1) On Ancestry.com Member Tree Changes (posted 11 August 2013):
* Elizabeth H. said: "I noticed this suggestion to try out the new feature and chose to click on it today to try it out. I like this new feature because I can see the details of a person without clicking all the way into the person's edit page.
"One aspect that you didn't note is that if you hover your cursor between the tree and the "preview card" in the right-hand column, a thick green line appears. If you click it, that individual preview column "hides." You can make it reappear by moving your cursor to the far right and finding and clicking on that thick green line again."
"Overall, I like it, because it gives me more information about an ancestor when I'm on the tree page, as well as the opportunity to review hints without leaving the tree page. For a short while, I was concerned about the loss of space when viewing the tree, but then I discovered that when you hover to the left of the new profile panel, a green bar appears; click the bar, and the panel closes. Move your mouse over to the far right of the page, and the green bar appears again; this time, when you click it, it will open the panel."
"My second impression was: 'Hmmm, maybe that's not a really good idea. Don't we want users to thoughtfully add Hints to their tree, and add sources too?' But then, adding the Hint does add a source (albeit of not Evidence Explained quality).'
"I agree with your reservation with an additional reason: it skips the step where one has access to the actual image (where available) of the item that will be saved-to-tree. I advocate **always** looking at the image, where there may be a contraindication for saving, or interesting/surprising additional information (in City Directories, maybe occupation or death, or same-surnamed persons living in the same place -- which may or may not be indexed).
"There has been some comment on this new stuff on Ancestry.com message boards. It was first rolled out with a little blue banner saying "see sidebar" but the link did not always work. There appears to have been some twiddling with it."
"Here's a post that at least talks a little about this:
"According to Bruce they intend to make web tags available for more areas of RM in the future.
"I do agree that it takes a lot of clicks to get to and from some of the Web Tags especially the source citation ones and hopefully that will be fixed at some point."
Family Tree Maker has a web tag feature, but my RM tags do not import into it properly. I end up with a number of empty web tag events/facts."
"If a person has come from an academic background (and, after all, isn't that where the whole concept of 'research' comes from?!) or has been trained in that discipline, that writer understands the liberties given in pursuing making one's point:
"+ The writer makes an assertion (hypothesis, thesis, or whatever you want to call it), then writes a defense of that position.
"+ In the body of that defense is usually found several supporting statements, often taken from the academic works of others, usually authorities.
"+ When specific wordings from those older works are used in limited segments by the new writer, they are quoted and attributed to the originator of the statement.
"That's what footnotes are for. They give readers a chance to go back to the source document and check it out to see for themselves if what the subsequent writer has said is correct.
"Those footnotes also help notify other new researchers of the specifics of older works. End result: more people are now informed about that original study and may even purchase the original book or report, if it is available for sale.
"That process is considered an academic license ('fair use') that so many of us in our culture have taken for granted. It is a liberty we have mutually consented to take--even though the original work was copyrighted material. It, in effect, points the way back to that original, groundbreaking study or observation.
"Not so for those of us researching genealogy, if we wish to share a quote from a historic newspaper--if we just so happen to have found that newspaper column via one of the subscription services everyone is discussing.
"The problem here is that it puts a bottleneck on the flow of information, which eventually creates a backflow for which roadblock the typical person will seek a work-around. Unfortunately, these very companies themselves seem only to provide untenable resolutions for this dilemma.
"Granted, the individual user is not one who has the resources to fight monolithic 'powers that be' in the name of fair use. But from all the signs of resentment sparked by bringing up such a topic, it's evident that we still live very much in a culture that still considers it a right to quote with proper attribution--no matter what story the online providers assert grants them otherwise."