Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1998-01 > 0884001632

From: Leo van de Pas <>
Subject: Re: Royalty Web Page
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 20:00:32 +0800

At 11:40 AM 1/5/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Leo van de Pas, wrote
>> .............I have come to realise there are many errors and it is
>> incomplete. Once I send a message to point out an error but never
>> received a response. [...]
>> The sad part with placing errors on the Internet is that the
>> mistake can be perpetuated in other peoples collections.
>Don Mcarthur wrote:
>> ... database is well known, accessible and user friendly -
>> and probably vastly superior to
>> some of the more fanciful offerings available.
> Thanks Don. In my experience of "internet" working (of about 20 years),
>it is clear that many people regard the nature of (email) communication as an
>imtimate one,

.............Before commenting I must point out that someone asked to give
opinions on Brian Thompsetts site----I have only responded and given
my opinion----I did not set out to be negative----

and believe themselves to be the only correspondent with a
>unique problem, and point of view.
........What if the correspondent is unique---by spotting an error---
Brian Thompsetts error---it becomes the problem of everybody who visits
that site. They may copy and perpetuate that error.

In The Netherlands someone recently was fined (I believe) 30,000 dutch
guilders for producing (purposely) false genealogical records, because
in 100 years time it would be regarded as 'correct'.

The problem comes when then thousands
>people all decide to try and start corresponding with you,
...........Having watched Medieval with many regulars, I feel
'thousands' is exagerated. If the information is complete and correct,
not many people would make contact.

not knowing about
>the others, but still believe the etiquette to be that of one-to-one
> I do try and acknowledge messages with a standard response that points at
>my FAQ document (which is also cited on every data page). All comments on data
>errors are filed for examination when that area of the data is researched. Some
>areas of contention and dispute take years to research properly, but in many
>cases the questioner does not appreciate that. Poorly researched answers seem
>to be what many want; in fact most people would go away happy if I made up an
>answer, but I can't bring myself to do that!
> I do correspond with many individuals as and when circumstances and the
>material permit. Questions that catch my interest get highest priority! :-).
>(As do those from people actually in the database!)
>It helps if the relevant tome is at my elbow, but that is all serendipity.

It would also help if the bulk emailers stopped believing they have a message
>that I want to hear,
...........what an appalling attitude to "your public". YOu have put
yourself in the public eye-----nobody else---if you cannot stand the
fire get out of the kitchen. If you need assistance---get it. British
should be best----not an attitude of 'Ok I make errors but I don't want
to hear about it!'

and thus improved the signal to noise ratio of email,
>which for me is becoming almost unworkable (but I digress).
> On the issue of error proliferation, I also have taken action with regard to
>my own dataset. One solution is not to make such datasets available online at
>all. Taking it offline and replacing every such genealogical database with a
>readme file on the availability of Europaisch Stammtafeln and The Complete
>Peerage might improve accuracy, but not utility.
> In my case the GEDCOM is not available, and my software takes draconian steps
>to prevent unauthorised robot cloning. I take the view that a serious and
>proper researcher would want to view one record at a time and use it as a
>guide to their own research from source.
> Brian Tompsett
>............Sorry-----what a lot of words----and so little said.
The subject is the site and the reliability of what is displayed.
** Leo van de Pas ** Centraal Bureau
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