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25 October 2014

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A first look at the new Facebook profile

I've bitten the bullet and had a play with the new profile in Facebook. You'll be able to see it on 1st October. I will take you through the process of setting it up (once you've agreed to do so). At the moment it's only open to developers. When I said yes, I accepted the option to take the tour. First up you can select the cover (the large photo). It selected the most recent photo that had been tagged with my name. As you can see, this isn't me - it's my beautiful great-grand-nephew: When … [Read more...]

Tumblr for Family History Societies and Libraries

I think Tumblr is a great platform for a blog. You can share enormous photos, links and news, and the format is large and easy to read. It's perfect for a family historian who doesn't want to do a lot of writing, or only occasionally. Here is an example of a Tumblr blog (mine): If you click on the picture you will go to my Tumblr blog. What does this have to do with family history? Now this is a personal blog and it's not just about genealogy, so I need you to use your imagination a … [Read more...]

First look at Google+

Google+ is Google's new experiment in the world of social networks. I say 'experiment' because it is only in limited release; you have to wait for someone to be able to invite you, and then you have to accept the invitation during one of the brief, unpredictable periods when new members are being accepted. I also call it an 'experiment' because Google have tried something similar before. It was called Google Wave and it didn't catch on. Google Wave was removed from circulation. It is … [Read more...]

Twitter for family historians

What is Twitter? Twitter is what is known as a microblog. You can send and receive messages, called tweets. A tweet can be a maximum of 140 characters. Tweets can be seen, and searched, by everyone unless you restrict them only to your friends. You can search for messages by a single person, by a word or phrase, or by a topic or hashtag, which is word, often abbreviated, with a # in the front of it. A tweet you particularly like can be retweeted to your followers. Tweets can include … [Read more...]

Which is the best family tree program?

I am often asked this question, and it is a difficult one to answer. The answer depends on what you want to get out of the program. There are some things you need to think about: Ease of use - is the layout easy to understand, and is it easy to work out what you are supposed to do to enter and change your data? Output - what do you want to do with the data once you've entered it? Reports, charts, websites and screen display are all ways of seeing the data you have spent all that time … [Read more...]

Sharing documents on the web

I've been playing with a couple of sites that allow you to share documents. Initially I had to find a way to share Powerpoint slides on a blog, and my solution was to use Slideshare, a free website that allows you to share Powerpoint slides. Slideshare is simple to use and works well. You can upload presentations quickly and easily, and make them public or restricted access, by being given a URL that you then share with those you wish to have access to the presentation. Viewers can leave … [Read more...]

Top 10 Social Media Sites for Family Historians

I think that social media was made for family historians. We are different from other people - we actually enjoy finding distant relatives and keeping in touch with them! Social media helps us to find relatives and old friends in ways that were not possible in the days of mailing lists and message boards. Here are 10 social media sites that are not directly related to family history (except one) but are nevertheless important for communicating, sharing and collaborating with other family … [Read more...]

Whose face is that? – Picasa 3

I have recently upgraded my Picasa to version 3 and let it start running through my photos looking for faces so I could tag them. Picasa is photoorganising, editing and sharing software from the Google people. It's free. The scan started two days ago, and it's now 32% of the way there. Yes, I have a lot of photos. I have restricted to photos in the My Pictures folder for the present, which it says contains about 14,000 photos. Despite the slowness of it, and the fact that it uses up to … [Read more...]

Facebook Privacy

Last week I gave a workshop at the Society of Australian Genealogists Research Library for new Facebook users. There is a lot of interest in Facebook and how it can be used to connect with family and friends, but thereis also a lot of concern about privacy. The biggest issue is the default privacy settings that new users are automatically given. Facebook was designed by college students for college students, and the fact is that this age group are not as concerned with privacy as most of us … [Read more...]

Find-a-Grave

Have you tried searching Find-a-Grave? I thought it was an American site, with only American graves, but I was wrong. I had a look around to see for myself. I searched the FAQ for 'international' to see if it covered countries other than USA, as I couldn't easily find this information on the homepage, and found that some fixes had been done to clean up the list of countries, including Australia. Woohoo! So I did a search for my usual test surname - Eason - and restricted the country to … [Read more...]