Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter 2010 Games, GeneaBlogger Style, My One and Only Entry in the Competition

Over at GeneaBloggers they are playing the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, geni-style. What fun. I am not actively participating as many of the challenges would have to be done at the stick built. So, I thought, hmmmm, Carol, a review of the tasks always are good for your research.  This is a great list, providing in depth review, good stuff, it is a great place to measure how you are doing in your research and recording of results.  I decided to do a one time chat about the Olympics, no formal participation, no medals awarded. I found I aready do a number of the challenges listed as a matter of standard operating procedure.  I did 4 or 5 challenges in preparing this post.  There are quite a few challenges on the long list for the Winter Olymics that need more of my attention, back at the stick built. My review of the challenges:

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources! Many moons ago I reviewed all 4000 plus individuals in my data base and verified or provided a source for each and every event/fact. Since then, I have a hard and fast rule, do NOT enter a birth date, death date, any event, without a source, and if I have more than one source, that is even better. I now have over 16,000 individuals in my data base, and I gotta say, I am glad I don’t have to start doing that NOW.

2. Back Up Your Data!
Digital files are backed up to an external hard drive, about once a month. I also have a recent copy of my data base and photos on my iPod touch (photos updated when I synch the touch). Data base backup is also stored online at a hotmail email account (note it is FREE). I have my data base and supporting files on 2 other computers.  Digitizing photos and documents has resulted in over 7000 images attached to my data base, but I do not feel this project is anywhere near the finish line.

3. Organize Your Research!
Reviewing and tweaking my digital files is a constant battle. A massive re-organization effort made about 18 months ago when a new laptop was purchased has worked out quite well. My main goal was to reduce the mega number of subdirectories to a mini number and to name them such that they all arranged themselves ABOVE “Program Files” on Windows Explore. I had to come up with some ?creative? names, such as “Lousy mail list” and “I Got Work to Do” and “All in the Family”. I actually had fun thinking out of the box for file names and surprisingly, they have all stood the test of 18 months time.

4. Expand Your Knowledge
I have temporarily imbedded a "live" Google Map of where Man and I are staying for the winter at the bottom of my blog. (Live versa a screen shot OF the map which I can then post as an image.)  I love it, HOWEVER, I am not pleased that it seems to take the reader to the bottom of the blog page when loading the page. The map in this format may will be going bye bye, so take a look, quick. I did a Wordle and added it to the right column of the blog and I did a Heritage flag over at we are multicolored, likewise added. Those two are likely to remain here on Reflections From the Fence for a while.

5. Write, Write, Write!

(Insert a little black humor here -- Somehow, THIS is not a problem for ole Carol -- I cannot seem to stop writing since I started Reflections.)

I have used the new Pages app for my blog, I am still tweaking this. It is near the bottom top (edited and moved February 22) of the right column. Unfortunately due to the background color (black) of this template, the Pages tags cannot go under the banner.  I have looked and do not see a way to change the color of the print on the tags.

I built a welcome area to my blog a while back (almost at the top of right column). I briefly explain what I write about and what other information can be found on my other web pages/blogs. One link (see the graphic of a pedigree chart) at the top of the right column will lead you to 8 pedigree charts covering my 4 grandparents and Man’s 4 grandparents. I may eventually add additional charts to this page, so come back and check sometime.

I enjoy carnivals, and participate in some of them. I frequently write biographies, usually as part of a series I have called “Birthday Observances”.  I include a photo of the ancestor if I have one, and share some of their vital statistics. If I am lucky enough to have additional stories or information I will share some of that as well on those Birthday blog posts.

6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!
I enjoy reading blogs and commenting on all the great ones I find, I follow quite a few of you good folks - - so many to follow, so little time - - and I keep finding new ones each week. 

I LOVE Find A Grave and try to spend some time over there each and every week, building memorials for the families I research, linking and adding a photo here and there. My Tombstone Tuesday post on the Holsinger cemetery was the stimuli to add photos on the Find A Grave site for the cemetery and for all the stones that were found during my visit there a few years ago. I was humbled when the original submitter transferred all the memorials to me for my care.

Volunteer work, a cause dear to my heart. I urge all to “pay it forward” and, ohhhh, be kind to your volunteers.

The Olympics challenge is chuck full of great ideas, great challenges, a very comprehensive list of skills and chores you should strive to do all the time, as standard procedures during your research and input process. I had a lot of fun building my Wordle, Heritage Flag and the Google map of our current location.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.


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