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Matthew_F

Lives of the First World War launch - February 2014

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Matthew_F

Hi all,

A bit of news with regards to Lives of the First World War - we'll be launching the site to the public next February at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at London Olympia, which is taking place from the 20-22 February 2014.

You'll be able to access the site online from that date, and at the show we'll have the IWM team there (if you want to come and chat to us about the project, ask any questions etc), demos of the site, and some unique show offers (which will be putting full details up about in the near future). There's a bit more information here if you're interested:

http://www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org/latest-news.php

Would be great to hear if anyone is thinking of going to WDYTYA Live 2014 (or has been in the past) - any feedback on the kind of things you'd like to hear about from us on the day, any workshops or talks you went to in previous years that you found particularly helpful or interesting etc.

Look forward to hopefully meeting some of you in person then. Hopefully you're as excited as we are for the launch in February.

Matthew

IWM

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keithmroberts

As far as our part in heling the project to launch - watch this space, probably for a specific request for offers of help as soon as the festive season closes.

Keith

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lukesmith

Hi Everyone,

I'd just like to echo Keith's point. Prior to launch, we will be asking for help, here on the forum. We'll post details here in run up to New Year and assistance will be required in January / February.

As Matthew says above, we are launching at WDYTYA live on the 20th February. We will then be measuring activity, listening to users and improving the system in the run up to big public interest from Summer 2014. By next Summer we aim to have significant numbers of rich and reliable life stories -- so we will need some help before 20th February and a lot more over the following months.

Also, apologies for being absent from the forum lately. You all know how complex this project is, and we've been working hard on all the many technical, data related, historical, genealogical and legal aspects to this project. As I've said before, we are determined to get this right and we will.

many thanks,

Luke (Smith)

IWM

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E Wilcock

Luke and other experts, I am not sure where to post this.

One proposal for Lives of the Great War is that those of us with pre-existing sites for particular units should be able to link to names on our websites.

Being unfunded, my own website is on a free Google sites - and is classified as public. That is anyone can read it and when people search for their grandfathers or find a medal card with a service number, they reach my site.

Yesterday it seemed that the PRO wifi system blocked access to my site. I reported it at the time and was asked to contact their web people about this which I hope I managed to do using the on line form last night. I hope it will be remedied.

I am used to taking an old netbook with me and being able to consult my own site to check names while working in the Public Record Office - I have an alternative as I have an Access database and documents to refer to on my netbook as well.

But the people who e-mail me about their family members with 840*** service numbers and go to the PRO and other archives, dont hold my files. They really need access to the site where I have posted the information. And I dont know whether the blocking at the National Archives means that the IWM project will block my own and other sites too?

I do not know whether the new restrictions are for security reasons or commercial reasons. Are the commercial partners of the public archives starting to restrict website access to information unless it is uploaded to their own systems?

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David_Underdown

You're conflating two very different things. There are web filters on the free public wifi (and the PCs in the reading rooms and public cyber cafe area), it is most likely that your site is simply regarded as "uncategorized" by the web filter (as I understand the filter takes information given by all its various users around the world on the categories that might apply to a website), and such sites are blocked by default on the public access network at TNA. Now you've asked for the site to be looked at by the security team, it will either be "whitelisted" (ie specifically allowed), or be placed into an appropriate categorisation which is allowed. The blocks are simply for security reasons, to avoid damage to our network from malicious sites (and also to prevent readers from blaming us for damage done to their machines from something picked up while using our network). I'm not aware of any specific commercial reasoning behind any block (though I suspect sites categorised as hosting material that infringes copyright would be banned).

Links from one website to another are an entirely different kettle of fish, and that's what you're looking at with Lives (again so long, I imagine, as you're not actually hosting material that infringes copyright), so simply linking to another website that already tells the story of a particular individual should not be a problem, even if it inclues infromation effectively derived from a commercial source. If however you've put online large numbers of images obtained from those service which might be in breach of copyright and/or the terms of use of those services you might ahve problems. Not so much because Lives will block you as such, but because the increased attention from the link might mean the commerical service is more likely to take action against you.

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paul leeson

Hi

Is the launch of this - see first post - still set for this weekend ??

paul

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ss002d6252
Is the launch of this - see first post - still set for this weekend ??

