Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Repent at Leisure

A contact on Google+ this morning wrote "Ideal Christmas gift for the genealogist - family historian in your family." and posted a link to purchase Family Tree Maker from Amazon.com.

This raised my hackles. So I replied:

 I am reminded of "Marry in haste, Repent at lesiure"

I have to disagree. I won't suggest one program over another but would counsel people wanting to buy a program to think about what they want from that program.

I would use these resources first:
Kerry Farmer's book "Which genealogy program? "http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/37970119 and Lewis Kessler's marvellous site Genealogy Software reviews: http://www.gensoftreviews.com/ where one finds that Family Tree Maker (current version) was ranked 28 on the list of genealogy programs in 2012. 

I would also check to see if the program developers are members of FHISO (Family History Information Standards Organisation) http://fhiso.org/.  

I would add to this short response, to talk to lots of people and find what they like and dislike about their current program. See if any user groups for the proposed package are in the user's local area. See what forms of print and online support are available for users. Seek the pinion of vendors of multiple software packages, they will know what to recommend.

I don't have a personal issue with Family Tree Maker, I know a lot of people who use it and are very happy with their experience. Purchasing genealogy software is like buying a car, the product has to fit the user's needs.Giving a genealogy software package as a Christmas present is a fine gesture but the giver should really do her homework first before committing to a purchase. 

What would perhaps better would be the gift of a voucher from a genealogy software supplier for purchase of a package of the user's choice.

1 comment:

Carl Lohan said...

For the very best genealogy program reviews, you must read Tamura Jones, a real genealogy technologist who isn't fooled by pretty screens and press releases, but gives you the real low-down.

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