Monday, August 24, 2009

What’s New at Ancestry.com?

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

Suzanne Russo-Adams, "What's New at Ancestry 2.0" (2:57 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Not talking about what's new in the library version. [(I suppose many of the new features are not available in the Ancestry Library Edition.)] Showed one of their new commercials (that I still need to write about). (2:58 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Yesterday 2 new BIG features released. Talk more about them later.

New content:
Canadian Census now has 1851-1916 (complete) 32 million names. (2:59 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Also new content: Mass Sold & Sail of the Rev, 1810 census upgrade. See http://www.ancestry.com/sea... (3:01 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
To see what's new, login and look at box "What's happening at Ancestry.com." At bottom of that box has links to all new databases (DBs). (3:02 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
DBs are frequently updated when Ancestry.com can get access to more info.

Another place to go—it's free—is the Learning Center. (3:04 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
You can also sign up for newsletter.

Have you heard we've changed our name to Ancestry.com? (3:05 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
New commercials are not actors but actual subscribers. (3:10 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

Navigation updates: Drop down menus, Quick Links (favorites/bookmarks).

Under Learning Center: blog, (3:12 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
... webinars (some on general research topics). Tomorrow talking about search. Most of audience is using New Search template. (3:16 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Plan to meld best features of old search into new and best features of new search into old. (Did I understand that correctly?) Auto-fill search template from tree. (3:17 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Lifespan Filtering removes search results outside lifespan + slop. Launched 29 April 2009. (3:18 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Place-filtering in Search will be launching some time in 2009. Launching search from tree gives person card at top of page. (3:20 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

Showed new content viewer, one of the new features that launched yesterday. View both image and index at same time, with ability to correct name, birth year, birthplace. (3:22 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
New viewer allows entering comments about the record or about a person. Also see Source information for the record. (3:23 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Q. If you change the Last Name, will it get indexed?
A. Yes. It keeps the original value and adds your change to the index. (3:25 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Collapsible window pane to maximize image. (3:27 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

Member Connect launched yesterday. Get notified about any new research activity about your ancestors on Ancestry.com. (3:30 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

Ancestry Online Family Trees: since July 2006 10M+ trees, 1 billion people. (3:31 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Free trees allow full use of your own tree, but can't see others' tree or add records from Ancestry.com. Non-subscribers can (3:32 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
...see the Ancestry records that a subscriber attaches to a tree. Showed Shaky Leaves on her tree. Shaky Leaves suggest records that possibly reference someone in your tree. (3:34 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
New in trees: new look requires fewer clicks, Ancestry Places (beta links to maps) supports census wards from census. (3:37 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Member Connect in Family Trees.
On Ancestry browser toolbar, click “save” to save a link or text or image to your tree. (3:38 PM Jul 30th from web )
Attach photos and docs. No space limitations.
(3:39 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Q. Friend has tree on Ancestry.com and can't download it.
A. Member trees allow this. (3:27 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

After building your tree, publish a book for free. Digital scrapbooking tool, MyCanvas. (3:41 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )

Another new thing is Ancestry's Expert Connect. You can hire a researcher to help you: record pickups, local photo, ask question, (3:42 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
See http://bit.ly/GdgX2 (3:43 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Mechanism exists for rating researchers, filing complaints. The researchers are screened. (3:43 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Collaboration: 9.2 million unique visitors visit Ancestry.com websites each month.

World Archives Project: volunteer indexing. (3:45 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Q. Do you coordinate with FamilySearch?
A.
We are trying very hard to not duplicate projects being done on FamilySearch Indexing. (Indexing tool is very similar to FamilySearch Indexing.) (3:48 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Q. I'd like the ability to contact tree owner.
A. For the new private trees, you can send tree owner a message. (3:49 PM Jul 30th from TweetChat )
Now doing Q and A. Many people leaving early. (3:50 PM 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.

3 comments:

  1. Re: your update from ancestry.com. They said you can "publish your book for free". I don't think so. I believe you can CREATE a book for free, but if you want to print it, they charge you. You can't really even print locally because they diminish the quality of the images and/or do not show some of your embellishments. The only way to publish the tree is to print thru them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Joanie,

    If an image looks bad on your printer, it will also look bad when you pay them to print it. The only reason it looks good on screen is because screen display requires much lower quality (about 75 dots per inch) than printing (which requires 2 or 300 dpi).

    Is the problem a document from Ancestry.com? When they first got into the image business, fast Internet connections were rare so documents were scanned at a low dpi to make download speeds reasonable.

    Is the problem a user-contributed image? Ancestry.com limits upload size, which encourages use of low-resolution images unsuitable for printing.

    Is the problem a stock graphic from MyCanvas? Let us know which one and someone else can try it. It may be a printer driver issue. Did you enlarge the stock graphic? Ancestry.com may have optimized them to print at original size; enlarging can result in poor appearance.

    Is the problem an image you provided? Try scanning it again at a higher dpi.

    The big take-away here is that images need a minimum of 200 dpi to print well, even if they look good on screen.

    -- The Insider

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is from the mycanvas site:
    "If you choose “Normal quality,” your project will print with all of its embellishments and design elements (transparencies, drop shadows, and so on), but some of the text or images may be a little blurry. Choose this option if you have lots of design features in your project or if you are just interested in checking the overall design of the project before you have it printed professionally.
    If you choose “Higher quality,” your project will print with crisp, readable text and clear images, but without any design elements (such as embellishments, transparencies, drop shadows, and so on). Choose this option if your project has no design elements or if you want to carefully check the text and images before having your project professionally printed."

    Don't get me wrong, I love MyCanvas. My only suggestion/concern/wish is that they EITHER let me print my project at home (for which I would gladly pay a fee) OR print the book loose leaf. I want to be able to update pages when more info becomes available.

    ReplyDelete