Social Networking Technology Resources for Genealogical SocietiesEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
(Added entry for Flickr)
(added one level to all headings eliminating level 1 headings)
 
(29 intermediate revisions by 6 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
= {{Adoption Dallas Genealogical Society}}   =
+
{{RootsTech 2011
 +
|type=class
 +
|date=Saturday, February 12, 2011
 +
|title=An Exploration of the Integration of Social Networking Technologies into the Core Activities of Genealogical Societies
 +
|id=TC091
 +
|presenter=[[User:Tonyhanson|Tony Hanson]]
 +
}}  
  
= Rationale  =
+
{{Adoption Dallas Genealogical Society}}
  
Today Genealogical Societies are learning that to survive, or to at least be relevent, they must embrace technology. Many Societies don't have the expertise to set up and manage their own websites. However, having an effective website is the first step. This discussion is for those who have some proficiency with computer technology and want to learn more about how to save their Society money by designing and maintaining the website themselves. All of this technology can be purchased (or found free from a varitey of sources) but in doing so the Society gives up some portion of control over content. <br>
+
{{TOClimit|2}}
  
= Purpose<br> =
+
== Rationale  ==
 +
 
 +
Today Genealogical Societies are learning that to survive, or to at least be relevant, they must embrace technology. Many Societies don't have the expertise to set up and manage their own websites. However, having an effective website is the first step. This discussion is for those who have some proficiency with computer technology and want to learn more about how to save their Society money by designing and maintaining the website themselves. All of this technology can be purchased (or found free from a variety of sources) but in doing so the Society gives up some portion of control over content. <br>  
 +
 
 +
== Purpose  ==
  
 
As might be expected, a search of the FamilySearch Wiki using terms like Unix, shell, vi and htaccess and other 'technological' terms does not result in too many hits. However, there is a need for a genealogy focused presentation of technical materials for members of Genealogical Societies to use to create and enhance their on-line presence.  
 
As might be expected, a search of the FamilySearch Wiki using terms like Unix, shell, vi and htaccess and other 'technological' terms does not result in too many hits. However, there is a need for a genealogy focused presentation of technical materials for members of Genealogical Societies to use to create and enhance their on-line presence.  
  
This page&nbsp;will serve as a focal point for technological discussions and resources that may be used by Genealogical Societies to create, enhance and maintain their virtual presence.<br>
+
This page&nbsp;will serve as a focal point for technological discussions and resources that may be used by Genealogical Societies to create, enhance and maintain their virtual presence.<br>  
  
This page was originally created for RootsTech 2011 session TC091 titled 'An Exploration of the Integration of Social Networking Technologies into the Core Activities of Genealogical Societies'.  
+
This page was originally created for RootsTech 2011 session TC091 titled 'An Exploration of the Integration of Social Networking Technologies into the Core Activities of Genealogical Societies'. This course was taught by Tony Hanson of the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.net Dallas Genealogical Society].&nbsp; A PDF formatted version of the presentation can be viewed by [http://dallasgenealogy.org/docs/General/RootsTech_Hanson.pdf clicking here]. A re-recording of the presentation made after the conference can be seen and heard by [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/DGS_Docs/Flash_Presentations/Institutes_Seminars/Tony_Rootstech_2011/RootsTech%202011.html clicking here].  
  
= Working in&nbsp;the Unix environment<br> =
+
== Working in&nbsp;the Unix environment<br> ==
  
 
Most web hosting services are based on a Unix or Unix-like environment. Knowledge of the areas listed below is not a requirement for you to establish a web presence. However, understanding the underlying technologies will allow you to have much more control over your sites appearance and security.&nbsp;  
 
Most web hosting services are based on a Unix or Unix-like environment. Knowledge of the areas listed below is not a requirement for you to establish a web presence. However, understanding the underlying technologies will allow you to have much more control over your sites appearance and security.&nbsp;  
  
== Choosing a Web Hosting Service  ==
+
=== Choosing a Web Hosting Service  ===
  
 
When selecting a web hosting service the price should not be your only criteria... see [http://docs.joomla.org/Security_and_Performance_FAQs#How_do_I_choose_a_quality_hosting_provider.3F 'How do I choose a quality hosting provider'] at [http://docs.joomla.org http://docs.joomla.org].  
 
When selecting a web hosting service the price should not be your only criteria... see [http://docs.joomla.org/Security_and_Performance_FAQs#How_do_I_choose_a_quality_hosting_provider.3F 'How do I choose a quality hosting provider'] at [http://docs.joomla.org http://docs.joomla.org].  
  
== Fundamental security issues  ==
+
=== Fundamental security issues  ===
  
 
Specific security needs will be different for every site, but there are some basic suggestions that are universal:  
 
Specific security needs will be different for every site, but there are some basic suggestions that are universal:  
Line 35: Line 45:
 
*If possible, disable displaying the version of your 'off the shelf' packages. This may throw off malicious software that is targeting specific versions of your software.
 
*If possible, disable displaying the version of your 'off the shelf' packages. This may throw off malicious software that is targeting specific versions of your software.
  
== .htaccess  ==
+
=== .htaccess  ===
  
 
.htaccess is a file that&nbsp;can be created on your web site to&nbsp;provide your web server with&nbsp;special instructions to handle a variety of tasks such as page redirection and security. The following&nbsp;links&nbsp;provide&nbsp;more information:  
 
.htaccess is a file that&nbsp;can be created on your web site to&nbsp;provide your web server with&nbsp;special instructions to handle a variety of tasks such as page redirection and security. The following&nbsp;links&nbsp;provide&nbsp;more information:  
Line 43: Line 53:
 
*[http://www.askapache.com/htaccess/htaccess.html The Ultimate htaccess]
 
*[http://www.askapache.com/htaccess/htaccess.html The Ultimate htaccess]
  
== php.ini  ==
+
=== php.ini  ===
  
 
If you are using a web hosting service you start out with their default settings. These are not always in your best interest. One area where it pays to tighten security a bit involves PHP. PHP is a program commonly used to enhance web pages. Even if you don't write programs yourself it is often used to write Blog, Wiki, CMS and other popular types of software packages that you may be using. Even if you are not running any of those (at this point one has to wonder why exactly you do have a web hosting service but we won't go there) PHP is often used by hackers to exploit weaknesses in vulnerable sites.  
 
