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Time it takes to administer a project?

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  • Time it takes to administer a project?

    As a person with a direct maternal line coming from Hungary, I've been thinking of volunteering to administer a new geographical project for Hungary, which so far seems to be unrepresented.

    But I've been hesitating about doing this for a couple of weeks now, as I have the sort of job that occupies me for 60-70 hours per week. I wouldn't want to start a project and then let it slide because I didn't have time to manage it properly.

    On the other hand, I really have no idea how much time it takes to manage a project, especially one centered on a comparatively small country such as Hungary. I doubt there would ever be many participants.

    Can any of you experienced administrators give me a sense of how much time it might take to administer such a project? How much time do you spend on your projects?

  • #2
    Originally posted by sabram
    As a person with a direct maternal line coming from Hungary, I've been thinking of volunteering to administer a new geographical project for Hungary, which so far seems to be unrepresented.

    But I've been hesitating about doing this for a couple of weeks now, as I have the sort of job that occupies me for 60-70 hours per week. I wouldn't want to start a project and then let it slide because I didn't have time to manage it properly.

    On the other hand, I really have no idea how much time it takes to manage a project, especially one centered on a comparatively small country such as Hungary. I doubt there would ever be many participants.

    Can any of you experienced administrators give me a sense of how much time it might take to administer such a project? How much time do you spend on your projects?
    Free advice for whatever it is worth:

    Start by defining the project, establishing it, recruiting slowly, and learning as you go. As you become more proficient, the answers to your current questions will become more evident.

    Get a good co-administrator who agrees with you on the project's objectives, whose work style meshes with yours, and whose skills complement yours.

    What do you mean by "Hungary"? This should be about folks who bred with each other, rather than about people whose ancestors lived under the same flag or where the same flag flies now. If you want to do a project for Hungarians, define it as such. If you are ready to deal with Slovaks, Transylvanian Jews, Roma, etc; while excluding Magyars outside present-day Hungary; get ready for time-consuming complications.

    A tentative definitions: Magyars from a defined part of the former Kingdom of Hungary. You do not have the time to deal with everybody who hails from "Hungary". You should be knowledgeable enough to phrase it more appropriately.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Itzhak Epstein
      What do you mean by "Hungary"? This should be about folks who bred with each other, rather than about people whose ancestors lived under the same flag or where the same flag flies now. If you want to do a project for Hungarians, define it as such. If you are ready to deal with Slovaks, Transylvanian Jews, Roma, etc; while excluding Magyars outside present-day Hungary; get ready for time-consuming complications.
      I am the co-administrator of the Polish(-Lithuanian-Belarusian-Ukrainian) project, and I will give exactly the opposite advice.

      It is an extreme insult to tell anyone that despite his family's presence in a country for hundreds or thousands of years, he doesn't "really" belong. This is simply racism.

      I will charitably assume that what the previous poster meant was that you need to define whether your project is primarily ethnic/cultural or geographical/political. If you want your project to cover Magyars, then call it the Magyar Project. If you want it to cover the modern state of Hungary, call it the Hungary or Hungarian Project. But please don't dare to open a Hungarian Project and then refuse membership to Hungarian citizens and their descendants that you consider "not Hungarian enough." There is simply no such thing except in the minds of racists. The insult is more serious if the applicant has no other project to which to go (e.g., Romanians, who currently have no project of their own).

      There are some fine points here, of course. For one thing, openness to applicants is not the same thing as recruitment. So for example, a Hungarian project might indeed consciously decide to aim its recruiting efforts at Magyars, rather than at ethnic minorities who might well prefer to belong to another project anyway. And one might legitimately exclude recent (e.g., since 1870) colonists who never made a serious attempt to join the population at large. In the case of Hungary, one could legitimately exclude Soviet colonists from the Communist period who never really professed loyalty to the Hungarian nation anyway.

      The Polish project apparently started out as an ethnic/cultural project. But when I came along, people were rightly complaining about the tight restrictions on who was "Polish enough." The situation was more insulting because we don't have a clear difference in terms between "an ethnic Pole" and "a Polish citizen".

      I decided to revitalize the project by expanding it to encompass the entire Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian-Ukrainian Republic of the Renaissance. That republic represents, in many ways, the best of our heritage, and also accurately portrays the geographic and even ethnic mixing that did occur.

