Thursday, May 19, 2011

Enlist Now that the War is Over

Civil War Enlistment Reception Civil War Enlistment Reception

I attended two vendor receptions Thursday evening. Translated, that means I’m a loser and failed to sign up for the evening BBQ before tickets sold out. But I digress…

The first was at the FamilySearch booth, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War… And to encourage the enlistment of indexing volunteers. Hey, for an Enlisted badge and a chocolate-chip cookie, I’ll index another name or two.

Interestingly, the poster and matching flyer directed people to I can’t get that address to work on my computer. Did you know some web addresses are case-sensitive and some are not? Apparently, this one is. If you really want to see the page, use

It’s a shame, really. FamilySearch appears to have spent some effort preparing the page, and not many attendees are likely to see it.

Landing Page

This type of page is called a “landing page.” FamilySearch is pretty new at landing pages so I thought it would be interesting to compare their page with’s. I didn’t know where to find the Civil War landing page, or even if they had one. But because of their purpose, their addresses have to be short and obvious.

I found it on my first try: You can also use, because uses Microsoft Windows, which ignores the case of filenames.

Compare the two. Here’s what they look like above the fold. (See “Above the Fold.”)

FamilySearch Civil War landing page Civil War landing page

I’m no graphic designer; all I know I learned from a day-course in designing slide presentations. Compare the use of color, white space, and contrast in the two. Which do you like better? I know which one I like.

With this landing page, FamilySearch for the first time provides a search form that searches a group of collections. Here, the landing page searches a number of Civil War record collections. From the numbers along the top of the search results, it is apparent the FamilySearch Civil War landing page searches these five collections:

I find it weird that these five aren’t the same five listed on the landing page. And neither list matches the list on the flyer given out at the reception.

All this aside, I love these new collections. I love getting more people “enlisted.” And I love chocolate chip cookies.


  1. I had no problem accessing the FamilySearch Civil War page using that link. You may be using a browser that doesn't support that feature.

  2. Both links work (in my browser) from your blog. However, the tool-tip suggests they are different addresses - one (that you say didn't work) is an http, the other an https. But just to make things even more interesting, the actual site (an https site) has a hyphen in it, viz:

    Some days the xxxxx computer just doesn't want to help you, huh?

  3. Dear all,

    The bad news is, you can no longer see the error I complained about because FamilySearch fixed it. The good news is, FamilySearch fixed it.

    -- the Insider

  4. So why does the search engine from the "Landing" page not search ~all~ Civil War collections?


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