Friday, April 10, 2009

New Website for Utah/Idaho NFS Rollout

FamilySearch has created a new website to facilitate the rollout of New FamilySearch (NFS) to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah and Idaho. An alert member of the Church noticed a change to the registration website for the Church's local Family History Consultants and Church leaders. The right side of the page is now titled, "New FamilySearch Utah and Idaho Release."

Screen shot of the FamilySearch consultant registration page
Click on the screen shots to see larger images.

The new website looks like this:

Screen shot of the new 'The New FamilySearch Web Site Release in Utah and Idaho' website

Criticized for renaming their common pedigree product to "New FamilySearch," I thought smarter branding heads were prevailing when they came out with FamilySearch Family Tree and FamilySearch Record Search. (A discussion of why these names make great brands will have to wait for another article.) Now comes another interesting naming decision. The name of the new FamilySearch website is "The New FamilySearch Web Site Release in Utah & Idaho" website. This leads to interesting sentences such as, "Only stakes who have received an e-mail from FamilySearch Support with instructions to begin their rollout preparations should begin using the New FamilySearch Web Site Release in Utah & Idaho Web site and reporting readiness."

I hesitate to give you the URL for the new website, given this request that you not clog it up with your unnecessary traffic if you haven't yet been invited. You're probably safe poking around a bit on the regular pages, but you ought to avoid the multimedia portions until its your turn.

The home page currently states three temple districts as having received e-mail invitations to begin rollout preparations:

  • Rexburg Idaho (Rexburg? How come none of you told me about Rexburg?)
  • Manti Utah, and
  • Vernal Utah.

The News & Updates page will look familiar to Ancestry Insider readers. It seems the popularity of our rollout news and map have not gone unnoticed. A map. A list of announced go-live dates. What's that saying about the sincerest form of flattery? :-)

When I prepared my Red Zone rollout map, my wife told me that no one would ever comprehend the number of hours I spent crafting it, contorting here, touching up there to increase legibility while keeping the footprint small. FamilySearch took the easy (aka smart) route and provided the map in two sizes, one for size and one for legibility. Nice...

I could have done that... of course...

if I'd thought of it...

and if I didn't love tinkering so much with maps and with graphics...

Here's their NFS rollout news page:

Screen shot of the News and Updates page

Frankly, I always thought it a little odd that FamilySearch didn't upstage me sooner so they could control the messaging and use the popularity of the page to get out important notices.

Oh, well. At least I produced the very first Record Search API widget. Now if I only had time to add a list of the latest collections to it...

Stay tuned...

(And keep those rollout news tips coming!

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