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Group Administrator Guidelines for FTDNA Projects

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  • #16
    A closer reading of the Guidelines makes me wonder if FTDNA is going to pay us administrators. If we are to be salaried, then the language makes more sense. Surely, no one would use such wording with volunteers, e.g., "it is your responsibility," "shall not," "are required to," "must," "must not," "must agree,", and "will make best efforts."
    I spend six-eight hours per day on my project. Even a modest hourly stipend would help toward the costs of my annual recruitment trip to Ireland, and the annual administrators' conference in Houston.
    Incidentally, the new commandment that says administrators shall not provide info to a project member while withholding the same from another is ridiculous. My M222s do not need (nor want) to be informed about new findings under Z255, etc.

    Comment


    • #17
      re: "Represent Family Tree DNA as the testing company of choice, and facilitate a positive public image of Family Tree DNA and your project"

      -- Knowing this is REQUIRED of Project Administrators means I cannot put any faith in their recommendations as to where might be the best place to test in a certain situation.

      And when I see an individual comment in the Forum, I will have to wonder, is that a Project Admin who HAS TO praise FTDNA and only recommend it, or is that someone's Honest Free Choice Sentiment/Belief.

      Comment


      • #18
        WorldFamilies

        "All websites that are currently (as of March 1, 2014) externally hosted will be transitioned to a Family Tree DNA landing page that links to the external site."

        What exactly does this mean? Does this include WorldFamilies?
        Does that mean that we cannot have the FTDNA Public Project site in addition to a WorldFamilies site?

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #19
          I know of one surname project where the results, or some of them, are apparently restricted to "members" who have paid a fee. I can see that some of the genealogical information that is visible to the rest of us is incorrect, but I'm not about to pay to correct it! It looks to me like this particular project has combined a family association (mostly one kindred, but there must be others with the same surname who are not connected genetically) with a Y-DNA surname project based on the FTDNA tests. If the family association wants to hide behind a pay wall, that's their prerogative, self-defeating though it may be. But I have to object to putting a surname project using FTDNA results (and utilities, presumably) behind the same pay wall.

          How was this done? From what I see, the public FTDNA results page for this project shows only the kit number, surname, and country of origin associated with the DNA kit, followed by the STR values. The rest of the genealogical information, such as the full name of the ancestor, is not visible. Not very useful!

          For a Y-DNA surname project, it seems to me the genealogical information (the earliest paternal ancestor and where and when he lived) that is associated with the kit in the FTDNA profile should ALWAYS be included on the project results page, unless the customer has requested that the profile be private. Can this requirement be worked into the guidelines somehow? As it stands now, an unsuspecting customer who happens to have this surname will pay once for the Y-DNA test, then again to participate fully in the surname project.

          Comment


          • #20
            I just have a few comments on the GAP Guidelines which I think are mostly very good.

            1) In British English the verb is administer not administrate, but perhaps "administrating" is correct usage in American English. It does sound odd to British ears.

            2) This sentence is inappropriate: "Represent Family Tree DNA as the testing company of choice...". We are not paid by Family Tree DNA. Family Tree benefit from the huge amount of work that group administrators put in working as a volunteer unpaid sales force. I believe we have a duty to offer our project members impartial advice on DNA testing. If in some circumstances that means recommending that someone tests elsewhere that should be our prerogative. There are also some admins who have to get testing done elsewhere because FTDNA doesn't offer the facilities they require. I'm thinking in particular of the issue of microalleles which are reported by AncestryDNA but not by FTDNA.

            3) You need to define what is meant by "personal information".

            4) In the section about adding project members to other projects it should be clarified that admins must get permission before adding people to projects. Many people have difficulty joining projects and need the help of admins to do this. We should not be banned from doing so.

            5) The guidelines need to include clarification about the situation if an admin or a project pays for a participant to take a DNA test. Does the admin have the right to insert his or her e-mail address as the primary contact in such situations? There is an existing FAQ which could be incorporated or adapted for inclusion in the GAP guidelines: http://www.familytreedna.com/learn/p...ent-3rd-party/

            6) Finally a suggestion. Could some sort of update box be added to people's personal pages so that they could indicate if they give permission for a named admin or a specific project to upgrade their results? In many cases I have e-mails from project members who've given me permission to upgrade their results but it would be helpful if there were some facility to have the permission permanently recorded on their personal pages.

            Comment


            • #21
              Feeders and payers

              A number of the existing haplogroup projects are collectors and feeders to other haplogroups. R1b feeds members to the U106, P312, L21 series of projects as an individual confirms their haplogroup via SNP testing. This purges the tested from the untested. We don't want to see this restricted going forward.

              For kits that I have fully funded I made it clear to the individual that I reserve the right to order additional genealogical tests needed for my investigations. For many of these kits the individual doesn't care or have an interest in the results. For maybe half of them this was established verbally at various family reunions. I don't see the utility of placing a 3rd party in the mix when they don't have the contextual history of the testing agreement.

