Help:Administrators' guide

Administrators are volunteers with special editing privileges. They perform many activities essential for keeping a wiki friendly and operational:

Contents

Welcome new users

When new users register at WeRelate, they should be welcomed soon thereafter. This will help to them feel like a part of the WeRelate community. In order to display the list of new users, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the Admin menu item, then click on Logs.
  2. Select New User log from the Logs drop-down box, and press Go. In this list, a new user who has not yet been welcomed will have a red "Talk" link.
  3. Click on the red Talk link. This will take you to their talk page.
  4. Click on the Edit button that's located below the menu items.
  5. In the message box, type in the Wiki command {{Subst:Welcome1}} (The Templates, and Notes sections explains how this works).
  6. This template will be automatically signed from the Support page, so you do not need to add your signature.
  7. Type a short message (such as "Welcome") into the smaller Summary box near the bottom of the page.
  8. (optional) Preview your work by clicking on the Show Preview button. This is located near the bottom of the page.
  9. Save your work by clicking on the Save Page button. This is also located near the bottom of the page.

Once you hit the Save Page button, the user will be notified via e-mail that their Talk page has changed.

There are several people on the Welcoming Committee. Only one Welcome1 message should be given. However, you may add your own personalized welcome message if you like. Please make sure to click on the Signature button at the end of your message. You can even create your own welcome template to use in addition to the Welcome1 message. Please make sure the Welcome1 message has been given before you add your own message.

When you create a page, like a User talk page, it is added to your Help:watchlist. This means you will get an email if the new user asks a question. You will also get an email if someone else adds an additional comment to that page. It is important to respond to new user questions. They often don't understand that they can post their questions on the Watercooler or an appropriate talk page.

Selecting featured pages

Although we hope that all users nominate pages to be featured pages, we hope that the administrators will be sure to add pages to the list as they review recent changes. Also, we hope that administrators will help select a "short-list" of candidates and vote on a page to be featured each week. To nominate a page or select and vote on weekly candidates, click on Nominate in the Admin menu.

Monitoring new images

Please browse recently-uploaded images periodically to make sure they are appropriate. Select New Images from the Admin menu.

Review images

Sometimes a user who uploads an image won't know what license to choose. In that case they'll select a Help me choose option and their image will appear in the Image review list. If you feel comfortable helping people select a license for their images, select Image review from the Admin menu and leave some suggestions on their image talk page.

The following paragraphs are intended to answer the most common problems.

Family Photos

Hi, I am an admin for WeRelate and I will be taking care of image licensing. I noticed you had a question about your image. I don't know who took the photo and assume that it was not you. The copyright belongs to the person who took the photo or her studio. I marked it as fair use of a low resolution copy. The "fair use" rules allow us to use a low resolution copy for non-commercial purposes. Most scanners produce images that are too large to be uploaded unto this site. So if you already reduced the size of the image in order to upload it, you automatically reduced the resolution (number of pixels in the image). If you did not red

  • Template:Family photo license explains the pertinent parts of "fair use doctrine." When using this template please include a copy of the photo between the "your image" and the legal text. To do this enter {{Subst:Family photo license}} and save the page. The select edit again and insert [[Image:title of image.jpg|250px|right]] , then enter 3 lines to separate the image from the text.
Hi, I am an admin for WeRelate. It is my job to review image licensing. I noticed that you had a question on your image.
250
Generally, the rule for "fair use" of family photos is:
a. the image either is significantly lower resolution than the original or the image is a small snippet of the original, and
b. the photograph depicts a non-reproducible historic subject, and no free alternative exists or can be created, and
c. of no larger and of no higher quality than is necessary for the illustration of an article, and
d. the use of the image on WeRelate is not expected to decrease the value of the copyright.


I need a little more information before I can choose an appropriate license. Please answer as many of these questions as possible.
1. Do you know approximately when the photo was taken?
2. Do you know who took the photo? When the photographer died?
3. What was the original size of the image?
4. Is the image a part of a larger whole?
Please respond by clicking on my user name at the end of this message and select Leave a message. Thanks.  :-)

Old Documents Template:Public domain image explains what makes an old document or images of it, "public domain." Again please insert a copy of the image in question with the template. To do this enter {{Subst:Public domain image}} and save the page. The select edit again and insert [[Image:title of image.jpg|250px|right]] , then enter 3 lines to separate the image from the text.

Hi, I am an admin for WeRelate. I will be monitoring the Image licensing. I noticed that you had some questions on your images.


