My Dad did business old-school style. When he had a salesman come into the office to pitch him something, they had better have packed a lunch because they were going to be there for a while. My Dad was all about relationship-building. I was privy to a few of those meetings. They always started on the personal stuff then gradually went into the economy and politics, then went into my Dad's industry, then his business in particular. Only after they had talked about everything else did they finally discuss why they were there and what they were trying to sell to my Dad. It was truly an art form.
And it's alive and well today. Every once and a while you'll see it in face-to-face business, but it's prevalent online in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc. And only those who truly understand the art form of relationship-building are using social media wisely and successfully. Social media is all about relationship-building. Sure, there are plenty of businesses using it incorrectly by treating social media as a type of billboard for their company, and there are plenty of people using social media who aren't doing business at all, or so they think.
In the real world, all other factors aside, is the salesman who hasn't built a relationship with a potential customer, [who maybe has only sent a letter and a business card to a potential customer], more influential than the salesman who has taken the extra steps that involve time and money to build a relationship with the potential customer? Not generally. People do business with people they know, and social media provides a simple, fast and effective way for people to influence others.
Now this influence may be for business reasons, or it may be that as a consumer, I like this product and service, and I think you, my followers, ought to try it. In other words, I might not be involved in the "receiving end" of the sales process of that product and service, but I think it's great, and I think you might like it too. Either for business or personal reasons, I have influence over my followers or connections that I have made through social media.
The knowledge of any one person's influence over another can be very valuable to those who are selling products and services. Ever since the first ads on radio back in the late 1920's and early 1930's in the United States, businesses have known this. Ads were intentionally made to target homemakers, or the women of the households. I mean, why target a man of the household while trying to advertise inventions like the washer machine that lessened the workload in the home? If you don't think a wife doesn't have influence over her husband in this situation, think again. Also, the woman of the household had friends and neighbors who she had influence over as well. If you don't think that after they finished complaining about their husbands over cups of coffee around the kitchen table that they didn't talk about that new washing machine that they finally got their husband to buy, think again.
Women of the households have always had influence over the purchases for their homes and the appliances in them, and advertisers understood that then as they do now.
And though there are quite a few companies who provide a way to measure a person's influence, none have marketed themselves as well as the company Klout. Additionally, Klout has a different business model than any of the other companies. The other companies that I've looked at utilize freemium business models and not all of them measure the same exact thing. Also, none of them are able to measure accurately a particular person's influence over people. None of them. Not even Klout. Klout does a better job at marketing themselves, but they also have a different business model. Instead of having those of us who utilize social media for our own personal and business reasons pay for additional analytic and metric services, they first built up a following from Twitter then gradually added other social media sites. Using an algorithm they measured analytics and metrics for free, called it influence, assigned each of us an arbitrary number between 1 and 100, and marketed the heck out of it. Once they built up their own clout with social media users, they marketed their influence measurement information to companies and advertisers. It's a great idea. Companies offer promotional items, or perks, to those who are influential in topics that are related to their business through Klout, and Klout charges the companies for that information. The company's hope in this advertising gamble is that the influencer who receives the perk will tweet at least once about it. Thus influencing their followers to buy the product or service. It's not any different than a blogger accepting an item from a company or vendor to review, except there is a middle man making money off the both of us. Word of mouth advertising works. We're just not sitting around the kitchen table anymore discussing it. We're online using social media to discuss it.
However, since the algorithm was created for just Twitter, as they added other social media platforms, the arbitrary number assigned by Klout to indicate a particular person's influence was not accurately portraying a person's influence across all the social media platforms that they gradually added over time. So they updated the algorithm, causing the numbers to change and to mostly go down, which admittedly can look bad. And I'm sure they did more algorithm-tweaking. However, it's an arbitrary number, and it's a number that does not accurately portray any one person's influence over another all by itself. And this is why:
- Klout can only measure my analytics and metrics for Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumbler, Blogger, Wordpress, Last.fm, and Flicker. And that's only if I use those social media platforms and connect them to Klout [Except for Twitter. It's a default.].
- Klout does not measure my 2 business blogs. They're hosted by Weebly. That's a huge part of my influence over others in my social media realm. [You're here reading, aren't you?] I use Google Analytics, Feedburner, and the comments section of my blogs to measure those.
- Klout does not measure my newsletter campaigns. I use internal analytics and Google analytics to measure those campaigns.
