Wednesday, July 8, 2009

GenealogyWise Update

It looks like GenealogyWise has really taken off after the email received yesterday by several hundred genealogy buffs on the FamilyLink mailing list. There were several tweets about it by FamilyLink people yesterday afternoon, and I posted about it yesterday afternoon, and since then over 500 people have signed up to be members.

Not only that, but those (over) 500 people have started networking - making Friends (I'm up to 64 without much effort on my part), forming Groups (over 200 tonight), writing blog posts (26 tonight, all in one blog), writing Forum posts (15 topics tonight) on selected topics, Uploading Videos (131 as of tonight), and Chatting (seems to be ongoing, with ebbs and floods). Wow.

Every time you are accepted by a Friend, join a Group, or someone starts a discussion the Member gets an email informing them.

It's hard to decide who to ask to be your Friend, which Group(s) to join, to post on the Blog and/or the forum. I'm being selective right now, because I can see that this site may become a real time hole... and that's actually a good thing if it significantly helps me with my research. On the other hand, if I make everybody my Friend then I may gain more readers for Genea-Musings!

This setup is a little different from Facebook. You can see the basic information (name, location, photo, surnames of interest, localities of interest, research level, and more) of every member, not just your Friends. I'm really not sure why we have Friends... unless it's so we can see more of their submissions - blogs, photos, videos, etc.

I've already received several notes in my Email from other Members wanting to know about some of the surnames I posted. This is good! I looked to see if the Search function works for the Members' Surnames and it doesn't seem to. That's not good!

The Genealogy Search tab goes to, for which the user needs a subscription.

I've been wondering if:

* This site is going to be the next big thing in Genealogy Research. Will there be tens of thousands (or more) researchers using the site.

* If so, I'm not sure that I can stand all of the emails. I received over 100 emails today from GenealogyWise today telling me about Friends, Groups, etc. They are easy to delete and most are of no lasting value.

* Will it drag all of the Facebook genealogy people over to Genealogywise? Or will everyone stay on Facebook too?

* Will GenealogyWise become too big too fast for FamilyLink to adequately support it with server space and support?

* Will there be a Family Tree application? FamilyLink already has two Family Tree sites - and - will they use these sites, or will they create another tree site with a wiki interface or some sort of collaboration?

* What about the We're Related application on Facebook and other social networks? Can it be integrated into the GenealogyWise social network?

That's about it for tonight, I have a time crunch right now with the granddaughters here and we're making family history, rather than blogging about it.


Lori Thornton said...

So far I'm not impressed with it.

Paula Hinkel said...

I was getting killed with all of the emails so I went poking around and found the "stop following" option. It's been nice and quiet since then.

John said...

The default is that everyone can see your info. You can edit that default in your settings. There are three options; Anyone, Members only, and Friends only.

Cousin Russ said...

Randy - I think there is potential here. I spent a lot of today Deleting emails. Then I checked some settings and have stopped receiving the emails of folks that sign up to a Group that I belong to.

I have some of the same questions that you have (about Trees).

I think that one of the things that I haven't seen, yet, is the "gaming" / Notes (meme) messages that FB has.

For the time being, Twitter, FB, and now GenealogyWise will be visited freqently by me.

Thank you for getting us started before it has been officially announced.


Becky Wiseman said...

Randy - There should be a "settings" link on your page in the "box" where your name is located. Another screen will open and on the left side are options for Privacy and Email. With the privacy settings you can select who has the ability to view your profile - the default is everyone. With the email settings you can select which items you want or don't want to receive a notification for - the default is set to receive an email for virtually everything.

If you sign out then go to my profile page you will only see my name and picture since I have privacy set so that only people who have joined the site can view it. I didn't like the idea that anyone who came along and found the site could view everything in my profile, not that I have anything to hide ;-) You also have the option to set it so that only your friends can view your profile.

I've been considering reducing the number of "friends" on facebook due to all of the games, etc. and I really don't care what someone had for lunch today! I'm hoping that GenealogyWise won't get cluttered with all that kind of stuff.

Janet Hovorka said...

I really hope the genealogy community will settle on one place to communicate. We are all losing too much real life time wandering around all these social networking sites. I'd vote for facebook since my other (non-genealogy) friends are there too. Except for those annoying games (like Russ said). Want to lead the charge to pick one and stick with it Randy? I'll follow you. I can't lose any more time to all of these.

Janet Hovorka said...

I've also found several bugs already

Bill West said...

What really worries me now is that
there will be some folks who will leave FB for Genealogywise and others like me who will stay at Fb and not go to GenealogyWise.The geneablogging community which had been growing could now be divided on the basis of which social network you prefer.

Secondly,I think FB is a great way to get genealogy out there to the general public. At GenealogyWise,
it's a case of preaching to the choir.

Ah well. Just my opinion.

lyn said...

I almost feel left out. The only emails I've received since joining are one re I joined and one that Randy agreed to be my "friend".

Would one of you please educate me why genealogy is so great at FB. I'm on FB but obviously haven't looked in the right place for genealogy. Mostly I've seen big groups and someone posts they are looking for Jones and someone else posts they are looking for Smiths. I don't find that very helpful. Please point me to the right FB place. Thanks!

Kirsty F Wilkinson said...

Like others I quickly got annoyed with the number of emails so changed the settings. I'd like to see something similar to Facebook's News Feed so I could quickly see what my friends have been doing. The main page gives all latest activity but the only way to see details from friends is apparently to visit their pages separately which would take a lot of time. Chances are we will all miss things that would interest us just because there's so much happening!

Anonymous said...

Its going to kill FB genealogy. FB will serve as an outlet for researchers to share results with non-genealogist family members, but that will be it I think.

This seems correct to me. FB certainly isn't, probably can't, and (realistically) won't be built to serve the genealogical community's needs. Until yesterday I had no idea how much genealogists needed something nearly exactly like this. I usually LOATHE social networking and yet... I'm totally hooked.

The biggest danger?

The tree-people that will show up if searchable user-uploaded gedcoms are implemented.

Part of the reason GW is so pleasant now is the relatively high signal-to-noise ratio... this can (and will) change very quickly if trees are introduced and draw the name-collecting gedcom-swapping WFT-citing hordes.

We'll see I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Today I am having an issue getting to the site. For some reason I am being taken to a "GO Daddy" site which is a web host company.

Chris said...

Thanks for the info on the privacy settings.

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