19 April 2009

Volunteers & Manners

So you clicked over to the blog today and found what? Volunteers & Manners? What the heck? Well I guess this post is just going to be one of those "soapbox" posts. Try to bear with me okay? I promise I'll do a kick butt real genealogy blog tomorrow okay?

I was always taught that volunteering was a way to give back to the community that you are part of. A way to help. So when I found the website FindAGrave.com I was so excited about people who were willing to help people like me, who lived out of the area where my ancestors lived & died & wanted headstone photo's.

Imagine my dismay when I find this verbal battle raging on the FindAGrave forums over the info on FindAGrave. It appears that some of the "volunteers" feel that the photo's & information that they post is theirs and no one should have the right to use it but them. One person on FindAGrave feels so strongly about this that they even hint in their post that they are intentionally putting errors in their listings. EXCUSE ME?

Okay, I understand click & claim genealogy. I've had people "borrow" lots of genealogy info from me & not give credit. I just chalk it up to bad manners. But those people I don't consider genealogists, those are just name collectors. But a serious genealogist needs to & should give credit where credit is due, even if its just a headsone photo. Don't get me started on my sourcing thoughts, we'd definitely run out of room here. Although I agree that it's important to say Please & thank you, and give credit to those who did the work, whether its a photograph or some lineage, intentionally putting errors in ANY work any where for ANY reason is nonsense!

I'm disappointed that some of the folks over a FindAGrave really are so possessive of their photo's they are willing to take it to the point of submitting bad info to get even. Seems to me they've lost sight of why they took the photo's or submitted the information in the first place! And to those using the photo's and information without proper credit being given - shame on you as well. Good manners are ALWAYS in style regardless of who you are or what century this is. I guess if you use FindAGrave, you better use with caution now.

People who intentionally put errors in their online work should rethink the commitment to volunteering to help. Personally I would rather they "click & claim" on a good genealogy with correct information that that of some name collector...

Enough of the soapbox for now.

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