Hi to all,
Kevin, I was already working on this reply today; it's crossing paths
with your second recent posting, but I'm not editing it based on your
new one, it's the flour and water theory in action.
You've described a change in policy for the project and I'd like to put
in a plea here to find some middle ground about updating the results.
--Of all the dna projects that I participate in and/or track, it is the
"private" ones that have now gone somewhat defunct and have, more
unfortunately, lost the input of researchers. The Daniel project was
always one of the best for the longest time because it kept access to
results and kept up constant reminders to people about testing and
recruiting. I know it was work for you, but it's what really made the
project such a success.
--It is the public page that helps in recruiting new testers and it also
helps encourage further solid research of records.
--I am in contact with many Daniel folk from many lines (lots are non
genealogists) and I encourage/request testing. When I send them to the
site to see how it works they now frequently reply
that it is so out of date, etc., and I lose them. For those non
genealogists we need the public page to let them see it's for real,
active and ongoing. I now also have to send potential Daniel testers to
other surname projects that are updated, but it's not quite the same.
"no updates...because no one has submitted a biography of their MRCA..."
I do so hope it's not a requirement because it would discourage testers
who may not be active in research but willing to test to help others
(I've also seen serious slowdowns at a couple other projects who do
"require" it and I now only occasionally check them). Either way it's a
big change in policy as far as updating the results page and doesn't
seem to me to be a necessary requirement. I'm worried we're losing out
on the people who don't care one way or the other, but whose test
results would be of great interest to many others. The privacy of the
few can be protected while allowing others to see the project publicly.
The obvious option is to toggle the admin prefs at the ftdna GAP page
and make the results page that they provide public. That would also save
you the trouble of updating the results page at 50g.com
: it could just
go to that page at ftdna. Most of the larger projects do this and
Daniel is definitely still in the top half of project sizes (only just,
but it's still a good sized project).
"Many participants have selected the option to not share their data on
the FTDNA web site, and I am respecting everyone's privacy."
Not posting their ancestor info is precisely what gives them privacy,
but it is not necessarily a formal decline to have the results posted.
There hasn't been a public reminder to people to do that nor an email
notification to test reps, at least that I've seen. For the first many
years when people joined the project they knew the number results would
be public at 50g.com
. No one who sees 50g.com
or ftdna results pages
can get in touch with people based on kit# and results.
It's also not all that obvious on the ftdna personal page that putting
the earliest ancestor is a good idea, especially since the results page
at ftdna is not public. It's also not necessarily all that easy for new
folks. I'd bet that if the page were made public many more people would
throw their ancestor up there. Aren't there people who have put their
earliest ancestor on via their ftdna page whose results haven't been put
up at 50g.com? I know my recent testers' results name the ancestor at
ftdna, but they haven't been put up on the 50g.com
results page, but we
do want them added there as they had been in the past. Diane has kept
the participants blurb page updated (she just did a great job of helping
my line's blurbs get coordinated and more useful), but now it's with
references to tests whose results do not show up on the results page.
There are workarounds for testers who do not want to share their
ancestor or even their results:
--1. Those who do not want to post their earliest ancestor info via
their ftdna personal page don't anyway. If someone requests info on the
list about a certain test number they simply need not answer. Many
testers are not members of this list or active on the boards, but there
are distant cousins who might be active who are losing out on the
benefits of seeing those results (that's the major thing happening on
other projects that are "private": no info so no research or input).
This is especially important for searchers who are far removed from
their closest Daniel surnamed ancestor (I'm 6 generations away!). On
other projects I'm involved in I've been put in touch with testers by
asking the administrator to ask them if they want contact and they've
often become more enthused and active. There have also been a couple
who declined contact through the admin, so obviously their privacy was
honored. You've done right as you described in being the middleman for
people asking to be put in touch, whether it is fruitful or not.
--2. When you get the ftdna spreadsheet that you've been using to post
results at danieldna.50g.com
you can first pull the results of those who
have requested no public presence.
--3. A tester who does not want their kit number or results showing can
simply withdraw from the Daniel project. They will still be notified of
matches by ftdna, i.e. no loss to them but a great gain to those who
follow all the lines at the project. I've noticed at least four
withdrawals from the Daniel project over the years.
If you've already promised some testers not to publish, then I realize
#2 and 3 above would take a general email from you to all the test reps
to request their current prefs regarding making their results public,
explaining that it would only be the kit# and results, no other info
that they haven't authorized. Actually it would only have to go to the
latest testers since July 08 (the last update), everybody before that
understood the results were public. The admin page makes a mass mailing
very simple. I do hope that you would make it on the basis of "no reply
means consent to publish the number results".
As you noted there are currently 185 members at the Daniel DNA project.
Over the years there have generally been about 20 fewer results (kits
not actually submitted), so I guesstimate there are currently about 40
or so results that are not now showing at danieldna.50g.com
testers who aren't now showing at danieldna.50g.com
have submitted their
results to ysearch.org
, so they do apparently want a public presence. I
also track ysearch, but it's cumbersome to track and it's also not so
easy or obvious there for testers to submit further info. The recent
rise in McDaniel testers has been very interesting, I must say.
Another loss for me is that it has been those matches and potential
matches I've seen and tracked at the project that have inspired me to
grab info on other Daniel lines when I'm doing research. It's one small
way I've been able to contribute to general Daniel research, the
Essex/Caroline traditional line errors have been somewhat helped, as
well as some help in the Elbert/Wake revelations, to name a couple.
People who are learning about DNA can see so many examples of how it
works by studying the results from other lines, with or without ancestor
info. When I first started I was tight on what I wanted to accept as a
match, but seeing and checking on other groups helped me understand the
acceptability and desire for mutations. Another example is the need to
rearrange the 464a-d markers as needed to see matches move closer: I
don't have it in my line, but learned it for sure after seeing it at
work in other Daniel groups. Working in isolation and not comparing
across groups blocks seeing and understanding several aspects of
matching. People new to DNA are losing out on this. The Daniel project
was one of the top 2 projects where I learned the most about all the
different aspects of DNA.
Another risk of letting the ftdna Daniel project go so under-the-table
is that people may turn to other companies (looks like it's already
occurring). While I respect people's decision to test where they want,
it will dilute the value of having one major umbrella project. A couple
of names I follow are scattered in this way and it's a royal pain, we
know we are still missing people in the correspondence because they are
in companies that don't publish. Keeping the 50g.com
site up to date
lets people know this is the best place to participate.
A lot of answers have come from DNA and I know there have also been some
problems that you have had to deal with due to some of the surprises;
while it was wonderful that you tried to help, the fact is you shouldn't
have had to referee those problems (no doubt exhausting and discouraging
at times). Public results don't mean people have to discuss publicly,
but it allows it for those who want to. This mail list has gone pretty
inactive, that's why more people now post to rootsweb and let it gateway
here. Even this discussion is going to be seen only by members of this
list, many testers and non genealogist testers won't even see it
(especially in regard to getting more people's input about all this).
I guess the other way I would ask the question is: Has the number of
people who have requested that their results not be published been so
great that it's better to hide all the results as opposed to just
theirs? If you make the ftdna results page public, you can block them
yourself as admin from showing up.
I sure hope some middling way can be found to keep the public project
current. If there's anything I can do to help in any area of updating,
I'd be more than happy, e.g. sorting the spreadsheet, or working with
the html to make it more reader friendly, collating replies if you do a
survey of the test reps about this issue, etc. I am already contacted
by and also do lots of outreach to people I find on other boards and
from public records, so I'm very much interested in this question!
Pam in CA