Thursday, 4 October 2012

How to waste our time

Every day people write comments to my blog attempting to put a link in the comments which I suppose they think will raise the ranking of their site. It's a waste of their time, mine in deleting them, and of those of other posters who have to struggle to get past the security to leave a comment.

Yesterday something different happened, someone sent an anonymous posting commenting on Diane Rogers' comment on the post on the Canadian voters lists made available by Ancestry. Unfortunately it contained language I choose not to have appear on the blog. That comment disagreed with Diane's view, but Blogger doesn't give me the option to edit that comment, I can only accept or reject it.

I also have a different perspective from Diane. Ancestry's initiative in making an albeit imperfect indexed version of the voters lists available is a significant achievement. It's something LAC has not done, perhaps they didn't have the resources, perhaps they didn't choose to give it the priority. However, now thanks to Ancestry there's greater access.The resource is conveniently available to subscribers, and to folks who can go to one of many public access sites such as subscriber public libraries, family history centres and some society libraries. This does not take away from the access previously available at LAC or through microfilm and ILL, it adds to it.

I've no knowledge about the arrangement between Ancestry and LAC. Ideally public government data should be available for commercial exploitation for the marginal cost of making it available, and on a non-exclusive basis. There may be occasions when a time limited exclusive basis might be appropriate.

As for providing a facility for making corrections, why not? Transcription errors always occur. Nobody is forcing anyone to enter changes, but many like to be helpful and Ancestry is providing a facility.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I looked at the Voters Lists on Ancestry, but was unable to see a means of making corrections.

Alex MacGregor said...

To submit a correction to the Voters Lists, assuming you are on an image page, select "Return to Search Results"(upper left). Then select "View Record" for the entry you want to correct. From the "Page Tools" box, select "Add Alternate Information" and fire away.

David said...

I was at the Toronto Public Library today and while I could search the lists, no images showed up. It maybe a TPL issue as I have had similar problems in the past with other images.
Though I was able to see images from other searches.