And The Winner Is…

Well – before I get to that, I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you who have stepped up to participate in the World Record Challenge to key 8 million records this summer.  As of this morning you have already keyed and arbitrated over 772,000 records.  I shouldn’t be so amazed every time I run the numbers but…I. Am. Very. Impressed.  You have really taken this and run with it.

I have also done some arbitration this week so I could see what kind of quality you are putting out and I have been VERY impressed by that as well.  Keep up the great work!

And, with all that said, I would now like to announce our first weekly challenge winner…DRUMROLL PLEASE…

With a grand total of 22,543 records keyed AND arbitrated, this week’s prize goes to Jeanette from Michigan.  Our runners-up, Ann from Texas  (with 17,737 records) and Balazs from Hungary  (with 15,280) will each receive an Ancestry World Archives Project T-Shirt and flash drive.

Congratulations to them – and a BIG thank you to all of you who contributed.  We all know that every record counts when we are looking for our ancestors.

Here’s a quick rundown of the weekly competitions for the remainder of June as well as a look at the monthly competitions for the remainder of the summer.  Weekly prize winners get to select one prize from the following list:  Family Tree Maker 2010 w/ Official Guide, Ancestry Press Gift Certificate, or Ancestry DNA Testing.  Monthly prize winners will receive a free One-Year World Deluxe Subscription to

For the week of:

  • Jun 7th – Which contributor can KEY the most records across the most number of projects?
  • Jun 14th – Which contributor can ARBITRATE the most number of records?
  • Jun 21st – Which contributor can KEY the most number of records WITH the highest accuracy rating?
  • Jun 28th – Mystery project week!  We have pre-selected a project.  The contributor with the most number of records keyed AND/OR arbitrated on that project wins.  Can you guess the mystery project?

For the month of:

  • Jun – The most number of records keyed AND arbitrated.
  • Jul – The most number of records keyed WITH the highest accuracy rating.
  • Aug – The most number of records keyed AND arbitrated across the most number of projects.

Good luck all and – Happy Keying!

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Although I think that’s great for one week, I can’t help but wonder if that’s really possible. 22,000 records means you would be doing an average of 261 records an hour, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now I am new to this, I am happy to get 100 records keyed in a week, so maybe I just don’t know how this all works.

Thats like 130 records an hour around the clock for 7 days straight..seems kind of unrealistic to me

Including download time, I average 40 arbitrated records per hour. In a single week that would give me around 6700 records. Perhaps there could be different types of weekly challenges for those of us who are limited by our computers, such as random drawings among new keyers, new arbitrators, anyone working on a project with a large backlog to be arbitrated, etc.

How about for those of us who have to work 40 hours a week.

I, too, find 22,000 an amazing number but congratulations to the winner. I don’t really expect to win anything. I’m just happy to participate in something that is worthwhile for a great number of people. I have benefited so much from the work of others. So take heart, and keep up the great work – all of us!!

Good typists can maintain 140 words per minute with high accuracy. It’s possible to achieve these numbers. At least on many projects.

Nice job everyone! No matter who got the most it still took us all. Thanks

I think its great a Hungarian came in third place. It shows us the need for more international records. Good Job everyone!

I think that it’s absolutely fantastic that someone can enter that many records, although it seems rather unbelieveable. Even though I am new to this, have all entries been abitrated…my percentage has not changed in over 1 month. Do all records input need to be arbitrated before they are counted? I guess I am not sure how all this works. It would be nice to know how many records entered have been arbitrated in our statistics!

I can’t type 140 wpm, but I can type 65 wpm. It occurs to me that even with what I can type, and those who can key more I don’t find this a really good way of doing this. I cannot key 24hrs, 7 days a week so I think it is not realistic that we can match what you want done. On another note though, I do really enjoy the projects we have been
doing and the history we have been able to accomplish!

Currently, 2 projects have more than 3,000 image sets waiting for arbitration, another 2 projects have around 2,500, and 8 projects have between 500 and 2,500 sets waiting for arbitration. There is a great need for more arbitrators.

I will never be able to key or arbitrate that many records. Congratulations to those that can, those prizes are well earned!

I enjoyed participating in the project more when it wasn’t a competition. I have no hope of winning anything when competing with people who type 140 wpm and have 40 hours a week to key data.

How does one become an arbitrator?

Mary (#13):

There’s no real secret to becoming an arbotrator; at least 1000 records keyed at 95% or better.

I did work out the math at how long it takes to accomplish the Winning Number of Records at a given typing rate.

(Number of records * Words Per Record) / words Per minute = Number of Minutes Solid keying time

Divide That By 60 to get Hours.

Divide Hours by 7 to get average hours per week.

Making some assumptions:
22543 records keyed
average 4 words per record (this would be city directories)

40 WPM = 37.6 Hours Total time
80 WPM = 18.8 Hrs
120 WPM = 12.5 Hrs

This works out 2-6 Hours per day.

Doing sets with more Words per record of course alters this calculation.

Having a joint account, with multiple typists and multiple computers may also by a possibility.

For myself, I did a couple thousand Varmland records, and am satisfied.

Make that “divide that by 7 to get average hours per *DAY*. Not per week. 🙂

I’m not really into all this most/fastest etc stuff – just enjoying keying a variety of records. However I have noticed that if my stats are dropping, I only have to do something like the Naturalistion Records to really get the numbers of both records keyed and accuracy up.

There is a danger here that you will encourage people to only have a go at the really easy and quick to key records and leave the more (perceived) difficult records.

