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    Where is . . . ?

    I don’t usually feel the need to share site stats.  Hit counters are so easily manipulated as to make them pretty much useless.  However, in this case, I thought I’d make an exception.  This graphic shows the activity for the Projects sub-domain since the site was reorganized and redesigned.  The stats program adjusts the numbers for search engines, spiders and bots — they aren’t included.

    There’s nothing really impressive here.  In the overall scheme of things, the Projects site is just another small fish in a big pond. has more users logged in at any given moment than we do in an entire month, and I think the site has an Alexa rank of 5 million something and an estimated worth of about $500 — which doesn’t even begin to reflect the work that’s gone into it.  But that’s not the point.

    What IS the point, you may ask?

    Well, I just finished replying to what I hope is the last email in a conversation that’s gone on for a couple of weeks with a lady who is unhappy with the way one of the cemeteries is written up.  Apparently, she’s done quite a bit of work on this cemetery and the name is wrong, the location is wrong — she says there are many problems with the transcript sent in by the submitter and is very adamant about it.

    The problem is the transcript was sent in years ago before I was even the CC of that county.  I have no way to edit the document, and no way to contact the submitter.  And even if I *could* edit the document, I probably wouldn’t do it absent an obvious typo, as when someone is shown as being born after they died.

    To my mind, the solution to problems like this is an updated transcript.  But when I suggested this lady submit one, I was told she would rather spend her time doing other things.  Apparently, it wasn’t that important after all.

    Every once in awhile, I get a “Thanks for all the work you do!” email — they’re few and far between, much appreciated, and not expected — they’re a nice surprise.

    But more often I get complaints about submissions (though few of them take on a life of their own as this recent one did) and other content, or the lack thereof.  Why aren’t all the marriages listed?  Where are the census records?  Why don’t you have information about [insert name here] — they were prominent citizens of [insert town here]!  Without exception, when I suggest they contribute, I get “Yeah, someone should do that” and I don’t hear from them anymore.

    That’s where the stats graph comes in.  In December alone we’ve had over 1,700 visitors so far.  I would show you a graphic of the site submissions for that time period, but there aren’t any.  I have, however, received several emails this month bemoaning that fact.

    I can only guess that most people don’t understand how most of the USGenWeb county sites work.  While there are many CCs out there who live in the county they’re responsible for and have the access and time to spend transcribing records, I don’t think that’s true of the majority.  It’s certainly not in my case, and each county page has a notice to that effect.  There are some CCs who have research businesses on the side, but free research isn’t really what CCs do.

    So if you’re looking for something and can’t find it, all I can tell you is that “Someone” hasn’t done it yet.

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