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GenPerfect 3

Sunday, 20 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

GenPerfect is connected and social.

 

Facebook

In my first GenPerfect post I mentioned that you could add living members to your database via Facebook. Lately my third cousin has added me to two closed Facebook groups for common ancestors: Thomas Tucker Family & William Henry Dollar Family

Members of these groups include living descendants of a common ancestor. Messages include the lineage of members back to the common ancestor as well as photos and digitized documents. What if GenPerfect could be pointed to these groups? You could see the list of your messages inside your genealogy software on the dashboard. The messages could be parsed and the mini-lineage added to your database citing Facebook as the source. Any photos added to the group would be imported as part of your media collection. GenPerfect would even allow you to update your Facebook status without leaving the application. You could configure the software to automatically prompt you for a Facebook status update at key moment such as when you add a photo or document or when you enter a conclusion and close out a research project. You could choose to post these to a group or your wall.

 

Twitter

Similar to updating your Facebook status, you could also choose to tweet from inside GenPerfect. When prompted to update your status, you could choose to also post to Twitter.

 

Blogs

By selecting a photo, some information in a database, or a research project and clicking a “Quick Post” link, a blog post would be assembled ready for you to edit and post to your blog. All without leaving GenPerfect.

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ThinkGenealogy Innovator Award #5

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 | by Mark Tucker

The winner of the next ThinkGenealogy Innovator award has been doing some exciting things in the area of genealogy conferences.  That might not be an area that we normally associate with innovation, but that is precisely what Family History Expos, Inc. has been doing.

fhe_logo

Before Family History Expos (formerly My Ancestors Found) started doing conferences in 2005, the two main options were attending a national conference or one sponsored by a local or regional genealogical society.  Over the last few years, FHExpos has organized conferences in an increasing number of locations including, Utah, California, Colorado, and Arizona.  This year they will also host conferences in Missouri and Georgia.

Their model is to find interesting presenters that are willing to share their family history knowledge in exchange for admission to the conference.  This keeps the price of the 2-day conference to around $70 dollars which is a bargain for the approximately 1000 attendees that register for each conference.  In addition to two full days of presentations with multiple sessions each hour, there is a top-notched exhibit hall that is free to the public.

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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.

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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