      Once again, I have no objection to the creation of a Magyar project. But if that is your intention, call it exactly that. Be mindful, though, that limiting yourself to Magyars will not necessarily make your administration any easier. Magyars, like most substantial ethnic groups, comprise multiple haplogroups and even have disparate sub-ethnic histories. For example, if I recall correctly, only a small minority of modern Magyars actually descend from the original Magyars who arrived from central Asia and "shared" their Finno-Ugric language with the existing inhabitants (perhaps Slavs). That ancestrally-Asian minority will have a very different haplogroup and haplotype pattern from the majority indigenous population.
      Last edited by lgmayka; 12 July 2006, 10:28 PM.

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      • #4
        Thanks to both of you for responding and providing helpful advice. My (admittedly rather vague) philosophy about the inclusion/exclusion issue had been simply to let self-identified "Hungarian descent" people join and to encourage them to provide as much specific information as possible about their ethnic origins. In other words, to collect as much data as possible first, and second to organize the information accurately (probably with specific origin and/or ethnicity subcategories for those people who can and who want to provide such information). On the whole--and perhaps I'm missing something--I see no great danger in being overinclusive at the information-gathering stage.

        Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd always imagined that my problem would be finding enough people to join who have ANY relationship to Hungary, and that my project would always be on the small and humble side.

        In any case, I'll consider the issue of a new project further in light of these comments. Thanks to both of you again for your help!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sabram
          Can any of you experienced administrators give me a sense of how much time it might take to administer such a project? How much time do you spend on your projects?
          I wouldn't call myself experienced, but since no one else has answered the question yet I'll give it a shot.

          Most of the time required to administer the project is on the setup and organization. I had mine up in about an hour.

          After that, the project can mostly run on autopilot especially if you do not require new members to get your authorization to join. Basic management amounts to responding to occasional emails: probably much less than an hour a week for a small project.

          If, however, you want to actively grow the project you can spend much more time than that recruiting new members and analyzing data. Even then, not much more than a few hours a week.

          It might be smart to find a willing co-adminstrator right from the start so that if one of you is on tight deadline or is travelling, there is someone left to repsond to questions or deal with issues.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sabram
            Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd always imagined that my problem would be finding enough people to join who have ANY relationship to Hungary, and that my project would always be on the small and humble side.
            By the way, there already is a project called Austria-Hungary:

            http://www.familytreedna.com/surname...1&special=true

            Since it only has 1 member and no web site, I can only suspect that it was artificially created in order to get the FTDNA discount, and has not been marketed or maintained in any way.

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            • #7
              Hungarian/Magyar DNA Project?

              I recently started up the "HungarianBukovina" project, posting a list of the surnames we are interested in. I should add that before starting up the DNA project, we spent about seven years extracting all church records of the five Hungarian villages of Bukovina (plus following up on the descendants). We now have over 70,000 people in the database, and for my 25 year-old cousin, for example, we can show his descendant tree back about 10 generations.

              I feel it is important to have a "mission statement" on your project page, explaining what it is you are trying to accomplish. If people ask to join our project, but have no link to Bukovina or Transylvania, I tell them politely that this is not really the project for them. Usually, I try to suggest another group that meets their needs (possibly yours?)

              One suggestion: if you have a county of origin (such as Bereg, Tolna, Zemplen, Szatmar, etc.) for your own family, you could try starting a page for that. Then include anyone whose ancestors emigrated from that county, regardless of ethnicity, religion, etc.

              Or, if they emigrated to a place in the US. with a large Hungarian community (Cleveland, South Bend Indiana, etc.), you could form a group based on that factor (i.e. "Cleveland Hungarian", or some such.

              If people can't be bothered to find out what county their ancestors came from, then I wouldn't include them until they research it (via the Ellis Island Database, for example). Make sure you set the project up so you (as the administrator) can approve or disapprove a request to join. Otherwise, your project runs the risk of becoming a "catch-all" for a bunch of unrelated stuff and you will go crazy trying to make sense of it all.

              For what it's worth...

              Beth Long

              P.S I had no interest in being an administrator, either, but was "drafted" into it by default. And it's really not that bad, since FTDNA basically organizes all the data for you.

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