Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Please answer three questions to get this thing started:

1. What is the most important objective of the group(s) you have created on GenealogyWise?

2. What do you think is the promise of GenealogyWise that will make it succeed where other social networks have not in bringing genealogists together?

3. (Dream with me here) What is the single feature you would most like to see as part of GenealogyWise. "It would be cool if we could . . . "

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Replies to This Discussion

1) To share information. In Missouri Genealogy this means to provide each other with new resources, and help each other when we can. In Amanuensis/Transcription this means to suggest software and methods which may help others in their various transcription projects. In the various surname groups I've created this means to share our family information.

2) I think FamilyLink really knows the power of Twitter/Facebook/and Blogging to spread the word. Their utilization of these social networks in announcing the site has led to an initial surge that has brought many knowledgeable genealogists into the fold from the onset. This is actually "just another" ning.com network. There isn't probably much difference between genealogywise.ning.com and genmates.ning.com, which I believe was created back in Oct 2008. Except, I hadn't heard much about Genmates. That site only has 237 members, and Genealogywise in 1 week has over 7000. The layout is different, but the software is identical.

3) Time Travel. I want to be able to click on a button and travel back in time to interview my ancestors. (You said to dream) Let me think more about this. I want the ability to create categories within the group Discussion Forums - for better organization - but that is rather pedestrian.
Great response. I just sent you a personal message, but I'm going to share most of it here as well:

I think time travel is a distinct possibility . . . at least virtually.

I find the subjects of your groups to be interesting in that localities, tools, and surnames are quite different subjects and what is being shared will be different for each one. Instead of being "just another" Ning site, are there some specific features you would like that would help differentiate these types of groups?

Here's a for instance: I could see tree tools being important for the family/surname research groups, bibliographic entries for source materials being more important in the locality groups, and a way to share screenshots or downloads being more important in the transcription group.

Maybe the generic framework is adequate, but I'm guessing some customization could really make a difference.
I definitely think that some 'apps' can be designed specifically for genealogical purposes. The currently available apps seem more like the fun and games one find on social networks like Facebook. And the current Apps seem to be strictly for individual member pages. I'm not sure if it is possible to add apps to group pages.

Paul Allen in his recent apology to Terry Thornton alludes to APIs in the works, as well as the potential of hosting genealogy society databases - which would certainly differentiate it.

A lot of people have talked about wanting the ability to upload their gedcoms, but that doesn't appeal greatly to me. I want to be much more restrictive on who I share the information with. The tree tools in the software I use for my personal database is sufficient. Though I am certain it will be popular when added.

Regarding screenshots and downloads, groups currently allow you to upload files. I haven't seen anybody do it yet, but the link is there below every comment input field.
Agree re the limiting of gedcom upload - in the same way that a loaded gun is dangerous in the wrong hands, so is an uploaded gedcom! Its one way that Ancestry have got it so wrong in the seeming thirst to get trees online - the limited policing of naive researchers without any sources has ruined an opportunity especially as FTM users can merge anyone else's tree into theirs.
Only yesterday we found ourselves and 2 sons, mother, brother and 2 uncles ( all living and not picked up by the filter) on public display, without consent - the tree owner was not even related to me although his stepmother is a 5th cousin.
ends rant/
Gene,

By "tree tools" I am referring to pedigree tools for viewing or sharing a family tree.

Thanks,
Jim
Thank you. I am very familiar with Rootsweb prior to and after their acquisition by Ancestry.com in 1999. I was working at Ancestry.com at the time. Rootsweb is an excellent free resource of family history research, and the surname lists are a major component. We do have some concepts that will be accessible on GW through APIs that will provide some innovation in this area.

Thanks,
Jim
I will be using the Norton Group to thread my email conversations. I have a couple of hundred active researchers and remembering which family we were talking about has limited my responses.

Things we need.

1) Sticky comments that stay at the top of the thread for instructions.

2) A simple pedigree AP that works within a discussion or blog to illustrate what we are talking about.
Regarding sticky comments, the original post that starts the thread remains where it is...and remains editable by the creator of the thread forever. (Not the 15 minutes those who post replies have to edit them.)

For example, in the Missouri Genealogy group I maintain, I created a thread called Useful Links. The opening of that thread contains all the links, which I will add to as more are suggested in the thread.

The "Text Box" on the group's main page is another flexible location for sticky comments, and links. You can put almost anything there you want. I put a link to the Useful Links thread so it wouldn't get lost in the Discussion Forum as new threads were added.
1) To help other's come together to share information and ideas.

2) I think the growth of GenealogyWise has been phenomenal. I think it will succeed because we, as genealogists, never give up. It will thrive because we won't have it any other way.

3) Still dreaming here....will get back to you...
Hello all! Answers to Jim's questions:

1) To connect people with similar interests, whether surnames [Bradley, Conger] or mtDNA haplogroups [Haplogroup U] and so on. We all need databases of facts to find our family histories, but we also need people, whether genealogy experts or distant cousins researching our own or a related branch of our tree. GenealogyWise connects people! Fun too!

2) GenealogyWise is both focused [just genealogy and family history] and expansive [all surnames, all countries, all haplogroups, all interest topics]. A user can connect with others on many, many topics of interest all in one place! That's a great plus for busy people doing genealogy who want to learn and meet people who share their interests. And find experts! And it is attractively designed, with options to individualize home pages.

3) I dream of a near future when [A] group administrators have a few more tools such as a regularly placed Top Links box, and [B] when individual users can "organize" their groups in A to Z order or personal priority order and when [C] all of the groups are categorized and a user can go to a Group Categories page and choose surnames or countries or whatever and find the relevant groups displayed in some logical order for ease of review. Of course we can use Search to find a group but users might bump into a group if such a display was available. Eventually -- soon? -- you will need categories and subcategories!

Love the concept, happy to be on board, and sharing word about it via my blog:
http://relativemusings.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/

Barbara
Barbara,

Thanks for your excellent feedback and suggestions.

Jim
Thank you the great question:
1. Networking. Discovering more branches and twigs for the Family Tree
2. I do not know yet as I am new today. What attracted me? It was free, I feel everyone should be able to research for free or just basic expenses.
3. Had "Conference Rooms" so to speak.

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