Tracing our History Chat Chanels are Open

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.

http://tracingourhistory.com/collaboration.html

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 Tracing our History channel at Pip.io can be found via the link below:
http://pip.io/#/channel/tracingourhistory

The Tracing our History ‘mob’ at Micromobs can be found via the link below:
http://micromobs.com/mob/3e663ac1686f86d36c9cb4d23da5cd77

Wow – Great New Features in Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader

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.

To get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader X visit:
http://www.adobe-new-downloads.com/

Tracing our History: Front Page Updated

I have been doing a bit of work on the front page of the site and it has now changed a fair bit, with links to various interactive/collaborative sites that enhance Tracing our History. If family members are keen to collaborate and share our family history there are plenty of options and tools now available for that, as well as simply keeping in touch. I think there are some really useful resources there now and hopefully they will continue to be added to.

I still haven’t got the book or tree back online, but that is in the works. More to come soon.

Visit the site at:
http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/index.html

Tracing our History: The Latest News

It has been a little while since the last Blog post here at Tracing our History – not a great deal has happened in that time. To be honest I’ve had a lack of interest in family history. However, my interest levels have risen again and I have to thank those who have sent emails to me over the last little while. My lack of interest was ‘sparked’ by bickering on one side of my family, but now the other has ‘refreshed’ my interest by their interest in familial matters. Thank you so much for that.

Part of my interest in family history over the last 10 to 20 years, has been to preserve what I can for future generations. Sure, I’ve been very interested in my past and my family’s past to answer my own curiosity, but I’ve also wanted to have something there for those who come after me. Our history is being lost and I want to be able to preserve as much of it as I can. I have also longed for this exercise to be a collaborative matter, with others in the family also taking part in the preservation of our history. Thankfully, there are a number of people on my mother’s side who seem keen to research that history from varying perspectives (all of which helps with the overall story) and who are also willing to share and collaborate in that research. This can only be good for all of us and for those that follow.

I am still looking at ways to make that process easier and more profitable for us all – to develop a sort of place that we can come back to time and time again, to just touch base, share our research, nut out issues we may have in that research, see if we can help each other, etc. To do this, I think I will have to develop a dual approach – tools for my mother’s side and tools for my father’s side. There is already a Matthews social network available on Geni (which I set up). I am hopeful that on my mother’s side of things the experience will be a far better one (and all indications seem to point that way).

Over the next couple of days I am hoping to get a social network site up and going for my mother’s side of the family, which would include such surnames as Lilley, Jenkinson, Blanch, etc. I want to try and tie this Blog, the social community I have already set up for family members, my actual website and a family tree social network (for my mother’s side) together, so that they kind of work together – there will probably be a few passwords needed (helpful for privacy and security reasons). Anyhow, keep a look at the Blog here – I will keep updating things via the Blog.

In my last Blog post I made some comments regarding Delicious, the online bookmarking social network owned by Yahoo. Things may not be as desperate as I feared in that area, so I am keeping with Delicious at the moment. Hopefully it will be sold and continued, as it is a very good service.

IMPROVEMENTS TO WEB SITE

Every so often I feel the need to change the appearance of the web site and to try and improve it as much and as best as I can. I have once again arrived at this point – a few changes are coming and underway.

 

I don’t expect that there will be wholesale changes across the entire site, but I would expect that there will be some fairly noticeable changes, particularly to the home page. I’m hoping to get the site a little more interactive and to encourage visitor collaboration and participation in the compilation of my (our) family history.

 

Visit the web site at:

Kevin’s Family – Online History Site

 

The Tracing our History community is already in place – though I am the only member at the moment. This social network community provides a fantastic opportunity for family members to communicate and interact with each other, as well as contributing to our family history research.

 

Visit the site at:

Tracing our History

 

I am also hoping to set up a collaborative family tree site, which will allow visitors (members in a secure, password protected site) to provide updates and corrections to research already compiled. I hope to add this feature as soon as possible, but not until I have completed work on the gedcom file (which is still a little way off) with which I will create the site. I am heavily leaning toward either Geni or Famiva at this stage.

 

The front page of the web site will also contain an RSS feed of this Blog and news from other of my social networking sites, Blogs, Twitter, etc.

 

So please feel free to visit Kevin’s Family – Online History Site.