Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday, FamilySearch.org

This article is one in a series of session reports from the recent BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy. I tweeted the session live, but I hate to send you to Twitter to read them because they appear there in reverse chronological order. I’ve straightened them out for you here. Additions are shown in italics.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

1st session. Steve Anderson, "Happy 10th Birthday, FamilySearch.org" (8:53 AM Jul 30th from web )
Asked background questions of audience. (8:56 AM Jul 30th from web )
1. What is FamilySearch? We've never tried to gather identity under one umbrella until a couple of years ago. (8:57 AM Jul 30th from web )
We've had various identities: Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) Granite Mountain Record Vault (GMRV) Family History Library (FHL) (8:58 AM Jul 30th from web )
Also family history centers (FHCs). And familysearch.org. Gather all under one face: FamilySearch. This is our public name. (9:00 AM Jul 30th from web )
Is new.familysearch.org the replacement for www.familysearch.org? No. It is only the tree and temple portion. See labs for preview (9:04 AM Jul 30th from web )
of the future replacement of www.familysearch.org. (9:05 AM Jul 30th from web )
2. Past to Present. familysearch.org launched in 1999. big deal, crashed the servers. Also in 1999: downloadable PAF, IGI. (9:06 AM Jul 30th from web )
Telling story about San Mateo, Florida family reunion, finding he was related to everyone in town. Felt connected. That is what PAF (9:09 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
BTW, Deseret News coverage of #byugen available at http://bit.ly/peJxS(9:13 AM Jul 30th from web)
...has done for millions. Over the years: PRF, Jewish Records, Index, Freedman Bank, Ellis Island, 1880/1881 censuses. (9:14 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Today: FamilySearch is the largest #genealogy organization in the world. 80 countries, 40,000 staff/volunteers, 4,600+ FHCs, records (9:15 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
records of billions of people, from over 100 countries, some preserve records that have since perished. Millions use fs every month. (9:16 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Swiss archivist told Steve that FamilySearch has more records of his people than he has. (9:17 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Traditional model of records needs to improve: Collect records > microfilm > preserve, extractors > share film and indexes (9:19 AM Jul 30th from web )
Problems: microfilm readers not available in most homes, not scalable, doesn't give global web access, (9:20 AM Jul 30th from web )
Fastest growing channel to access info is no longer computer, but cell phone. (9:21 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
New model: Access records > digitize > index online (100K volunteers) > post online > family tree > community collaboration > preserve (9:24 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
FamilySearch is a name that resonates. Example: at the Who Do You Think You Are conference he asked a guy: why are you here? The guy replied, I don't know. Steve eventually learned that the guy’s Aunt had died recently. He became curious about his family. (9:26 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Tells funny story about being stopped by airport security. The agents’ questioning quickly turned to genealogy once they learned who he worked for. (9:30 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Record Search Pilot hidden on http://www.familysearch.org under Search Records. 600 million names. (9:31 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Steve is doing an extensive demo of the Record Search Pilot. http://pilot.familysearch.orgHe’s also pushing the need for indexers. (9:38 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Search menu at familysearch.org also links to Historical Books. Books are scanned, OCRed, every word searchable PDF. Downloadable & printable. (9:40 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
FamilySearch Indexing milestone: 250 millionth name indexed. Ellis Island took 7 years. Now could be done in about a month. (9:42 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Click on Index Records menu at http://www.familysearch.org .
Click Library > Education for video training. (9:44 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Wrapping up. On to next session. (9:57 AM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

Remember that tweets are limited to 140 characters. Less the #byugen hashtag, each tweet could not exceed 132 characters. Hence, tweets often use abbreviations, bad grammar, and lack proper punctuation.

No comments:

Post a Comment