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Stalking The Truth

April 01, 2010

NCGenWeb Part 3/5


We do not know how many years Derick Hartshorn has been making accusations of secret, invisible CCs in the NCGenWeb using aliases. We do know that even a deceased former CC had been accused of being alive and using an alias. This was proved untrue however, when I emailed the deceased CC asking them to contact my 7gr-grandmother and find out the names of her parents. I received no reply.

This alias (or was it alien?) conspiracy theory of Derick was passed off as a personality defect, a delusion. Now we find Derick is owed an apology, as the below proves beyond any reasonable doubt that NCGenWeb has had in reality at least one CC acting as an alias, Derick himself.

Mary White



> From: Diane
> To: Mary White
> Sent: March 25, 2010
> Subject: Fw: letter to CCs
>
> Here is the email where Derick sent me the email to
> send
that letter last year to the CC's that you have
> posted on
the blog. Here is the proof that I didn't
> really write
that email.
>
> Diane
>
> > -------Original Message-------
> > From: Derick Hartshorn
> > Date: 9/10/2009 6:16:13 PM
> > To: Diane Siniard
> > Subject: letter to CCs
> >
> > Diane,
> >
> > I tried not to sound like me and to make the letter
> > personal.
> >
> > Here are my suggestions:
> >
> > 1. Send this to EACH CC individually. I know this is
> > a
lot of work but I think that it is necessary. Include
> > it to Warren, Elizabeth and anyone who is no longer
> > on
the List as of 7-1-09.
> >
> > 2. Edit (or use it) as you choose. This is only a
> > suggestion. I tried to make it sound like you but it
> > probably needs some tweaking.
> >
> > Good luck,
> >
> > --Derick

Dear _____

It is now just over short two months since I was elected State Coordinator and a lot has transpired since then. The reason I ran for State Coordinator was because I love the USGenWeb Project and believe in the concept of free Internet genealogy. I love the state of North Carolina and that is where I proudly reside with my family. You may reside in No0rth Carolina or not. Anyway, your decision to sponsor a county here should be a source of personal pride.


When I first explored the possibilities of running for SC, I thought about the many USGenWeb responsibilities I already had in North Carolina, Missouri and elsewhere. I already have over 15,000 web pages that require constant attention and my husband was beginning to question my sanity. Even with a busy family life and young children, I decided that it was worth the added burden if I could help make the NCGenWeb Project the very best of the USGenWeb Projects. And that is why I decided to run for office.

After these past few months, I’m sure you have been subject to a great deal of confusion about our Project and the requirements for being a County Coordinator (or Assistant CC). I know that some of our page hosts, many of whom have been with the Project for a long time, have serious and legitimate concerns. I would like to take a few moments to try and explain where we came from, where we are and where I hope that our NCGenWeb Project will look like in the future.

First off, I knew that I could never perform as your State Coordinator without a good deal of help. For that reason, I have sought the help of folks who have been in the Project for a while. These folks share my goals for excellence. We have formed a Board with a solid structure of contributors. I hope to not only make your goals and tasks easy, it is my firm belief that we share that same sense of responsibility to the Project. I know that you seek the opportunity to share the pride that will result because of our joint contributions and I want to help.

Several folks have expressed suggestions for making the NCGenWeb Project the very best in our national organization. I would like to express their thoughts and include some of my own. These thoughts represent many of the concerns that you, the “front-line troops” have expressed. Let me deal with some of them now.

YOUR INDIVIDUAL PAGE INDEPENDENCE
The pages you now host were probably your own creation and the content was done by you. In the event that you inherited your site, you still have a “pride of ownership.” With that ownership goes the responsibility of maintaining your site, ensuring that it is productive and up-to-date. The USGenWeb Project requires us to be in compliance with their by-laws. In order to do that, you should be adding material to your site as opportunities arise. Rather than impose any time limits to adding material, you should recognize your responsibility to make your pages as attractive as you would want them to be if you were depending on somebody else’s pages for research material.

Any dead links should either be re-established or the link discontinued. “Last-updated” notices should appear on all pages so that web users know the page isn’t dead. The copyright statement, to protect both you and the Project, should be the present year or the date of origination or the inclusion of the statement, “to present.” As an example, “2004-to present.” Search engines can be added, most all of them are free. All pages should have a search engine

NCGenWeb LOGOS
The NCGenWeb Project was established in 1996, shortly after the Project was first established. Since then, we have used a variety of state logos. The first ones were 320 X 240. We need to provide a unique identification of our Project. We all recognize corporate logos like GE and Coke. They use a single visual image to project their corporate identity. Today, the NCGWP uses no less than twelve logos. I strongly believe that we need to make a selection of a single image to represent our Project. I will be happy to receive feedback on whether our membership is comfortable with the board selecting a logo or whether you feel the membership should be a part of this selection process. Please let me know via the ncgenweb@ncgenweb.us list.