- Klout does not even accurately measure my influence on Twitter in that there are many in my industry who are not social media savvy. They don't know they should retweet content that they like to their followers. Heck, they just want to find long-lost cousins and that's the extent of their social media game plan. Therefore, my amplification is way off compared to my reach. It looks like I'm just collecting names and not building relationships. I beg to differ. Klout assumes that everyone on social media knows how to use it. Assumptions are bad.
- Klout does not measure my Direct Message conversations with other tweeters.
- Klout does not measure when I go to conferences and socialize and network offline with people I normally network with online.
- Klout does not measure each and every time I hand out a business card to someone.
- Klout does not measure when I talk to someone about what I do in my business.
- Klout does not measure my email discussions with others.
- Klout does not measure my private discussions with others on Facebook.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Klout does not measure everything that determines my online influence with others using social media, and it never will.
Does this make Klout bad? No. I think they have a great business model. I wish I had thought of it. They don't measure everything, but they do measure something. Just what exactly that is, I'm not sure. I have to guess. They're not revealing that, but a little more transparency would be nice. However, there are a few things I think they need to reconsider. From the beginning, I have never liked the popups that harass me when I immediately navigate to their site. I don't need a popup telling me my score has gone down or up, for Pete's sake. The number is big enough on the site. I'm not that blind yet.
I also don't like the popup telling me I'm influential over someone else. I already know that. Duh. You got the information from me. Don't worry, Klout. When I'm offered a perk, I let everyone know on Twitter that I earned one, I let everyone know when I receive it in the mail, and then I let everyone know if I liked it or not. I do my part in your business model. It's the least I could do for the free perk (which by the way wasn't free because my time equals money).
I also don't think Klout really thought out the Facebook integration very well either. Yes, many people use Facebook for business, but many use it for personal reasons as well. Yes, we have influence over those people, but I don't necessarily want to involve my family in my business [which is ironic because my business is family history]. I read on another site how one mother was faced with a popup of a picture of her son and it read that Klout thinks she was influential over her teenaged son. Well, duh. And? That number would, I would imagine, go up or down depending on the hour. In fact, just because a mother interacts with her son or daughter [or any other family member for that matter] on Facebook does not mean she has influence over them online that would benefit a company's business model or goals. In my humble opinion, the Facebook integration is extremely flawed. Trust me, I'm not going to be able to get my teenaged daughter to buy a subscription to a genealogy database site. And what about the security issues? Aren't those being violated? Anyone can look me up in Klout, and if Klout determines that I'm extremely influential over my minor daughter just because I've communicated with her on Facebook to get her butt home to clean her room, means that anyone can see her bright and shiny face on my Klout account. Hear me loud and clear, Klout. This Mama Bear doesn't like that.
I also don't like how everyone who has a social media account that is measured by Klout is automatically opted into Klout. Klout has enough clout [Hee-hee.] and a good enough business model to get the word out through social media. They need to drink their own Kool-aid. As mentioned above, I send out the marketing love when I tweet about a perk, and I do it every time I give +k to someone. Klout should use its influence to gain more potential influencers instead of using a default method. That's not very transparent. It's shady. Klout should use its own clout.
And this is where my business model and Klout's business model diverge. The analytics and metrics they provide is good enough for them to convince advertisers to advertise through them. However, their analytics and metrics aren't good enough for me to run my business and make branding decisions through them solely
All in all, measuring my influence in social media isn't any other person's or organization's responsibility. It's mine. From the beginning I've used 3 other companies that measure my social media analytics and metrics. Not any of them are perfect on their own including Klout, but together with all the other ways I measure how I'm doing, I can get a more accurate picture of my social media influence. Will I continue to use Klout? Yes. I like free stuff, and I like connecting with companies and promoting their stuff as long as everything is on the up and up. It's a transaction that I willingly enter into because I want to. Plus? My kids aren't allowed to use Facebook. I text them when they need to get their butts home to clean their rooms. I'm influential like that. But it's between me and my kids, you know?
Moreover, topics such as social media for your genealogy-related business or organization will be just one of the things I cover on my up and coming blog BloggingGenealogy.com
. Currently, I'm building up a mailing list for it so that when I actually start sharing content with my readers, I already have some committed readers to my blog. In the meantime, I'm building relationships through social media using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube, Foursquare, my blogs, and anything else I can think of.
Will you join me? You can sign up for the BloggingGenealogy.com
mailing list on its website. It's for genealogy bloggers, for genealogical and historical societies, and for professional genealogists who want to market themselves online.
And you can join the mailing list for this blog, For Your Family Story, to get weekly updates about this blog and it includes genie-techie news, reviews, giveaways, and more. Just scroll up and enter in your email address in the top right hand corner of the screen, or enter it below.
