Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Web, Wikis and Webinars

If you are seeing the letter "w", you are not alone. Genealogists today have web, wikis and webinars on the mind. Talk and blogging is continually about these "w" items. But why not ... we are a web-oriented group of people.

Some of my blogging colleagues have written about WikiTree. I am going to give you my thoughts about it. Give it a try and see what you think.

WikiTree was started in 2008 as a free and collaborative project. Whatever is on there is edited and owned by the contributor. You can register as private or public, share what you wish with groups of people or individuals, then jump right in and download a GEDCOM. Of course, the ultimate goal is to have somebody contact you about an elusive ancestors you have posted on on WikiTree. As you locate information, you can make contact or download a GEDCOM file.

Upon opening WikiTree it is somewhat frightening to see all the names. They represent 1,066,644 profiles submitted by 24,430 people or WikiTreers. Rather than clicking on a group of surnames, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Help." There you will be able to read all the pertinent information on how to create your own profile and links, add information, delete information and search for information.

Once you either create or search a profile, be sure to check for photos and the family tree. Also available is a public bulletin board for messages. Give it a try and start sharing on WikiTree.

Webinars are popping up on our computers by the week and month. They are hosted in a variety of places which makes it difficult to figure out what is being broadcast by the day or week. Attendees have to register to attend a webinar. Some are free and some are not. While many have been archived, it is still fun to listen to them as they happen and also dialog during the presentation.

The blog GeneaWebinars will keep you posted on what is happening in the world of genealogy webinars. At the bottom of the blog is an interacting calendar of webinars by day, time and topic. You can click and obtain more information and register.

These are wonderful ways to expand your genealogy knowledge without leaving home. Once you get started with wikis and webinars, I am sure you will be hooked.

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