WikiTree Improves Its Privacy Tools

[Editor’s note: the following press release was received from Elyse Doerflinger who is the WikiTree Evangelist at WikiTree]

WikiTree Makes its Privacy Tools Easy to Use

January 17, 2010:

Today WikiTree is announcing the release of a new feature that makes its unique privacy tools more user-friendly. This represents a significant enhancement in the website’s defining blend of private family history and large-scale public collaboration.

WikiTree connects living people and distant ancestors on one worldwide family tree. Users can confidently include personal photos, memories, and family details while gaining the benefits of public sharing and wiki editing. The key is what WikiTree calls “Trusted Lists”. Profile Managers decide who can access and edit each individual profile, and they control how much of each profile should be visible to those outside the Trusted List. It is an uniquely powerful set of tools, but new users have had trouble understanding what information can be seen by whom.

Genealogy technology expert Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers explained the problem in his November review of WikiTree: “As I entered information such as birth dates, it always appeared for me and I didn’t know what a non-member of WikiTree would see.  I had to log out to understand what this view would look like.” This led him to recommend that WikiTree add a “preview or a public view function.”

WikiTreers now have this public view function. They can easily toggle back and forth between the private view, for themselves and others on the Trusted List, and the public view that everyone else sees. If they change a privacy setting, they can instantly see its effect.

About WikiTree: WikiTree’s mission is to create a rich worldwide family tree resource by striking the perfect balance between collaboration and privacy. It gives families a free and easy way to privately share information and organize their facts, memories, and photos. At the same time, it enables distant relatives and strangers to grow a worldwide family tree and create a valuable resource for future historians. WikiTree was started in 2008 by Chris Whitten, the creator of WikiAnswers – one of the top 50 websites in the US. Content on WikiTree is owned and edited by its contributors. Join the free community at

Disclosure statement: I have no material contacts with WikiTree or its creator, Chris Whitten; however I have reviewed the WikiTree product and have interviewed Chris Whitten in the past here at GeneaBloggers. To review the other material connections I have with genealogy vendors, please see Disclosure Statements.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

3 thoughts on “WikiTree Improves Its Privacy Tools

  1. Thanks for posting this, Thomas. You rock.

    We love feedback. It’s how we improve. If anybody has questions, comments, or suggestions on WikiTree, please post them here or e-mail me (chris -at-

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