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27 May 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Email Signature Cheat Sheet

email

Recently, in my role as Publicity Chair for the Illinois State Genealogical Society, I was asked to develop an “email signature” to publicize various events including the upcoming FGS 2011 conference in Springfield, IL.

What Is An Email Signature?

An email signature is usually a snippet of text or an image embedded into your blank email template.  Each time you create a new email, the text or signature will appear at the bottom.

Here is an example of my current email signature using Outlook 2007:

email signature

Why Use An Email Signature?

Look at the bottom of your email as real estate that should be used wisely.  If you run a business, you should be placing links to your website or advertising your latest special or offering.

If you sit on the board of a genealogical society, think about advertising your next event or project.  It costs nothing and every time you send an email, the message gets out.

Email Signature Cheat Sheet

In order to get all our ISGS board members on board and have them create email signatures, I had to address all the different email programs such as AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and more!  That’s why I’ve created the FREE Guide to Email Signatures over at The Connected Genealogist (downloads in PDF) to help walk you through the process.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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05 May 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Family Tree Maker for the Mac

Family Tree Maker

At last week’s National Genealogical Society annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ancestry announced that the Mac® version its popular Family Tree Maker software would be ready for release by the end of 2010 (see contents of press release below).

Hints were made during the annual Bloggers Day event at Ancestry headquarters this past January 2010 that a Mac version was in the works.  And with the advent of the iPad, the announcement comes as no real surprise.

If Ancestry Builds It, Will They Come?

What may be surprising is whether or not current Mac users will embrace this version of Family Tree Maker or not.  Other programs such as MacFamilyTree and Reunion have existed for several years.  In addition, Mac users are known for their fierce product loyalty and this includes applications – it may be difficult for existing Mac owners to give up their current genealogy software.

If the iPad continues to sell at its current pace, and large numbers are purchased by first-time Mac owners, perhaps they’ll automatically look to the dominant player in the genealogy field (read: Ancestry), and pick up the Mac version of FTM.

Check out MacGenealogy.org for product reviews and the latest news on Mac versions of genealogy software – there are some great resources at this site.

Press Release

PROVO, Utah, April 28, 2010 – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family resource, today revealed a Mac® version of Family Tree Maker® at the 2010 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new version of the world’s No. 1 selling family history software is planned for release later this year.

“Every innovation or update we make is driven by what customers tell us they need to further their family history research,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product. “The Mac version of Family Tree Maker was the obvious next step forward to add to our family of Ancestry.com products and is a much anticipated product for our Mac-based customers.”

Family Tree Maker has helped users organize their family history research for more than 20 years. The software provides users the tools they need to build a family tree, record memories and organize photos, stories, videos and audio clips in a way that will help easily capture and share the story of their ancestors.

Family Tree Maker accesses the robust collection of family history records and powerful search features from Ancestry.com – without leaving the software. When connected to the Internet, Family Tree Maker automatically searches Ancestry.com for historical documents about the individuals in the user’s family tree. Ancestry.com subscribers can easily view and import these historical records into their family tree with just a few mouse clicks.

Family Tree Maker 2010 is the current PC version of the software. The Mac version of Family Tree Maker will be built on the functionality of Family Tree Maker 2010 and constructed from the bottom up to take full advantage of the Mac platform in terms of technology and user experience.

Early this year, Ancestry.com expanded to another Apple® platform: the iPhone®. With the launch of its Tree To Go iPhone application in January 2010, Ancestry.com now gives users access to generations of family history at every turn. From their iPhone, users can easily upload photos, update sources and edit trees. The Tree To Go iPhone application is available for iPhone and iPod touch® for free through the iPhone App Store or iTunes®.

Ancestry.com also announced today the launch of its new Ancestry.com Wiki. This wiki will feature a living version of the company’s two largest reference books, The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy and Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources. These books, which are exhaustive guides to American genealogy, will now be made available for the family history community to update, expand on and even add to, making it a go-to resource for guidance and information. The beta version of the Ancestry.com Wiki is available to the public for free at www.ancestry.com/wiki.

About Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with more than one million paying subscribers. The company has digitized and put online more than 4 billion records over the past 13 years. Ancestry users have created over 14 million family trees containing nearly 1.5 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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04 May 2010 ~ 6 Comments

Ratings Analysis of Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

The American version of the Who Do You Think You Are? television series just completed its first season on Friday, 30 April 2010.  Beginning on 5 March 2010 and running for seven episodes during a nine-week period, below is my interpretation of the ratings as measured by major television rating services.

Ratings Comparison – Table

(Click to embiggen all tables and images)

WDYTYA ratings table

Ratings Comparison – Charts

WDYTYA viewers

WDYTYA ratings

WDYTYA share

Comparison of Overall Ratings and 18-49 year old Ratings

WDYTYA rating comp

Comparison of Overall Share and 18-49 year old Share

WDYTYA share comp

WDYTYA timeslot rank

WDYTYA evening rank

Analysis

  • Episode 3 with Lisa Kudrow was the first episode up against NCAA March Madness games on CBS.  Note the slight drop in ratings for the 18-49 age group (from 1.8% to 1.7%) as compared to an increase for the overall (4.5% to 4.7%).
  • Episode 4 with Matthew Broderick – major impact of NCAA Sweet Sixteen on CBS.  The episode focused on military history which would have pulled a large male viewership but they were off watching the games.
  • Episode 5 with Brooke Shields didn’t see a major rebound in numbers from the Broderick lows what with CBS back to its regular programming.
  • While the overall ratings resumed climbing with Episode 6 (Sarandon), for the 18-49 age group the ratings never really recovered and continued to decrease through to Episode 7.
  • Episode 6 with Susan Sarandon had the highest evening ranking (2) of any of the WDYTYA episodes.  April 2nd was also Good Friday with more older viewers at home.
  • Evidence that Episode 7 with Spike Lee may have fared worse with older viewers who might see him as a polarizing figure:  full percentage decline (8.0% to 7.0%) overall but remained the same (5.0%) for 18-49 age group.  This was also one of the lowest evening ranked episodes of the WDYTYA series at 7.

Conclusion

I think for its first season – and an abbreviated season at that – Who Do You Think You Are? did very well and did a good job at bringing the fields of genealogy and family history front-and-center for American viewers.

Will Season 2 be able to build upon the ratings seen above?  That remains to be seen especially since Season 1 relied heavily upon marketing during NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage.  That marketing venue won’t be available but I expect that Ancestry.com – the major sponsor of WDYTYA – will continue its connection with the show.  In fact, my next analysis will be reviewing the impact that WDYTYA has had on website visits, revenues, etc.

Oh, and how did WDYTYA stack up against Roots, the mini-series which debuted in 1977 on ABC?  Well to be fair, this was back before cable television, the Internets, and DVRs had an impact on television.  But the figures are here.  An average rating of 45% with a 66% share? Not even close.

Stay tuned.

Sources

(Arranged in episode/date order)

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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