Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ARCHIVED: WACKY Wednesday - Ancestry's We're Related App

It's a brilliant marketing effort: using the We're Related App (in both iOS and droid format) to bring folks back to Ancestry. The interest we're seeing on Facebook is phenomenal, even among professional genealogists. The app encourages users to  expand their Ancestry trees and see what pops up in the next few "possible cousin" connections. Our panel and viewer comments are best summarized as:

  • This app is a "skin" over our genealogy database, meaning we're looking at our database in a different way.
  • Users specify one of their Ancestry trees, whether public or private, the app works well.
  • Many of the suggested cousin relationships suggested by the app are plausible.
  • There is probably not a good reason to have it on both a smart phone and a tablet, as the second device tends to get "wonky."
  • In our experience, Ancestry is "adding" one or two earlier generations to our "proved" trees to find the cousin connections.
  • Serious researchers a working to prove/disprove those added generations.
  • The app provides serious researchers with possible cousin connections, facilitating collaboration.
  • The "famous person" possible connections piques the curiosity of the youth around the dinner table, and all sorts of non-genealogical conversation happens that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.
  • We all wish one could tap on an ancestor's tile, to see that person in context of his immediate family and to view attached records.
  • The app has failed on at least two our our attendee devices and sadly, reinstalling the app does not reinstate all previously provided possible cousin connections.
  • There is merit in using a Google Sheet or Excel worksheet to keep track of the app's lineage suggestions so if the app fails, you may continue collaborative research efforts with your possible cousin.
  • This is a sample of the worksheet layout Cousin Russ devised:

Our resident archivist +Melissa Barker  says "It's going to take things like this app" to interest the younger generation. They aren't particularly curious about dusty old documents. They like apps with all the bells and whistles.

Sure you can watch the archived version of this hangout here on my blog or on DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel, but why not view AND follow all comments at:

See you at RootsTech 2017. Register here.

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