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charlie962

Lives of the First World War -subscription Site closing

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charlie962

I have just received this notification.

     5ab4f238c2a8a_livesoftheFirstWorldWarnoticeofclosure.JPG.dae5294dc57b0ee2babf55ef26c604a8.JPG

 

Looks like what was basically a very good idea but spoilt by lack of resorces and 'ownership' is coming to an end. Does anyone know more ?

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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b3rn

I’m a subscriber but not yet had a notification. I appreciate governments’ efforts to digitise and disseminate, but public-private paternerships don’t seem to do great for the public, long-term. 

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keithmroberts

Definitely lacking in clarity. I have a subscription expiring in April, and it seems that unless I renew before the end of the month I would ahve to pay a higher level of monthly subscription.

 

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David_Underdown

No everything is visible, the subscription gives access to sources for which you would always need a subscription (basically it has access to FindMyPast military resources, a selection of censuses 1881-1911, BMDs and a few other things), plus a little bit of extra functionality, primarily the ability to create "communities" which allow you to create groupings of profiles.

 

Anyone (after creating a free account) can attach links to resources elsewhere, and use those as evidence to update the set of facts that can be associated with an individual.

 

For example this is a profile I worked on extensively last year https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/1953275, if you click where it says "Evidence" you'll see all the resources that have been linked to this profile.  At the top is "Official Records" which is things accessed through the site, further down is "External Evidence" where I've linked a range of other material, which I've then used to build up the "Facts" and "Stories", many of which are also combined in the "Timeline" to give you an overview of the life.

 

Once the site has "closed" IWM will be working on the data to provide an ongoing memorial, and a dataset for ongoing research.

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charlie962

The communities idea was good but never exploited as it could have been. A shame.

 

Will FMP leave the links to their records ? (of course one will then need an FMP subscription to see that record.

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David_Underdown

The record ID within Lives seems to match up with the FMP URL structure so I'd imagine they'll be linked up in someway.

 

There was extra functionality for communities that I'd like to have seen, a more location based search for example so could easily communities relating to neighbouring settlements.  It would also have been nice if rather than creating communities for families you could actually have linked one record to another where parents and children each have profiles, or siblings. However there are just over 7000 communities, the most interesting thing that's been done with them is reconstructing the crew musters for every British ship at Jutland.

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charlie962
2 minutes ago, David_Underdown said:

The record ID within Lives seems to match up with the FMP URL structure

Thanks; It does require some sort of ongoing commitment from FMP if they change their 'structure' but since the maintenance of the links can bring extra business to FMP it is in their interest to do so.

 

The Communities could also have benefited from the ability to set individuals in a logical order, to append details of their period of membership and role in that community, to expand on the background of the community etc etc. But not to be.

 

Charlie

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keithmroberts

Yes - although for some of the smaller vessels such as destroyers I think the lists have a long way to go. I set up a community linked to my current research - and to date I have listed 26 Anglican clergymen who served as chaplains and who were either curates, or in two cases the vicars of the Portsea Parish. I have to add one other former curate of Portsea who served as an army officer ( not chaplain)  before returning to clerical duties.

 

Keith

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voltaire60
2 hours ago, David_Underdown said:

 

Once the site has "closed" IWM will be working on the data to provide an ongoing memorial, and a dataset for ongoing research

 

  DU- an important point. There is a difference between "closed" as a commercial gig, with pay walls- and the original version to which people could contribute on an ongoing basis. The latter, I hope, will continue. But it does raise the problem that if it is not somehow funded, then IWM will simply preserve what is there and it will become a fossil site. It is already very much hit-and-miss depending on past efforts and enthusiasms of particular contributors. But as IWM is very, very funding conscious (save on the number of it's board members), then it would be a pity if the failure of the commercial element caused the whole project to be  closed down to further refreshing and expansion.

     Do we have any information on this??

Edited by voltaire60

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suesalter1

I've just signed up for this, although I was a beta tester when the project started. I didn't want to pay the annual subscription, but now paying monthly. I already have subscriptions for Ancestry, Find my Past and the British Newspaper Archive to name but a few. Although the records aren't anything new, I wanted to create a Community for the 40 men I researched who are named on the war memorial where my grandfather lived. I hope some good will come from the work people have contributed and the project won't be consigned to some database that no one can access.

 

Sue

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keithmroberts
1 hour ago, suesalter1 said:

I hope some good will come from the work people have contributed and the project won't be consigned to some database that no one can access.

 

I am pretty confident that access to the stored data will be free, but there will be no further updates, and I suspect that evidence links to FMP will be chargeable, while links to free sources won't be. That is, unless the evidence links are removed from view, which would seem unreasonable.

 

Keith

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stiletto_33853

And do the IWM still claim copyright?? The reason for asking is that when i have helped people on this forum and off forum and supplied them with material including pictures the material conveniently appears on the site a lot of the time, without them having asked permission to use. Hence any pictures I place on this site and elsewhere will now be heavily watermarked.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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voltaire60
51 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

And do the IWM still claim copyright?? The reason for asking is that when i have helped people on this forum and off forum and supplied them with material including pictures the material conveniently appears on the site a lot of the time, without them having asked permission to use. Hence any pictures I place on this site and elsewhere will now be heavily watermarked.

 

Andy

 

   You retain copyright in your own pictures- perhaps you could ask IWM to either withdraw (which I think would be against the grain for you Andy)-or to acknowledge as being from you.  I doubt that you are alone in having this problem. But IWM has over a century of claiming copyright when it comes to charging on materials given to them without copyright permission chucked in-just think of all the officer pictures of the Great War which IWM now claim as theirs-when it is clear they were copies of studio pictures sent in by -usually-grieving family in response to early calls for them- which seem not to mention handing over copyright. Quel surprise.