Just to be clear, though, there are 2 different mailing lists because each blog is targeting different people. Does this mean I have a marketing plan? Yes. Does this mean all my social media networking is fake? Nope. I just love getting to know people and exposing them to the idea of genealogy and family history, like an ambassador, of sorts. However, I have 2 kids to put through college. I'd like to do that by doing something that I'm passionate about, genealogy, through a means that I love, social networking. You know, relationship-building? Like my Dad. [Only through a computer and the internet and with people all around the world.]
I was picked by Flip-Pal and Thomas MacEntee from Hi-Definition Genealogy
to participate in the Simple Gifts Blog Hop!! I have a ton of projects and ideas for blog posts for this Flip-Pal, and if everything goes to plan, I'll be documenting each and every blog post by video. With my iPhone. It's gonna be a technology-packed vlog-fest.
The Simple Gifts Blog Hop will run from next Friday, November 4, 2011 through Friday, November 25, 2011. And the other lucky participants are as follows:Sheri Fenley
The Educated Genealogisthttp://sherifenley.blogspot.comDrusilla Pair
Find Your Folkshttp://www.findyourfolks.blogspot.comMarian Pierre-Louis
Marian's Roots and Rambleshttp://rootsandrambles.blogspot.comCaroline Pointer
For Your Family Storyhttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog.htmlHeather Wilkinson Rojo
Nutfield Genealogyhttp://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.comNancy Shively
Gathering Storieshttp://nancyshively.blogspot.comJulie Cahill Tarr
And? You know how I mentioned in my It's Time to Change the Game
post about putting a Smartphone in the hands of the young and unleashing them in retirement homes and cemeteries?
What I was trying to get at is that putting technology into the hands of the young and letting them record family history would be such an awesome idea. It'd get them interested in *gasp* genealogy. It'd make their own family history relevant to them.
So, with this Blog Hop, I decided to put my technology where my mouth is thanks to Flip-Pal and Thomas. I'm going to be able to put some technology into the hands of the young. Okay. It's one young person, my daughter, and she only agreed to one video post. But we'll find out just how easy it is to use Flip-Pal.
I'm so excited! I have a lot of other ideas for projects with this scanner, and I can't wait to show them to you! Are you ready? [I am. Well, after I get my hair and nails done. And maybe buy a new outfit. Ohmigosh. I'm gonna be on video!!]
Thanks, Flip-Pal & Thomas!!
[In the interest of disclosure, I am an affiliate of Flip-Pal. I will be blogging/vlogging my escapades and adventures using the Flip-Pal, and like a good business person, will suggest that if you like the Flip-Pal, that perhaps you might want to buy it by using a link that I provide. Why? Because I get a little commission from the sale, and it doesn't cost you any extra. You are absolutely in no way, shape or form obligated to buy the Flip-Pal, and you are certainly not obligated to buy it from me. If all you want to do is watch and or read and laugh at my hilarious and entertaining ways to use the Flip-Pal for genealogy and family history, then by all means watch, read and laugh. That's good enough for me. There isn't enough laughing going on in this world. For more information please visit my disclosure page
. Where you should laugh. Because I made it funny.]
Video from Fold3.com's YouTube Channel and screenshot of Fold3.com's YouTube Channel.
How about that video by Fold3.com
[formerly Footnote.com]? Brought tears to my eyes. [Told you I was a sucker for a good story.]
I found it while messing around on YouTube. There are 5 different videos on there [which are all repeated on the list for some reason]. And? I love them. They have a mixture of videos, and the 2 videos [like the one above] of the Fold3.com users who tell about their military family story and how they use Fold3.com in the telling of their story are extremely moving.
The second type of video is tutorials in which there are 3 of on their YouTube channel. Now, I like these too. Seriously. For years, I have wrassled [Texas-speak for wrestled] with searching on their site, and I think the videos, which vary in length but are approximately 4 and a half to 5 and a half minutes long, are quite helpful.
The titles available right now are as follows:
- An Introduction to Fold3: Historical Military Documents
- How to Search on Fold3
- Browse for Records on Fold3
- World War II Documents, Records, Online Memorials, and Photos
- The Interactive Vietnam War Wall on Fold3
Cropped Screenshot of Fold3.com YouTube Channel's Stats.
