Wednesday, November 18, 2020

21st Century Genealogy - 2010 Style

It's a geneaversary for me today. Back in 2010 I was dipping my toes into the water as a genealogy presenter with my very first presentation. Since that date I have given numerous talks at libraries, societies and conferences in Australia and overseas. Although currently all I present are online  I prefer being in a room where I can eyeball and involve the attendees.

Photo: Courtesy of Mosman Library

Discovery of this auspicious occasion was serendipitous. Yesterday I went fishing in the archive of my presentations on an external hard drive and came across 21st Century Genealogy, a talk I gave at Mosman Library on this day in 2010. In a subsequent blog post I talked about my experience at Mosman and my second presentation that same week which was for UnlockthePast

The first thing I noticed was that I hadn't used Powerpoint to deliver my talk, I created the talk in Dreamweaver, a web authoring tool that I had been using in my working life. I moved on to Powerpoint around 2011.

Home page of my presentation

It was interesting to look back on my content. Web 2 was a buzzword in 2010. The Did you know 4? link had me perplexed. Turns out it was a link to this video which I played during the presentation.

In the page on the 21st Century Genealogist I reflected on past and current practices (some of which have changed since 2010). I emphasised that it was good practice to combination of 20th and 21st century practices ie select  the best approach for each task at hand.

The 19th or 20th Century GenealogistThe 21st Century Genealogist
Paper files and foldersFiles stored on computer, hard drives or in the cloud
Records information on index cards or paperRecords information in a genealogy software package
Photos in albums or boxesPhotos stored and indexed on computers, hard drives or in the cloud
Communicates by mailCommunicates via email or social networking sites
Prepares a list of questions to research at the libraryIdentifies and Reserves relevant books to consult on proposed library visit
Uses card indexes in archives and librariesSearches websites and online databases
Genealogy News from magazines, newsletters and journals. The adventurous may use listservsGenealogy news from RSS Feeds, Twitter, Facebook
Reads books and journalsReads ebooks and journals online
Ploughs through newspapers to find articlesSearches digitised newspaper collections
Records notes with pen and paperRecords notes on computer or smartphone
Records charts on paperUses genealogy software to create charts
Photocopies documentsPhotographs or scans documents
Publishes family history in a printed formatPublishes family history on a family website
Travels to interview people in personSkype to connect with people in distant locations

I still stand by what I said on this page: Grab Yourself an Identity (or Web Persona) 
  •   Find something unique that identifies you and tells something about you
  •  GeniAus - identifies me as Australian with an interest in Genealogy
  •  Infolass - ScotGenealogist - Moodleman are other examples
  •  Check the availability of your favourite online identity Namechk is a useful tool
  •  Have a consistent username for all sites you use
  •  Register this username with sites you wish to use
These were the items in my 2010 2.0 Web Tools Toolbox with some current comments:
  • Blogger Publishing  - Still use as well as Wordpress
  • Delicious Social Bookmarking - I use Evernote now
  • Facebook Social Networking - Now have several pages and groups
  • Flickr Photo Managemen
  • Google Calendar Calendar - Continues to manage our  life
  • GoogleDocs Publishing - Now subsumed into Google Drive. Use it daily
  • Picasa Photo Management  - Was sad to see this go
  • Skype Communication - Replaced by other online applications ie Facebook, Google and Zoom
  • SurveyMonkey Survey - Still there if I need it
  • Trove Historical Documents- Couldn't operate without it
  • Tweetdeck  Communciation - Clunky but still in use
  • Twitter Microblogging - Another daily routine
  • Wikipedia Publishing - Laziness has taken over, now used for reference
  • Youtube Video - Another staple on the menu
  • LibraryThing (Fee)  Social Networking for Books and Reading - Now free, have several accounts
  • GenealogyWise Social Networking - Genealogy  - Gone
  • Personal Website - Can't believe it's ten years
  • Ancestry (Fee) Genealogy Database - Convenience at a price
  • Findmypast (Fee) Genealogy Database - Same as Ancestry, nice to have at my fingertips
  • Genes Reunited (Fee) - Gone
I have added more online tools to the Toolbox over the last ten years many of which are related to DNA. In 2010 I was contemplating a DNA test, since then I have taken five tests so several of my new apps relate to genetic genealogy.

It's been fun reflecting on the past ten years.  With a decade of genealogy presenting under my belt I need to consider my future. There's a little bit of life left in the old girl so I may continue spruiking for a while yet.


Jennifer Jones said...

We’ve come so far Jill. Just makes me realise to see it all in black and white. I wish I’d read your advice Re creating an identity before I started to build an online persona. I wasn’t aware of such a thing when I started

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Fascinating to look back. When I was giving some classes in the NT pre-1910 it was still using overheads due to technology limitations at the places. On the other hand, some of those pre-digital indexes etc still have value though many have transitioned go digital by being offered on Ancestry.

veeanne said...

Congrats Jill! Yes, it's extraordinary to see the changes listed! I started researching over 20 years ago, when I was living much of the time in Port Douglas. It was frustrating how few resources were available, especially being so remote. I'd make my lists, order Italian records on microfilm from Salt Lake City through SAG, and fly down to spend days trawling through them and making copious notes! Now Antinati and FamilySearch online have transformed my Sicilian side, although the Chilean is challenging. I still use notebooks however, as I find them fascinating to go back and flick through...often find more clues previously overlooked!


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