If you are using a web hosting service you start out with their default settings. These are not always in your best interest. One area where it pays to tighten security a bit involves PHP. PHP is a program commonly used to enhance web pages. Even if you don't write programs yourself it is often used to write Blog, Wiki, CMS and other popular types of software packages that you may be using. Even if you are not running any of those (at this point one has to wonder why exactly you do have a web hosting service but we won't go there) PHP is often used by hackers to exploit weaknesses in vulnerable sites.  
Line 52: Line 62:
 
safe_mode = 0
 
safe_mode = 0
 
register_globals = 0
 
register_globals = 0
allow_url_fopen = 0</pre>
+
allow_url_fopen = 0</pre>  
This is a deep subject:&nbsp;see the following for more information:  
+
This is a deep subject: see the following for more information:  
  
 
*[http://php.net/manual/en/ini.core.php Description of core php.ini directives] at php.net<br>
 
*[http://php.net/manual/en/ini.core.php Description of core php.ini directives] at php.net<br>
  
== Backups  ==
+
=== Backups  ===
  
 
For all too many people the first time they consider the question of how (or even if)&nbsp;their web hosting service backs up their data is the day after their data&nbsp;has been irretrieveably&nbsp;lost. Most service providers only keep very recent backups (1 or 2 days). Unfortunately, by the time most people realize that they have serious problems on their site the backups also contain corrupted data.  
 
For all too many people the first time they consider the question of how (or even if)&nbsp;their web hosting service backs up their data is the day after their data&nbsp;has been irretrieveably&nbsp;lost. Most service providers only keep very recent backups (1 or 2 days). Unfortunately, by the time most people realize that they have serious problems on their site the backups also contain corrupted data.  
Line 63: Line 73:
 
Good backups are your last and best line of defense!  
 
Good backups are your last and best line of defense!  
  
==== cron  ====
+
===== cron  =====
  
 
cron&nbsp;is a Unix utility that allow you to schedule and run programs (such as backups) on an established schedule. If your Unix system allows you to do so, you could submit an entry that would look like this:  
 
cron&nbsp;is a Unix utility that allow you to schedule and run programs (such as backups) on an established schedule. If your Unix system allows you to do so, you could submit an entry that would look like this:  
<pre>00 01 * * 0 /some/dir/my_backups </pre>
+
<pre>00 01 * * 0 /some/dir/my_backups </pre>  
 
This would tell the system to run the 'my_backups' program located in the /some/dir directory at 1:00 am every Sunday. The meanings of the five fields are provided below.  
 
This would tell the system to run the 'my_backups' program located in the /some/dir directory at 1:00 am every Sunday. The meanings of the five fields are provided below.  
 
<pre>* * * * *
 
<pre>* * * * *
Line 75: Line 85:
 
| | +--------- day of month (1 - 31)
 
| | +--------- day of month (1 - 31)
 
| +----------- hour (0 - 23)
 
| +----------- hour (0 - 23)
+------------- min (0 - 59)</pre>
+
+------------- min (0 - 59)</pre>  
 
Note that an asterick will be interpreted as every day of week/month/day/hour/minute. You can also have several entries seperated by commas. In the following example my_logs would be run at 1:05 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  
 
Note that an asterick will be interpreted as every day of week/month/day/hour/minute. You can also have several entries seperated by commas. In the following example my_logs would be run at 1:05 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  
<pre>05 13 * * 1,3,5 /some/dir/my_logs</pre>
+
<pre>05 13 * * 1,3,5 /some/dir/my_logs</pre>  
 
If you are lucky your hosting service will provide a GUI&nbsp;interface that makes entering and managing entries a little easier.  
 
If you are lucky your hosting service will provide a GUI&nbsp;interface that makes entering and managing entries a little easier.  
  
==== tar  ====
+
===== tar  =====
  
 
tar is a Unix utility&nbsp;that allows you to create backup files. Here is an example:  
 
tar is a Unix utility&nbsp;that allows you to create backup files. Here is an example:  
 
<pre>cd /my/system/public_html
 
<pre>cd /my/system/public_html
  
tar --create --gzip --file="Documents_01Jan2011" Documents</pre>
+
tar --create --gzip --file="Documents_01Jan2011" Documents</pre>  
These commands would create a zipped file with the named "Documents_01Jan2011" which would contain all files and directories contained in the /my/system/public_html/Documents directory.<br>
+
These commands would create a zipped file with the named "Documents_01Jan2011" which would contain all files and directories contained in the /my/system/public_html/Documents directory.<br>  
  
 
It is common to group a series of backup commands into a batch file and to schedule that batch file to be run in cron.  
 
It is common to group a series of backup commands into a batch file and to schedule that batch file to be run in cron.  
Line 92: Line 102:
 
See your systems man pages for tar to see details on the options as these vary from implementation to implementation.  
 
See your systems man pages for tar to see details on the options as these vary from implementation to implementation.  
  
== Text Editors  ==
+
=== Text Editors  ===
  
 
Creating and modifying files when logged into the shell requires the&nbsp;use of a text editor. vi is one that is provided&nbsp;with virtually every Unix&nbsp;installation (there are others). See the writeup on the [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Vi_-_The_Unix_Visual_Editor vi editor] for more information on how to use vi.  
 
Creating and modifying files when logged into the shell requires the&nbsp;use of a text editor. vi is one that is provided&nbsp;with virtually every Unix&nbsp;installation (there are others). See the writeup on the [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Vi_-_The_Unix_Visual_Editor vi editor] for more information on how to use vi.  
  
== Terminal Emulation  ==
+
=== Terminal Emulation  ===
  
=== Putty  ===
+
==== Putty  ====
  
 
PuTTy is a free terminal emulation software package that allows you to establish telnet or ssh sessions from your PC. See this [http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/ outstanding web site] for more information about this useful tool.  
 
PuTTy is a free terminal emulation software package that allows you to establish telnet or ssh sessions from your PC. See this [http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/ outstanding web site] for more information about this useful tool.  
Line 120: Line 130:
 
cd /home8/dallasge/public_html
 
cd /home8/dallasge/public_html
 
FILENAME=$BUD"/"$DAT_TIM"_public_html_Production.tar.gz"
 
FILENAME=$BUD"/"$DAT_TIM"_public_html_Production.tar.gz"
tar --create --gzip --file=$FILENAME Production</pre>
+
tar --create --gzip --file=$FILENAME Production</pre>  
 
After creating and saving this file (say, for example, in a file named DailyBackups) you would tell the shell that it was an executable program my changing the file attributes using the chmod command:  
 
After creating and saving this file (say, for example, in a file named DailyBackups) you would tell the shell that it was an executable program my changing the file attributes using the chmod command:  
<pre>chmod +x DailyBackups</pre>
+
<pre>chmod +x DailyBackups</pre>  
 
You could then run the file by typing this at the shell prompt (from the same directory):  
 
You could then run the file by typing this at the shell prompt (from the same directory):  
<pre>DailyBackups</pre>
+
<pre>DailyBackups</pre>  
 
This would tell the system to run your shell and create a backup file named 29_Jan_2011_01_30_02_public_html_Production.tar.gz  
 
This would tell the system to run your shell and create a backup file named 29_Jan_2011_01_30_02_public_html_Production.tar.gz  
  
== MySQL  ==
+
=== MySQL  ===
  
 
MySQL is a popular relational database provided by many web hosting services. If you subscribe to one of these services and have loaded one of their Blog, Wiki or Content Management System packages chances are you are using MySQL and don't even know it!  
 
