I have been thinking of a common way genealogy researchers use the FHLC and how it could be improved in GenSeek. Before a trip to the Family History Library, many researchers use the FHLC to find sources they want to examine. Often each detail page is printed off and taken to the library. Some choose to sort the papers in the order they want to perform their research. At the library, these papers can be used to write notes about what was found or not found in each source.
Now I know that GenSeek is intended to include more than the sources at the FHL, but I think the following features would be useful is the broader sense as well.
What if each researcher had an account on GenSeek. When they logged in, they would be able to search the catalog for sources they are interested in researching and add them to a named group of sources. Maybe we could call this a research project or a research plan. We could choose to make this project public to all GenSeekers, limited access to specific GenSeekers or keep it private for our own personal use. This research project is the virtual equivalent of the stack of papers we used to take to the library. Now there might be some additional information that we want to track in our research project like research objective, primary person, alternate surnames, locations, and comments. We also might want to order the list of sources a certain way. With our research project all online, we can now visit the library and not have to take the stack of papers with us. We can access our projects from a laptop or a computer at the FHL. But what about taking notes? Well, as we access each source from our online research project in GenSeek, we are able to add notes, date researched, and any other information. Just like an online research log. Finally, we would want the ability to export the information from a GenSeek project as a spreadsheet and PDF document.
Now GenSeek becomes not only the place where we find genealogy sources but it becomes our research plan and research log!
Imagine the additional social networking capabilities with research projects. I could enlist family members to work on the same research project or find cousins or others researching the same sources that I am.
My wish is that the designers and developers of GenSeek 1.0 have anticipated this scenario and these features will be included in the first version. If not, I really hope that it is included in the next release.
What would you like to see in GenSeek 1.0?