Archive | April, 2010

13 April 2010 ~ 1 Comment

A Successful Virtual Workshop for CGSL


This past Saturday – April 10, 2010 – I presented They’re Alive – Searching for Living Persons for members of the California Genealogical Society and Library (CGSL) in Oakland, CA.  The neat thing is I was able to do this from the comfort of my home here in Chicago, IL using webinar technology.

When I started High-Definition Genealogy, I decided one of the offerings which would be of value to the genealogy community is distance education. What does this entail? Here’s a list of components and advantages made available to not only genealogical societies but individuals as well:

  • Technology rules.  I purchased a WebEx subscription earlier this year and I couldn’t be happier!  I can meet with colleagues at a moments notice and it doesn’t cost them a thing to connect!  I’ve actually been able to meet with genealogy vendors on short notice to discuss issues and demo applications on screen.
  • Easy setup.  CGSL set up a laptop with a screen and projector in the middle of their board room.  They called me from their conference phone so I could speak to the audience and they could answer questions.  I was not only able to display my PowerPoint slides, but I also could share my computer desktop and demo searches in real time.  Plus, I used my web cam to let the audience know that there was a real person running this workshop!
  • Lower costs.  Instead of CGSL having to pay for my travel expenses or for me to pay my own way, using distance education we both were able to keep our costs down.

So what does the future hold?  Well, soon I’ll be posting a list of offerings including a new workshop on how to become a genealogy speaker as well as one on how to obtain writing gigs for genealogy magazines and journals.  I will be able to offer this to individuals at a very reasonable price with folks connecting from the comfort of their own home.

In addition, I’ll be expanding my offerings to genealogy societies by allowing them to hire me as a speaker for their next meeting or special workshop at a very reasonable price compared to my “live in-person” speaking fee.  In addition, at the discretion of the genealogy society, they could allow their members to connect from their home computers.

Stay tuned!

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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01 April 2010 ~ Comments Off on Do You Have a Facebook Vanity URL?

Do You Have a Facebook Vanity URL?

Facebook and Genealogy

As a result of yesterday’s post asking all genealogists to send in links to their favorite genealogy-related pages, groups and people on Facebook, I noticed a pattern:  not everyone is taking advantage of obtaining a vanity URL from Facebook.

What Is A Vanity URL?

When you create your profile page or a fan page or a group on Facebook, the page is assigned a long number.  Like this:

But when you create a vanity URL, the same link looks like this:

Vanity URLs make it easier to remember a link but it also is a good way to market yourself or your genealogy site – using a name is much better “branding” than a long number!

How Do I Get A Facebook Vanity URL?

  • You will be prompted to select a vanity URL name and check for availability.  Warning: once you select a name you cannot change it! Choose carefully!
  • If you have created a Facebook page for your business or organization, click Set username for pages and you can select a vanity URL for each page. Note: a Facebook page must have at least 25 fans before it is eligible for a vanity URL.


You can learn more about Facebook vanity URLs here.  Consider securing your vanity URLs now as part of your overall marketing and branding plan.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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