MySQL is a popular relational database provided by many web hosting services. If you subscribe to one of these services and have loaded one of their Blog, Wiki or Content Management System packages chances are you are using MySQL and don't even know it!  
Line 135: Line 145:
 
MySQL Forge has an impressive colletion of [http://forge.mysql.com/wiki/MySQL_Tutorials MySQL tutorials].  
 
MySQL Forge has an impressive colletion of [http://forge.mysql.com/wiki/MySQL_Tutorials MySQL tutorials].  
  
= PHP  =
+
== PHP  ==
  
 
PHP is a powerful language that can be used to enhance your web pages. It is also commonly used to create many of the powerful applications (such as Blogs, Wiki's and Content Management Systems) that you may use on your web site, so even a high level understanding of PHP can be very useful.  
 
PHP is a powerful language that can be used to enhance your web pages. It is also commonly used to create many of the powerful applications (such as Blogs, Wiki's and Content Management Systems) that you may use on your web site, so even a high level understanding of PHP can be very useful.  
Line 146: Line 156:
 
If you dabble in these protocols the [http://www.w3schools.com/ www.w3schools.com]&nbsp;is a must see site. It has tutorials, syntax references and loads of interactive examples.  
 
If you dabble in these protocols the [http://www.w3schools.com/ www.w3schools.com]&nbsp;is a must see site. It has tutorials, syntax references and loads of interactive examples.  
  
= Google Analytics  =
+
== Google Analytics  ==
  
[http://www.google.com/analytics/#utm_campaign=en_us&utm_source=en-ha-na Google Analytics] is a powerful and free resource that allows you to track and analyze the utilization of your web site. You need to log in and register your site:&nbsp;when you do you will be provided with some HTML&nbsp;code to copy and paste into the appropriate place on your web site. Once you do, Google Analytics will start tracking usage of your web site and will provide you with a wide variety of reports on their site.<br>
+
[http://www.google.com/analytics/#utm_campaign=en_us&utm_source=en-ha-na Google Analytics] is a powerful and free resource that allows you to track and analyze the utilization of your web site. You need to log in and register your site:&nbsp;when you do you will be provided with some HTML&nbsp;code to copy and paste into the appropriate place on your web site. Once you do, Google Analytics will start tracking usage of your web site and will provide you with a wide variety of reports on their site.<br>  
  
= Content Management Software<br> =
+
== Content Management Software<br> ==
  
 
As the name implies, a Content Management Software (CMS) package&nbsp;provides a framework that is used to create the web site.&nbsp;Once the initial structure is created this allows users to focus on the content&nbsp;rather than on the mechanics&nbsp;of presenting the information. This has several advantages:  
 
As the name implies, a Content Management Software (CMS) package&nbsp;provides a framework that is used to create the web site.&nbsp;Once the initial structure is created this allows users to focus on the content&nbsp;rather than on the mechanics&nbsp;of presenting the information. This has several advantages:  
Line 158: Line 168:
 
*Since knowledge of HTML&nbsp;and CSS&nbsp;is not required, it 'lowers the barrier'&nbsp;for creating and managing content. This may&nbsp;make it possible&nbsp;for a society to have more people creating content.
 
*Since knowledge of HTML&nbsp;and CSS&nbsp;is not required, it 'lowers the barrier'&nbsp;for creating and managing content. This may&nbsp;make it possible&nbsp;for a society to have more people creating content.
  
== Popular&nbsp;CMS's  ==
+
=== Popular&nbsp;CMS's  ===
  
=== Joomla  ===
+
==== Joomla  ====
  
 
An open source option. Some useful links are:  
 
An open source option. Some useful links are:  
Line 171: Line 181:
 
*To see what a Genealogical Society web&nbsp;site created using Joomla looks like see&nbsp;the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/ Dallas Genealogical Society]&nbsp;and the [http://www.stlgs.org/ St Louis Genealogical Society]&nbsp;sites.
 
*To see what a Genealogical Society web&nbsp;site created using Joomla looks like see&nbsp;the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/ Dallas Genealogical Society]&nbsp;and the [http://www.stlgs.org/ St Louis Genealogical Society]&nbsp;sites.
  
=== MODx  ===
+
==== MODx  ====
  
 
*[http://modxcms.com/ MODx]
 
*[http://modxcms.com/ MODx]
  
=== Drupal  ===
+
==== Drupal  ====
  
 
*[http://drupal.org/ Drupal]
 
*[http://drupal.org/ Drupal]
  
=== e197  ===
+
==== e197  ====
  
 
*[http://e107.org/ e107]
 
*[http://e107.org/ e107]
  
=== Mambo  ===
+
==== Mambo  ====
  
 
*[http://mambo-foundation.org/ Mambo]
 
*[http://mambo-foundation.org/ Mambo]
  
=== XOOPS  ===
+
==== XOOPS  ====
  
 
*[http://www.xoops.org/ XOOPS]
 
*[http://www.xoops.org/ XOOPS]
  
=== PHP-Nuke  ===
+
==== PHP-Nuke  ====
  
 
*[http://phpnuke.org/ PHP-Nuke]
 
*[http://phpnuke.org/ PHP-Nuke]
  
=== pwpwcms  ===
+
==== pwpwcms  ====
  
 
*[http://www.phpwcms.de/index.php phpwcms]
 
*[http://www.phpwcms.de/index.php phpwcms]
  
= Wiki's =
+
== Wikis ==
  
A&nbsp;wiki is nothing more than a web page that can be modified by anybody who can view it. This page is a&nbsp;wiki:&nbsp;register with&nbsp;Family Search, click on the ''''Edit This Page'&nbsp;'''button at the top of your screen and you can change&nbsp;this page!&nbsp;<br>
+
A&nbsp;wiki is nothing more than a web page that can be modified by anybody who can view it. This page is a&nbsp;wiki:&nbsp;register with&nbsp;Family Search, click on the ''''Edit This Page'&nbsp;'''button at the top of your screen and you can change&nbsp;this page!&nbsp;<br>  
  
 
Obviously there is a lot more that that to know... one place to start is this&nbsp;[http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=264&Itemid=204 Wiki Overview]&nbsp;page.  
 
Obviously there is a lot more that that to know... one place to start is this&nbsp;[http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=264&Itemid=204 Wiki Overview]&nbsp;page.  
  
== Popular Wiki's ==
+
=== Popular Wikis ===
  
=== MediaWiki  ===
+
A number of wikis exist on just about any subject as well as general purpose wikis like Wikipedia. Some family history and genealogy wikis exist such as this one, WeRelate, Geneawiki (on wikia.com), Biographical Wiki, and several others.
  
*[http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki MediaWiki] - What Wikipedia uses...
+
=== Wiki Software  ===
  
=== WikkaWiki ===
+
==== [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki MediaWiki] ====
  
*[http://docs.wikkawiki.org/HomePage WikkaWiki] - One attraction is the ability to create private/closed wiki's
+
*MediaWiki&nbsp;is the same software that both Wikipedia and this wiki, the FamilySearch Research Wiki, uses. It is probably the most popular software used to create and manage wikis with. The core software to start a wiki is free to download, and a wiki can be up and running in a short time using this software.
  
