"I have been doing genealogical research for family and friends for several few years. In the past I have shared what I compiled using an older version of Family Tree Maker and creating a descendant report. Those reports were easier to read than the current FTM versions.
The standard narrative report with several generations, lots of names, dates and places, all in a standard format is really boring. But if you want to do a descendants report, that's what you end up with. Now, you can add stories, photographs and document images. But unless you rewrite the standard text, it is still really boring. There may be nothing better available to send all of that information in one report or book.
You do have other choices, but you have to write the interesting words, and include fascinating images and stories, in a way that will capture the interest of your family members. One problem we all have is that we usually don't have real multi-page, detailed memoirs for each of our ancestors, even parents, grandparents, etc. Unless they wrote their own, or a newspaper or book had published articles about them, or a family member did an excellent eulogy or biography, there just isn't that much "family story" content for most of our ancestors.
5) Create a series of blog posts or web pages that highlight one photograph, record image or story. Then create a Flipboard magazine for your series. One example is my Flipboard magazine for my mother, titled Betty's Life. There is a learning curve for this, but it works pretty well. It also has an iOS and an Android app for mobile devices.
6) Create a YouTube video that shows photographs or documents relating to an ancestor and tell the story for one ancestors or a group of ancestors. There's a learning curve here and perhaps more equipment is needed.
7) There are many other applications that can tell a story with photographs, and can be accessed on a computer or a mobile device. some of them are free, and some of them require fees or subscriptions. One site that I've seen is ReelGenie, which offers "Story telling magic made easy!"
Marilyn specifically mentioned writing descendants reports, and I sort of veered away from that into biographies and stories in my discussion above.
The "experts" all say that the younger generations have a short attention span, like seeing family photographs but can't be bothered reading documents, prefer voice over text, etc. Scanned or saved photographs and document images need to be available to help tell the story.
To all of my readers: What other suggestions do you have for Marilyn? Have you done something like what she wants to do? Tell us about it!
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/05/dear-randy-how-can-i-make-interesting.html
Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver