Saturday, November 30, 2013

G+ Hangouts, webinars and online events this coming week

DearREADERS,
Thanks to the centralized calendar at GeneaWebinars.com, genealogists interested in learning more about our craft may register for these online seminars coming up this week. Be sure to verify the time in your neck of the woods. If you need a time zone converter see: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

This centralized calendar provides information about how to attend genealogy-related online meetings, classes, hangouts, seminars and webinars, where there is a visual slide share and/or website or software demo for attendees to view.

Hosts may use a variety of platforms including Adobe Connect, AnyMeeting, Captera, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Live Meeting, Skype, Web-Ex, and Wiggio, to name a few.

There are currently over 35 with posting access to this calendar and blog, and over 200 hours of scheduled instruction for genealogists wishing to hone their research skills during the coming year. 




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

Blog: http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont  
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Best New Vlog: Mondays with Myrt

DearREADERS,
Mondays with Myrt was honored today with the award for Best New Vlog (video blog) in the GeneaBlog Awards 2013 by +Tamura Jones. This gentleman doesn't give out awards willy-nilly, and that's why I value his feedback. Tamura writes "No recipient knows their blog has been selected, or even that their blog is being considered, until the awards are publised."

This year there are three recipients, and Ol' Myrt now graciously tips her hat to the other two, +Caroline Pointer  and +Tim Forsythe for the fine work they do in their blogs.

You'll want to check out Tamura's description of the other award winners work in the Genealogy Blog Awards 2013 post located here:
http://www.tamurajones.net/GeneaBlogAwards2013.xhtml Be sure to scroll down toward the bottom where you will find the hyperlinks to the blogs in question.

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

Blog: http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
G+ DearMYRTLE Community
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE

Cool ideas for KID interviews

DearREADERS,
Just in time for Thanksgiving in the US comes this free newsletter with ideas for getting children to have fun doing interviews. Thanks to Marlo Schuldt from LifeStory at HeritageCollector.com. Ol' Myrt here is intrigued by his smartphone tripod setup shown below.

It's all about sharing, recording, and preserving family stories!
 
 
Marlo says "Thanksgiving and and the upcoming holiday season are are perfect times to capture, record and preserve “once in a lifetime” access to stories when we are all together and start spinning yarns.
 
 This is so easy it’s a no brainer as many will have smart phones and can actively assist in the process – even the teenagers!"
 
Here’s the link to the latest newsletter with ideas, including possible questions to ask those kids. I am SOOO going to do this! http://www.heritagecollector.com/Newsletter/RecordStories.pdf
 
SUBSCRIBE to Marlo's The Old Shoebox Newsletter here:

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

Blog: http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
G+ DearMYRTLE Community
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ANCESTRY MEMBER TREES: It's all about COMMENTS, isn't it Cousin Russ?

DearREADERS,
Some mighty interesting work has gone on during the past week. +Russ Worthington , better known as "Cousin Russ", took up a crowdsourcing problem posted by +Randy Seaver, author of the GeneaMusings genealogy blog. Crowdsourcing is defined by Mashable.com as "distributed problem solving. By distributing tasks to a large group of people, you are able to mine collective intelligence, assess quality and process work in parallel."

What Russ and Randy discovered all boils down to this:

1. Two genealogists of comparable abilities are sharing an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT), but there are problems with the interface.

2. Only one can "sync" the Ancestry Member Tree to a file on his/her computer that can be read by the genealogy program of his/her choice for ease in navigation.

3. Randy was willing to make changes to correct Russ' Ancestry Member Tree; but when Randy made changes, unbeknownst to him, this obliterates data in Russ' FamilyTree Maker (FTM) 2014 database the next time Russ syncs. This potential impact wasn't on Randy's radar because he primarily uses RootsMagic genealogy software.  

4. While looking at the AMT, Randy couldn't see all of Russ' FTM2014 data about an ancestor. 
Ol' Myrt here wonders why Ancestry.com doesn't want all sharable Family Tree Maker 2014 info about an ancestor to show up in an Ancestry Member Tree.

5. Since Russ is the "owner" of the Ancestry Member Tree, Russ has asked Randy to post COMMENTS rather than make actual corrections or changes to the tree.