=== PmWiki ===
+
==== [http://docs.wikkawiki.org/HomePage WikkaWiki] ====
  
*[http://www.pmwiki.org/ PmWiki]
+
*While the idea of a Wiki is to allow others to edit the content, sometimes it is desirable to restrict the ability to change content to a designated group of people. That can be difficult in some Wiki software but it is one of the strengths of WikkaWiki. A page can be viewable to anybody or it can be restricted to registered users. In addition, the ability to modify a given page can be restricted.
  
=== DokuWiki ===
+
==== [http://www.pmwiki.org/ PmWiki] ====
  
*[http://www.dokuwiki.org/dokuwiki DokuWiki]
+
==== [http://www.dokuwiki.org/dokuwiki DokuWiki] ====
  
= Blogs  =
+
== Blogs  ==
  
A Blog is&nbsp;just a specialized web&nbsp;page. The name 'Blog' is short for&nbsp;We'''B&nbsp;log'''.&nbsp;Characteristics include the following:
+
A blog is just a specialized web page (in fact, the name 'Blog' is short for 'WeB log'). A Blog is usually focused on a particular topic and consists of a series of posts that are (typically) short in nature and organized by topics. The newest post is displayed first, and older posts are archived (but still searchable and viewable). What makes a Blog different from an ordinary web page is that the reader can add comments to posts they have read.
 
+
*A&nbsp;Blog is usually focused on a specific topic  
+
*It consists of a series of posts that are usually brief
+
*The most recent post is displayed first  
+
*Posts are organized by topics
+
*Older posts are archived  
+
*Tags can be assigned to posts to facilitate searching
+
*Readers may be allowed to post and/or comment on posts
+
  
 
For a more in-depth exlanation see this [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=239&Itemid=161 Blog Overview]&nbsp;page.  
 
For a more in-depth exlanation see this [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=239&Itemid=161 Blog Overview]&nbsp;page.  
  
== Popular Blogging Software  ==
+
=== Popular Blogging Software  ===
 +
 
 +
==== [http://www.blogger.com/home eBlogger]  ====
 +
 
 +
Free, provided (and hosted)&nbsp;by Google.
 +
 
 +
==== [http://wordpress.org/ WordPress]  ====
 +
 
 +
Free open-sourse website development (&amp;&nbsp;blogging) software.&nbsp; Can create a site for free at Wordpress.com or install on your own server (or a web hosting service). <br>
 +
 
 +
Useful links include:
 +
 
 +
*[http://wordpress.org/about/ About Wordpress] - overview of the services &amp; features
 +
*[http://codex.wordpress.org/Getting_Started_with_WordPress#WordPress_for_Beginners Wordpress for Beginners] -- resources to help you get started
 +
*[http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ Wordpress Theme Directory] - browse over 1,300 freely available themes to apply to your Wordpress site (for self-hosted installations only)
 +
*[http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ Wordpress Plugin Directory] -- need enhanced functionality? There's a plugin out there for you!
 +
*[http://wordpress.org/support/ Wordpress Support] - online forums for help
 +
*[http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/wordpress-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html Wordpress For Dummies Cheat Sheet]
 +
*[http://wordpress.org/about/ Wordpress.tv] - educational online videos providing information about Wordpress and the varied ways you can use it.
 +
 
 +
=== Related pages on Family&nbsp;Search  ===
 +
 
 +
[[Blog Your Way to Genealogical Success]]<br>
 +
 
 +
== Facebook  ==
 +
 
 +
Utilizing&nbsp;[http://www.facebook.com/ Facebook] to reach out to younger genealogists is something that all societies should consider.&nbsp; A society officer with a Facebook account can set up a page on Facebook and those interested in the page can then click the 'Like' button to receive posts from the society in their news feed.
  
*[http://www.blogger.com/home eBlogger] - Free, provided (and hosted)&nbsp;by Google
+
There are many features on a 'fan page'.&nbsp; You can set up discussions, get news of events or other news about your society out, and do a lot more.&nbsp; For example, FamilySearch has a Facebook fan page, it can be found at [http://www.facebook.com/familysearch http://www.facebook.com/familysearch]  
*[http://wordpress.org/ WordPress]&nbsp;- Also free, although you must have your own server or a web hosting service to load it<br>
+
  
For more information see [http://www.blogbasics.com/ BlogBasics]. They have more tutorials and discussions about hosting options.
+
== Youtube  ==
  
== Related pages on Family&nbsp;Search  ==
+
Youtube is a site that has revolutionized the way people use the Internet to share short videos about just about anything. Before 2008, most of the videos were mostly just things people shot and because they knew about the site they put it up there. But since 2008 many more more useful things have been added, and it has become a way to store and share informational and educational videos about almost anything. Presently over 2 billion videos are viewed daily, and every minute the equivalent of 24 hours of new video is uploaded to Youtube.
  
[[Blog Your Way to Genealogical Success]]<br>
+
Genealogy and family history is no exeeption. There is a growing volume of video content about family history, and how to do things like researching family history, do indexing (part of FamilySearch), and even one or two at present on using this very wiki that you are reading this in. Youtube is at http://www.youtube.com/
  
= Facebook =
+
== Twitter ==
  
Utilizing&nbsp;[http://www.facebook.com/ FaceBook] to reach out to younger genealogists is something that all societies should consider.  
+
[http://twitter.com/ Twitter ]is a service where you type short messages, called 'tweets' to broadcast a message about something you want others to know about.&nbsp; Your message must be 140 characters or less.&nbsp; Interestingly, that number comes from the&nbsp;days people used to use the telegraph to send messages quickly to each other, as that was the same maximum number of characters that could be sent by&nbsp;the telegraph operator in a single message.  
  
= Twitter =
+
It is becoming more and more widely used for almost every purpose and now has come into its own as a way to send messages quickly.&nbsp; In fact, NASA's astronauts aboard the International Space Station have Twitter accounts, so anyone can interact with them throguh Twitter, even while they are on board the station.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
  
[http://twitter.com/ Twitter ]is another tool that is probably under utilized by most societies.  
+
For family history and genealogy, societies can set up Twitter accounts to send out quick notes about upcoming events and other matters.&nbsp; Your members and others can follow you in the same fashion they do Facebook pages.  
  
The use of HashTags to post comments from events like conferences and seminars (like RootsTech) has become popular recently.  
+
A popular way of organizing messages on Twitter is to place a 'hashtag' in the message.&nbsp; A hashtag is called that because it begins with the # symbol, known by some as the pound symbol but that symbol is&nbsp; used because it is also called the 'hash' symbol.&nbsp; The hashtag can be any word in the message, and makes it searchable on hashtag aggregator sites like [http://www.twubs.com/ http://www.twubs.com/] and others in the link in the next paragraph.&nbsp; You can have more than one hashtag&nbsp; in a tweet.  
  
