World Archives Project: Project Specific Help is Readily Available

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We receive frequent emails and help requests from users who are frustrated with the message boards. They post questions and get multiple, sometimes conflicting answers. They search and search and search never to find an answer to the question they have regarding the project they are currently keying. They want one consistent place to find answers about a given project.

Originally, we provided the message boards as a quick means of communication. Our community – many of whom came from the core of the Rootsweb community – embraced the idea of message boards and ran with it as a means of supporting each other in common questions and feedback regarding project keying. However, it appears we may have outgrown the message boards.

We have about 2500 new contributors joining our ranks each month. That means that some of the same basic questions get asked over and over again. With great patience our community responds and cross-links to other posts. But, this might not be the best process for new users to follow. With our new feedback process the reviewers are noting general categories of common mistakes and they often post specific feedback about what they see. However, unless you know how and where to look this feedback often gets quickly buried.

For those – and a plethora of other – reasons, I would like to remind each of you that there is a project page for every single keying project. You find them on the wiki. You can also access them by clicking on the project name on the AWAP Dashboard. Or, you can access them while you are keying by clicking on Help | View More About This Project in the keying tool.

These project pages are updated regularly as keying progresses. They are updated when anomalies are discovered in the data. They are updated when field helps needs clarifying. They are updated when keyers discover tips and tricks that make work on a particular project go a little faster. (For more tips on how to Watch an article review the Tips and Tricks segment in the January newsletter.)

You will find your individual keying statistics and accuracy rating by project on this page. The project specific feedback that the reviewers provide is also found on this page. This will give you an idea of the common mistakes being made in a given project and lead you to clues to improve your own keying quality.

Finally, on each project page, there is a discussion tab. Here you can ask questions and receive answers from other community members. You can also see what questions others are asking without having to search through several message board posts to find your answer.

I would like to give you a challenge. Before you start keying your next image set, open up the project page for that specific project and read through the instructions. Refresh your memory about what you are keying. Look at your keying statistics. Check out the common errors being made. And, if you have a tip or trick about how to make keying on this particular project go a little faster, maybe you can leave it as a note on the discussion tab, or if you are a little more adventurous, update the wiki yourself.

I can’t wait to get notified of all the updates!