Saturday, December 13, 2008

Genealogy Software Reviews Revisited

It's been almost three months since Louis Kessler unveiled his Genealogy Software Reviews web site at I thought I would take another look and see if many persons have contributed their opinions.

There are over 380 genealogy software products here at present, just waiting for you, and others, to evaluate and rate them.

Each software review has information about the provider, a short program description, and a ratings box. Windows, Mac, Unix, handheld and online programs are included. The summary includes whether the program is free, purchased, subscribed, or unsupported.

Program types include Full-Featured, Utilities, Website builders and Auxiliary programs useful for genealogy. The user ratings are in five categories:

* Whether you enjoy using it
* Do you use it often
* Does it have easy input
* Does it have useful output
* An overall rating.

The user can contribute ratings, write a short review and list the program's biggest benefit and biggest problem.

Or the user can read the ratings and read the reviews and decide which program to download and use.

The site also has Frequently Asked Questions, Links to software providers and articles about software, and a suggestion page.

The Search feature is really useful. You can put the name of a program into the Search box (at the top right of the page) and find a specific program rather than scroll through up to 20 pages of summaries to find that program.

Or you can fill in one or more of the Search boxes in the web site heading - you can select from:

* Software License: All Licenses, Free, Purchase, Subscription, Unsupported
* Computer Platforms: All Platforms, Windows, Mac, Unix, Handheld, Online
* Types of Software: All Types, Full Featured, Utility, Builds Website, Auxiliary

Using these Search boxes really helps find specific software program types quickly.

There is a Sort box below the Search box. You can choose to Sort by Most Reviews, Latest Reviews, Alphabetically, and by each rating phrase.

The five software programs with the most ratings is The Master Genealogist (53 ratings), followed by RootsMagic (27), Legacy (22), Family Tree Maker Since Version 2008 (18) and Family Tree Builder (16). There are many that don't have any evaluations yet. That's where you come in!

This web site serves two functions - the first is a catalog of available software. The second is the reviews provided by users of the software. Both functions serve the genealogy community well.

For the second function to be really helpful to readers, more people need to submit their software review to the site. It is real easy to do - you provide your name, select your ratings, and write any comments you want. Go for it!

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