Monday, September 29, 2014

Closing of Family Wiki on Wikispaces

For some years now we have had a family wiki on Wikispaces, but we were recently told that it would have to close. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, as it will result in numerous broken links, which we will try to fix when we discover them, but we don't have time to go looking for them.

This is the notice that we received from the owners of Wikispaces:

Today we announced on our blog that Wikispaces is no longer offering a free wiki option for non-education wikis. is currently not categorized as an education wiki and it is on our free plan. In order for it to remain active, it must be categorized as an education wiki or upgraded.
We are notifying you, as you are an organizer of this wiki.
If you no longer use this wiki, you may ignore this email.
Otherwise you may categorize this wiki as an education wiki, pay for this wiki, or export the contents of this wiki for use offline or on another service. To make your choice please visit the following link:
If you take no action this wiki will be deleted in no fewer than 30 days.
If you have any questions please let us know.
The Wikispaces Team
We have downloaded the contents of the site, as they suggested, in WikiText, PDF and HTML formats, just to save the work that had been done on it. Maybe one day we may look for a new host for it, but that is not a high priority, because having a family wiki didn't seem to work too well, and it achieved nothing that could not be done with our family history blog.

When we started it, we thought it might give an opportunity for collaborative family history, with a group of people contributing information, family stories and more. We hoped that others would be moved to start family wikis for their own families, in which shared family members could be linked.

But somehow this never worked out.

Though our family wiki seemed to get about 50-80 visitors a day, it was very rare indeed for any of them to contribute anything to it, or even leave a message to say that they had visited and found, or not found, what they were looking for. It seems that for most people, wikis are not a good way of collaborating, and most prefer things like blogs and mailing lists -- we've certainly had far more interaction on those that we ever had on the wiki.Some even like to use Facebook, though that seems to be altogether the wrong medium for such a purpose.

So we won't be looking for a new home for the wiki any time soon, but we'll keep the archives as a memento.

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