I thought about this last night, and at first I thought that maybe our discussions and the transcrip instructions answered most of people's questions.
However, remembering when I first signed on in December, it took me a couple of days (between working, not because i'm that slow!) to figure out that CROWD and History Hub were different portals and had separate log-ins.
I initially found the crowd.loc.gov site via someone's facebook post, so I went directly there and didn't realize it was a subset of a larger entity. ... I transcribed some things, had a question, clicked on discussion or ask a question or whatever, and got confused because I had to sign on again. And my Crowd log-in didn't work.... Then I got aggravated thinking that my transcriptions were lost. Then I realized the discussions happened on a different site. Lots of effort that had me close to quitting, except that this project had a strong draw for me.
And still, when I'm on crowd and want to check something, find a discussion, want to reply, i have to sign in to do it. It bumps me to the sign-in, then I have to search for the string I was about to reply to.
Maybe that's why!
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The community of practice that you are slowly building here (and which we are hoping to guide and encourage) is certainly still a work in progress. However, though you see a limited number of "active" contributors on posts, there are also passive readers. Many of whom (we hope!) come here with a question that has already been asked and answered. We can tell from the website analytics that History Hub get many more views that the number of commenters would indicate. Some people want to participate by creating and adding to the conversation, but it seems many others also benefit by reading the discussions and answers here. That's part of why we were excited to bring this project to a forum space and bring our volunteers questions and insights into the open (rather than corresponding with you only through email).
That said, some By the People volunteers may never visit History Hub. That's where additional work by the community managers, including Victoria and I, comes in. We also support users by answering questions via email and on twitter and gathering their feedback from all sources. We gather your feedback from the conversations here and in those other spaces and feed it all back into our continued development and improvement of the site. For example, we are currently working on a review of the By the People instructions and new volunteer onboarding and hope to make substantial improvements in those areas over the next few months. I also hope you saw our recent updates, several of which were prioritized due to History Hub questions and requests.
We also wish that there could be a single sign on for both websites, but that isn't likely to change anytime soon! For now History Hub is the forum available to us and we are working with our friends at the National Archives who manage the site to continue to improve the ease and comfort of participating here. Comments like both of yours help us think through what improvements we can make within the affordances of the site.
I'm a bit of a lurker myself. Others are asking the great questions, or reminding me of things that I (ahem!) may not have noticed or should be doing myself. And I don't look here every day. But believe me, I read what y'all write, and appreciate you doing some of the legwork of getting questions answered and explaining things so that the rest of us don't have to! Thanks!