Paul, that was my thought all along, multiple typists using one account.

Number of records arbitrated. Are those numbers only the records that we have corrected. If that is the case that number can really be low.

Judy (#19)

Yes, those are the just the number of records corrected.

I find that you can key the easy records very quickly. However, I have been keying for a number of months now and usually select the projects that are average skill and the ones that are taking a long time. Example: California Naturalization Records. Sometimes the images are not very clear and it is difficult to read the details that need to be typed. This slows down the whole process. I enjoy doing the keying but can’t imagine that I could do a whole day of keying without breaks. Also I would assume that keying records should be done as accurately as possible so that the arbitrators have less work to do. Congrats to the winners, however, slow and steady will get the job done.

I liked keying and arbitrating better before the competition started. I work a 40 hour week and this is my relaxation. I will never win anything except the satisfaction of making a SMALL contribution to the overall effort.

I’m working the MI Passenger and Crew Lists project as a keyer. When I’m bored (and there’s nothing on TV) I can key very fast. Some of the manifest records have more detail than others so the less detail the faster I can key. I have a data entry background so I don’t need to look at the keyboard. My accuracy is only hampered by image quality.

I decided it’d be a good idea to step out of my comfort zone and key some different projects for variety as suggested. But I’m finding that I am spending lots of time checking help articles and boards to try to be sure to do them correctly that it’s slowing me down. Not that that’s bad. I think it’s been good to spice things up a bit. It’s nice to feel part of a worldwide keying community.

It could be possible that several people are working together using one account to enter the data, to me it does seem quite fast, but one can only wonder how the accuracy would be if one was to key that fast.

Which selection that you can vote for contains the most total records?

John (#26)

If I had to guess, it would be New Mexico Census. Though I’m not Certain.

Mike (#25) Most of the city directory folks are really good. They tend to be the winners in terms of absolute number of records keyed.And also accuracy. (though Sands is too blurry in spots for perfect) And I’ve seen pages with only one or 2 mistakes.

I know “Ann from Texas” has held the top spot in overall records keyed for a long while. And I know she’s really Very good.

Thank You paulmd199

Paul #(27) I wish there were more directories, they are good sources of information, and are great to boost your record numbers, like you said minimal errors, not to mention that if you did make errors the overall mass of what you do would likely help your ratings. I have been working on the Lorain Directory, wish there were others.

I do NOT like the reward/recognition being strictly for number of records entered. If you are going to do that, it should be weighted so those doing harder, more time-consuming projects get rewarded for those efforts! Those projects should count double or even triple, in my opinion. Also, projects should be arbitrated BEFORE being counted so only data entered correctly gets counted in the totals.

Can someone help me on my message board post on Lorain Ohio City Directoriess, thanks

I find it quite sad that this organisation providing such a valuable service feels that it needs to offer a competition of this sort. Having made great use of records already transcribed I have only recently began to transcribe myself. My reward is working with the document and knowing that others will benefit. Numbers of records transcribed should never be a goal for any volunteer.

I totally agree with Sue #32. It is also sad that the impression given by the World Record Challenge is that the only winner for the most records keyed is Ancestry. That is not only sad, but disappointing.

I agree with Sue. I started doing this as a way of giving back for all of the valuable and fascinating info I’ve gleaned through ancestry. I’m happy knowing that I am contributing to someone else’s journey of discovery.

The California burial records have been very interesting to work on. Mostly the latter part of the 19th century . So many of these folks were born in Europe – imagine the challenges they overcame just to get to California – to ‘seek their fortune’ – it gives me such a great appreciation of that time and the people who had the strength and courage to go on such great adventures. Some sadnes too – with many stillborns, and very young children dying from communicable disease. Conditions would have to be tough for little ones. An occasional gun shot and suicide also is revealed as a cause of death. My point, I guess, is that this is an intersting group to work on.

I should have noted I am not one of those working on the medium and hard projects most of the time so was not lobbying to get more ‘points’ for myself but for those working on the more time-consuming, lower number of records keyed projects who truly deserve it!

I would really prefer to see Ancestry go back to giving a discount on the membership fees for ALL who spend so many hours contributing to this project rather than making it a ‘competition’. I think we all enjoy it or we wouldn’t be spending our free time this way.

Also, can someone explain to me how multiple contributors can all use the same identity? I have some friends…

Sheryl (#36)

The discount has not gone away. rest assured.

Anyway, having multiple people use the same identity is simple. All participants download the keying tool and use the same login and password.

Though there’s little reason to do this since the Basic account is free. Thought there are plenty of husband and wife type joint accounts, which simplifies things for them.

I must congratulate all my fellow keyers for completing a great number of records so far wether winners or not it is a pleasure to take part.

Thanks, Paul, but I was really just being facetious! Like the others have said much more eloquently, the ‘winning’ comes from being able to be a part–no matter how large or small–of something that is of so much benefit to all of us!
My original point was just that if there are to be contests and rewards given, the playing field should be leveled so those doing the more difficult projects should have an equal opportunity at winning, don’t you agree? I am not one of those folks, but they have my utmost respect and admiration. In reality, those projects are probably the ones that end up providing the most historic ‘clues’ for the rest of us!

I just spent 25 min. going over 108 reviews on the Lorain, OH City Directory. Out of the 108 I found 4 mistakes and corrected them. I hope the 104 names will be added to the list of names after they are rechecked because is is a loss of time that I have to put into this project. No way could a person do 22,000 records in a week and have to recheck that many names that are correct.