*See [http://www.contentious.com/2009/03/08/hashtags-on-twitter-how-do-you-follow-=them Hashtags on Twitter: How do you follow them] on contentious.com for more information
+
See [http://www.contentious.com/2009/03/08/hashtags-on-twitter-how-do-you-follow-=them Hashtags on Twitter: How do you follow them] on contentious.com for more information  
  
= Flickr =
+
== Flickr ==
  
[http://www.flickr.com/ Flickr] is a&nbsp;web site for&nbsp;pictures and images... there may be&nbsp;some great potential for using this to integrate images into a web site.
+
[http://www.flickr.com/ Flickr] is a&nbsp;web site for&nbsp;pictures and images. Currently run by Yahoo, it is a great respository for photos and images a person has taken or owns&nbsp;that can be made available for people to find, and use.&nbsp; Google indexes a great majority of the images so they can be found easily in a Google search.&nbsp; You can retain copyright, or if you wish you can put images into Creative Commons, which means they can be used on other sites by others.&nbsp; There are some Creative Commons images from a few Flickr users in this&nbsp;wiki as a result, for example.&nbsp;&nbsp;
  
= Podcasts  =
+
== Podcasts  ==
  
 
A podcast is an on-line audio recording. This could be a useful technique for getting original content on-line for any society.  
 
A podcast is an on-line audio recording. This could be a useful technique for getting original content on-line for any society.  
Line 270: Line 297:
 
See [http://radio.about.com/od/createyourownpodcast/ss/How-to-Create-Your-Own-Podcast-Make-Your-Own-Talk-Show-Music-Program-or-Audio-Stream.htm How to Create Your Own Podcast - A Step-by-Step Tutorial].  
 
See [http://radio.about.com/od/createyourownpodcast/ss/How-to-Create-Your-Own-Podcast-Make-Your-Own-Talk-Show-Music-Program-or-Audio-Stream.htm How to Create Your Own Podcast - A Step-by-Step Tutorial].  
  
= RSS  =
+
== RSS  ==
  
 
RSS&nbsp;stands for Really Simple Syndication. This is a technology that allows you to 'subscribe' to selected web site, Blogs and/or Wiki's and receive content from them whenever it changes.  
 
RSS&nbsp;stands for Really Simple Syndication. This is a technology that allows you to 'subscribe' to selected web site, Blogs and/or Wiki's and receive content from them whenever it changes.  
Line 276: Line 303:
 
See [http://www.problogger.net/what-is-rss/ What is RSS] on PROBLOGGER&nbsp;for more information.  
 
See [http://www.problogger.net/what-is-rss/ What is RSS] on PROBLOGGER&nbsp;for more information.  
  
= Creating Web-Based Presentations  =
+
== Creating Web-Based Presentations  ==
  
If you have PowerPoint and a microphone you can create your own&nbsp;web-ready Flash presentations! See how the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/ Dallas Genealogical Society] is doing this using a free software package called authorPoint from [http://www.authorgen.com/authorpoint/index.htm authorgen]:&nbsp;See the&nbsp;[http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=260&Itemid=202 Overview]  
+
If you have PowerPoint and a microphone you can create your own&nbsp;web-ready Flash presentations! See how the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/ Dallas Genealogical Society] is doing this&nbsp;in this&nbsp;[http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=260&Itemid=202 Overview]  
  
= Personal Digital Archiving  =
+
=== [http://www.authorgen.com/authorpoint/index.htm authorgen]  ===
 +
 
 +
This is one option that works fairly well. It can present the slide titles on the left hand side of the screen so they can be used to navigate to each slide in the presentation. It is best to keep custom animations to a minimum in the free version as they sometimes cause lengthy delays in the presentation.
 +
 
 +
=== [http://www.ispringsolutions.com/free_powerpoint_to_flash_converter.html iSpring]  ===
 +
 
 +
They allow Not-For-Profit organizations to have free use of their product. It appears to handle animations very well.
 +
 
 +
=== [http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia Camtasia]  ===
 +
 
 +
A not so free option that is widely used... it allows you to record every screen and mouse movement. They offer a free trial and a modest discount to not for profit organizations.
 +
 
 +
== [http://www.techsmith.com/jing/ Jing]  ==
 +
 
 +
This is a free tool that will allow you to capture on-screen content to create presentations up to 5 minutes in length.
 +
 
 +
== Personal Digital Archiving  ==
  
 
Preservation and archiving must be a fundamental part of your societies strategy.&nbsp;  
 
Preservation and archiving must be a fundamental part of your societies strategy.&nbsp;  
Line 286: Line 329:
 
The Dallas Genealogical Society recently had a presentation on Personal Digial Archiving: See the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=263&Itemid=203 web page] that includes a link to a Flash version of the presentation.  
 
The Dallas Genealogical Society recently had a presentation on Personal Digial Archiving: See the [http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=263&Itemid=203 web page] that includes a link to a Flash version of the presentation.  
  
= Windows Editors  =
+
== Windows Editors  ==
  
 
If you are a programmer working on a PC these editors may make your life easier.  
 
If you are a programmer working on a PC these editors may make your life easier.  
  
== Komodo Edit  ==
+
=== Komodo Edit  ===
  
 
This is a phenominal editor that supports HTML, PHP, Perl and many other languages and environments. It is hard to believe that it is free (although you can purchase a more powerful version). Available from the [http://community.activestate.com/main ActiveState web site].  
 
This is a phenominal editor that supports HTML, PHP, Perl and many other languages and environments. It is hard to believe that it is free (although you can purchase a more powerful version). Available from the [http://community.activestate.com/main ActiveState web site].  
  
== Vim  ==
+
=== Vim  ===
  
 
If you are a die hard vi fan then you are going to love Vim... it is a full blown implementation of the venerable vi editor that has been house broken to run in Windows. See [http://www.vim.org www.vim.org].  
 
If you are a die hard vi fan then you are going to love Vim... it is a full blown implementation of the venerable vi editor that has been house broken to run in Windows. See [http://www.vim.org www.vim.org].  
  
