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Wiki Tree Reviews

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Editor's Overall Rating:
Average User Rating:
(based on 14 reviews)

Category: Genealogy Sites (AKA Family Tree Websites)
Website: http://www.wikitree.com



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Why should you join WikiTree
22 June 2023
Reviewer: A Wikitree User from Doesn't Matter

26 of 45 people found this review helpful

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What most members don’t understand is why WikiTree is a free site. The funding has to come from somewhere, and WikiTree is registered as a for-profit company, not a non-profit one. This means they don’t ask for donations.

Their business model is based on selling ads, and the types of ads they display are for other for-profit genealogy sites. To get money from these sites, WikiTree needs clicks to the advertised sites. If you have very well-researched profiles on WikiTree, then they won’t get clicks on the ads and no income. Thus, every competition (which they call “challenges” on WikiTree) focuses on the creation of new profiles with a minimum of sources. So basically, WikiTree is just an index to other genealogy sites, and they need lots of free labor to create the profiles.

They offer various incentives, such as badges for joining projects and challenges, and most of all, their biggest incentive badge: the 1000 monthly contributions points badge. Many newbies fall into this trap, as well as longer-time members who can’t get out of it. These members are commonly known as “points chasers” because they must have those new badges every month and consider it their prestige.

Points chasers don’t make for very good genealogists or researchers, but members should understand that without the free labor from points chasers, WikiTree would die under its current business model.

If you are a serious researcher or genealogist, you will see the value that WikiTree can offer and use it to your advantage. You can systematically add proper sources to profiles, write good biographies, and upload source images to the profiles. This is a winner because no one can argue or dispute facts on a properly sourced profile, and the sources are right there for anyone to consult.

There are also apps being written by more free labor. There is a wide variety and some very good ones, but many are designed to improve your experience of WikiTree because WikiTree itself sees no new improvements on the basic program developed fifteen years ago. It’s like WikiTree never came out of beta.

So you have to make a choice: become a points chaser or do genealogy. It’s free either way. A bit of advice: WikiTree doesn’t take well to criticism. Stay out of G2G (WikiTree’s forum) unless you need help with a real genealogy issue. There are many knowledgeable members on WikiTree from all over the world.

In summary, I would recommend Wiki Tree to a friend.



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