              TRUST your admins. FTDNA doesn't have the resources to monitor all transactions as a participating party. Ethical guidelines are appropriate. Operational guidelines can become onerous and self defeating.


              If FTDNA has that much employee time floating around a bunch of other activities - like getting the Big-Y results downloaded - should be functional.

              Comment


              • #22
                External website transition

                Originally posted by Rebekah Canada View Post
                Hi,

                Could you all please read the latest version of our GAP Guidelines? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
                http://www.familytreedna.com/learn/p...tdna-projects/
                re
                >>All websites that are currently (as of March 1, 2014) externally hosted will be transitioned to a Family Tree DNA landing page that links to the external site.<<

                Several of my surname projects use the WorldFamilies network as the project site shown to those searching for projects.
                Most, if not all, also have a public FTDNA website already set up where the FTDNA up to date results are available.
                I hope that any transitioning checks whether or not there is already a FTDNA public site available rather than automatically creating new ones, or overwriting the existing ones to insert the stated link to the existing WFN sites.

                Comment


                • #23
                  GAP guidelines changes

                  Originally posted by DevonHistorian View Post
                  ...

                  2) This sentence is inappropriate: "Represent Family Tree DNA as the testing company of choice...". We are not paid by Family Tree DNA. Family Tree benefit from the huge amount of work that group administrators put in working as a volunteer unpaid sales force. I believe we have a duty to offer our project members impartial advice on DNA testing. If in some circumstances that means recommending that someone tests elsewhere that should be our prerogative....
                  ...
                  4) In the section about adding project members to other projects it should be clarified that admins must get permission before adding people to projects. Many people have difficulty joining projects and need the help of admins to do this. We should not be banned from doing so.
                  ...
                  6) Finally a suggestion. Could some sort of update box be added to people's personal pages so that they could indicate if they give permission for a named admin or a specific project to upgrade their results? In many cases I have e-mails from project members who've given me permission to upgrade their results but it would be helpful if there were some facility to have the permission permanently recorded on their personal pages.
                  Endorsing the above responses in particular.

                  Many of the members of my projects aren't in the least interested in dna and have agreed to test for the benefit of their surnames/family history.
                  Many are technically challenged and could not easily do what comes naturally to admins, changing/adding projects, ordering upgrades.
                  Yes, permission is sought and explained, but that doesn't help them do the computer work.

                  Love the suggestion of a permissions facility on their personal pages, as I'd be wading back through about 7 years of emails to find each individual permission.
                  eg can project admin alter my projects
                  can project admin upgrade my results
                  restrict each of these to specific person Y/N [insert name/email address or whatever here]

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Comments on new guidlines

                    "Group Administrators are required to have a DNA Project website hosted on a Family Tree DNA server."

                    Does that mean that results will now HAVE to be displayed on FTDNA, even though they are currently on both WorldFamilies and my own personal web-pages?

                    The above is confusing because then they say:
                    "All websites that are currently (as of March 1, 2014) externally hosted will be transitioned to a Family Tree DNA landing page that links to the external site."

                    FTDNA already links to WorldFamilies. Does that mean results will both be at FTDNA AND have the link to WF? The main reason I don't like the FTDNA website is that it's hard to get members to put in any earliest ancestor. I can usually get that information from them (and list it at WF) but at FTDNA (if they require that a project be posted there) they will just show as a kit number and results.

                    Personally, I hate looking at surname results for a project at FTNDA that has 100 results, and maybe 10 or so have an earliest ancestor. One of those might be my ancestor, but you would never know it from the lack of anything identifying the line. Those results/project are useless to anyone that has the surname in their ancestry, unless they are of the surname and have tested to see their matches. Too many of the results pages at FTDNA are exactly that. Results but no ancestry attached.

                    My fear is that if it is required to have results at FTDNA, that some people will look at the results there, see a lack of earliest ancestors for most results, not notice the link to WF, and figure "why test?" 90% of the results don't show who their ancestors are. As an administrator, it is like pulling teeth to get members to fill that out on their personal pages.

                    "A Group Administrator must not charge a fee for participation in the project or access to a project website."

                    This I like. Just recently I came across a surname that the only way to see the results was to pay something like $50 a year to join the surname society and see the DNA results on their webpages. Maybe that's why they are requiring the first part above to have results on FTDNA (if I read it properly). I think rather than requiring that results be on FTDNA, they should just be required to be on a PUBLIC website.

                    "Therefore, a Group Administrator must make a serious effort to recruit participants."

                    One problem is that some Rootsweb message board administrators (and mail list administrators) refuse to allow anything about DNA to be posted, and delete such messages from the archived pages. Contacting people individually has been seen by some as SPAM, and also a violation of message board usage in "harvesting" their e-mail that they publicly listed. In many cases "actively recruiting" goes against the rules of places you try to recruit them, as the administrators there view it as favoring/promoting one company, and individuals view a personal e-mail to them as SPAM, and threaten to report you to your ISP if you contact them again.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      In my humble opinion, the better route is to state it on every DNA project that by joining a DNA project the participant is giving his or her permission for the project to upgrade their DNA tests.

