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Collaboration on a private website

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My brother and I who live across the USA from each other want to collaborate on my data base. We want to confirm that the data is correct before uploading it to a public website. We want to work on small groups of people, when we feel its ready then upload it to a public website, like Rootsweb Worldconnect. We're open to other options where we can work on the database together.

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This is an excellent way to work together on a family genealogy, but it takes great discipline. Assuming you both have TMG, you could do this but it must be done very carefully to keep everything synchronized. There are many ways to do that, what follows are just two suggestions.


I would recommend having one of you assigned as maintaining the "master" project. In that master you could create a Flag that would identify which of you was working on which person, maybe values of "?, J, M" where '?' is the default, and 'J' for James and 'M' for Mary. Based on that flag and the secondary output of a List of Persons report you could create new (sub)projects for each of you to work on. I would highly recommend you not try to work on the same people at the same time. Doing that is what causes synchronization problems. Then these subprojects could be opened and a backup produced to ship to each other. When one of you has done a first cut, then they ship the latest subproject backup to the other for review. When you both agree, the subproject is merged (very carefully) into the master project.


Alternatively, one of you could agree to do all the data entry into the master database. Then you could use the flag mentioned above and Second Site to produce web pages for each subset of people. Then you just e-mail detailed notes about proposed changes back and forth to each other until the one doing the data-entry catches up with the changes and produces a new set of web pages.


While TMG is designed to let you put the project on a single server and have both of you login to that server and both work on it at once, this is probably not feasible if you are on opposite sides of the continent.


There are advantages and disadvantages with these and any collaboration methods. You will need to decide what works best for you and your brother.


Good luck, and be very rigorous with your agreements on how you will both work.

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Another option is to use the new version of MyFamily.com. One person would be the maintainer of the actual TMG database which would be on their computer. The MyFamily.com site has the ability for you to upload a tree using gedcom that only members of your site can see. It also has a discussion forum that is private. You can discuss the specifics about your research in the forum. The one who is responsible for maintaining the data can do that as the decisions are being made. This will document the process if you ever need to go back to it. The site also gives you the option of uploading files and document scans which can help with the research.

Edited by treehstn

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