Generally, if an image of a document is public domain if the document is
  • more than 120 years old, or
  • US government document, or
  • a list of facts exhibiting no creativity.
Images of public domain documents are not themselves subject to any additional copyright restriction. It appears that your document meets one of the above requirements. I have listed your documents as "Public domain." If you disagree, have a question or comment, please click on my username at the end of this line and select Leave a message from my user page. Thanks for your assistance.  :-)

Fair use of printed material

Template:Fair use of printed material explains the "fair use" rules for using printed material. Again please insert a copy of the image in question with the template. To do this enter To do this enter <nowiki> {{Subst:Fair use of printed material}} and save the page. The select edit again and insert [[Image:title of image.jpg|250px|right]] , then enter 3 lines to separate the image from the text.

Hi, I am an admin for WeRelate. It is my job to review image licensing. I noticed that you had a question on your image.
Generally, the rule for "fair use" of printed material:
a. the image either is significantly lower resolution than the original or the image is a small snippet of the original, and
b. no free alternative exists or can be created, and
c. of no larger and of no higher quality than is necessary for the illustration of an article, and
d. the use of the image on WeRelate is not expected to decrease the value of the copyright.
I need a little more information before I can choose an appropriate license. Please answer as many of these questions as possible.
1. Do you know the name of the author?
2. Do you know when the document was created?
3. What was the original size of the document?
4. Is the image a part of a larger whole?
Please respond by clicking on my user name at the end of this message and select Leave a message. Thanks.  :-)

Review GEDCOMs

Select Gedcom review from the Admin menu. More information.

Deleting pages

When users want a page deleted that they do not have the rights to delete themselves, they add a "Speedy Delete" template at the top of the page. Please review these pages by selecting Speedy delete from the Admin menu and if the reason for deletion looks reasonable, go ahead and delete the page. (We can undelete the page in case someone objects.)

Monitor merges

Please monitor merges by selecting Recent changes from the Admin menu, then changing the Namespace to Logs. To review a merge, click on the (review) link at the very beginning of the line. On the merge review page, click the mark as patrolled link in the upper left corner so that others will know that the merge has been reviewed.

Hint: when looking at recent changes, click on the Hide patrolled edits link near the top so that you won't have to look at changes that have already been reviewed.

Monitor Recent Changes

Recent changes need to be monitored for misuse, spam, and vandalism (spam and vandalism will be addressed in the last section). Before you get started, you may want to make sure your preferences are set to your local time.

In order to make information in the site easier for inexperienced users to find, we try to help users conform to our format. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Place Name Hierarchy. Generally, the place name goes from the smallest organizational unit to the largest. This means that the Place name looks similar to City, County, State, Country. The number of jurisdictional tiers differs for each country. The US has 4 tiers, most but not all other countries have 3. All of the words after the last comma are indexed as the country. We do not use type words such as county or district. However sometimes the word "Township" is necessary because there is a Town and a Township in the same county.

New users frequently make two types of mistakes. The most common is to use the wrong place name hierarchy and the second (often in combination) is to create a duplicate page.

  1. Check all edits from unfamiliar users for spam and inappropriate material.
  2. Check place name hierarchy. Often a new user will title a new page like "Los Angeles, CA." This page would be indexed in the country of CA and not the United States, it is also likely a duplicate. First try to rename the page to its appropriate name. The renaming process will tell you if there is a duplicate page. So in this example you would rename the page to "Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States." When you try to move the page, you will see notice saying there is already a page by that name and asking if you wish to delete the original page and replace it with this page. Do not delete the original page. Back page to the new page and open a second window with the old page. Cut and paste any new information (usually coordinates or research helps) to the original page. Delete everything in the text field of the new page and enter #redirect [[Place:Name of the original page]]. Type "redirect duplicate page" in the summary field and save the page.

If you did not see the duplicate page notice rename the page with the proper hierarchy.

  • Person page title. These are should be given name first followed by the surname. Alternate and middle names should be added to the person page later and not in the person's title. We need to use these naming standards to facilitate a better search experience. Because of names like "de la Vega" and "Mac Claren," every name after the first space is indexed as a last name. If the page is entitled "Mary Lois Smith, it will be indexed with the surname of "Lois Smith" and not with the "Smiths."
  • Family page title. These should be Husband's given name and surname followed by Wife's given name and surname. They should not be a long string of names.
If the surnames of the husband and wife are the same; check the page.
  • Living people. Pages for living people are not permitted. The only exception is for notable people that have a Wikipedia page.

When an Administrator notices a Recently Changed page that could better follow the “standard” guidelines, they should follow these steps.

  1. Edit the page so that it conforms to the standard guidelines.
  2. Send a message to help the contributor understand the guidelines better. Make sure that the message is given in a gentle and friendly way. If the “standard” guideline needs to be changed, then please let User:Dallan or User:Solveig know.