                      Participants do not "have" to join a project, they want to join a project for the greater good of knowledge in most cases. No one is forcing anyone to join a project, but I think it is a far easier solution for FTDNA to specifically state it on every DNA project that the project reserves the right to do upgrades on existing tests.

                      If it is a Y DNA project as an example, that by joining that Y DNA project you are here by given notice that the project you are joining has your expressed permission to upgrade your Y DNA test, which may include additional SNP testing.

                      @FTDNA, I recieve and respond to 100's if not a couple 1000 of emails a year with genealogical and DNA queries, I simply can not keep tract of every permission given to me.
                      This may work for smaller projects and for Admin's not so deeply involved in genealogy as I am, but I am not the average Admin.

                      I am also the Admin of 3 surname email lists and related message boards, I am Admin of a private facebook page related to my surname in regards to genealogy and DNA, and I run the worlds largest and oldest Lock / Locke genealogy web site that has been online since 1997.
                      To require me as Admin to keep track of old emails giving me expressed permission to do upgrades on participants of my project while not at all impossible, but makes my life more difficult as Admin.

                      I don't think you understand just how many emails I would have to sort through to find that one email giving me permission to do upgrades. And my saved emails will only be saved for so many years and my email server automatically deletes emails after a certain date.

                      The only way for me to save emails giving me permission is to copy those emails and save them in a text file, which I can easily do, but it another thing for me to keep track of, like I don't already have to many irons in the fire as it is lol.

                      For me the easiest solution is to make it an FTDNA rule, you join a DNA project, you are then giving that project your expressed permission to do upgrades on existing tests.
                      If you do not agree to those terms, do not join the project.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Donald Locke View Post
                        In my humble opinion, the better route is to state it on every DNA project that by joining a DNA project the participant is giving his or her permission for the project to upgrade their DNA tests.
                        While I might like it if someone paid to upgrade my father's or my cousin's test, I'm not certain group administrators should be able to do it without the express permission of the kit owner. Suppose the person who tested has passed away and there is only one vial of his/her DNA left in storage. The kit owner might be wanting to leave that vial untouched for future developments in DNA testing and might be dismayed, if not downright angry to find that group administrators had used up all the stored DNA without their knowledge!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          As far as testees listing their earliest ancestor is concerned, I as admin do that after having thoroughly researched the testee's ancestry from scratch myself to make sure it is correct. No one has ever complained. As well as ensuring that the earliest ancestor is displayed, I use a standard format e.g. "Joseph Bloggs 1721-1803 Cheriton, Kent, England".

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The GAP Guidelines look thorough and appropriate to me.

                            However, I do see validity to concerns raised about presenting proof for authorization/permission to purchase test upgrades in cases where arrangements or an understanding were made in the past.

                            I've never had a project member turn down an offer for a free test upgrade. Not too many people would refuse. Yet, as noted, too much freedom runs the risk of using up the last of a customer's irreplaceable DNA. Careful consideration of options is needed in establishing rules for this.

                            Going forward: It's not a perfect solution -- but similar to filling out beneficiary information -- customers could check a box giving permission on their FTDNA page if they approve free testing in case they or a beneficiary can no longer be reached (e.g., invalid e-mail address and disconnected phone). They could list testing wishes, such as prioritizing Y-DNA, mtDNA, and aDNA. To guide customers in making these choices, it would help to include a notice for customers to consider not only what future testing may be needed or desired, but also the availability of DNA for that individual or family line. (If such an option were available right now, I would fill it out for my father and list Y-DNA as a sole priority for any future testing with his limited remaining DNA.) This would help mitigate a future problem of abandoned accounts due to deceased customers with no available beneficiary. It would be great for project administrators to have options in these cases.

                            By far, my primary administrative work and passion is for an mtDNA project (Haplogroup I), which makes it a no-brainer to present FTDNA as the testing company of choice and promote upgrades. So, no conflicts there.

                            Martha (Schliesser) Hicks

                            ------

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Big Projects?

                              I would like to see comments from administrators of some of the very large regional and haplogroup projects. It would be helpful to know how the proposed guidelines on permissions, privacy, test recommendations and use of the results would affect the goals of those projects. Ireland's YDNA and R1b-U152 come to mind.

                              Jim

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I will not LIE!

                                I wonder what guidelines FTDNA requires of their customers. I wonder what the guidelines are for their employees.

                                If FTDNA is going to tell me that I have to LIE to project members or anyone else, they can remove me as a project admin today!!! If FTDNA is not my company of choice for a particular person I'll tell that person who is and why.

                                I'm a volunteer. They didn't buy me!

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