Friday, November 6, 2009

Geniaus Website - Reflections

Today I had a query from another Australian Genealogist asking me about the web-hosting service I use for my family site http://www.geniaus.net.

I realise that it is now nearly four months since I uploaded my first Gedcom to the site. I am pleased to report that I am still delighted with the software I chose for the site, TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Software) and the hosting company they recommended, Simply Hosting. I outlined the reasons for my choices in an earlier blog post.

I wondered whether I should make the site private or should I open it up to the world and share the fruits of my labour. I opted for the sharing path and am pleased to have done so. By publishing my work I have had contact from a number of distant cousins who have happened across the site as they searched the internet for their ancestors. These people have been able to add details to my tree and act as editors for my site.

Sharing my data has made me realise that some of my referencing in the early days left a lot to be desired so the web presence has embarrassed me into going over my data and seeking and tidying up my sources. Although my database of around 7,000 has not grown substantially the amount of referencing and checking I have done in the past four months has hopefully improved the quality of my data.

The collaborative nature of the TNG platform has enabed me to give varying levels of access to those kin who have contacted me. I can allow downloads of gedcom files, editing of data and access to details of living relatives.

It takes less than five minutes to reload a new gedcom to the site so I am able to update it painlessly whenever I have made changes. Maintenance is a breeze. Uploading of photos and documents is easy, the face tagging feature for photos is fantastic.

A basic knowledge of html is useful to personalise the templates provided by TNG but patience and perseverance are the major traits needed to accomplish this task. Although I would like to make formatting changes to the whole site I am hastening slowly.

I am thrilled by my choice of software and would recommend it to any family historians who want a presence on the web where they can easily collaborate with cousins.

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