Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day News Ketchup

Modification of an image
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I’m way behind on FamilySearch and Ancestry.com news stories. To ketchup, here’s several news items.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry.com held a 3rd Bloggers Summit during last week’s FGS Conference. DearMYRTLE attended and ends her report with the comment, “Ol' Myrt here must say that Ancestry.com is truly following through with efforts to communicate with the genealogy community and figure out ways to prioritize user feedback—a refreshing departure from previous corporate policy.” Click here to see her complete report.

FamilySearch BulletDon’t read too much into that New FamilySearch (NFS) rollout announcement you received recently. It was sent to consultants and priesthood leaders in all remaining Idaho/Utah temples, according to Don Anderson of FamilySearch.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry.com is previewing a new pedigree viewer. The new viewer uses Flash, the same technology that FamilySearch uses for its Pedigree Viewer. Read more about the Ancestry.com viewer from product manager, Kenny Freestone.

FamilySearch BulletIf the release occurred on schedule, then NFS went out to the remaining stakes in St. George on Labor Day. That brings the total temples to 116. Unfortunately, the number of remaining temples didn’t go down because Oquirrh Mountain came online, offsetting the decrease. There are still nine more temples in Utah and Idaho and five more in the Orient.

Also, 14 stakes in the Idaho Falls district went live. That puts Idaho Falls within striking distance of finishing up next Monday. Has anyone in those stakes been notified they’re going live on 14 September 2009? Let me know! As always, for the latest news check “Temple Districts Using New FamilySearch.”

Ancestry working on Facebook interface Bullet Ancestry.comAfter I showed FamilySearch Record Search’s Facebook interface last week, I came across evidence that Ancestry.com may be working on one of their own. Click on the image to the right for a larger view. The link to the Facebook application was operational. The link to view the document on Ancestry.com was not; it points to a new and unknown subdomain, search.ancestrydev.com.  See “Ancestry Subdomains” for my article last year. The domain is somewhat similar to search.ancestry.com, which is used to view documents. Because the feature is under development, we can see what subdomain is used if and when the feature actually rolls live.

FamilySearch BulletFamilySearch has released the Instructor's Guide to Temple and Family History Work for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use to teach family history lessons during Sunday School. A copy is being sent to each ward and branch unit. While it can be ordered online (35804), I imagine it will not be delivered to individuals and distribution centers until after it has been sent to all units.

Each unit was also sent one copy of the student’s manual, which is the Member's Guide to Temple and Family History Work. To use the Member’s Guide online, click here. While it is not listed for online ordering, I’ve heard it can be ordered on the phone by number, 36795-000. I came across one in a distribution center last week. For your convenience I’ve posted the links to all the online manuals on my web page. Look in the right column at ancestryinsider.blogspot.com .

BulletTreeFamily Tree Magazine is taking nominations here this month (September 2009) for the Family Tree Top 40 Blogs. You can nominate as many blogs as you wish, even your own. Don’t worry about whether your favorite has already been nominated; they’d like to hear why you think the blog belongs in the top 40. Just to show how transparent and open I am (wink, wink), here’s one of my nominations:

  1. Title: The Ancestry Insider
  2. Name: The Ancestry Insider
  3. URL: http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com
  4. How often do you read this blog? While I write it
  5. Why are you nominating this blog?
    It’s either personal vanity or because this is the most stupendous, wonderful blog in the entire universe. Rats!!! Honesty forces me to go with the first one.

Voting will take place from 5 October to 5 November. Read all about it here from the Genealogy Insider (not to be confused with the Ancestry Insider).

Bullet Ancestry.comJuliana Smith, long-time editor of 24/7 Family History Circle announced that Ancestry.com is closing down that blog. She’s been re-assigned to the Ancestry.com Blog, the company’s other corporate blog. I always thought it odd that Ancestry.com had two corporate blogs. But I noticed that Juliana was able to exercise a degree of freedom that writers on the Ancestry.com Blog did not. While I’m sad to see 24/7 go, I would be more concerned if I didn’t agree with dear Myrtle’s view that Ancestry.com has turned over a new leaf in its attempts to communicate with users.

BulletTree Credit The Photo Detective (and Dick Eastman, I thought, but I can’t find the article now) for alerting me to a new website for storing high-resolution copies of historic photographs online: The History Album. “Creating an account will enable you to create albums of your own images, and upload them to The History Album either just for your own use, or if you choose, for others to view and share.” This website is a spinoff of a stock photo business in England. If you share your photos, others must pay to use them and you get 30% of the “net fees.” This goes up to 47.5% for photos marketed on their other properties. Do I understand the Terms and Conditions correctly? “To clarify, this is the percentage calculated after all production costs including credit card commissions etc. have been deducted.” This would include all taxes and agency fees. Does it include marketing costs and general overhead? Payments are quarterly if amount owed exceeds Forty Pounds (about 66 US dollars).

I was disappointed in some documents I uploaded to flickr when I found that flickr had reduced the resolution, making some barely legible text illegible. I wonder if the History Album allows contributors to download their own photos? If so, this might just be a place to store a third or fourth copy of your historic photographs in case one of the web sites with your photographs deletes them all (Can you say, “Kodak Gallery?!”). And you might just make some money to boot.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry.com and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced a partnership. DearMYRTLE investigated and learned that the partnership is for World Archives Project (WAP). See her complete report. To see a list of other WAP partners, click here.

FamilySearch BulletFor comparison, click here to see a list of FamilySearch Indexing partners (including NEHGS).


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  2. Both the Instructor's Guide and the Members Guide to Temple and Famly History Work are available in good quantity at the Distribution Center in Logan. The Members' Guide had been there since Monday 31 August, and I picked up 20 for my class that day. The Instructor's Guide arrived today. I just bought one
    (5.50) and there were plenty of them there. The priesthood leaders received one copy of each in their mailing last week.


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