It's been available for a long time, but I'm not sure it does any good any more, since I've also shared many of my brick walls and questions in forum postings and here on my blog. I've also gone through every single family line and shared it here, so I don't think all my research on my entire family needs to be available online any longer.
Of course, I do hope people look up names and connect with me to ask questions, but sometimes I received some rather silly questions off my Rootsweb tree. Sometimes people asked if I had any sources, when all my sources were available for anyone to read. Sometimes people tried to append more data to the tree. If I wanted the data there, I would have added it myself - because my ancestors are mostly from New England, most of this is very easy to find. That was mildly frustrating, because I stated very clearly on the family tree that people could contact me directly.
But when I was having lunch with one of my associates in the Next Generation Genealogy Network another matter came up that had me mulling it over - people who take and use data for themselves, without crediting the original source.
I do believe the genealogy community is extremely helpful, communicative, and generous. However, there are times when people overstep their bounds. Maybe they don't realize they are doing it. It's truly unfortunate when it happens.
Overall, I decided ten years of having the tree available was enough. I do believe it is easy for people to locate me in connection with any of my ancestors and I will, as always, gladly share information. I do think having family trees out there is great, but when it becomes just one of many, maybe it really doesn't help anyone anyway.
What do you think?
Copyright (c) 2013 Wendy L. Callahan