In December 2008, I wrote a blog post titled 9 Genealogy Predictions for 2009. It is now time to review that list and see how well the predictions matched reality.
1. Two more desktop genealogy applications will support source citation templates from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained. Currently Legacy 7 and RootsMagic 4 support this. The other two might likely be Family Tree Maker and The Master Genealogist.
Family Tree Maker 2009 now supports source citation templates following Evidence Explained. To my knowledge, no other desktop genealogy applications have announced this support.
2. One major online database (Ancestry, WorldVitalRecords, FamilySearch, Footnote) will announce upcoming support for Evidence Explained source citations. Other sites will soon follow with their own announcements.
I am disappointed that none of the mentioned online databases support Evidence Explained source citations. Please correct me if I am mistaken. If GenSeek is released in 2010, maybe it will be the first.
3. FamilySearch Research Wiki will grow to over 30,000 content pages (excluding talk and stub pages) by the end of the year. As of 28 December 2008, there were 12,573 content pages.
On December 28, 2009 there were a total of 20,298 content pages on the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
4. FamilySearch will announce a replacement for GEDCOM. GEDCOM will still be supported for many years as software will support it as well as the newer format. Reasons for the new format will be to better support source citations and media.
This did not happen in 2009, but it might happen in 2010.
5. I hope I am wrong about this one, but with the current economic downturn we could see financial pressure force one of the more-recently-started genealogy companies to merge with or be acquired by another company. Worse case scenario, it could go bankrupt.
To my knowledge this did not happen. In fact, Ancestry went public in 2009.
6. Many more genealogy societies will join the social networking site, Facebook, by adding a group page. Searching groups today for “genealogical society | genealogy society” (the pipe symbol “|” means “OR”) returns 80 results. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of 2009 the total was over 200.
Finally a correct prediction! Doing a group search on Facebook resulted in 286 results for genealogy societies.
7. More genealogy applications will be available for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. Currently the iTunes App Store only lists three applications: MobileFamilyTree, FamViewer, and Shrubs. This last holiday season, the iPod Touch was a hot item. I wonder how many genealogists own one now.
This one was easy to predict as even one more app would have fulfilled the prediction. There are currently 7 applications listed in the App Store:
MobileFamily Tree – $4.99
Reunion – $14.99
GedView – $3.99
FamViewer – $14.99
Mobile Tree – $4.99
Shrubs – $9.99
iCensus – $3.99
To learn more about some of these apps, check out the blog post titled, Genealogy Apps for iPhone, by Joan Miller.
8. Through blogs and podcasts, genealogists will hear more about the benefits of Web 3.0 (also called the Semantic Web) and how it applies to genealogy.
Web 3.0? What is that? You can find discussions about microformats and full fledged ontologies, but not much applied to genealogy in 2009.
9. Genealogists are puzzle solvers when it comes to researching their family history, but do they play games? I expect to see a genealogy-related game released in 2009. It could be a casual game for Facebook or something more interactive for the Wii. How about a Mii Familii Trii? The game might teach research-related concepts (citation, transcription, etc) or (via GEDCOM import) put your ancestors in the game.
There is still so much opportunity in this area without much action. I did find a casual game called Family Mystery: The Story of Amy where genealogy is used as the theme for the game but not much else.
So out of 9 predictions, I give myself a score of 3.5 which is about as often as I was correct when as a teenager I operated the “guess your age or weight” game at an amusement park. After a few days, I was moved to the skee ball games which fit my talents much better.
Best wishes for a wonderful 2010 full of genealogy innovation and hopefully some surprises!