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Wikis, CMSs, & Community. Enhancing Publishing in Libraries. by Michael Ritchey (Twitter: mtritchey ). Today’s Lesson. Overview of FamilySearch services Challenges & strengths in 2006 Solution Concept & Requirements Quicken publishing cycle Multiply content output

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slide1

Wikis, CMSs, & Community

Enhancing Publishing in Libraries

by Michael Ritchey (Twitter: mtritchey)

today s lesson
Today’s Lesson
  • Overview of FamilySearch services
  • Challenges & strengths in 2006
  • Solution Concept & Requirements
  • Quicken publishing cycle
  • Multiply content output
  • Boost teamwork, morale, community relations
  • Improve content design, quality & relevance
some background on our perspective
Some Background on Our Perspective
  • Family History Library & Research Support
  • Research Support: 50 questions/day by phone & e-mail
  • 80% of questions answered by volunteers
  • Our volunteers & customers are senior citizens
  • 2006: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • CRM model: customer’s question routed to an agent
  • 4500 family history centers worldwide
  • CRM model is not scalable to help family history center volunteers
  • 2006: Knowledge Management System (KMS)
  • KMS closed to volunteers; obsolete content
challenge cover more places
Challenge: cover more places

Research advice on FamilySearch Internet, 2006

challenge cover more languages
Challenge: cover more languages

Research advice on FamilySearch.org about countries in their native language, 2006

challenge update content faster
Challenge: Update content faster

Research advice on FamilySearch.org revised 2001-2006.

challenge connect customers with experts
Challenge: connect customers with experts

How do I find birth records from Brazil?

Sounds tough!

I dunno

(Yawn!) I wish I had someone to help!

our time tested model
Our time-tested model

Implement old idea

Achievedenial

Fail

our strengths as an organization1
Expert staff

World-renowned record collection

Our Strengths as an Organization
our strengths as an organization2
Expert staff

World-renowned record collection

60,000 volunteers

Our Strengths as an Organization
challenges strengths community
Cover more places

Cover more languages

Update content faster

Connect customers with experts

Expert staff

World-renowned record collection

60,000 volunteers

Solution: Community!

Challenges + Strengths = Community

Strengths

Challenges

selling the concept wikipedia1
Selling the concept: Wikipedia
  • 8thmost popular Website
  • Content written by community
  • 3,000 new entries per day
  • Most errors corrected in 5 mins.
  • 11 edits per article
requirements1
Requirements
  • Open source
  • WYSIWYG authoring tool (yo mamma)
  • Article history/version control
  • Limit visibility of some articles
  • Volunteer authoring
  • Easy interlinking
  • Admin can lock down a page (Home page)
  • Notifications
  • System deployable by non-engineers!
familysearch wiki plone site
FamilySearch Wiki: Plone site

Questions of concurrent authoring scalability

challenge update content faster1
Challenge: Update content faster

Every revision required input from

  • Director (approval)
  • Publication strategist
  • Usability specialist
  • Technical writers
  • Editors
  • Correlation
  • Software engineers
update content faster on a wiki
Update content faster on a wiki

Shortens the publishing cycle…

…from months to minutes.

  • Get an idea
  • Add it to the wiki
  • Get input
  • Iterate
multiply content output1
Multiply Content Output
  • 800  19,000 docs since 2007
  • 82,000 edits in 2009 (as of 10/04/09)
  • Top contributors have 10k-16k edits ea.
  • 2009 edits = 719,000,000 characters
  • 6,900 characters/edit avg.
  • Top pages have 300-500 edits
  • Reference librarians writing 22,000 hours/year
teamwork morale community
Teamwork, Morale, Community
  • Collaborative projects
  • Unfettered Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • SMEs reach out for project help
  • Collaboration between community vols. & staff
  • Weekly user group/community meeting on Adobe Connect
quality
Quality
  • Footnotes
  • Bylines
  • Change history
  • Discussion pages
  • Patrollers
  • Moderators
  • Watch lists & change notifications
  • Members are Pit Bulls
  • Community Meeting
learnings
Learnings
  • Relinquish control
  • Initiate projects with small teams; require 70% consensus for redesign
  • Govern by social constraints, not system constraints
  • Let community try any miscreants
  • Invest lots of time w/ community
  • Share success metrics to win support & resources
  • Empower, train & support volunteer project leaders
today s challenges got advice
Today’s Challenges (Got advice?)
  • Not getting 25% of librarians’ time
  • Wiki mgrs. spread too thin to manage content dev
    • Empower & train community as project mgrs.
    • Experimenting w/ right mix of project mgmt. vs. production
  • Democracy  design paralysis. Limit re-work!
    • Projects: Small team makes initial design; later design changes require 70% consensus.
conclusion we are smarter than me
Conclusion: We are smarter than me!
  • The job is too big for Headquarters
  • Volunteer communities can do big jobs
  • Success = community collaboration
slide36

wiki.FamilySearch.org

Twitter: @mtritchey