Disclosure: I work for WikiTree as the WikiTree Evangelist – which means my job is to share my love for WikiTree with other genealogists. But after posting this on Facebook, I just thought this was too perfect for a blog post not too share. Please keep in mind that even though I work for WikiTree, I still mean every word. These are my opinions after all and I wouldn’t post it to my personal blog if I didn’t mean it.
What is WikiTree? In short, WikiTree is a 100% free website created by Chris Whitten in 2008 with the goal of creating a worldwide family tree. What separates it from the gazillions of other genealogy and family history websites out there? Well… you’ll have to read below to find out.
Here are my 3 top reasons to love WikiTree:
1.) Chris Whitten, the creator and webmaster of WikiTree, really cares about this website. This website is his baby and he wants it to be a valuable resource for genealogists everywhere – but he understands that in order to make that happen, he needs the help of genealogists everywhere. If you make a suggestion, have a complaint, a questions, anything – Chris will take the time to answer you. He takes every suggestion and new idea into consideration. Just take a look at WikiTree’s Facebook Page to see how involved he is in the WikiTree community. Check out his LinkenIn profile to learn more about his professional experience.
2.) There are 6 Different Privacy Levels. Different profiles can have different privacy levels and can be shared with different people. In other words: You don’t have to choose to totally share or completely block your whole tree with the whole world. You can decide that it is fine with you if your distant ancestors are shared with the whole world. You can decide to keep your living relatives completely unlisted from the search and hidden. You can choose to share your Smith line with your Smith researchers – but that doesn’t mean they see your whole tree – just the profiles you tell them too. Either way, it is pretty amazing. You have the control to collaborate while also protecting your genealogy information.
3.) So Many Ways to Share. The bottom line is that some relatives won’t want to sign up for WikiTree because they just aren’t genealogists and frankly, don’t care nearly as much as you do. WikiTree offers the Wikid Shareable Family Tree to be shared on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. And for the bloggers out there, there are also embeddable family tree widgets. In both of these trees, the missing information is easy to spot and will *hopefully* inspire your relatives to help fill in the gaps.
So those are my top 3 reasons of why I love WikiTree.com and I highly encourage you to check it out too. I know that you’re thinking, “But Elyse, this is just ONE MORE THING to keep up with” and my response to you is that this one is worth it. Check it out. Try it. Play around. You’ll love it. And if you don’t, then tell us why. Give us ideas and constructive criticism to make it better. And if you love us, tell us that too. This is an amazing community to be a part of and I am one proud member of that community.