A GenWeb Host, aka GenWeb coordinator, is an enthusiastic volunteer willing to maintain a website dedicated to a specific Ontario county or district. This position requires:
- Familiarity with County/District including what genealogical resources are available and where they can be found (locally, internationally, online & off)
- Genealogy experience (personal experience is fine!)
- The ability to create & maintain a website (free webspace is available)
- The ability to upload the website via FTP
- The ability to receive & respond to e-mail within 7 days of receipt (not counting holidays or vacations)
If you have the first two requirements, but lack the last three, you fit the bill to be a consultant.
OntarioGenWeb Website Requirements
The following are required to appear on every OntarioGenWeb page:
Rules, Guidelines & Responsibilities
1. A link back to the OntarioGenWeb is a must. Linking to other GenWeb sites (within Ontario, Canada, or the rest of the world) is optional, but recommended
2. GenWeb Logos - One of the CanadaGenWeb logos and one of the Ontario GenWeb logos must appear on the main page (that's a total of two logos).
3. A query page or area available to visitors.
4. Your name and e-mail address
5. Postal addresses and internet links to county related genealogy/historical societies, county or municipal offices, and addresses for vital records and other links of interest to people researching in that area
Creating an OntarioGenWeb Page
1. Pages must be maintained and updated *at least* once every two months to maintain currency.
2. Hosts are expected to check in with the OntarioGenWeb coordinator at least once every two months.
3. Hosts are expected to answer any county-related e-mail that is sent through their GenWeb site if the answer is not currently available on their GenWeb site.
4. Be courteous and respectful when answering mail. Hosts are not just representing themselves and their county/district, they're also a representative of Ontario, Canada, and the World GenWebs
5. Hosts are *not* expected to do any research for any inquirers from their GenWeb page. This is a personal decision and should only be tackled if the host desires to do research for an individual. GenWeb is not a research service, but a helping hand guiding researchers to the records they need for research. We help visitors help themselves by providing the suggestions & advice they need.
6. GenWeb pages *cannot* be used to solicit clients and/or money. GenWeb pages are created for visitors, to help them in their family tree quest for free. If you offer products or services for sale, promote them on a private & completely separate page. You may provide an unobstrusive link to that page from your GenWeb page, but that's it (this link must not be made any more prominent than any other links on your site). GenWeb host status cannot be used to sell products and services. The host title is only acceptable when working on behalf of the OntarioGenWeb in a free and voluntary manner.
7. Please save religious, political or otherwise 'personal' notations for your personal web site, not a GenWeb site
8. Advertising banners that link to or sell commercial products are only permitted if they are a requirement of a web server (such as GeoCities and other such free web servers). Linking to commercial or 'for fee' sites is permitted only if it benefits your visitors, but we ask that the link be clearly labeled. This can be done several ways. A notation such as *This/These sites may offer paid services and is not financially associated with this web site nor the CanadaGenWeb Project* works well. Note that GenWeb sites hosted on a Rootsweb server cannot use commercial banners.
9. Please keep the links on a GenWeb site as relevant to the County/District area as possible, or have county/district related links listed before links to sites that cover other areas. Be sure to specify which links are related to the County/District that is focused upon
Keep in mind, a GenWeb page's purpose is helping long distance genealogists become familiar with "your" county or district, not to further your personal family tree nor to advertise your services.
It is understood that maintaining a web page seems like a monumental task for one person. Don't fret! Feel free to gather a few friends and volunteer for a county/district as a group. If there is currently a consultant covering the county/district you are considering becoming a volunteer for -- feel free to ask them to stay on as a partner/helper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take over an existing site?
Possibly. If all three of the following are a 'yes'...
1 - The site is up for adoption (ie, 'New Host Needed')
2 - The resigning host agrees to let you have the site as is
3 - If you know how to make the appropriate changes to reflect your host status (replacing old host's name & address with your name & address) and know how to update the site (keeping information current)
How do I find out if I can take over an existing site?
When you volunteer to host the site, make mention that you're interested in taking over the site as is. You will be notified whether or not this is possible when OntarioGenWeb replies to your message.
How much time does hosting a site take?
It depends on you. How much time are you willing to put into hosting a site? It's the quality of what you do, not necessarily the quantity, but it is appreciated if you could ensure that your site stays current. The goal of OntarioGenWeb is to provide as much free genealogy information as possible.
The more info you can add, the more you are needed!
What type of information do you expect hosts to provide?
Primarily what's available in their chosen area. If you're hosting Algoma
District, let visitors know what genealogy resources they should use to
research their Algoma ancestors; what resources are 'special' to Algoma;
where in Algoma these resources can be found; and most importantly where
outside of Algoma these resources can be found. Most OntarioGenWeb
visitors are not even located within Canada, let alone Ontario or Algoma
What do I do if I become a host and want to resign?
E-Mail OntarioGenWeb and state your intention to resign. We will go over the options at that time. Please do NOT just abandon the site and do NOT turn it over to another volunteer without e-mailing OntarioGenWeb first!