Strengthening a Genealogical Society with FamilySearch Indexing
Much of the work in genealogy is happening now in groups. Through technology, groups are able to communicate, train each other, and publish records. Internet indexing and other resources can assist in these areas while increasing visibility. FamilySearch indexing (FSI) has a three-fold focus on recruiting and retaining volunteers in order to produce more data to more people faster. Groups that participate in this program can become a part of a worldwide workforce and give back to the genealogical community. The following needs illustrate how this program can provide solutions to societies and groups throughout the world.
All groups need to become visible in order to meet their goals. FamilySearch has introduced several new features that allow groups who participate in FamilySearch indexing to become more visible.
1. Partner projects page: Here you can see the many societies and groups that are partnering with FamilySearch. We would like to put as many society logos as possible on this page.
2. FSI Facebook page: Over 23,000 people “Like” this page now. This site has become its own genealogy community, with tabs for goals, links, photos, and video. You can now view the FSI partner projects by clicking on the "Partners" tab.
3. FSI newsletter: The FSI Newsletter is where we keep the world up to date on the latest happenings. FamilySearch hopes to spotlight genealogical societies and drive traffic to group websites. Read February 2011’s article highlighting the Michigan Genealogical Council a society active in the indexing process.
4. FamilySearch_Indexing_Updates: Bloggers in the genealogical community stay updated through this notification. You can "Watch" this page for the latest.
5. FamilySearch Wiki pages: Are there members of your group or society that know all about certain areas of the world? If so, invite them to contribute their information on the FamilySearch Wiki for all to see. Want to adopt-a-wiki page? See what the Dallas Genealogical Society did here.
6. FamilySearch Youtube channel: Want to see an example of societies and groups that have sponsored indexing projects? Subscribe to this channel and view several scenarios.
7. FSI’s Twitter account: Want to follow FSI on Twitter? Sign up to follow.
All groups need to communicate. There are many resources now that allow people to communicate for free all over the world from the comfort of their own home. The Internet can make communication easy but unity in groups can sometimes be difficult. Internet indexing projects can be a valuable and rather simple way of unifying a group. A project that meets the interests of your group or society will help strengthen current and new members through a common goal.
1. FSI open groups: An open group will give you access to all FSI projects but allow you to function as a part of a team. This means that a group administrator will have the ability to oversee a project and provide the group with meaningful information. The Admin tab in FSI will allow you to create messages for your group. System tools are provided to help you to recruit and manage your own indexing workforce.
2. Reporting: The FSI Admin tab will allow you to view those in the group who are indexing and how well they are doing. Keeping track of progress is easy and reports can be shared with members of the group through email. Goals can also be shared through the reporting tool as well as the ability to run lists of non-contributors to see who may need a little help or encouragement.
3. Training: With an entire group working on a similar project it is easy to provide training. Having trouble setting up a web meeting, FamilySearch can assist in creating the opportunity for online interaction. The "Share Batch" feature in FSI allows multiple people to view the same image. In addition, before a new FSI project is launched we invite certain groups to test the project and give us feedback. This provides a perfect opportunity for building a group.
4. Additional resources: FSI is available in many languages and has tutorials available. Just introduced is a Live Chat feature. Additionally FSI has an international support team willing to answer questions.
With thousands of volunteers all over the world providing indexes, everyone benefits from the publication of new content on the FamilySearch.org.
1. Give Back: Many people feel the need to give back to the genealogical community. Indexing is a great way to accomplish this. Most genealogical societies and groups are organized around specific record sets. While FSI can’t possibly do projects in every corner of the world we do provide a wide variety of projects. Do you have access to or know of a set of records that could be published online? If so, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how FamilySearch can help.
2. FamilySearch.org: Completed indexes are free to the public and can be searched now at FamilySearch.org. Millions of records are added each month. Become a partner in the publishing process by sponsoring an FSI project.
3. New Technology. Though not exclusive to societies and groups, FamilySearch Labs continues to develop free tools for genealogists and enthusiasts. Forums, Community Trees, Standard Finder represent a few other tools.
See also Give Back at FamilySearch Indexing.