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GenealogyWise StatShot #2

Thursday, 9 Jul 2009 | by Mark Tucker

GenealogyWise Logo

Here is another statistics snapshot of GenealogyWise just 25.5 hours from the last one.  It is amazing how fast it is growing.

July 9, 2009, 8:00 PM MST

Members: 1157 (+685)
Forums: 26 (+16)
Groups: 361 (+162)
Blog Posts: 50 (+26)
Videos: 150 (+33)

Not bad for a single day.

GenealogyWise StatShot

Wednesday, 8 Jul 2009 | by Mark Tucker

GenealogyWise Logo

If you haven’t already heard, FamilyLink has created a Facebook clone specifically for genealogists. It is called GenealogyWise.  When I found out about it yesterday, there were already 130+ people registered ahead of me.

I thought it would be interesting to capture some of the site’s statistics so that we have something to compare it against later.

July 8, 2009, 6:30 PM MST

Members: 472
Forums: 10
Groups: 199
Blog Posts: 24
Videos: 117

Not bad for a site that won’t officially release until Friday, July 17.

FamilyLink.com Seeks Chief Genealogy Officer

Wednesday, 21 Jan 2009 | by Mark Tucker

Do you have what it takes to be the highest ranking genealogist in a growing genealogy services company?  Get your resume ready as FamilyLink.com may be the right fit for you.

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What is this GenSeek of which you Speak?

Tuesday, 20 Jan 2009 | by Mark Tucker

GenSeek? 

What do you mean you have never heard of it before?  You must not be on Twitter

What is Twitter you ask?

The quick explanation of Twitter is that it is like blogging, but you only have 140 characters to get your message across.  Some call it micro blogging.  What do you twitter about?  You answer the question: “What are you doing?”  Some take it literally and some just share what they are thinking about at the time.  It is a great way to connect with others you may never meet in person.  It is also a great way to get the inside scoop on things that are happening in the genealogy world.

Twitter Detective

When I joined twitter on 19 December 2008, one of the first people that I “followed” was Paul Allen, the CEO of FamilyLink.com.  What that means is that any “tweet” that Paul posts, I would see as well.  I was able to follow Paul on his recent trip to Auckland, New Zealand.  And that is where I first heard about GenSeek.

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FamilyLink.com Gives Employees 10% of Work Time to Do Their Family History

Friday, 21 Mar 2008 | by Mark Tucker

Today I came across a post by FamilyLink.com CEO, Paul Allen, that announced a new employee program where 10% of their work time (4 hours for a 40 hour work week) can be spent doing their own family history.  The idea was patterned from Google’s policy that allows employees to spend 20% of their time on personal projects.  This idea is very exciting to me and is one that I have been thinking about a lot over the last year specifically in the context of genealogy software.  Maybe I should have blogged about it sooner.

The Genealogy Software Community is in great need of innovation and it is great to see an innovative company like FamilyLink.com spend some time “in the trenches” doing family history.  Maybe they will come to understand and embrace the Genealogical Proof Standard and Source Citations and find ways to implement them in software in ways that won’t scare those who are starting out in family history.

Paul references a talk given by Marissa Mayer at Stanford a few years ago on the topic of Google’s culture of innovation.
She included the following 9 points:

  1. Ideas come from everywhere
  2. Share everything you can.
  3. You’re brilliant. We’re hiring.
  4. A license to pursue dreams.
  5. Innovation not instant perfection.
  6. Data is a-political.
  7. Creativity loves constraint.
  8. Users not money.
  9. Don’t kill projects.  Morph them.

I met Paul last week during the BYU Computerized Genealogy and Family History Conference and was impressed by his sincerity and desire to grow the family history economy.  This latest announcement is continued proof that he is out to make a positive change in the world of genealogy and family history.

Expanded Vision of Genealogy 2.0

Tuesday, 11 Sep 2007 | by Mark Tucker

Is Genealogy 2.0 simply the application of Web 2.0 to genealogy or is it a separate wave of innovation in genealogy software?  The version number “2.0″ has been applied to the web and genealogy to indicate a “new release” or “major upgrade” to the way things were done before.  This article discusses Web 2.0, Genealogy 2.0, and something I call Web 2.0+Gen. 

  

  

Web 2.0

The term Web 2.0 has been around since 2004 and is defined by wikipedia as the:

“perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users”

There is much debate over the definition of Web 2.0 and what makes a website “Web 2.0″.  According to SEOmoz.org, some of the defining characteristics of Web 2.0 are:

  • User generated and/or user influenced content
  • Applications that use the Web (versus the desktop) as a platform, in innovative ways
  • Similar visual design and shared functional languages
  • Leveraging of popular trends, including blogging, social tagging, wikis, and peer-to-peer sharing
  • Inclusion of emerging web technologies like RSS, AJAX, APIs (and accompanying mashups), Ruby on Rails and others
  • Open source or sharable/editable frameworks in the form of user-oriented “create your own” APIs

Web 2.0 links:

Sample Sites:

  

  

Genealogy 2.0

When I search the internet for “genealogy 2.0″, I get a number of sites that talk about the application of Web 2.0 to genealogy.  These sites mention social networking and collaboration as key components of Genealogy 2.0.  One blog, The Plog: Pytlewski Log, states:

“traditionally genealogy 2.0 has only referred to the new internet based applications that are changing the way we collaborate as a genealogical community”

My view of Genealogy 2.0 is broader than Web 2.0 genealogy application or what I term, Web 2.0+Gen.  Maybe it is because I have developed both web applications and Windows client applications.  Maybe it is because I see so many areas for improvement and innovation in genealogy software and I don’t want to wait around for Genealogy 2.5 or 3.0.  Or maybe it is just the developer in me that wants to avoid tight coupling. But pairing Genealogy 2.0 with Web 2.0 excludes genealogy software that is not web-based.  It also seems to focus too much on what Web 2.0 is and not what Genealogy 2.0 could be.

Genealogy 2.0 links:

Sample Sites:

  

  

Expanded View of Genealogy 2.0

Many of these ideas are not new, but have been in the genealogy community for years.  The time is ripe for them to materialize as software that will aid genealogists and family historians to do things that they have never been able to easily do before. 

An expanded view of Genealogy 2.0 includes the following characteristics:

  • Social networking 
  • Collaboration during research, analysis, and conclusions
  • More than just sharing data and results
  • Supports sources, information, evidence, and conclusions
  • Document-centered data collection
  • Standardized source citation (see Evidence Explained)
  • Source citation as data not text
  • Source provenance
  • Information extraction
  • Evidence evaluation and weight
  • Conclusion recording
  • Online data backup
  • Community of researchers
  • Online data storage or peer-to-peer offline storage
  • Data linking and layering, not merging
  • Expanded to include not only web-based applications but also desktop and mobile
  • Modernizing of GEDCOM or replacement with XML-based format
  • The ability to not do anything with genealogy for a year and then start right where I left off without any loss of information or momentum

Now the last point may just be my own personal wish list item, but if  a Genealogy 2.0 application included a place to put everthing and kept track of what I have done and what else needs to be done then it would be much easier to continue where I left off.

Genealogy 2.0 Expanded links:

I look forward to your comments and ideas about Genealogy 2.0.

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