Monday, July 17, 2017
Consultant Planner Bug Interferes With Registration
Note: The following post will make little sense if you have not been acting as a Temple and Family History Consultant and helping people with finding names for temple ordinances using the Consultant Planner. If you would like a good introduction to the Consultant Planner, see "The FamilySearch Consultant Planner For: Find, Take, Teach, and Beyond - Kathryn Grant."
The Consultant Planner is one of the recent most useful innovations from FamilySearch. However, this past two weeks, I have run into a serious bug in the program. The idea of the Consultant Planner is that a Temple and Family History Consultant is enabled to directly assist another user of the program by viewing their portion of the FamilySearch.org Family Tree as a "proxy" helper. This ability has been available for some considerable time in the form of acting as a "Helper." But the new innovative Consultant Planner section of the FamilySearch.org website was designed to facilitate the process.
The process of becoming a Helper was (and still is) rather cumbersome. Essentially, the Helper obtained the user's (Helpee's?) semi-confidential User Number and login and was able to view a screen that was the same as the user's own view. More recently, FamilySearch.org had been modified to add the ability to "invite" a user to share their view of the Family Tree. This was a major improvement on the process. I have been using this process since it was introduced at it has facilitated the whole idea of helping people in a vastly improved way. Now to the problem or bug.
The idea of inviting people to allow a Temple and Family History Consultant to help is a good one, but the problem occurs when the person being helped has no computer skills and cannot answer an email. Sending an email invitation to this type of person is a waste of time. They have no idea how to open their own email account and respond.
Recently, FamilySearch added a new feature to the Consultant Planner. They incorporated the Ward and Stake Directories on the LDS Tools app and on LDS.org. Theoretically, you could now look up a member of your Stake or Ward and add them automatically by means of an email invitation. However, we are now back to the problem that the person must be able to respond to an email. In the present situation, I tried using the new entry form to add the person I was trying to help. I used both the User Number and her Date of Birth and expected that she would be added to the "Accepted or Added" list. This did not happen. I tried this several time without success and finally went back to the original method of sending the person an email. In this case, I sat down personally and sent the invitation and then helped the lady find her email account and respond to the request. She was still not added to the Accepted or Added list. However, I did find that I could get access to help her, just as was the case with the original Helper option, but I had to enter all the information every time to access her view of the Family Tree.
At this point, I called FamilySearch for help and spent a considerable time with the online helpers trying different things such as changing browsers etc. None of this worked and several more tries with different orders and options did not put her name on the Accepted or Added list.
Hmm. Apparently, trying to add the person from the Directory put her into a special category that prevented her name from being added into the list.