= 'Back End'&nbsp; Services  =
+
== 'Back End' Services  ==
  
Some aspects of running a society may be too important or too complicated for home grown solutions... There are alternatives focused on the not for profit organization.<br>
+
Some aspects of running a society may be too important or too complicated for home grown solutions... There are alternatives focused on the not for profit organization.<br>  
  
== Neon  ==
+
=== Neon  ===
  
 
*Stands for 'Nonprofit Enterprise Online Network'. A package of services offered by [http://www.z2systems.com/en-US/ Z2 Systems]. They charge for their services but you can choose the modules you want, and the fee is based on the size of your organization.&nbsp; This database system can manage membership records; provide customized e-mail and mail merge lists; record memberships, renewals and donations; send automatic renewal reminders; provide an online membership directory and other user designed features.<br><br>
 
*Stands for 'Nonprofit Enterprise Online Network'. A package of services offered by [http://www.z2systems.com/en-US/ Z2 Systems]. They charge for their services but you can choose the modules you want, and the fee is based on the size of your organization.&nbsp; This database system can manage membership records; provide customized e-mail and mail merge lists; record memberships, renewals and donations; send automatic renewal reminders; provide an online membership directory and other user designed features.<br><br>
  
== Vertical Response (VR)  ==
+
=== Vertical Response (VR)  ===
  
*Vertical Response is an e-mail marketing solution for small businesses and non-profit organizations.&nbsp; While there is a charge for businesses, [http://www.verticalresponse.com/pricing/non-profit/ non-profit organizations] with 501(c)(3) status may send 10,000 e-mails per month free and receive a 15% discount on surveys and printed postcards.<br>
+
*Vertical Response is an e-mail marketing solution for small businesses and non-profit organizations.&nbsp; While there is a charge for businesses, [http://www.verticalresponse.com/pricing/non-profit/ non-profit organizations] with 501(c)(3) status may send 10,000 e-mails per month free and receive a 15% discount on surveys and printed postcards.<br>  
 
*VR is dedicated to the reduction of spam.&nbsp; E-mail lists may not be harvested from other sites.&nbsp; The list must be those that "opt-in" to receive e-mails. The system checks the outbound e-mails for previous bounces and unsubscribed e-mail addresses.&nbsp;  
 
*VR is dedicated to the reduction of spam.&nbsp; E-mail lists may not be harvested from other sites.&nbsp; The list must be those that "opt-in" to receive e-mails. The system checks the outbound e-mails for previous bounces and unsubscribed e-mail addresses.&nbsp;  
 
*Over 500 templates are provided to assist in the design of attractive e-mails or e-newsletters.&nbsp; It is also possible to design your own. E-mails or e-newsletters can be linked to an organization's Facebook and Twitter.<br><br>
 
*Over 500 templates are provided to assist in the design of attractive e-mails or e-newsletters.&nbsp; It is also possible to design your own. E-mails or e-newsletters can be linked to an organization's Facebook and Twitter.<br><br>
  
== EasyNetSites  ==
+
=== EasyNetSites  ===
 +
 
 +
This commercial service was developed specifically to support Genealogical Societies. Details are available at [http://easynetsites.com easynetsites.com<u>. <br></u>]
  
This commercial service was developed specifically to support Genealogical Societies. Details are available at [http://easynetsites.com easynetsites.com<u>. <br></u>]
+
== Related Articles  ==
  
= Related Family Search Resources  =
+
*[[The power of community|The Power of Community and the Web 2.0]]
 +
*[[Popular Social Networks for Genealogy|Popular Social Networks for Genealogy]]
 +
*[[Use the Internet for Family History Research|Use the Internet for Family History Research]] - This one needs some updating
 +
*[[All aTwitter about Wave|All aTwitter about Wave: Ten Disruptive New Web Services]]
 +
*Genealogical Society Webmasters - Rootstech 2012 Unconference&nbsp;[[Genealogical Society Webmasters - Rootstech 2012 Unconference]]
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/The_power_of_community The Power of Community and the Web 2.0]<br>[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Popular_Social_Networks_for_Genealogy Popular Social Networks for Genealogy]<br>[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Use_the_Internet_for_Family_History_Research Use the Internet for Family History Research] - This one needs some updating<br>[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/All_aTwitter_about_Wave All aTwitter about Wave: Ten Disruptive New Web Services]
+
[[Category:Social_Media]]

Latest revision as of 14:47, 16 October 2012

RootsTech.gif A class at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, February 12, 2011
An Exploration of the Integration of Social Networking Technologies into the Core Activities of Genealogical Societies (TC091), presented by Tony Hanson.


Adopt-a-wiki page
Dallas genealogical society.jpg This page adopted by:
Dallas Genealogical Society
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

Rationale

Today Genealogical Societies are learning that to survive, or to at least be relevant, they must embrace technology. Many Societies don't have the expertise to set up and manage their own websites. However, having an effective website is the first step. This discussion is for those who have some proficiency with computer technology and want to learn more about how to save their Society money by designing and maintaining the website themselves. All of this technology can be purchased (or found free from a variety of sources) but in doing so the Society gives up some portion of control over content.

Purpose

As might be expected, a search of the FamilySearch Wiki using terms like Unix, shell, vi and htaccess and other 'technological' terms does not result in too many hits. However, there is a need for a genealogy focused presentation of technical materials for members of Genealogical Societies to use to create and enhance their on-line presence.

This page will serve as a focal point for technological discussions and resources that may be used by Genealogical Societies to create, enhance and maintain their virtual presence.

This page was originally created for RootsTech 2011 session TC091 titled 'An Exploration of the Integration of Social Networking Technologies into the Core Activities of Genealogical Societies'. This course was taught by Tony Hanson of the Dallas Genealogical Society.  A PDF formatted version of the presentation can be viewed by clicking here. A re-recording of the presentation made after the conference can be seen and heard by clicking here.

Working in the Unix environment

Most web hosting services are based on a Unix or Unix-like environment. Knowledge of the areas listed below is not a requirement for you to establish a web presence. However, understanding the underlying technologies will allow you to have much more control over your sites appearance and security. 

Choosing a Web Hosting Service

When selecting a web hosting service the price should not be your only criteria... see 'How do I choose a quality hosting provider' at http://docs.joomla.org.

Fundamental security issues

Specific security needs will be different for every site, but there are some basic suggestions that are universal:

  • Perform regular backups of your files and your MySQL database tables
  • Keep current copies of your backups somewhere else
  • Change your passwords frequently
  • Keep your application software up to date. Hackers exploit security holes in older versions of software. 
  • Restrict access to known hacker sites using an .htaccess file
  • Restrict known PHP exploits by using PHP.ini
  • Schedule and review the output of the 'find ctime -l' command (lists files that have been changed recently, which may be an indication of malicious activity) daily
  • If you have installed 'off the shelf' Wiki/Blog/CMS packages that creates tables in MySQL consider changing the default table names (refer to the individual packages documentation to see if this is possible or even recommended). This may fool malicious code that does find its way to your server
  • If possible, disable displaying the version of your 'off the shelf' packages. This may throw off malicious software that is targeting specific versions of your software.

.htaccess

.htaccess is a file that can be created on your web site to provide your web server with special instructions to handle a variety of tasks such as page redirection and security. The following links provide more information:

php.ini

If you are using a web hosting service you start out with their default settings. These are not always in your best interest. One area where it pays to tighten security a bit involves PHP. PHP is a program commonly used to enhance web pages. Even if you don't write programs yourself it is often used to write Blog, Wiki, CMS and other popular types of software packages that you may be using. Even if you are not running any of those (at this point one has to wonder why exactly you do have a web hosting service but we won't go there) PHP is often used by hackers to exploit weaknesses in vulnerable sites.

