Monday, October 7, 2013

Family Tree Tracker

Several months ago a mate from overseas contacted me because she had been asked to write for a
new genealogy magazine in Australia. A couple of weeks later while I was holidaying in Prague I was also approached by Katie Cincotta, editor of the magazine, to write an article on geneacruising for the publication. Subsequently Katie asked me to write on blogging but from the angle of using a blog to preserve one's family stories.

You may wonder why I was invited to write for this publication. Here is what Katie said in her initial approach "I came across your website and blog and you seem very passionate about the genealogy pursuit and I like your fresh, friendly writing style." Social Media got me this gig. 

I googled Katie and Citrus Media and they seemed to be real so I penned my two articles while I was travelling and emailed them off. I thought that if the magazine didn't eventuate then I had two articles up my sleeve to get published elsewhere. I had an ongoing online conversation with Katie who let me know that the magazine would be published in the first week of October. After I read and approved the proofs I sort of forgot about the magazine until, in a message to me, Alan Phillips commented that I had been busy writing and mentioned the magazine. I raced up to my newsagent and bought a copy. There is something exciting about seeing one's name in print so I was stoked even though my bits are right at the end of the magazine.

Now that I have seen the magazine I am proud to be associated with it. It looks good although some of the pages are a bit too busy for my liking but its strength is in the content. As I may be biased I will refer you to blog posts written by two other Australian geneabloggers about "Family Tree Tracker." 

Family Tree Tracker hits the shelves from Alona Tester
New Magazine by Lilian Magill

There have been similar positive comments on Twitter and Facebook from genealogists in Australia and several Americans have asked where they can get a copy.  

I wondered why I liked it and my thoughts were crystallised when I was writing this comment on Lilian's blog post: "I am biased Lilian but I think the value of this production is that it goes back to basics. It provides guidance to beginning genealogists and answers questions many old hands have like choosing software, why blog, how to search the National Archives. 

We already have one good magazine in Australia and one mediocre one but these concentrate on stories and history. There is a need for something with a more practical focus like Family Tree Tracker but do we have the population to sustain yet another journal?"

I thought of the people I come across who want to know which software package they should buy, the comprehensive article by another of my mates, Louis Kessler, provides pertinent guidance. I thought of the people I meet who have difficulty searching the National Archives of Australia website, there are clear instructions on doing this for them....and the list goes on. 

Someone commented that $14.95 was a hefty price to pay but if you compare it with the cost of the Unlock the Past booklets or those published by Cora Num it is quite reasonable. There is only a tiny amount of advertising in this publication so one is paying for content not advertisements.

I doubt that Australia can sustain another genealogy publication but I hope that Citrus Media consider an annual publication along the lines of  this first Family Tree Tracker. They could even publish it in August each year, Family History Month.

If you would like a copy of Family Tree Tracker you will find it in Australian Newsagents. If they don't have a copy ask them to order it in for you.

Post Script 11/10/2013 Here is a review from my mate, Chez.


Alona Tester said...

They are great articles Jill, and well done on getting the 'gig'. I couldn't think of a better Aussie to write about geneablogging!

Louis Kessler said...


If Katie had told me she needed someone to write about GeneaBlogging, I would have told her to contact you. She figured it out without my help. :-)


GeniAus said...

Thanks, Alona and Louis. I appreciate your kind words.


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