Thursday, June 18, 2009 finding connections with research

Tuesday afternoon saw Ol' Myrt and her 11-year-old grandson at The Generation Networks offices in Provo, Utah for an appointment with Product Development Manager David Graham. My grandson is currently editing the video interview, but here are some highlights of what's coming down the pike at's website.

MEMBER CONNECT will debut later this summer, but the "landing" page is available today. For those members who elect to upload their family tree (GEDCOM file format is allowed), information from research others are doing on the site will come to your attention at the new landing page based on:
  • Record based - a record you both have attached to an ancestor.
  • Tree based - you have likely matches on your uploaded family trees.
  • Activity based - you and another member have completed a shoebox save, combined ancestors in family tree files, updated info on a common ancestor, etc.
This new MEMBER CONNECT interface will eventually allow you to collaborate with another researcher, and combine information. You can have multiple items for birth, marriage and death, so if your common ancestor's birth date conflicts with info on the other's member tree, you can keep both sets of birth info, until you determine which is correct.

Rather than receiving an email notice, any new MEMBER CONNECT information will be collected and presented on your "landing" page when you login. This is very much like RSS feeds of blogs that go to your iGoogle or Bloglines page. The information is there when you go to the website to view them.

Researchers won't have to go searching all over for possible matches. Instead we'll let the computers do the searching behind the scenes, so we'll have more time to research elsewhere, attend a family reunion, or organize our computer rooms. (Eating and sleeping are optional, as every avid genealogist knows!)

Here's a screen shot what the new MEMBER CONNECT "landing" page will likely look like:

BELOW note what the page will look like if you are viewing a census record, and decide to leave a comment about the image. The soon-to-be released MEMBER CONNECT interface will list other members who commented on the document, attached it to an ancestors in their online tree or saved it to their shoebox. It is likely you'll want to communicate with those other members to coordinate research efforts. provides security of communication based on your choice of privacy levels.

BELOW is a sample page of how an individual ancestor's page will look, with the green text on the far right indicating a "new" link to another member’s research. This provides the opportunity for collaboration to share additional research and avoid errors or duplication of effort.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.


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This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.