Fold3's YouTubeChannel, called Fold3Team
, hasn't been up for too long having started 20 Sep 2011 according to their YouTube Channel's stats [pictured to the left]. The channel has had only had 195 views, but their videos have anywhere between 14 and 2958 views [at the time I viewed it].These are such great videos! Why haven't I seen these? And according to their stats, I'm guessing some of you haven't seen them either. Why? You must check their YouTube Channel, Fold3Team, out, like, right now. They're great for those new to Fold3.com, but relevant to those not-so-new to Fold3.com
.Those of you who've been around for a while are probably shaking your head
s, and thinking, "Duh, Caroline. I already know how to use their site."And my response would be, "Duh right back at you." [Rolling eyes heavenward.] "But how about those family members who don't get what you do with genealogy and why you
do it? Are you trying to tell me that Fold3.com's personal family story videos wouldn't woo some of those family genealogy naysayers over to the Dark Side? Or perhaps that one of their how-to videos wouldn't be helpful mixed into a presentation in an upcoming genealogical society meeting ?"Yeah. Duh. <grin>
Screenshot of Fold3.com website.
Above is a screenshot of Fold3.com's website
. I've marked where they are advertising their videos and tutorials. The one on top changes every 30 seconds or so advertising a different aspect of their databases and website, while the one on the bottom is a static advertisement. So, they're trying to get the word out that way, but I haven't seen much elsewhere. Of course, if you visit their Facebook page, it's on there as well. But, and I know this is going to surprise you, I'm never on Facebook. I'm usually on Twitter, and I use Google Plus a wee bit.Also, I'd love to see Fold3.com put out a Smartphone and iPad app. I'd love
to be able to go to Thanksgiving and show my family these videos, stories, the Vietnam War Wall, Memorial Pages, etc. Show them our history, our family, and our family stories.
After all, I can't be the only one who's a sucker for a good story. Right?Connect with them and go see what they're doing. Now.Fold3.com websiteFold3Team YouTube ChannelTwitter: @fold3Facebook~Caroline[Note: In the interest of disclosure, I am an affiliate of Fold3.com and I have an All-Access account that I paid for with them.
I was not asked to do this review, but even if I had been asked by them to do a review all the opinions stated are always my own.]
Yeah. So, I was going to show you this shoebox that my father-in-law gave me with a bunch of old photos and family ephemera in it to scan and write stories about, but then I found 1000memories' video on their site that did just about the same thing as what I was going to do, except it wouldn't have been in video format nor would it have had the dramatic background music [which just means I need to 'up my game' a bit]. So check it out:
After that cool video [Love the stomping of the shoebox. Almost made me feel bad about recycling the shoebox. Almost.], you're probably thinking, "Yeah but does it work? And does it work well?"Yes. And yes.And while it's easier for you to download it and play with it, I've listed the steps below.Here are the steps to scanning a photo and uploading to the 1000memories.com site:
- Download the 1000memories Shoebox App.
- Set up a free account at the 1000memories.com site.
- Log in to your account in the app.
- You will have 3 selections at the bottom of your iPhone screen: Featured, Scan, My Shoebox.
- Select 'Scan' and take a picture of the photo.
- Adjust the corners / handles with a finger on the touchscreen until you have it the way you want it.
- Select Crop.
- Select Next.
- You can rotate your photo, if needed.
- Select Next.
- Add the names to everyone in the photo. [You can add new names on the fly at this step and later add additional information on the site later.]
- Enter a caption, date taken, and location. [This step can be skipped and the information can be added later. But if you're doing this at your grandma's house and she's standing right there, you should probably get the info from her now OR look on the back of the photo to see if some wonderful person wrote any info on the back. It's always best to get this info entered in sooner rather than later.]
- You can also choose to share this photo and info on both Twitter and Facebook once you configure your accounts.
- Select done. And the photo and information are uploaded to the site.
Also, there are 3 tabs on the top of the screen labeled Uploads, Tags, and Family & Friends. Uploads will be all the photos you have uploaded to the site presented in a quilt-like pattern. The Family and Friends tab lists all the people you have uploaded or entered into your site online. By selecting a person, you can then upload photos of that person from that screen. However, you must go through all of the above scanning steps. This tab is more for viewing all the uploaded photos for a particular person. Additionally, you can add new names in this tab as well.The settings selection does give you a brief overview of the steps as well as a place to handle typical account settings.It's really simple to use. The scanning technology is spot on.You know what I foresee? [I know. Oh. No.] I foresee a Thanksgiving holiday with family members of all ages pulling out their iPhones, downloading this app, digging into old shoeboxes, and scanning old family photos.
After eating turkey and pie and all while watching football, of course.Try it. I think you'll like it. Besides it's FREE.
Get more information and/or download the app now: 1000memories.com/shoeboxAnd That's An App Thursday,~Caroline[Other than being asked by 1000memories to review their app that they provided to me for free, I have not been compensated
in any way. These are my own opinions. Please take a look at my disclosure statement
for more information.]