Post #3 states 20 Feb 14 for the launch

Craig

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Timbob1001

A question for the IWM team (and apologies if this has been asked and answered)….

I am running a HLF-funded project in rural Somerset and part of the very wide brief is researching and writing very detailed bios of casualties on the local war memorials with a view to holding an exhibition, producing a book, teaching packs for the schools etc. My team are keen to send on the bios to the LOFWW project int he long term and a query has come up. Many men are listed on multiple war memorials scattered across the West Country - if other groups are doing the same as us which biographical study gets precedence or will someone at the IWM be doing quality control and merging biographies with a view to having the most accurate entry….

Hopefully not too odd a question!

Tim Moreman

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David_Underdown

Tim,

I think the IWM team are going to be pretty busy at Who Do You Think You Are Live for the next 3 days, so it may take them a little while to pick this query up.

My understanding, for that's worth, is that there will be a single page for each man, based largely on the available official data. It's intended to be a collaborative process, and information needs to be backed up by references (somewhat like Wikipedia, though the editing process should generally be more strcutured). I think on top of this there can be a process for bulk uplaod of data from reearch projects, so this may be more the area you are interested in.

Ultimately the fulelst and most accurate picture is likely to come from combining parts of the information from all such bits of research: one parish magazine might fill in a gap elsewehre, or even provide the missing link which allows full identification to be made unequivocally eg magazine from Village A reports that Joe Bloggs, who moved to the village in 1913 (ie after 1911 census) from Vilalge B, has joined up.

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Timbob1001

Thanks David - v. interesting. All in all a mammoth editing task for some unfortunate - if the project gets a big response I cannot see how this is going to get done in short order….

Tim

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David_Underdown

Well, I beleive to start with you can also simply add links to pages outside the system, which is what I intend to do to start with for the men I've already written up on http://halfmuffled.wordpress.com: while for the ones where I haven't done tht much yet, I'll continue within Lives as it will hopefully be quicker to create the links to service records, census info, etc than I've been finding doing it manually.

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paul leeson

hi

Did any one go to the launch??

Do we know when the site will go live now ??

Thank you.

Paul

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Chris_Baker

On a short video from the WDYTYA show, Luke Smith said the launch was to be in May.

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dagraves79

I am not surprised this slipped a little. There is a lot to think about for the team.

My own project has elements in common with this one, hence mine has slipped by a month. I intended on soft launching this week, but it's half term week and so, the person who controls the server side is away. They'd have sorted out the various DNS redirects to get the correct and final URL pointing to the site, rather than me sending people to an inhouse URL that then ends up being publicised by word of mouth...killing our marketing buzz and leading to lots of unhappy people when it finally changes.

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rolt968

I was at WDYTAL. The much advertised military presence was actually smaller than last year. IWM were there and their people were talking about Lives on their stand, but I didn't see any big launch.

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paul leeson

Thanks Guys

Glad I did not miss it. Best to wait a bit longer so as when it is launched it all works ok.
Paul

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Matthew_F

Hi all,

Apologies for the slow response here - as David had mentioned we'd been very busy with WDYTYA (and all the work that came out from that!).

As Dagraves mentioned, the project is a huge undertaking and we want to make sure the site is as easy to use and rewarding as possible for people like yourselves, so we'd moved the launch date to allow us to improve the site based on the feedback we got from demo-ing the site at WDYTYA back in February. While we don't have a concrete date we're able to mention for the launch yet it is highly likely to be mid-May.

Ahead of that date, we'd love for some (or all!) of you to be involved in helping us to test the beta version of the site. If you're interested (and didn't get the opportunity to sign up at WDYTYA) I can add you to the list to be invited to get early access ahead of May. That will give you a chance to have a go at using the site, and you'll also get access to premium record sets that users will have to pay to view from when we launch in May. We'd love to get your feedback if possible, so that we can improve the site, and

If you're interested feel free to send me a private message on here, and I'll look at adding you to the list.

Thanks,

Matthew
IWM

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Neil Mackenzie

Matthew

I suspect you will get quite a few PMs as as a result of the above post.

