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NGS2010 125.png A presentation given by FamilySearch staff "Doing Research in Real Time-An Exhilarating Collaboration Experience!" (F308), at the National Genealogical Society 2010 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. , presented by Alan E. Mann, AG®, Robert Raymond, and David E. Rencher, AG®, CGSM, FIGRS, FUGA .


This session illustrates how to do research collaboratively in real time using off-the-shelf products and services to accomplish more in less time and (we think) better results.

Contents

Collaboration

While our presentation focuses on the tools and benefits of real-time collaboration, the research process benefits from both real-time and non-real-time collaboration. Consider choosing real-time tools that give all the collaborators time for later absorption and analysis of the results. Hypotheses can then be added, reviewed and discussed asynchronously, leading to richer, fuller analysis, and eventually sounder conclusions. For example, an online research log allows for real-time sharing and assigning of research tasks, but also enables further collaboration.

Tools for Real-time Collaboration


Communication

These tools are used for "command and control" of a real time research session. This allows coordinated research activities. Assignments are given, results are reported, and a research log is produced. With this ability, the group is able to account for expected and unexpected results.

Artifacts

Artifact tools are used to share the documentary evidence that supports the research. These artifacts may include, but are not limited to: original vital records, probate, land, tax and other supporting evidence; photographs of tombstones, newspaper clippings – especially obituaries; summaries of oral interviews, etc. These artifacts need to be organized to tell the story and provide the evidentiary materials in such a way that other researchers have access to the materials for their own interpretation.

Aggregator

To aggregate the information streaming in from the various sources, an aggregation tool is necessary. This allows everyone to see the results of the research and to monitor progress. It also provides a critical analysis function by allowing visibility into the whole of the genealogical problem as it develops.

Tool Tables

Additions and corrections to these tables are encouraged. To qualify for inclusion, a tool must either be free or be FamilySearch Certified.

The tables in the conference syllabus use the term Tree Results instead of Aggregator. The tables here have been corrected. The conference syllabus only includes aggregators that provided their own collaborative tree. However, products certified to update the new FamilySearch Tree may be added to the tables below.

We invite everyone to monitor or contribute to the real-time research during the conference session. Tools and session participation links are subject to change. Check here before the session for the latest plans.

Collaboration Tools from Google

Tool
Purpose
Session Participation Link
Cost
Notes
Google Blogger
Communication Artifacts
NGS2010X Blog or E-mail
Free
HTML and images. Picasa has 1 GB limit.
Google Groups
Communication Artifacts

Free
Provides messaging and a file area for any file type. Uses upload throttling. 100 MB limit.
Google Docs
Communication Artifacts
Web Link
Free
Store any file type. 1 GB limit.
Google Gmail
Communication Artifacts

Free
Messages are private. Free storage space is 7 GB+.

Google Wave
 ?

Free
 ?
Google Buzz
Communication Artifacts

Free
Like Gmail, but messages can be shared. Same filesize limit as Gmail: 7 GB+.
Google Picasa
Artifacts

Free
1 GB limit.


Collaboration Tools from FamilySearch

Tool
Purpose
Session Participation Link
Cost
Notes
FamilySearch Wiki
See notes
https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Pagename
Free
Textual information about locations and records can be entered into the wiki. Information about individuals and families should not.
FamilySearch Forums (beta)
Communication Artifacts
Search for tag: NGS2010X
Free
jpeg limited to 976 KB, other image formats are limited to 620 x 280.
New FamilySearch Tree*

Aggregation


Free

  * May not be available to the general public yet

Summary

The desired outcome for this presentation is that you will take away the knowledge that research can be conducted in dramatically different ways than you may be used to doing. More people can participate, producing more artifacts and results in less time, making your valuable research time more productive.


 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


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