To monitor recent changes, do the following.

  1. Click on the Admin menu item.
  2. Click on Recent changes.
  3. Click on the toggle Hide patrolled edits so that you don't waste time in monitoring already-patrolled changes.
  4. Choose a namespace to monitor in the Namespace drop-down box and click Go. The easiest namespaces to monitor are probably the Givenname, Surname, Source, and Image namespaces along with their corresponding Talk namespaces. Nevertheless, please feel free to monitor any of the namespaces.
  5. Once you click Go, you will be presented with a list of changes. These changes are the ones not patrolled(reviewed) in that Namespace. You can see the title of the page, the time of the change, and the user who made the change.
  6. If there is a bold N at the beginning of the page title, it is a new page and you'll need to click on the page title to review it.
  7. If there is no bold N, click on the blue diff link at the far left of the line.

Once you are in the Diff screen, you can do one of a few things.

  • If the change looks OK, then do the following.
  1. Click on the "Mark as patrolled" link. This link is near the top of the right-hand side of the page.
  2. Return to the Recent Changes list by clicking on the BACK button on your browser.
  • If the change appears to be vandalism or spam, then do the following.
  1. Click on the "Rollback" link near the top of the right-hand side of the page. If it is a new page, delete (see the section below for further advice).
  • If the page could be improved and you're comfortable improving it, then do the following.
  1. Click the "Mark as patrolled" link as above (so that you don’t forget later). Make sure you do this before you add your own edits. The reasoning is explained in the notes
  2. Press the BACK button on your browser to return to the page. Reminder: If this is a new page, then you’ll need to click on the Edit button at the top of the page in order to edit the page. You'll also need to do this if the link above the right-hand column in the differences view says "Current revision". BEWARE: If you see a warning about editing an out-of-date revision, don't edit the page. This is because then the later changes to the page will be lost. The later changes could have already solved the problem you intend to correct.
  • If the page needs improvement but you're not quite sure how to improve it, please leave a message and copy the url to talk page.

Person and Family pages

  • We get many edits to Person and Family pages from experienced users who know what they are doing. It's unnecessary to mark every edit as patrolled. Please monitor edits from users you haven't seen before or see rarely, and spot-check edits from experienced users every once in awhile. Other namespaces don't see as much traffic and in those namespaces we want to monitor every edit.
  • The most common problem new users have with family pages is creating the title. Sometimes a new user will have a family page for John Smith married to Mary Jones, but the family page will be titled "Family:Mary Jones"; John Smith will not be entered on the family page at all. If you can figure out the name of the missing spouse, rename the page to include the missing spouse's name (e.g., Family:John Smith and Mary Jones). The guideline is to make sure that both spouses' names appear on the family page.
  • Click on the family page to see if you can figure out the name of the missing spouse. For example, you might find that "Family:Mary Jones" has a link to John Smith as a husband, but doesn't have a wife listed. In this case we'll need to first add Mary Jones as a wife, and second rename the page to "Family:John Smith and Mary Jones".
  • If a spouse needs to be added to the family, click on the "Edit" button to edit the page, add the spouse's name in the husband or wife field, and save the page.
  • If the page needs to be renamed, click on the "Rename" button, enter the correct title (husband's given name followed by surname, the word "and", and the wife's given name followed by surname), and click "Move page". An index number will be added to the page's title automatically.
  • Leave a message on the user's talk page explaining what you did.
  • Template:Naming pages explains page title conventions. Many new users try to include all the names in a page title. It is not necessary to rename or edit the pages, unless there are middle names(s) in the surname field.
  • Leave a message on the user's talk if you make any corrections.
  • Template:Family Page titles explains the difference between person ID numbers and family ID numbers. Sometimes new users will include the person ID numbers for each of the spouses in the family page title. This is unnecessary, and becomes confusing if the person pages for the husband or wife are ever merged with other pages and get new ID numbers. If they enter the name of the husband followed by the name of the wife, the system will generate a unique family ID for them automatically.
  • Leave a message on the user's talk if you make any corrections.
  • Lastly, check the page for other problems and gently leave a message for the user with suggestions. You might want to start out with "FYI" or "I don't know if this is important to you, but . . .". Administrators always need to be very friendly. Inexperienced users do not enjoy feeling stupid. For most users, wiki's will be a new concept and the learning curve is pretty high. We want everyone to feel like they're a member of the community and are encouraged to use the site even if it takes a while to get the hang of it. Also, we're working on making the software easier to use so that some of these problems will be avoided.