You were in Members2 which has a limit on the number of Personal Messages that could be stored so I have moved you to a different membership group which has no limit.

If you have any problems please contact us.

Neil

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Matthew_F

Matthew

I suspect you will get quite a few PMs as as a result of the above post.

You were in Members2 which has a limit on the number of Personal Messages that could be stored so I have moved you to a different membership group which has no limit.

If you have any problems please contact us.

Neil

Brilliant, thanks for that! Hopefully there'll be a good take up, I'd hope that the platform will be really interesting and useful for yourselves, and feedback from the Great War Forum would be a huge help to us in developing Lives of the First World War.

Matthew

IWM

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MartinWills

My initial thoughts on accessing beta release was that it will take some time to find my way around. I was also disappointed that it is not currently possible to challenge incorrect info even from official sources - eg the mis-transcribed MIC that results in someone being commissioned in 1917 into the RAF ........ I guess some of these options will appear in the future.

None the less it will keep me busy for some time to come exploring the options!!

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Neil Mackenzie

I am struggling to add new information to be honest.

My 'test subject' is Frank Ridley Ingrams as his is a great story and his name is quite unusual so he has a unique record. I know his DOB from the WO 339 record but could not see how to add that in. I tried to 'improve' his DoB record but it just takes me to the top of the Add to Life Story page and it is not clear what I do from there.

I would also like to add in his WO339 reference - can I do that or would IWM have to do that?

Thanks

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Matthew_F

I am struggling to add new information to be honest.

My 'test subject' is Frank Ridley Ingrams as his is a great story and his name is quite unusual so he has a unique record. I know his DOB from the WO 339 record but could not see how to add that in. I tried to 'improve' his DoB record but it just takes me to the top of the Add to Life Story page and it is not clear what I do from there.

I would also like to add in his WO339 reference - can I do that or would IWM have to do that?

Thanks

Hi Neil,

Firstly you would need to connect the source the his life story, before you can add facts like his DOB from the source.

In order to do that, you could either search our official records and adding it through there (if the record is held in the current record sets on the site), or you can add this as an external source. Once you've added the source, this should appear listed under the "improve" bar, beneath the medal index card. You can then click on that and start adding facts from the source.

If you're still have problems adding the information feel free to drop me a private message on here and I can chat to you further.

Thanks,

Matthew

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Matthew_F

My initial thoughts on accessing beta release was that it will take some time to find my way around. I was also disappointed that it is not currently possible to challenge incorrect info even from official sources - eg the mis-transcribed MIC that results in someone being commissioned in 1917 into the RAF ........ I guess some of these options will appear in the future.

None the less it will keep me busy for some time to come exploring the options!!

Hi Martin,

The ability to challenge incorrect info is one of the features that the development team are working on at the moment, I can't give an exact deadline on when they will be completed but when we introduce new features like that we'll be communicating that to you through the site, so that you'll be notified once you can start using this.

I hope that helps!

Thanks,

Matthew

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spof

Hi Neil,

Firstly you would need to connect the source the his life story, before you can add facts like his DOB from the source.

In order to do that, you could either search our official records and adding it through there (if the record is held in the current record sets on the site), or you can add this as an external source. Once you've added the source, this should appear listed under the "improve" bar, beneath the medal index card. You can then click on that and start adding facts from the source.

If you're still have problems adding the information feel free to drop me a private message on here and I can chat to you further.

Thanks,

Matthew

Matthew

The problem with trying to add an external source is that, at the moment, is that only online references are permitted.Without a URL, no service records, medal rolls or other documents like that can be added. The requirement for a URL needs to be removed.

Glen

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David_Underdown

For a WO 339 record you could link to the appropriate catalogue reference in Discovery.

I do agree thought hat there needs to be something between external resource and personal knowledge which allows for information in sources in offline sources to be added. Whether that be to references to local newspapers, parish magazines etc which are not online, books etc.

For the case mentioned above where someone was apparently commissioned in the RAF before its formation, you could find the relevant London Gazette entry and link that as an external resource and improve the data, without "challenging" the information from the MIC. I used effectively that approach to remove (I think succesfully) the hypen from Ralph Vaughan-Williams' surname (he was Vaughan Williams, no hyphen).

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