However, there is a time when I do NOT like Member Connect. I suppose it is because it highlights those genealogists that don't share and share alike. I keep my member tree public because I like sharing my finds and I hope to help other genealogists. I have spent a lot of time putting together my tree and finding the sources I insist on having behind every link. A while back I noticed that one Ancestry member had been copying a lot of my items to their tree: photos, sources, etc. Great! I thought, a kindred spirit! I quickly hopped on to check out their tree but found that it was private. I fumed a little bit because although I understand that once I post my items they become "public" and available to anyone, I'm frustrated that other researchers take my items without following up. As another blogger mentioned a while back (I'm sorry I can't remember who at the moment), why wouldn't you contact me? You can't imagine all the cool stuff I have not yet posted to Ancestry.
Then I thought about it and decided that perhaps this individual is keeping their tree private in order to keep their personal stuff private. So I decided to write a message to the individual. I mentioned that I saw their copying of items from my tree and thought it would be great if we could collaborate. I waited quite a long time for a response and when it did come today it was simple: I can't help you.
So then I fumed again. But I thought perhaps they don't want to share because they want to keep their information private...I totally understand that. But in Ancestry you can share your tree to a guest and decide whether or not they can see living people. There really is no excuse not to share. But I digress. I ended up doing the right thing. I sent back a brief message telling them that they could continue to save items from my tree and that I hope they are helpful. So there...I can still share.