All you need to do is create a file called 'php.ini' in each of your public directories (basicly any in and under your public_html directory) and put the appropriate commands. The following example is by no means exhaustive but will give you an idea of what one looks like:

disable_functions = show_source, system, shell_exec, passthru, exec, phpinfo, popen, proc_open
open_basedir = /your/systems/public_html
safe_mode = 0
register_globals = 0
allow_url_fopen = 0

This is a deep subject: see the following for more information:

Backups

For all too many people the first time they consider the question of how (or even if) their web hosting service backs up their data is the day after their data has been irretrieveably lost. Most service providers only keep very recent backups (1 or 2 days). Unfortunately, by the time most people realize that they have serious problems on their site the backups also contain corrupted data.

Good backups are your last and best line of defense!

cron

cron is a Unix utility that allow you to schedule and run programs (such as backups) on an established schedule. If your Unix system allows you to do so, you could submit an entry that would look like this:

00 01 * * 0 /some/dir/my_backups 

This would tell the system to run the 'my_backups' program located in the /some/dir directory at 1:00 am every Sunday. The meanings of the five fields are provided below.

* * * * *
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
| | | | |
| | | | +----- day of week (0 - 6) (Sunday=0)
| | | +------- month (1 - 12)
| | +--------- day of month (1 - 31)
| +----------- hour (0 - 23)
+------------- min (0 - 59)

Note that an asterick will be interpreted as every day of week/month/day/hour/minute. You can also have several entries seperated by commas. In the following example my_logs would be run at 1:05 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

05 13 * * 1,3,5 /some/dir/my_logs

If you are lucky your hosting service will provide a GUI interface that makes entering and managing entries a little easier.

tar

tar is a Unix utility that allows you to create backup files. Here is an example:

cd /my/system/public_html

tar --create --gzip --file="Documents_01Jan2011" Documents

These commands would create a zipped file with the named "Documents_01Jan2011" which would contain all files and directories contained in the /my/system/public_html/Documents directory.

It is common to group a series of backup commands into a batch file and to schedule that batch file to be run in cron.

See your systems man pages for tar to see details on the options as these vary from implementation to implementation.

Text Editors

Creating and modifying files when logged into the shell requires the use of a text editor. vi is one that is provided with virtually every Unix installation (there are others). See the writeup on the vi editor for more information on how to use vi.

Terminal Emulation

Putty

PuTTy is a free terminal emulation software package that allows you to establish telnet or ssh sessions from your PC. See this outstanding web site for more information about this useful tool.

Shell Programming

The shell is Unix-speak for the interface with the operating system. If you connect to your web hosting service using a protocol like telnet or ssh (using a terminal emulation software package like PuTTy) you will be interacting with the shell.

This is not an area for the faint of heart... if your only experience with computers has been with Windows or a Mac you are going to find that blinking dollar sign to be very unhelpful. You can do very powerful things here, but it does require a basic understanding of the file structure, some of the basic shell commands and familiarity with an editor like vi.

Note that many hosting services do not allow access to the shell by default. You may need to contact them and request permission.

Once you have access to the shell you can create files with valid commands in them. One common use is to create backup files.Here is a typical sample presented only to illustrate the basic concepts.

MON=`date | cut -c5-7`
DAY=`date | cut -c9-10`
YR=`date | cut -c25-28`

TIM=`date | cut -c12-19 | sed 's/:/_/g'`
DAT_TIM=`echo $DAY"_"$MON"_"$YR"_"$TIM`

cd /home8/dallasge/public_html
FILENAME=$BUD"/"$DAT_TIM"_public_html_Production.tar.gz"
tar --create --gzip --file=$FILENAME Production

After creating and saving this file (say, for example, in a file named DailyBackups) you would tell the shell that it was an executable program my changing the file attributes using the chmod command:

chmod +x DailyBackups

You could then run the file by typing this at the shell prompt (from the same directory):

DailyBackups

This would tell the system to run your shell and create a backup file named 29_Jan_2011_01_30_02_public_html_Production.tar.gz

MySQL

MySQL is a popular relational database provided by many web hosting services. If you subscribe to one of these services and have loaded one of their Blog, Wiki or Content Management System packages chances are you are using MySQL and don't even know it!

You should be able access MySQL directly: see the information provided by your Web Hosting provider.

MySQL Forge has an impressive colletion of MySQL tutorials.

PHP

PHP is a powerful language that can be used to enhance your web pages. It is also commonly used to create many of the powerful applications (such as Blogs, Wiki's and Content Management Systems) that you may use on your web site, so even a high level understanding of PHP can be very useful.

CSS, XML and HTML

If you dabble in these protocols the www.w3schools.com is a must see site. It has tutorials, syntax references and loads of interactive examples.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful and free resource that allows you to track and analyze the utilization of your web site. You need to log in and register your site: when you do you will be provided with some HTML code to copy and paste into the appropriate place on your web site. Once you do, Google Analytics will start tracking usage of your web site and will provide you with a wide variety of reports on their site.

Content Management Software

As the name implies, a Content Management Software (CMS) package provides a framework that is used to create the web site. Once the initial structure is created this allows users to focus on the content rather than on the mechanics of presenting the information. This has several advantages:

  • They provide a very consistent look and feel for the entire web site.
  • Web sites tend to be very standards compliant. This means that the content will be displayed 'correctly' on all browsers and all types of devices (including often overlooked smart phones).
  • Since knowledge of HTML and CSS is not required, it 'lowers the barrier' for creating and managing content. This may make it possible for a society to have more people creating content.

Popular CMS's

Joomla

An open source option. Some useful links are:

  • What is Joomla? - Marketing hype on the main Joomla web site
  • Beginners Guide (a.k.a. 'Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla!', 'Novices' and 'What is Joomla') - where to go if you are contemplating installing and using Joomla
  • Joomla 1.5 Quick Start - Free on-line videos explaining how to install and use Joomla
  • Discussion Forums - lots of good help available here
  • Security Checklist - an invaluable reference with excellent advice. Best read before your site is hacked. See the section titled 'The most important guidelines' for instructions on how to subscribe to Joomla Security News (email or RSS) so you can receive notifications whenever critical updates are released.
  • To see what a Genealogical Society web site created using Joomla looks like see the Dallas Genealogical Society and the St Louis Genealogical Society sites.

MODx

Drupal

e197

Mambo

XOOPS

PHP-Nuke

pwpwcms

Wikis

A wiki is nothing more than a web page that can be modified by anybody who can view it. This page is a wiki: register with Family Search, click on the 'Edit This Page' button at the top of your screen and you can change this page! 

Obviously there is a lot more that that to know... one place to start is this Wiki Overview page.

Popular Wikis

A number of wikis exist on just about any subject as well as general purpose wikis like Wikipedia. Some family history and genealogy wikis exist such as this one, WeRelate, Geneawiki (on wikia.com), Biographical Wiki, and several others.