MYRT'S TAKE ON THIS
Since there is no perfect genealogy syncing mechanism on the market today, setting ground rules when collaborating with an online tree is essential. This can vary from researcher to researcher. Russ discovered he prefers "comments rather than changes." Now that Randy knows this, things will go a little more smoothly. 

The only trouble is, Randy prefers to use his familiar genealogy program, RootsMagic, to navigate through the family groups on the shared Ancestry Member Tree. He cannot even download a generic GEDCOM file, since he isn't the "owner" of Russ' tree.
Ol' Myrt here wonders why Ancestry.com doesn't share it's API script so any genealogy software can sync seamlessly with an Ancestry Member Tree.
Yes, Ol' Myrt realizes the "behind the scenes" stuff is slightly more complicated than just syncing, but come on, programmers, this is the 21st century.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
With the focus shifting from isolationism to collaboration, we should understand frustrations will occur since most participants will come to a genealogy crowdsourcing project with a variety of:
  • research experience
  • analysis and correlation abilities
  • hardware and software choices
  • attitudes about arriving at a conclusion
  • time to devote to the project
Fortunately in Russ and Randy's case, we have researchers of equal abilities and technical expertise. Each demonstrates a high level of dedication to the task, in addition to a high level of mutual respect. They have no axe to grind, and no egos were involved. Russ and Randy simply wanted to figure out how best to collaborate using the tools available to them at the time.

If these two guys had trouble figuring out how best to collaborate, then what does that say for the rest of us?

THE NITTY GRITTY
You may wish to review these several "short subject" recorded HOAs (Hangouts on Air) and blog posts listed below describing the process of sharing and syncing to an Ancestry Member Tree. Be sure to also tune in to Russ and Randy's discussion of the challenges they encountered when collaborating.

ANCESTRY MEMBER TREES: Sharing Options with Russ and Ol' Myrt






ANCESTRY MEMBER TREES: What is Syncing?  with Russ and Ol' Myrt.

 




ANCESTRY MEMBER TREES: Practical Collaboration Tips with Russ, Randy and Ol' Myrt.





FOR FURTHER READING


From Russ Worthington's Family Tree Maker User Blog:

From Randy Seaver's GeneaMusing Blog:


YES, Ol' Myrt here is giving out a great big call to action. Why can't seamless syncing be done? In this case we're talking two of Ancestry.com properties -- Ancestry Member Trees and Family Tree Maker. This is 2013, and we're only slightly farther along than copying and pasting from a newly discovered cousin's email or a message board posting.

I dare say "crowdsourcing" works well for large scale genealogy indexing projects, but why must we leave it at that? Genealogists want to collaborate. They want to put their work out there for peer review.

Programmers, let's get going and make syncing work smoothly.



Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Blog: http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
G+ DearMYRTLE Community
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE




FO

Killer deal on RootsMagic 6

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received earlier today from our friends at RootsMagic. Please address all inquiries to support@RootsMagic.com.



With the holidays coming up, we often get requests from our users about buying copies of RootsMagic to give as gifts to their family or friends.  In what has become an annual tradition, RootsMagic owners can buy discounted copies of our software to give as gifts.

Ten Years of Holiday Specials!
It's hard to believe this is our 10th year offering holiday pricing for gifts, and to celebrate we are going to do our best holiday offer ever!

During this special holiday sale, you can order gift copies of RootsMagic 6 *AND* the book "Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic" for just $20 (plus shipping).  That's right, both the program and book together for $20.

Even better, you can order our other products for just $19.95 each, or you can order our 3 best sellers (RootsMagic, Personal Historian, Family Atlas, and the RootsMagic book) together for just $49.95.

There is no limit on the number of discounted gift copies you can buy during this limited time offer which will expire December 20, 2013. You will receive the full program and 360 page book for each copy you order.
To take advantage of this offer, just visit:

http://www.rootsmagic.com/holidayoffer

or order by phone at 1-800-ROOTSMAGIC (1-800-766-8762).  You'll need to mention the code HOLIDAY2013 when you call.

Upcoming Events

Here’s a list of the places RootsMagic will be exhibiting, teaching classes or doing workshops.