Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leveraging the Power of "WE"


A Watershed Event in Discovering Where to Find Your Ancestors

The watershed genealogical event that we have been experiencing for quite some time now and another event it is sparking are ..  DIGITIZATION (millions of records being put online every day).

Census, Birth, Marriage, Death, Emigration, Immigration, Family bibles, Family Histories, Cemeteries, Court, Military Schools, Land, Religious, Tax, Occupational, Newspapers, Local Histories, Diaries, Funeral Home, Insurance, Obituaries …............. the list goes on and on.

There are so many records coming online so fast and really that presents a CHALLENGE! Which records should I search first? read on ....

Resource Courses, Research Wiki, Forums Another thing that Mass digitization (This Watershed Event) does for us is it gives us another challenge of where to look: Family Search, Geneanet, Geneanum, RootsWeb, Google, National Archives, Libraries, Cyndi's List, BLM, Find A Grave, GenWeb, One Great Family, My Heritage, Interment, Footnote, Genealogy Bank, World Vital Records, Archives There are lots of places to look because there are more and more repositories and publishers putting stuff online everyday.

So, the challenge becomes: Where do I look for the records I need? There is such an amazing amount of information coming at us. Watershed Events Yields New Needs. The question then becomes how do I sift through the records into my family groups. It's not enough to just gather the stuff it turns into how do I sift through the data into my own personal family group? With those needs comes solutions (Needs Spark New Solutions). Everybody knows something that can help someone else. There's this idea that no matter how long you have been doing genealogy you probably have something that can help another researcher. Finding people that “knows something” is valuable and if I compile my knowledge with everyone's knowledge and put it in a place where everyone has access to it, now that's POWERFUL STUFF! This is the solution that is sparked by the needs which in turn was sparked by the watershed event of the mass digitization. So, Really, the Power of We, is amazing! We used to have to rely on Web and book publishers for most research guidance. Now we can band together to leverage our collective knowledge. We, as a community, can help each other a lot more because of the tools that are available. The Family Search ( “WE” solutions Family Search is coming up with tools and communities that can help us.

Research Courses: Cool how-to videos on many different topics.
Wiki: 59,000 articles on how to find, use, and analyze records in your ancestor's area.
Forums: A place to ask/answer questions.

All are free and community built All leverage the Power of WE: collective knowledge and growing that community really rapidly.
 Research Courses: an introduction
 They are rather new but coming out at a faster pace now.
 Over 160 lessons and adding more every day.
 Most courses are by regional directors
 Experts from all over the world.
 Topic range: Beginner to expert
 HOW-TO's from Beginner to expert
 Big range of time length from 5 minutes to 60 minutes.
 It's really about the community pinching in together to create something FREE FOR ALL.
 Some are wonderfully interactive and really involve you instead of looking at a talking head, if you will.
 Finding Research Courses (Available on Windows and Mac)

On you can find the resource courses on the top left of the screen labeled “LEARN.”It will then open the Learning Resources page. From that page look down toward the bottom of the page and you will see a tab that reads “research courses.” You click that in order to get to a menu of courses that are available to take. NEXT is The Research Wiki It is not the Research Guidance on Research Guidance doesn't not get updated as fast as Research Wiki. What is a WIKI? It's not a foreign word. It is Hawaiian for “quick.” The person that created the first Wiki wanted to create a web altering tool to help him a make website really fast without narrow html code which is the programming code to create website. He wanted regular people to be able to add to websites so he created the first Wiki. A Wiki is: A place to collect community knowledge. The most famous Wiki is Wikipedia. There is a quality to it, A Factual Correctness. Anyone can contribute to a Wiki. When we contribute together we will find different things just because we will run into together things. Writing in Wiki is just as easy as writing in Microsoft Word. With a Wiki you can write an idea now (stub = a little bit of information) and add more late. And the funny thing is if you start with a small bit of information then someone comes on the page that knows a little bit more then you know and he adds it you will end up with quite a really informative article.

Family Search Wiki. Click on Learn Link that brings you to the Learning Resources then click on the Research Wiki link.
 Where to find records
 Record contents
 How to use various records
 How to sort findings into family group's
 It covers over 100 countries. It's becoming multilingual.
 You can not search ancestors on Wiki.
 You can browse different parts of the world for articles.
 Research Wiki has over 59,00 articles and it's growing by about 50 new articles a day.
 The faster the people know about this the faster it grows.
 When you research Wiki it will give you
 Rich, Deep, Wide kind of information.
 You will find authors to be very protective of the information and really care about the quality of information for those pages.
 15 Best Web Resources for doing genealogy.
 Military Records
 World History
 Different Projects: You can ban together on Wiki with people who are interested where your ancestors lived. It becomes like a one stop shop of that area. You can kick start your own project.
 Useful websites, links.
 On the project you can list the current tasks in need of volunteers where people in a simple bullet list what they need.
 Write out things that they would like to see done.
 It doesn't take a expert to be a contributor. It's simply Google searches.
 People will step up and get the things done. It goes on and on.
 Just know that if you can use a word processor you can use Wiki.
 You need to be registered to add and edit. HOW TO FIND FAMILY SEARCH FORUMS ON FAMILYSEARCH.ORG
 If you get a community together what's going to happen is you're going to solve problems quicker. Forums are basically about asking questions and getting answers.
 You can still get email notifications of conversations that are happening that you are interested.
 Purpose: Ask questions & share expertise
 Scope: Worldwide
 Ten languages coming
 Most questions get multiple answers
 Mostly advice
 Some people are actually willing to do lookups.
 Topics: Research, software, contributing to the wiki.

Easiest way to find the forums on is to go through Google. Family Search Forums. From the Wiki then go to Community link then go to Wiki Forums or Research Forums. There are a lot of localities covered.
What do you Need to Know?
What's Next in your genealogy search?
You can learn great stuff from the research courses. It will help you make the searches easier for you. It actually makes learning fun besides getting great information.

No matter what you need to know YOU CAN …...
 Learn from the research courses
 Search the wiki You can
 Ask in the forums and in all these ways you can leverage the “Power of We.”

You know something that no matter how long or short of time you've been doing research you learn something. Usually the hard way. It's the hard way lessons that we never forget right? Those are the lessons we feel most compelled to share. If your niece or nephew were starting out their research would you love to save them hours that you had to spend on a mistake because you didn't know any better because you didn't have someone sitting by you holding your hand saying you're going to want to do this thing this way in your research.

You can leave a legacy. YOU CAN ….
 You can contribute a research course
 You can contribute to the WIKI
 You can answer questions in the forums And in

All these ways you can BUILD THE POWER OF WE

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