Wiki Software

MediaWiki

  • MediaWiki is the same software that both Wikipedia and this wiki, the FamilySearch Research Wiki, uses. It is probably the most popular software used to create and manage wikis with. The core software to start a wiki is free to download, and a wiki can be up and running in a short time using this software.

WikkaWiki

  • While the idea of a Wiki is to allow others to edit the content, sometimes it is desirable to restrict the ability to change content to a designated group of people. That can be difficult in some Wiki software but it is one of the strengths of WikkaWiki. A page can be viewable to anybody or it can be restricted to registered users. In addition, the ability to modify a given page can be restricted.

PmWiki

DokuWiki

Blogs

A blog is just a specialized web page (in fact, the name 'Blog' is short for 'WeB log'). A Blog is usually focused on a particular topic and consists of a series of posts that are (typically) short in nature and organized by topics. The newest post is displayed first, and older posts are archived (but still searchable and viewable). What makes a Blog different from an ordinary web page is that the reader can add comments to posts they have read.

For a more in-depth exlanation see this Blog Overview page.

Popular Blogging Software

eBlogger

Free, provided (and hosted) by Google.

WordPress

Free open-sourse website development (& blogging) software.  Can create a site for free at Wordpress.com or install on your own server (or a web hosting service).

Useful links include:

Related pages on Family Search

Blog Your Way to Genealogical Success

Facebook

Utilizing Facebook to reach out to younger genealogists is something that all societies should consider.  A society officer with a Facebook account can set up a page on Facebook and those interested in the page can then click the 'Like' button to receive posts from the society in their news feed.

There are many features on a 'fan page'.  You can set up discussions, get news of events or other news about your society out, and do a lot more.  For example, FamilySearch has a Facebook fan page, it can be found at http://www.facebook.com/familysearch

Youtube

Youtube is a site that has revolutionized the way people use the Internet to share short videos about just about anything. Before 2008, most of the videos were mostly just things people shot and because they knew about the site they put it up there. But since 2008 many more more useful things have been added, and it has become a way to store and share informational and educational videos about almost anything. Presently over 2 billion videos are viewed daily, and every minute the equivalent of 24 hours of new video is uploaded to Youtube.

Genealogy and family history is no exeeption. There is a growing volume of video content about family history, and how to do things like researching family history, do indexing (part of FamilySearch), and even one or two at present on using this very wiki that you are reading this in. Youtube is at http://www.youtube.com/

Twitter

Twitter is a service where you type short messages, called 'tweets' to broadcast a message about something you want others to know about.  Your message must be 140 characters or less.  Interestingly, that number comes from the days people used to use the telegraph to send messages quickly to each other, as that was the same maximum number of characters that could be sent by the telegraph operator in a single message.

It is becoming more and more widely used for almost every purpose and now has come into its own as a way to send messages quickly.  In fact, NASA's astronauts aboard the International Space Station have Twitter accounts, so anyone can interact with them throguh Twitter, even while they are on board the station.    

For family history and genealogy, societies can set up Twitter accounts to send out quick notes about upcoming events and other matters.  Your members and others can follow you in the same fashion they do Facebook pages.

A popular way of organizing messages on Twitter is to place a 'hashtag' in the message.  A hashtag is called that because it begins with the # symbol, known by some as the pound symbol but that symbol is  used because it is also called the 'hash' symbol.  The hashtag can be any word in the message, and makes it searchable on hashtag aggregator sites like http://www.twubs.com/ and others in the link in the next paragraph.  You can have more than one hashtag  in a tweet.

See Hashtags on Twitter: How do you follow them on contentious.com for more information

Flickr

Flickr is a web site for pictures and images. Currently run by Yahoo, it is a great respository for photos and images a person has taken or owns that can be made available for people to find, and use.  Google indexes a great majority of the images so they can be found easily in a Google search.  You can retain copyright, or if you wish you can put images into Creative Commons, which means they can be used on other sites by others.  There are some Creative Commons images from a few Flickr users in this wiki as a result, for example.  

Podcasts

A podcast is an on-line audio recording. This could be a useful technique for getting original content on-line for any society.

See How to Create Your Own Podcast - A Step-by-Step Tutorial.

RSS

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. This is a technology that allows you to 'subscribe' to selected web site, Blogs and/or Wiki's and receive content from them whenever it changes.

See What is RSS on PROBLOGGER for more information.

Creating Web-Based Presentations

If you have PowerPoint and a microphone you can create your own web-ready Flash presentations! See how the Dallas Genealogical Society is doing this in this Overview

authorgen

This is one option that works fairly well. It can present the slide titles on the left hand side of the screen so they can be used to navigate to each slide in the presentation. It is best to keep custom animations to a minimum in the free version as they sometimes cause lengthy delays in the presentation.

iSpring

They allow Not-For-Profit organizations to have free use of their product. It appears to handle animations very well.

Camtasia

A not so free option that is widely used... it allows you to record every screen and mouse movement. They offer a free trial and a modest discount to not for profit organizations.

Jing

This is a free tool that will allow you to capture on-screen content to create presentations up to 5 minutes in length.

Personal Digital Archiving

Preservation and archiving must be a fundamental part of your societies strategy. 

The Dallas Genealogical Society recently had a presentation on Personal Digial Archiving: See the web page that includes a link to a Flash version of the presentation.

Windows Editors

If you are a programmer working on a PC these editors may make your life easier.

Komodo Edit

This is a phenominal editor that supports HTML, PHP, Perl and many other languages and environments. It is hard to believe that it is free (although you can purchase a more powerful version). Available from the ActiveState web site.

Vim

If you are a die hard vi fan then you are going to love Vim... it is a full blown implementation of the venerable vi editor that has been house broken to run in Windows. See www.vim.org.

'Back End' Services

Some aspects of running a society may be too important or too complicated for home grown solutions... There are alternatives focused on the not for profit organization.

Neon

  • Stands for 'Nonprofit Enterprise Online Network'. A package of services offered by Z2 Systems. They charge for their services but you can choose the modules you want, and the fee is based on the size of your organization.  This database system can manage membership records; provide customized e-mail and mail merge lists; record memberships, renewals and donations; send automatic renewal reminders; provide an online membership directory and other user designed features.

Vertical Response (VR)

  • Vertical Response is an e-mail marketing solution for small businesses and non-profit organizations.  While there is a charge for businesses, non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status may send 10,000 e-mails per month free and receive a 15% discount on surveys and printed postcards.
  • VR is dedicated to the reduction of spam.  E-mail lists may not be harvested from other sites.  The list must be those that "opt-in" to receive e-mails. The system checks the outbound e-mails for previous bounces and unsubscribed e-mail addresses. 
  • Over 500 templates are provided to assist in the design of attractive e-mails or e-newsletters.  It is also possible to design your own. E-mails or e-newsletters can be linked to an organization's Facebook and Twitter.

EasyNetSites

This commercial service was developed specifically to support Genealogical Societies. Details are available at easynetsites.com.

Related Articles


 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

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


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 16 October 2012, at 14:47.
  • This page has been accessed 11,980 times.