18 April 2013

Why You Should Attend a Genealogy Conference

Good morning! I am blogging today from the New England Regional Genealogical Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. The conference kicked off yesterday with two preconference events, Technology Day and Librarian/Teacher Day. I was working the hospitality table outside of these events and spoke with many attendees as they were exiting. The feedback for the two events was extremely positive.

Have you ever asked one of these questions? Why should I attend a genealogy conference? How can attending a conference help me to find my elusive ancestors? 

Here is why you should attend genealogy conferences:
  • Spend time with people who understand your obsession and who love to 'talk' genealogy.
  • Take classes from national and local genealogy educators.
  • Discover new record groups to further your research.
  • Learn how to squeeze every bit of information from the sources you already have. You will be shocked by what you have missed!
  • Break down brick walls with new research techniques.
  • Meet experts and get help during the Ancestors Roadshow.
  • Always learn something new! You will make a breakthrough when you take home what you have learned and apply it to your genealogy research.
Have I convinced you? Come on over to the New England Regional Genealogical Conference on Friday or Saturday. You can sign up as a day attendee and explore all that this educational event has to offer. 

Hope to see you here. 

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

05 April 2013

What I Did About Google Reader

Gone Google Gone
Like many of you, I was disappointed that Google will be discontinuing Google Reader. Reader has been my go to service for blog reading. Over the years I have created lots of folders/tags and starred my favorite blog posts and authors. My work will disappear on July 1.

You Are Not Alone
There are many people bummed about the demise of Reader. Dan Lewis of New York started a petition on change.org; Google: Keep Google Reader Running. As of today it has been signed by 147,509 people. Signing a petition may or may not influence Google, but my choice is to let Reader go, to not sign any petitions and to get out while I can. 

What to Do Before the Big Kid Packs Up its Sandbox
I don't claim to understand the inner workings of such a massive company or the reasoning behind this decision, but I do know they have made it pretty clear to me that they don't care if I depend on their product. They are packing up their pail and shovel and leaving the sand box. Actually they are taking the sandbox too and telling me to pick up my sand and bring it somewhere else. 

All. Those. Grains. Of. Sand. All those blogs. My folders. My stars. What to do? 

Gather Your Stars

  • Create a new folder in Reader called Favorites. (I know, still using Google Reader, but I have a plan!)
  • Go to starred items. Add any blog with numerous starred posts to your new Favorites folder. 
  • Save any starred posts you can't live without.

Clean Up Your Folders 
Here is a view of my subscriptions in Google Reader: 

Note that all of the blogs are assigned to a folder. There are no 'loose' blogs at the bottom of my subscription list. 

If you have loose blogs
  • click on Reader Settings (upper right, click drop down arrow next to ). 
  • click on Subscriptions tab. Each subscription will be followed by a change folders box. 
  • click on the folder(s) to which you want to assign each blog. Do this until all of the blogs are assigned. 

Take Your Sand er Blogs Over to the feedly Sandbox
Ok, your blogs are organized 
and you've got your starred blogs in a favorites folder. Head over to feedly. feedly has made it super easy to migrate your Google Reader blog reading to their platform. Click on Connect to Google Reader and enter your Google log-in and you are done. Your folders will appear on the left and you will be good to read. 

Small Print

Right now it is super easy, but after July 1st, you will no longer be able to do it this way. Whether you decide to use feedly or another sandbox, it
is important to act now rather than wait until the sand is flowing through your fingers and your favorite blogs are blowing in the wind.

What have you decided to do about Google Reader?

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

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