Thursday, June 16, 2011

Message Boards - How often do you post?

I love message boards. I can't tell you how often I have cracked a hard ancestor case due to a response on message board. But message boards are hit or miss. How many people actually search a board for their ancestors? How many people respond to queries that are a year or more old?

My board research method is to search a board for the information I'm looking for prior to posting. If I find no information that answers my query I then post it to both Ancestry.com and Genealogy.com surname boards. I also will post the query to the local county board on both sites. But what if you do not receive a response? Today I browsed through my past Ancestry.com board posts (I've made 224) and found some as old as May 2008...without responses. Is it time to re-post my query? After all, there has been a massive surge in Internet savvy genealogists and researchers that are very much accustomed to posting on message boards. Perhaps they have started following the boards well after my post. Or they have not paid attention to my post due to its age.

I did a brief Internet search to see what others thought about re-posting queries, but did not find anything. Individuals were more concerned with the etiquette of thanks, which is also a very important aspect. I have noticed that in my early days of research I would post a million queries and not track them. Therefore, I may have received a response, but did not follow-up or even provide a thank you because I just had too many. I have definitely learned from that and have improved my "thank you" status.

Do I re-post? What's the netiquette here?

7 comments:

Frances Elizabeth Schwab said...

I would re-post if I were you. I'm new to this and when I search boards I often come across an unanswered query where the answer might help me too. I'm left to wonder if the issue was resolved one-to-one rather than through the board, or that no one knows the answer, or some other undetermined circumstance. I've often wanted to re-post someone else's query!

More experienced users will have to advise on the netiquette...

Jenny Lanctot said...

Instead of reposting, you might just want to "reply" to your own post, which will bump it up to the top of the list. That way, you won't have more than one post, but your old post will be more visible.

Meanwhile, also make sure your email address is up-to-date and that your settings allow email notifications if you receive a reply.

Greta Koehl said...

I would definitely repost and perhaps add a little bit of additional information, if possible. Sometimes an extra name of a person or place may be the search term that leads someone to your post.

zelsersk said...

On Ancestry.com you can reply to your own post which will then bring it forward to the first page of a search on a surname message board. In essence, it updates it and reprioritizes the post. I included re-posting briefly in one of my other posts but can't find it right now. Maybe it will be my turn to write about this topic soon too! Thanks for bringing it up.

Erin said...

I have wondered the same thing. I recently stumbled across someone referencing two individuals in my tree on an Ancestry message board, but it was several years old. I replied, but do not know what kind of response I should expect-are they even still using Ancestry? I like the suggestion you received to reply to your post. At least then they will know you are still actively searching.

David Chiles said...

It seems that it is proper netiquette to re-post because that is what the majority of comments say. NetworkEtiquette.net

Marian Burk Wood said...

Heather, I agree with the other commenters--we should either "reply" to our own posts or repost every couple of years. Sometimes I've reread my older posts and realized that I learned some new detail since I wrote that post, so an update would really help someone determine whether to reply. Plus it does show that we're still actively researching that person or family. So you're also a quilter! I love hand quilting . . . what's your favorite?