Colorado Volunteer Guidelines and Procedures
For New County Coordinators (and some of us more "seasoned" ones)
When you first adopt a county, the "rules and reg's" can seem a bit daunting. On this page, we are outlining what our requirements are, but don't let the length of the page scare you. There is more description here than requirements! To make it easier for you, we are breaking the page up into sections. Questions? Confused? Contact our State Coordinator.
How Many Counties Can I adopt?
While it is not a COGenWeb rule, it is the SC/ASC current practice to limit the number a CC can adopt in order to minimize the impact of a single volunteer's departure from the project.
Is There a State Mailing List?
Yes. As a COGenWeb volunteer, you must be a member of our state mailing list. This list is a closed one, which means the SC (or Asst.. SC) will have to subscribe you to the list. We use gmail for our Coordinators Mail List. You do not have to have a gmail email address to be a member and participate on this list.
Where do I put my website? Is is free or do I have to pay for space on the web?
As the owner of your web site, you have the option of establishing your web site on any server. Project web sites are hosted by a variety of servers, many of them free of charge. Contact our State Coordinator about what options are available to you. If you are changing an existing web site, check with our State Coordinator about what our state guidelines are regarding removing any currently posted information.
What is Required County Site Content?
- Logos: One of our approved, COGenWeb logos, along with one of the officially approved USGenWeb official logos, must be prominently placed on your home page. "Prominent" is defined as standing out; readily noticeable; conspicuous, per Merriam-Webster Dictionary. If used as a link, the logo or the name of the USGenWeb Project must link directly back to the USGenWeb Project index page at http://www.usgenweb.org. See http://usgenweb.org/volunteers/guidelines.shtml
- Graphics must be in the
standard formats, .gif, .jpg (.jpeg), .png, so that all browsers can view
- County Coordinator's Name and Email - It is very nice to visit a site and know right away who is the County Coordinator. We suggest that you put a short paragraph of introduction at or near the top of your index page. If you are worried about spam and your inbox getting clogged, you can opt to use a web-based email address: There are quite a few that work very well. gmail, yahoo, and hotmail to name a few. Additionally, you can put an image of your email addy in place of a clickable link.
- You should be courteous, quick to respond and assist your visitors to the best of your ability. You aren't required to do research for your visitors but you do need to point them in the direction of finding answers.
- Method of contacting the SC or ASC (their names and email addresses written out or you can use a text image. This is strongly suggested by USGeWeb, not just our personal preference)
- Query Page - The National requirements require a query page but allow three options:
1. You may provide a link to an existing message board related to your county. - or -
2. Coordinators may generate their own query systems, such as mail merge on their web sites. - or -
3. You can use an established system such as:
What is Strongly Recommended County Site Content?
Strongly Recommended Links
- USGenWeb Archives Index: http://usgwarchives.org
- COGenWeb Archives Index: http://usgwarchives.org/co/cofiles.htm
- USGenWeb Special Projects at http://usgenweb.org/projects/index.shtml
Other Strongly Recommended Content
- A search engine for your site. There are several free ones that are easy to add, such as Freefind (http://freefind.com).
What is Optional County Content?
- There is an optional Colorado outline map that you can get and color in your county. You can find it on our logo page.
- Colorado County Evolution: http://www.stanwyck.com/cogenweb/cocounties.html
- Colorado Photo Project: http://www.cogenweb.com/photos/
- COKids Project: http://www.rootsweb.com/~cokids/
- Colorado Military Pages: http://www.cogenweb.com/military/
- Guidelines for Archive Submission: http://www.usgwarchives.org/co/guidelns.htm
- WorldGenWeb: http://www.worldgenweb.org/
What are Considered Best Practices?
- Your County pages should be updated on a regular basis and the updated date noted on the bottom of your pages (This page last updated on. . .).
- Link all major pages in your site to your index page. Additional linked pages may be accessed through your main pages.
As new county pages are put up they will be checked by the State Coordinator or Assistant State Coordinator for the required elements and to be sure your links work.
We will let you know when they have visited your page. If there are any problems with links or if any of the required elements missing, we let you know so you can make any changes or corrections that are needed. Post a message to the Colorado County Coordinators mail list or to the State Coordinator when your pages are ready.
We will also periodically check all the County pages for the same types of problems. When we do, we will send you an email to let you know what needs to be fixed. If the problems are not corrected in a reasonable time frame, you will be contacted again.
Finally, many of us came to this state, or the USGenWeb, looking for our ancestors. Sometimes we are lucky enough to be able to adopt the very county we are/were searching in. It is understandable that we would want to further our search for our own ancestors while coordinating that very county. However, your primary function as a County Coordinator is to find local data and format it in such a way as to be available to visiting researchers.
(Thou Shalt Nots!)
We are Non-Profit
The USGenWeb Projects, of which the COGenWeb Project is a part of, is a Non-Profit entity. In other words we put this information up for FREE access by all, 24 hrs. a day, and 7 days a week. No one will be charged for any of the efforts by the Coordinators, as hosts to a county in the COGenWeb Project. If you should come across someone who is charging for access to their COGenWeb county page/s, we would like to know about it.
There are to be no money requests posted including: unnecessary advertisements (some servers require an ad on it, we am NOT talking about them! they are considered necessary), or requests for donations to help fund the costs of the page or the time you spend on said pages. If you have someone that does research, and charges a fee for services, please make sure there is a notation that the person is an independent researcher and not affiliated with USGW or COGenWeb. The above restrictions do not mean that you cannot ask for reimbursement for your out of pocket expenses, like copying & mailing fees, etc. The latter should be noted on the lookups page and not on the main page.
No Profanity, pornography, or political icons and statements, are allowed on any of our pages.
Our goal is to provide free information but we must do it legally. No matter how tempting it is to upload useful data to our county pages, we must avoid copyright infringement. Copyright is ownership of the author, creator or publisher of a given work. Copyright gives the owner the right to benefit from his/her labor.
To avoid copyright infringement, follow these four basic rules:
- Public records, such as cemetery transcriptions, vital records, school records, etc. are not copyrightable. However, the format in which they are presented can be copyrighted, so be careful.
- Any use of a work that diminishes its market value constitutes copyright infringement.
- Obtain written authorization from the copyright holder to avoid committing copyright infringement.
Still in doubt? Here is the USGenWeb Copyright Policy. http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/copyright.shtml