Archive | Genealogy Education

09 July 2010 ~ 4 Comments

Announcing The Connected Genealogist

The Connected Genealogist

[UPDATE June 2012: Most of my offerings at Lulu.com have been retired. The reason: it has been difficult to keep various guides on Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, etc. updated. Please stay tuned for new offerings soon!]

After months of preparing, writing, and researching and with much “pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth,” I am pleased to announce my new genealogy business venture: The Connected Genealogist℠, a division of High-Definition Genealogy.  You can read more about the concept here, but in brief this is what you’ll find:

  • All “cheat sheets” posted at my various sites such as GeneaBloggers have been retooled and are now located in The Connected Genealogist Store.  They are in large type (14pt) and in PDF format.
  • Don’t think “store” and then think $. The cheat sheets which have been downloadable for free in the past will remain that way.  The store is simply and easier way to organize them.
  • The newest product – available for a small fee – is Genealogy Speaking Templates.  A package of six Word templates you can use for genealogy speaking engagements.  I’ll have more details on the specifics over the weekend, but the templates include:  a contract, spec sheets for travel and hotel, a transmittal letter and even a summary description and a syllabus.  These are easy-to-use documents with “click and type” fields and can be customized to suit your specific needs.
  • In the coming weeks and months you’ll see more products including templates to create a genealogy resume and bio, books on how to become a genealogy speaker and on 21st century marketing techniques for genealogists and genealogical societies and more.
  • Beginning in August 2010, The Connected Genealogist will be offering a variety of webinars (virtual presentations) at our Webex site.  Topics will cover Facebook, Twitter, how to use Dropbox to store your genealogy data “in the cloud,” and more.  And in an exciting marketing twist, my intent is to make all webinars free to attend – you pay only for the syllabus materials including templates, guides and books.

The Connected Genealogist is the culmination of about a year’s worth of work.  I want to bring a variety of educational tools to the genealogy community, especially ones that can “raise” the technology quotient.

While I would love to give away this knowledge for free, with over 25 years experience in the Information Technology field and my recent experience with social media, financially I can’t survive on free.  I will always try to make as many of these items free whenever possible but some items will have a nominal fee.  My mantra in this endeavor: I want to make a living, not a killing.

* * *

I hope you’ll check out The Connected Genealogist.  You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well.  And remember, let The Connected Genealogist be your guide to connecting genealogists with new technologies.

The Connected Genealogist is a registered service mark of High-Definition Genealogy

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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28 May 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Using Webex For Collaborative Genealogy Research

webex

This week I was successful in using Webex – a web conferencing application from Cisco – to assist a genealogy colleague with some tricky research issues.  You can read more about Gini’s story here at her blog Ginisology.

The Process

  • The challenge: find information using German records on Ancestry.com to find Gini’s great-grandfather, Hans Bacher.
  • The issues: Gini was ready to upgrade to a World level subscription with Ancestry but she wasn’t certain that it would yield the results she needed.  In a way she wanted a “test run” but as a current Ancestry customer, this wasn’t possible on her own.
  • The solution: participate in a collaborative effort using my Ancestry World subscription here in Chicago and allowing Gini (and her mother) who were located 1760 miles away to interpret the results in German.

Webex To The Rescue

I’ve been using Webex over the past few months including teaching to the California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland, California from my home here in Chicago.  For Gini’s situation, I decided to make the distance education process more personal and do a one-on-one session.

So I sent Gini an invitation to join my Webex session set for a pre-determined date and time.  We also contacted each other on Skype which meant no telecommunications charges.  For the next two hours, I was able to display my computer desktop and perform searches, enlarge images, discuss records on the phone, and also maintain a research log of the items located for later reference.

While we were not able to conclusively determine what happened to Hans Bacher once he found out Gini’s great-grandmother was pregnant, we found strong evidence that he may have ended up – of all places – in Chicago, Illinois!

A Proper Use of Ancestry?

I wanted to answer this question – whether it was proper for me to allow Gini access to my Ancestry World subscription – and give my thoughts on the issue.

  • First, I’d never give out my user name and login to anyone, even a good friend like Gini.  I don’t think that is wise and I do think that would violate the Ancestry terms and conditions.
  • Second, in this situation, Gini was already an Ancestry subscriber and thus couldn’t get a free 14-day trial for the World subscription.
  • Third, it is my belief that when all is said and done, that Gini might very well upgrade her subscription because she was able to really see the value of the product and the depth of the German record holdings.  The World War I military records especially for Bavaria – which is where Hans Bacher was located – are phenomenal.  I think this type of “sneak peak” which allows a potential customer to interact with the records can convert that person to a paying customer.

Conclusion

Webex has its own “taste it, try it” option with a free 14-day trial and any genealogist can use this to perform the same collaboration as I did with Gini.  In fact, this past February, another genealogy colleage – Craig Manson of Geneablogie – was able to use the trial version of Webex to teach two sessions from his home in Sacramento to the same CGSL crowd in Oakland.

If you are interested in working with Webex or even have me lead a session for your genealogy society or even one-on-one sessions, please contact me.   Currently, I am working with several genealogy societies and plan to appear at their upcoming meetings as a speaker at one-half my normal speaking rate if I appear “over the ether” using Webex.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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11 May 2010 ~ 4 Comments

Facebook for Genealogists Cheat Sheet

Facebook

[UPDATE June 2012: Most of my offerings at Lulu.com have been retired. The reason: it has been difficult to keep various guides on Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, etc. updated. Please stay tuned for new offerings soon!]

High-Definition Genealogy and The Connected Genealogist are proud to announce its new and FREE Getting Started With Facebook guide (opens in PDF) as well as updates to its Facebook listings of genealogy people, fan pages, groups and genealogy societies!

The new cheat sheet is designed for those genealogists who need some guidance on how to setup a Facebook account, how to configure account settings, how to protect privacy and more.

Getting Started With Facebook

In addition, here are some listings of genealogy-related people and pages on Facebook:

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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