The following press was given to me by 1000Memories. Please direct all inquiries to Helena Price as listed below.
PRESS RELEASE1000memories Launches “Shoebox” App For iPhone, Puts A Scanner In Your PocketMemory-Sharing Platform Launches First Mobile Tool For Sharing Photo Collections From The PastSAN FRANCISCO, October 27, 2011
— Memory-sharing platform 1000memories.com today announced
the launch of the Shoebox scanning app for iPhone, the first mobile tool designed for digitizing, organizing
and sharing collections of photos from the past.
The app gives individuals, families and organizations the ability to scan and instantly share large
collections of photos and documents that have previously been difficult to digitize - the photos traditionally
neglected in shoeboxes, old family albums or archived analog collections.
“Large photo collections from our past have never been digitized or shared because it’s been too difficult
and time-consuming. With the introduction of the Shoebox app, we’re putting multiple hand-held scanners
in households and organizations, for free,” says 1000memories co-founder Rudy Adler. “We’ve created
a tool that allows people to upload and share old photos in a fraction of the time needed for traditional
photo scanning, which will dramatically change the rate at which these collections are being shared.”
Shoebox can auto-detect the edges of a photo and then quickly crop and straighten accordingly. Users
can then add information typically written on the back of old photos - such as dates, names, and locations
- before uploading to the 1000memories.com, where it can be organized, shared and discovered by
friends and family.
1000memories hopes to help users get their older collections of photos online and in order while their
friends, families and communities still remember the stories and people behind them. “The captions,
dates and tags are just as important as the photos themselves - it’s imperative that we get as many of
these photo collections online as possible while we can still access the stories behind them,” says Adler.
The launch of Shoebox comes on the heels of the release of the iPhone 4S, and will take advantage of its
significant upgrades in mobile camera technology, including an 8.0 MP sensor for high-resolution mobile
scans, as well as an improved f2.4 lens, for quality lower-light scans. The app will remain compatible with
all previous iPhone models, including the iPhone 4, 3G, and 3GS, as well as the iPad.
“The popularity of the iPhone camera has proven that people want something that’s quick, accessible,
and easy to share,” says Adler. “For us, that’s what providing a social mobile scanner is about - making
it as easy as possible for people to get their photo collections digitized and shared with the people they
Backed by Y-Combinator and Greylock Partners, 1000memories is a hybrid of today’s family history and
photo-sharing sites, with a focus helping individuals, families and organizations record, discover and
preserve the photos of the past - and all of the stories that come with them. For more information, visit1000memories.com/shoebox
1000memories is the best way to organize, share and discover the old photos and memories of your
family and friends. Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, California, 1000memories helps bring the albums,
scrapbooks, and photo-filled shoeboxes of our lives out of the closet and into an online, shareable
space where they can be remembered and celebrated, together in one place. For more information, visit1000memories.com
Helena Price, 1000memories
415.694.3378-------------------------Now check out my next blog post where I share my thoughts on it. That's right. I already had a chance to play with this app. [Squee!]~Caroline
It's Hump Day Hip Tip time again. Actually it feel's like it's been a 2-hump Hump Day. Am I the the only one that feels like this was a rough day?
Anywho, I was still able to find you a Hip Tip. Today I went over to YouTube to watch a video [Don't remember what.], and I saw a promoted video from Ancestry.com, and because it was only hours old and not a promo commercial, I did it. I clicked it.
And? I'm SO glad I did. Ancestry.com has begun a Desktop Education Series called Ancestry.com LIVE. [I like that name. It's like Saturday Night Live.] Like I mentioned, they just started them, and there are only 2 in the series so far. The videos aren't too long either ~ 20 minutes, and the premise is that each video answers a question submitted by an Ancestry.com user ahead of time.
Now, Ancestry.com had a chance to make this a formal teaching video series, and I'm SO very glad they didn't. It's an informal video that will be enjoyable to the new users and the not-so-new users of Ancestry.com. I actually felt like an Ancestry.com researcher was in my home showing me how to use Ancestry.com. [Oh yeah, they were.]
Ancestry.com is on to something here. And I have a feeling that it's good. But don't take my word for it. I embedded below the 2nd video where the Barefoot Genealogist, Crista Cowan, is answering the question, "How can I use a death record to learn more about my ancestor's life?"