WEB SITE HOUSING
As a Project, we addressed the concerns of page owners who were concerned with potential intellectual property conflicts with RootsWeb/Ancestry.com. Nola Duffy provided private web space for all Projects within the NCGenWeb Project. This substantial expense was borne by her with no expectation of recognition or support. To her, we owe a great deal of gratitude for her selfless gestures. Some CCs continue to house their pages on the RootsWeb/Ancestry.com server as is their right. We will continue to support their housing needs, whatever hosts they choose. Likewise, NCGenWeb Project members will always be welcome to move their pages to our dedicated server, should they choose

NCGenWeb INCORPORATION
A good deal has been said about incorporating our project. Each USGenWeb Project member has been free to remain unincorporated or to take a legal step to protect their name and identity. Early in our Project history, some individuals, hostile to the intent of the NCGWP, sought to take over our Project for their own selfish reasons. Before they could be accomplish this scheme, several were expelled from our Project because of fraudulent dealings and their attempt to host county pages under a variety of aliases. Sharon Williamson helped us protect our logo by obtaining trade mark protection several years back. In 2007, we learned that the same hostile individuals who tried to infiltrate our Project earlier were intent on incorporating our name and identity. In order to forestall that attempt, Nola Duffy stepped forward to preempt that attempt. Some have pointed out that we are a non-member corporation. That provision was made to simply indicate that no individual person owns the NCGenWeb Project. Our incorporation was not made public for the reasons stated above. The only reason that this issue came to light was that a former Project member, in an attempt to incorporate our Project, discovered that we had already been incorporated. Our Project has benefited from legal protection without any fanfare. Our incorporation in no way diminishes the rights of any Project member.

NCGenWeb BYLAWS
When it was learned that the NCGenWeb Project had been incorporated, some said that the Project was operating outside the bounds of an incorporated entity. In order to head off any controversy, your Board has carefully composed a set of by-laws so that we will be in full compliance with all North Carolina incorporation laws. These by-laws are nothing secret but an attempt to formulate the guide lines we need to operate by. When completed, they will be presented to the membership for approval.

REGIONAL COORDINATORS
Regardless of how the division of support is defined, the Board found it necessary to subordinate the responsibilities of the SC and ASCs. It was felt that assistance should be provided to all County Coordinators in order to help them find ways to make a more positive web presence. We are still in the formative process of helping our page hosts. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to provide the assistance they need. Further information on this process will be made as soon as we formalize it.

Some folks may interpret the assignment of Regional Coordinators as a threat. I would like to assure you that the decision to appoint these folks has been taken in order to assist, and not to constrain. They have been chosen for their desire to help in the region they chose to serve. They are certainly not “page police” but helpful folks whose desire is to work with each CC in their region. If you receive an email from them, please interpret it as a helping hand.

It’s no secret that several County Coordinators have chosen to leave the Project. Each and every one of your Board members truly regret their choice to leave. We don’t take these actions lightly and have tried to do all in our power to support all of our members. We will continue to help them to be a part of what we believe to be the best Project in the USGWP. In order to do that, we must insist on adhering to standards that not only comply with the USGWP but to serve as goals for the entire Project.

In my estimation, we are not insisting on unachievable standards. As the leading Internet genealogical destination, the USGenWeb Project must be held to a higher standard. As members of the NCGenWeb Project, we should all exhibit pride in our Project. Without you and your fellow Project members, we will never achieve the high goals we must achieve.

If you have had any concerns for the newly elected leadership team, this should be of particular interest to you. I want to reassure you that every decision I made has been done with consultation with the Board. While adhering to USGenWeb Project bylaws, I am trying to best understand the needs of our membership. Please don’t think of me as being dictatorial. My leadership style may be different than my predecessors but I have the best interests of our Project and its members foremost.

I want to be someone you can always feel free to write to with any of your concerns. I maintain County sites just like you do. So do the members of our Board. We all share the same goal of seeing the NCGenWeb Project achieving the top spot in our national organization. I hope that you will join with us in making that a reality.

Sincerly,

[Derick misspelling 'sincerely' was a Freudian slip --mw]


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