. That is where I can make progress. Progress for me and for others.
When and why did this obsession with simply big numbers take over?
Somehow we need a quality revoulution in genealogy!
Thanks for reading!
Onward To Our Past,