One thing about going to a library conference these days is that there is alot of technology under discussion. Wikis are probably not technology in the classic sense but I wonder why they aren’t being used deeply in genealogy. It seems to me that they would be a great vehicle for collaborative research projects. Many times in my years as an Internet oriented genealogist I’ve developed groups of “cousins” who are researching the same family. We may even be stuck on the same generation. It seems like a no brainer that we could set up a semi-private wiki – or even a public wiki and use it as a place to post research findings, discussed possible conclusions and so forth. We could even use it to “publish” a report that might help others who haven’t found us yet. But when I use wiki search engines I don’t find much of this type of wiki use. Maybe its because you need a specialized search engine to find some wikis. Maybe its because, like me, your average genealogist is a bit older than your average “social network user.” Maybe I’ll have to do this myself. Asher family folks – care to learn a new technology?
Archive for the ‘Technology issues and ideas’ Category
I’m at a library conference and suddenly – someone is talking about various archives that have uploaded their historic photos into Flickr. I never considered Flickr as a possible source for older/old photos of houses, main streets and even family members. But I did some searching and discovered quite a number of wonderful older photos of Kansas towns, North Carolina farms and many photos of people who aren’t related to me – but whose images are turn of the century. Call me obtuse but I had never thought of Flickr as a place for older photos. Many of the archival photos are not well labelled. But you are encouraged to add “tags” and comments if you recognized the image and people are doing that. Be careful how you search, don’t be too specific with a location search. Flickr taggers appear to believe that broader tags are better than more focused specific tags. In other words search for Kansas towns rather than Iola Kansas. Once you find something that interested you check to see if it is part of a Flickr group. These are groups of images related to one another that are browseable just like a photo album. Happy hunting!
I’ve been playing around (in between rebuilding the website and restoring the house – looks like a theme there) with Geni.com which is basically a collaborative genealogical workspace. Not quite a wiki and not quite family tree software, Geni.com allows you to create pedigree chart style linked family trees and share them with relatives who can add information they have. It has some bugs but also some promise. As a place to work together it sure beats sending GEDCOMs around and hoping that the relative treats speculation as speculation and facts as facts instead of the opposite. So far I have only a few collaborators but I hope to add more soon. I’ll write more after I see how this plays out.
I’ve had to divert my research and writing energy to the family website www.mcwieser.info Somehow while downloading an update of the software I use to create the site ToWeb by Luayun Software I overwrote the file copy of the site AND the backup copy of the site. I suspect a flawed download but the brute fact is I am having to rebuilt the site and that is very tedious. I began the site in March and have several hundred photos and 3 long articles posted there. Since I am not a natural coder, it takes me a long time to tweak things. The good part is I am happier with the rebuilt design, the bad news is that I might just reload without some of the current photos since they take the longest to annotate and post. In the meantime the existing site has some broken image files that I can’t fix so I apologize. Instead of recreating things I had planned on adding a family wiki site for my husbands mother’s family the Anstoetters. They are becoming ever farther flung and a wiki would be a great way for them to stay in touch and also manage their regular family reunions. I guess that project will take a back seat for awhile. Sigh.