I attended the full set of FamilySearch sponsored lectures during Society Day at the 2013 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. This was one of them:
Devin Ashby presented the session, “Breaking Out of the Dog Pile! Energizing Your Society through Projects and Causes.” Ashby is a community advocate for FamilySearch.
“Much of the work in genealogy is happening now in groups,” said Ashby. “Through technology, groups are able to communicate, train each other, and publish records. Internet indexing and other resources can assist in these areas while increasing visibility.”
Ashby walked through the FamilySearch.org website, showing the design put in place in April. I’ve covered much of it already so I won’t repeat any here.
Societies need more visibility. He walked through some ways of making your society more visible. Webinars can draw a lot of interest. Social media can give visibility. Ashby showed the California Genealogical Society and Library’s Pinterest board and the National Genealogical Society’s YouTube channel. These can generate an amazing amount of visibility. Ashby’s own Google Genealogist YouTube presentation has over 23,000 views.
Societies need more unity. He gave examples of FamilySearch indexing partnerships that have unified societies and told us about three initiatives FamilySearch is pushing: FamilySearch.org/immigration, familysearch.org/italian-ancestors, and Hispanic records.
He said that helping author the FamilySearch Wiki can unify societies.
He said that societies can partner with RootsTech to hold local family history fairs. (I talk about that in another article.)
Societies need to publish more. He talked about all the publishing that FamilySearch is doing. He showed a slide showing that FamilySearch is considering new record types for different market segments. (Click on the image to the right to enlarge it. Sorry about the blur; blame my tremors.)
He showed a slide listing these types:
- Photos with strong metadata
- Obituary collections
- Paper compiled genealogies (not in book form)
If your society has an obituary collection, talk to FamilySearch about indexing it. FamilySearch is moving into obituaries and newspapers. OCR isn’t sufficient to make these highly accessible; they need to be indexed.
Earlier this year FamilySearch indexed their first photo collection. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah was indexed in eight hours, processed the next day, and published in a couple of weeks.