Tuesday, March 20, 2018
How Stable is the FamilySearch Family Tree?
First, here are a few statistics as of the date of this blog post.
There are a total of 4.35 million total Family Tree contributors. They have uploaded 22.61 million photos and 1.62 million stories to the Memories section. There are 910 million sources attached to the entries and 1.2 billion records in the Family Tree. As as a side note, there are 9.63 million registered users on the FamilySearch.org website.
If you have the perspective of the number of users vs. the number of complaints about the Family Tree program, you might just begin to understand that for most users the Family Tree works very well. The main venue for "complaints" and suggestions is the GetSatisfaction.com website section dedicated to FamilySearch.org. Here is a screenshot of part of the page dedicated to the most popular topics of discussion about the Family Tree:
The most popular topic had its last reply over 4 years ago. Almost all the discussions have less than 25 participants. Many of these topics have gone for years without any additional comments or replies. Now, if you think about it, with that many people involved in one unified, collaborative program it is amazing that there are really so few real issues. Yes, there have been a few serious issues involving the data, but the data is mostly the main issue, not the program.
There is still a long way to go before all the old entries will be corrected and updated with sources and standardized entries. But, the work that has already been done is immensely useful and provides an almost endless supply of work that can be done.
So who is complaining? My experience is that there are two main detractor groups; those who are working on remote ancestors who lived before 1700 and those who are upset with the changes per se and are fixated on the "bad" changes. Both of these groups are not likely to ever be satisfied with the program. What we have found is that the changes are manageable. We also find that as sources and Memories are added, the entries become more stable. But by and large, the entries we have worked on are stable and have few changes.
Now, if you have a relative that is a "loose cannon," just watch all the entries and keep changing things back the way they are supposed to be. Patience is a virtue.