If you're unable to view the video, then please check it out here: http://youtu.be/iwz6891V4do
So what do you think. Hip Tip, huh? Go take a look at the series on their Desktop Education Series Playlist
. Then go take a look at the main Ancestrycom YouTube Channel
. Why? Because they have a ton more videos on there. And? Their designer(s) did a fantastic job on their YouTube Channel. It's pretty.And who doesn't need 'pretty' on a 2-hump Hump Day?~C
My empty Newsstand on my iPhone. :(
Cindy Freed [ Genealogy Circle blog
] correctly answered the Once-a-Week Fantabulous Genie-Tech Newsletter's question!! There were NO magazines or newspapers on my Newsstand app on my 'Home' screen. [Santa needs to give me some e-magazine subscriptions to Wired
. Just sayin'.] Cindy won the Preserving Family Photographs
by Maureen Taylor webinar-on-CD. Don't despair, though! You can still be a winner. I have five more webinar-on-CDs from Legacy Family Tree Webinars
. [See? I'm looking out for you.]
- If you have already signed up or if you sign up below to receive the Once-a-Week Fantabulous Genie-Tech Newsletter
- Correctly answer the question in the next newsletter that will be published next weekend, and
- Be the first to email me with the correct answer,
hen you will win a copy of [drumroll, please]:Building a Research Toolbox by Thomas MacEntee
If you were to buy this webinar-on-CD, it would cost you $9.95. See, I told you there were no cheesy prizes here, folks. [Well, not yet. Vendors, have any giveaways so I don't have to resort to giving away cheesy ones?]What Do You Get in the Newsletter?
- All the goings-on here at For Your Family Story for the week
- All the goings-on in the fantabulous and exciting world of genealogy
- Extra Genie-Tech info that you won't find on this blog, and I dare say anywhere else. Or at least it won't be found anywhere else wrapped up in my humor. ;)
- Other places you can find me on the internet in the past week.
- My new Geneablogger pick for the week that you just absolutely must follow.
- And more!
So, if you love my blog AND you're a busy person and need all your essential info in one place ~ 1 newsletter in your inbox ~ where you can read it at your leisure, then you definitely should sign up for my Once-a-Week Fantabulous Genie-Tech Newsletter. Like, right away. =) Don't worry. I won't be spamming you. It's just a Once-a-Week Fantabulous Genie-Tech Newsletter. 52 of them. Per year. For free.
So. Who's gonna be this next week's winner?
[Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I am an affiliate of Legacy. In addition, I received this webinar-on-CD from Legacy in my Geneablogger swag bag at the Southern California Genealogical Society's 2011 Jamboree. It was completely my idea to share it. And now? It can be all yours. Think about that. Then subscribe below and be the first to answer the question in next week's newsletter.]
My kids looking at the San Jacinto Monument from the Battleship Texas.
So, did y'all go to any genealogical society meetings this week? I did. I met up with Amy Coffin from the We Tree Genealogy Blog
and her son at the monthly Chaparral Genealogical Society
meeting in Tomball, Texas, on Saturday where very good coffee & donut holes from Shipley's were served.And even though this genealogical society had me at coffee and Shipley's donut holes, I still would have shown up for Robert L. Schaadt's presentation on one of my very favorite subjects, the Battle of San Jacinto. I don't know why this decisive moment of strength and courage that determined a desperate people's desire to be free captures my attention. I mean, why do I go back again and again to this battleground? Why do I drag my kids to the theater and museum there? Why do I insist on riding the elevator up to the top floor so I can take photos of the same views from the observation deck over and over?Perhaps it's because my parents are San Antonians and it was always, Alamo, Alamo, Alamo with a splash of Goliad and a sprinkle of Gonzales thrown in for good measure. I'll agree that the Battle of the Alamo makes a great story that has bred many a Texas legend, but if you're the competitive sort like myself, 2 facts remain. We lost at the Alamo and we won on the battlegrounds of San Jacinto. As with all great victories, what was achieved
could not have taken place without the great losses that came before, but why, at least in my head, is it that the Alamo gets all the attention and soundbites?One thing I have noticed, though, is that here in the Houston area, my kids [and subsequently I] have
learned more about Sam Houston
and the Battle of San Jacinto than I ever learned growing up in the Rio Grande Valley
in the household of two San Antonians. Gasp and horror, right? I mean, surely I didn't get taught a different view point of Texas history just because of my location. Right? Right? [Wink.]Anywho, Mr. Schaadt's
presentation was captivating. If you ever get the chance to see him present anything, take it. He tells one heck of a good story. He's the former Director-Archivist of the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
in Liberty, Texas, and currently is the archivist and feature writer for South Liberty County's oldest continuous news source since 1887, The Vindicator
, which publishes online daily and publishes a print edition on Thursdays. [Love that they're online.]And now you're probably saying, "But Caroline, this is a genealogical society. That's history. Where's the genealogy?" Well, yes, we did talk a lot about history. But I distinctly remember Mr. Schaadt talking about his grandfather. And there was definitely
