I have just done a bit of an update of links and sites on the collaboration page – things have certainly changed a bit with various web applications and social networks disappearing since I created it.
Just a short post to let everyone know that there have been a range of site updates across the site. The main change has been the removal of social networking links and buttons that required constant updating. I don’t think these are necessary anymore.
I have over the years tried to find a site that could be useful for housing something of a private family social network. They have usually proved to be less than suitable. It will probably be something I have another shot at as I get back into the family history research and work on the website again.
The site I’m probably going to look into a bit with the hope that it may assist in accomplishing the private social network side of things is Family iBoard. I only recently became aware of it, so I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to investigate at this stage. However, the article linked to below in which the site was reviewed by Mashable, does fill me with a lot of hope. The only real issue will be getting family members to join, especially given the fees involved. But at roughly $8.00 a year, it’s hardly a huge fee and could prove very useful.
What do others think of the idea? I’d be keen to know. It really seems like a very good site for this sort of thing.
I have been away from genealogy for far too long and have started to get busy again. I certainly don’t have the amount of time to put into it as I have had previously, but I do want to start spending some time on my family history again.
I guess the last 5 years have been more than a little slow in terms of my involvement in family history and this has been for a number of reasons, including a slow and painful recovery from a major car accident 4 1/2 years ago, which took a lot longer to recover from than I anticipated. Though I returned to work after about 4 months, the process of recovery took a lot longer than that and I found the effort required at work took some time to get over when I was away from work. It was a difficult time and it was 2 years after the accident that I was fully cleared from any lingering problems associated with the brain injury that I sustained in the accident. It also took about that long to become completely free of any pain associated from the other injuries I suffered.
Since then there have been other things to keep me away from genealogical interests, which have not completely disappeared and I am sure there will be other challenges that pop up from time to time. Still, I think I can now inject some time and effort into the family history side of things again. There is much that needs to be done and I would especially like to complete the book I have been working on for some time. An edition or two were published on the website in the form of PDF files, but this work needs to be replaced due to some errors that appear in it. I am reminded of these errors from time to time, but it has proven difficult until now to get back to the necessary work required to correct them with an updated edition. This will hopefully take place sooner rather than later, though there is much work that needs to be done.
So, back to work it is. This Blog will be the means of updating progress on projects and the like, as well as the Facebook page.
There have been a number of things happening at Tracing our History over the last couple of days, including the overhaul of Kevin’s Portal as mentioned in an earlier post. The latest happenings are listed below:
The first collaboration project has been launched via the Tracing our History Stixyboard (a password is required – please request one). Details of the project and how to use Stixyboard are covered in the above-mentioned newsletter.
Tracing our History is developing a set of tools for enhancing the ability of family members to trace our history together in a collaborative and interactive manner. To do this I am setting up channels and groups within various social networks and web applications. All of these tools and sites provide a plethora of free opportunities for family members to help make our family research more interesting, exciting and useful for all. Please consider joining one or all of these sites listed on the ‘Research Collaboration Features’ page at Tracing our History.
I have now set up two real time chat/file sharing possibilities via the collaboration page, with two different social networking sites (Pip.io and Micromobs). To get involved with either site or both you will need to join the site and the channel that I have set up (on each of the sites). You can find both sites via the link above or go directly to Pip.io and/or Micromobs at:
The first of a number of family trees associated with my family is now accessible via the Tracing our History website. A username and password are required to view the family trees hosted on the site. These are issued to family members who are able to show their relationship to the family.
As most people probably know, a PDF reader is required to read PDF files. Usually you would use Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader for that. Now there is even more reason to use Adobe’s piece of software for doing just that. Adobe has just released version X of the software and it has some massive improvements – improvements that will be of great help to family members at Tracing our History.
The following are the ‘new’ features of version X of Acrobat PDF Reader:
Read, search and share PDF files
Convert to PDF
Export and edit PDF files
Add rich media to PDF files
Combine files from multiple applications
Increase productivity and process consistency
Streamline document reviews
Collect data with fillable PDF forms
Protect PDF files and content
Comply with PDF and accessibility standards
OK, that all sounds very confusing I guess – it does a bit to me also. Now this is how I see at least some of the improvements and they are what I’ve been looking for for a long time.:
There is the ability now to highlight text within a PDF file
There is the ability to add a note to what is highlighted and make comments. If the PDF file is sent to someone else to look at it can be opened and comments can be made in reply to what you have written. This makes a PDF file very collaborative in research.
There is the ability to place sticky notes onto the file – just as you would with a book or magazine. Again, these can be replied to or edited.
Obviously the PDF file can be shared with others for their comments and be passed backward and forwards.
The PDF file can also be sent to someone else right in the reader software by email or via Adobe Online.
So they are just some of the uses of version X, but they are brilliant for genealogy research.