Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Gigantic Whinge

The aim of Free Census is to provide an accurate transcription of the pages of the Enumerators' books. To that end we transcribe "as is". This is the so-called Golden Rule of Free Census. Just by chance the other day, I noticed a little girl called Olive E Smith, born in Lydiard Tregoze. But the Enumerator had written Oliff E Smith born Liddiard Tregooze. That is what the transcriber should have written.

When I start new checkers off, I always state what seems obvious to me. Checkers must try and identify AND then fix the transcriber's errors. In the case of Oliff, the checker detected the error and left me a note. This is NOT correct practice. The checking software allows you to do many things and all but one field can be corrected. Only the transcriber's notes cannot be edited by a checker.

My final whinge for today concerns communication. Emails must be one of the easiest and fastest systems of global communication yet invented. Why then, do I not get regular emails from volunteers? All you have to do is drop me an email every month or couple of months telling me what you are doing. It would be nice if you had a subject line - NWOCP 1287 would tell me at once what you are working on. For transcribers, just say your piece has 253 images and you are working on image 157. For checkers it can be more accurate. Under Options you can select review progress. This tells you exactly how many records you have, how many you have done and how many are left. You just cut and paste this into your email.

Finally, if you don't want to do what you have volunteered to do - then please, oh please, tell me. There will be no hard feelings. Although the task is quite easy to carry out, it can be a pain. Lots of people drop out - for all sorts of reasons. Just let me know and return the disc.

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