a member who told us all about his great-uncle who was one of the soldiers who captured Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón
. [Love his full name. And, wow, there's genealogy in that name
.]. Yet another member talked about her ties to the infamous Rev. John Wesley Hardin
. And then the member next to me mentioned how it had always been passed down in his family that his ancestor had fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, but that he'd actually been one of the sick soldiers left back in Harrisburg.Therefore, we were talking genealogy. It just wasn't hiding behind phrases like pedigree charts
and family group sheets. And we weren't interrupting with, "Now, where are your sources?" or "Let me see your citations." While there's a time and place for that, it wasn't there on that day, at least not by itself. The genealogy was carefully and lovingly wrapped up in history and family history. I dare say, if I'd been new to genealogy or family history, had come to my first genealogical society meeting and been presented with the "This is genealogy, this is a pedigree chart, and you have to do it this way" presentation, I don't know if I'd been back. So sue me. I like a good story. My dad was such a good storyteller, and if I close my eyes I can still hear him tell me about the Battle of the Alamo. He was so good, I'm still on the edge of my seat listening and waiting for his next word. Plus? Shipley's is just down the street from the Amegy Bank in Tomball where we meet. And it has coffee and a drive thru. And the pedigree charts, family group sheets, and
the citation rules I can get online.Sure, I can read a great story online [and there are many out there] about ancestors. However, online, I can't sit in a roomful of descendants talking about their
great and sometimes infamous ancestors and just, in general, shootin' the bull Texas-style about the Battle of San Jacinto while snacking on coffee and donuts with the former Director-Archivist of the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center.
And even though our society President, Mary Williams, made me [the one who is so much better writing than speaking] go up to the podium and talk into the microphone in front of everyone
about the 5 JustaJoy.com
free 1-year memberships that Joy had given me at the FGS 2011 Conference to gift to the Chaparral Genealogical Society, all in all, I had a blast. [And? Hello!?! I did mention the coffee and Shipley's donut holes, right?]~Caroline
Mom, Dad, and I at the Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum in 1977.
It seems so simple. Maybe because it is. I don't know. What I do know is that this is simply brilliant. Pinning history on a map.What am I talking about? Now? I found this fantabulous site called Historypin.com. The idea is for everyone around the world to pin their family photos, video clips, and audio clips to a place on the map, and if you have the story behind it, then share it. All for free. See what I mean? Simply brilliant. It's a great way for everyone to participate in remembering their family's history.Historypin.com describes itself as:"...a way for millions of people to come together, from across different generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history. Everyone has history to share: whether its sitting in yellowed albums in the attic, collected in piles of crackly tapes, conserved in the 1000s of archives all over the world or passed down in memories and old stories. Each of these pieces of history finds a home on Historypin, where everyone has the chance to see it, add to it, learn from it, debate it and use it to build up a more complete understanding of the world.
"Wow, huh?And it is soooooo easy. Or at least it sounded like it. So I tried it for you. No need to thank me, though. This was fun. Did you hear me? Fun AND easy. Take a look at what I have pinned so far [Click the image and scroll down to the photos I've added.]:
I have a LOT more to add, but? Cool, huh? Told you.What else can you do with Historypin.com?
Take a look at one of their introductory videos:
- Pin photos to street view. I did this with all my pics, but I was able to overlay the pic of my kids in front of the Alamo on top of the street view of the Alamo. [Too cool.].
- Create tours with pics and map through eras, time, personal stories, themes, events, etc.
- Create a collection of pics based around a theme.
- Look through collections and tours in order to view history and personal family's histories.
- Search photos by time period or by location.
- Add videos and audio to places on the map
- Share your pins through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, & Google Plus. That's right you can share family history with your family and friends without boring them.
And look. It has an iPhone App! Yes, if you want you can pin your history anywhere you and your iPhone can go. Or, if you want, you can just shake the phone and get treated to some random pics of history already pinned. That's right pictorial history on the go. Hello!?! And their app is available for the iPhone and the Android
So what are you waiting for? Go check it out and pin some family history to the map on Historypin.com
. You never know. You might find a cousin or two. Or they just might find you
Historypin.com on social media:Follow on Twitter: @HistorypinLike their Facebook pageRead and Follow Their Blog~C
Where can you find these wonderfully fantabulous little things called apps (applications)? If you have an iPhone (like me), your iPhone comes with some standard apps to get you addicted to them. Oops, I mean, to make your phone extremely functional.