User pages

  • Template:Shared research page tries to explain why shared research pages should not be titled with multiple surnames and spellings, and/or multiple locations/spellings and postal codes. Many users want to title their shared research page with a string of places or surname spellings. This actually thwarts the category function. Each page is categorized by location and surname. Unfortunately when a user titles a page with "Smith/Smythe in MT, NM, and CA," the system will put the page in the "Smith/Smythe" surname category and in the and CA" country category, but not in the Smith category, nor the Smythe category, nor the Montana category, nor the New Mexico category, nor the California category. To be more specific, this means that some other user searching for a "Smith in Montana" page will not see this page in the expected category. We're going to be re-doing the categorization scheme in the coming weeks so this won't be as much of a problem in the future.


Place pages

  • One of the most common things is to leave out the "located in" place. This detail is necessary for searching -- we eventually want searches for people in a county or district to automatically include all contained places of that county/district. If you know or can figure out the contained place for a new place, please add it.
  • Another perplexing problem is not naming the page according to "standards." For the US and Canada, the standard is smaller to larger, i.e., the name of the city/town, followed by the county/district (without the word county), followed by the (unabbreviated) name of the state/province, followed by "United States" or "Canada". For example, if you see that a user has added a new place and used an abbreviation for the state:
  • First check to see that this place doesn't already exist in the place index under the proper name.
  • If the place already exists under the proper name, edit the improperly titled place, and put #redirect[[Place:correct place title]] as the only text in the big text box. This causes the improperly titled place to automatically redirect to the proper place.
  • If the place does not already exist under the proper name, then move (rename) the place and give it the proper name.

Image pages

Template:Naming images explains how to name an image so it will not be easily over-written. Again please insert a copy of the image in question with the template. To do this enter To do this enter <nowiki> {{Subst:Naming images}} and save the page. The select edit again and insert [[Image:title of image.jpg|250px|right]] , then enter 3 lines to separate the image from the text.

Hi, I am an admin for WeRelate. It is my job to review uploaded images. You recently uploaded an image with a generic title.


Just FYI, when you give an image a generic title, like for instance, "Grandpa" or "Image 2", it is likely to be over-written by someone else who accidently uses the same generic title for their image. If I title my image "John Smith, 1963," for my John Smith today and next week another user uses the same title for his "John Smith," my image will be over-written and lost. His "John Smith, 1963" image will be displayed everywhere I intended my "John Smith, 1963" to be displayed. You can see that it is important to give your images very unique titles. Of course you can use any title you like. The easiest method is to use "title of the page, image number." So for instance I would use "Image:HINDERSON HAYNIE (2) I1.JPG." unfortunately, the wiki platform used by this website doesn't have an easy way to rename images. If you wish to insure against over-writing, it will be necessary to delete the old images and re-upload the image with a new name. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a message on my talk page by clicking on my user name at the end of this message and select Leave a message. Thanks.  :-).

Patrolling

  • The "Mark as patrolled" link only appears when you click on the "diff" link or the the title of a new page. It won't appear if you click on the page, then click on the "History" button, then click on "Compare selected versions."
  • If things are working smoothly, there will be more than one person patrolling any particular namespace. This is how other large wiki's do it. We don't want patrolling to be too onerous. Sometimes we have a huge influx of new pages and/or users. Plus, everyone goes on vacation, gets sick, has a bad day, gets busy. So please don't be offended or feel unappreciated if you find others patrolling you namespace. We need everyone of you.
  • Important note: Don't mark your own edits as patrolled. Let someone else review your edits and mark them patrolled. This will also help other Administrators learn from the kinds of changes you are making. Remember, it is the changes that you are patrolling, and not the page in general. Patrol the edits made by others before making your changes. That way, their edits will be marked as patrolled, while your edits will remain unmarked so they'll be patrolled by other administrators.

Blocking

Blocking spammers

If you notice that a user has intentionally vandalized or added Spam to a page, then "Roll Back" the vandalized page by clicking on the 'diff' link on the Recent Changes log and click on rollback. Many times, users sign up simply to add Spam and make no other valuable contributions. These users will be blocked indefinitely by going to the Recent Changes log, click the "block" link, choose infinite from the Expiry drop-down box and enter a reason such as "link spam". Please note that blocking a user is an action that should be used very carefully.

If you have blocked a user, please add the Blocked user template to both their Userpage and User talk page {{Blocked user|reason=posting link spam}}.

Blocking for reasons other than Spam

Please refer all other requests for blocking to the Overview committee. It is important that an impartial team evaluate the request for blocking. Leave a message on the talk page detailing the reasons for the proposed block.

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