Used to be in the old days (?? – a year or 2 ago!) that we looked forward to updates to nFS every 3 months and a nicely written summary of the changes. For the past year the focus of changes has shifted to FamilySearch.org. Besides additions of data – which seem to be almost weekly – there are usually monthly updates to the website. The What’s New at FamilySearch link gives details of the updates on 24 Sept. There is no mention of the updates in October . . . and yes I have used Feedback to ask them to provide us with a summary (if you miss the articles too, maybe you can send feedback?). In the meantime here are some of the updates we have noticed. If you have noticed other changes not on this list then please add a comment.
- The main page has changed – don’t panic! – everything is still there but some things are in different places. There is an effort underway to make the web site easier to use for beginning genealogists.
- Where are the What’s New articles? Click on the link to Blog at the top of the page, look to the right under the heading Categories, and there is a link to What’s New at FamilySearch (currently 73 articles). Articles you might want to look at might include Feature Changes at FamilySearch.org as of 14 Sept 2011, Searching at FamilySearch (12 June 2011) and “Nine Powerful Search Features in the FamilySearch Search Engine” by PBDunn (in April 2011). Note the link to What’s New at the bottom of the main page is not What’s New at FamilySearch!
- Icons and messages on links to images in Historical records have changed. Now gives a better explanation of how to get to the image.
- Images are no longer in Flash – iphone and ipad users can access them. Features still need to be added to the image viewer (in our opinion).
- Changes to the Learning Centre at FamilySearch.org – that’s the official title for the Learn section! Getting started is a link to the 5 minute genealogy videos. The Learning Centre also has links to Forums, Research wiki, and Research Courses.
- There are links from Ancestral File or Pedigree Resource File entries to the nFS tree now at FamilySearch.org when you search in Trees. If you are signed in to FamilySearch.org and search for an ancestor in Trees and find someone who is also in the nFS Tree there is a link provided that takes you directly to that person in nFS.
- Sources and notes for Pedigree Resource File (PRF) have been added on Trees at FamilySearch.org. PRF is after the Ancestral File listing – and we still don’t see an easy way to just get to the PRF results – hopefully that will soon be coming.
Bottom line – FamilySearch offers more resources than ever before. We need to embrace changes and improvements especially those that help people new to Family History.
It is true that we “believe in continuous revelation as long as it does not involve change.” (Richard Condie, A Disposition to Do Good Continually, Ensign August 2001)
Please remember that training materials are available at familysearch.org/serve. There are new videos!
Hope you got the news from FamilySearch this week? (if not maybe you aren’t registered at familysearch.org/serve ?) Thank you and farewell to Jay Verkler who has been CEO of FamilySearch for the past 10 years, and welcome to Dennis Brimhall who becomes CEO in early January 2012.
Did you know that you can now follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pldarbyfh ? We are using Twitter to post any items that come up during the week. We are learning new things too!