     Without the capacity to update, then the Lives website is  severely compromised and heading for "Wayback Machine" or similar. The vast majority of the site is merely rejigging other existing databases in the hope of pulling new materials in. Though there are many,many distinguished and good-hearted contributions to the site, the vast majority has nothing new in it at all- which nudegs the chances of it being consigned to oblivion all the more.

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stiletto_33853

As you say "Quelle Surprise" regarding the IWM and copyright issues, just trying to deal with them presently over some material I would like to use. The saying hitting your head against a brick wall comes to mind, and are you from this planet, sigh, oh well that is another matter.

Yes, it would be against the grain, as you say. I have since deleted the pictures and information from the forum. It is all a matter of principle I suppose. If the persons had actually bothered to ask, then sure be my guest, after all we all spend considerable time helping others on here. To have the material downloaded from this and other sites and just plastered on another site without even asking constitutes the height of bad manners and poor taste. As stated any material will be now heavily watermarked which is a shame, not been such a big issue as it is now with sites such as LOTFW appearing.

 

Andy

 

Edited by stiletto_33853

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voltaire60
19 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

The saying hitting your head against a brick wall comes to mind, and are you from this planet, sigh, oh well that is another matter.

 

   Andy-always remember what the IWM building was used for before the Great War- a lunatic asylum. Bear that in mind and everything to do with IWM becomes reassuringly understandable. 

     A pity that what should have been THE pre-eminent Great War project to harness the enthusiasms and interests of the Great War centennial years  has simply been a colossal failure- a back-door policy of trying to create an enduring pay site(=income source) for IWM on the back of people investing time and resources (such as family pics.) for nowt and then being expected to pay for it over again was pushing things a bit far.  So it will be effectively binned.  Plenty of work out there that could have gone  on the site in due course  but short-term greed and colossal mismanagement have prevailed. Trying to use the public's own materials and labours to run a pay site  -well, the pigs refused to be driven to market.

   

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Guest

I really could not have put it better myself voltaire60.

 

Mike

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charlie962
12 hours ago, stiletto_33853 said:

It is all a matter of principle I suppose

The few times I have used someone else's photos for Lives I have asked them and they've always been delighted. It really only takes a moment and omitting this step is inexcusable because the copying of the photo is a deliberate act.

 

The atraction  (USP ? )  of the Lives site was that it covered the survivors as well as the fallen. I'm not aware of another site that does this ?

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Chris_Baker

I was very pleased to be involved in the early discussions about "Lives" and offered whatever advice I could. The concept was interesting and I was quite hopeful, although I have to say that in general I take a rather pessimistic view about the longevity of crowdsourced ventures. (What has happened to "Operation War Diary", for instance?)

 

Disappointment set in soon afterwards, when I found the site that emerged too clunky and burdensome for the user, and that errors made in the medal index cards had been carried over into "Lives". I have scarcely looked at it since and can't see that I would ever pay good money to use it, given that I already have to pay others handsomely for accessing public records. 

 

 

Edited by Chris_Baker

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suesalter1

After reading the latest comments about this site, I have cancelled my monthly subscription and will not be adding anything more to my community pages. I will probably delete the photos of the men I added to the site too.

 

Thanks for helping me  make my mind up about the feasibility of contributing to the Lives of the First World War website.

 

Sue

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voltaire60
1 hour ago, suesalter1 said:

After reading the latest comments about this site, I have cancelled my monthly subscription and will not be adding anything more to my community pages. I will probably delete the photos of the men I added to the site too.

 

Thanks for helping me  make my mind up about the feasibility of contributing to the Lives of the First World War website.

 

Sue

 

  Perhaps  wait and see if the site continues to be open to additions (fingers crossed but not hopeful).  I have 3  local casualties for 9th Essex-I will be checking them quickly to see if you have done them-before they disappear!!

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suesalter1

One of my great-uncle's was in the 9th Essex. Happily he survived the war.

 

Sue

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David_Underdown

Fine if you don't want to continue contributing, but why go to the extra trouble of deleting things?  So far as I recall they basically ask for a licence to photos added to the site, as otherwise they wouldn't strictly be able to keep using them, particularly if migrated to a different format.  From discussions on the Facebook group for community administrators I beleive IWM is committed to ensuring there's a good home for the data.  They're doing quite a lot at the moment, such as the relaunched war memorials data.

 

Operation War Diary is still ticking along, working its way through the diaries.  Working how to reconcile the tagging data, eg different versions of personal and place names has proved a trickier proposition than anticipated which has slowed publication of completed results.

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keithmroberts

It is definitely a clunky site, but although with limited time, I have paid up for the final year, and will try to fill out information about a few of the men I have researched over the years.

 

In reality I will be focussing on men connected to my current research, and to a few  "special" cases that have direct connections, mostly family, but not exclusively so.

 

There are still issues with the search system which is not very friendly to use. Generally, for Army cases I look to see what is on the MIC and most of the identities were apparently seeded from the MICs,  but that isn't so easy for say, officers who never applied for medals, or men who served exclusively in the UK and who were not entitled to medals. I reckon far more of these will be missing because of the way in which identities were gathered.

 

Keith

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charlie962
4 hours ago, David_Underdown said:

From discussions on the Facebook group for community administrators

Thanks for the 'informed' input, David.

 

Facebook remains unknown territory for a luddite like me. The Communities are what could have made Lives.

 

Charlie

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