Pictured here is my “Home” app view on my iPhone. It has some productivity apps like Calendar (which can sync with your iPad Calendar as well as various other calendars like Google Calendar.). Further, as far as productivity is concerned, it has Notes, Mail, and the new Reminders (found in the new iOS 5). You know, apps to make you real productive, or at the very least they can remind you to pick up your kids from school or as Elizabeth O’Neal revealed in her guest post for Jennifer Shoer’s blog series GeneaMommyBloggers – How She Does It
, you can set it to remind you to switch the laundry from the washer to the drier. [Absolutely brilliant. I’m SO gonna do that.]
Anywho, we’ll get through these not-so-basic basic apps for genealogy and family history researching in the coming weeks and months [There’s 500,000+ apps in all. Not all for researching, but still...], but the really cool app on here is the App Store App. That’s right. Shopping on the Home view. [Shopping. *Squee!*] Now, most of the apps that I download are free. I’m cheap like that. If I buy one, it’s only because I’ve been convinced that I really need it.
When you select the App Store App with a touch of your finger, you get the Featured view (or whatever view you were looking at when you were last in the app).
At the bottom of the view, are 5 selections: Featured, Categories, Top 25, Search, and Updates that you can toggle through.
In this view, the store is just showing what apps they are featuring. Up at the top of the view, you have 3 types of Featured selections to look at: New, What’s Hot, and Genius. New and What’s Hot are self-explanatory. New and hot. <grin> If you are already an iPod and iTunes user, you should be familiar with the Genius feature. Very basically, when enabled Genius can monitor what types of apps you download and can make new App suggestions based upon those selections. [Cool, huh? I don’t use it, though. On the new iPhone 4S, I wonder if the very smart Genius dates the even smarter Siri, and do they schedule those dates on Calendar? Food for thought. ;) ]
Here, the apps are organized by category like Productivity, Social Networking, Games, etc. It’s a great way to browse for a certain type of app or for comparing similar apps. [Kind of like shopping for shoes. Or golf clubs, if you golf.]
Here, I’m sure you’ve already guessed, they feature the Top 25. In addition, at the top of the view are 3 selections: Top Paid, Top Free, and Top Grossing. I choose the Top Free the most. [Remember, I’m cheap.] Quite frankly, I have no clue what Top Grossing means . So I Googled it [Cause that’s the way I roll…], and there’s a lot of guesses. Normally, it’d be referring to gross revenue in dollars [which is where my mind went first], but the 1st two listed are free apps. My guess would be number of downloads or a combination thereof, but I don’t know for sure. *shrugs* I used the Top 25 when I first bought my iPhone, but I don’t really use it much now.
I use this one a lot. I always hear someone mention one, see someone write about one, or check it to see if a company, website, and/or software has an app. Therefore, I search by name. Works like a charm.
Again, this one is self-explanatory. Any updates that are listed will, once selected, will update your apps to the newest version. Like that. *Snaps fingers* One thing I’d suggest, though, is to keep up with the updates. Perhaps, even schedule a day in your Calendar or put a to-do in your Reminder App so you don’t forget. Now *that* would be organized.
You can search for iPhone apps in the iTunes store just like you would on your iPod using your computer and an internet connection.
Where You Can Find Other Operating Systems’ Apps
- You can also browse the App Store online here.
- You can always Google for an app.
So there you go. Basically, I just showed you the best app on the iPhone, the App Store App. An app for shopping
. An app to get more apps.
Like that. *snaps fingers* Does it get any better than that? Well, yes. It’s not the only shopping app that can be used for genealogy and family history research. [Who else would’ve found more shopping apps for genealogy and family history research for you?]
Your mission for the next week is to explore the app store either online or through your smartphone if you have one. Which ones look interesting or helpful? Let me know in Comments below if you find one you’d like me to spotlight. [Homework? Yes, but it’s window shopping
For those who already have smartphones, what kind do you have? No matter the smartphone, how do you shop for them? Are there any other places to get apps that I didn’t list? Let everyone know in Comments below. Please. I love comments. Adore them, in fact. And this way everyone can learn. [Even me because I don’t know everything. Shocker, I know, but there it is.]
Also, do you have a favorite app for genealogy and family history research, and would you like to share it with the rest of us in a guest post here on For Your Family Story? If so, please contact me
AND stay tuned because tomorrow I’m featuring a very cool site that also has an app. [Love those.]