Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Bytes for the Week of August 19, 2011

Digital Photography: So easy, a kid can do it.

After a busy summer hiatus, I'm getting back in the saddle with my weekly Best Bytes column. And wow, did I pick a crazy week to get started! Seriously, if there is one more announcement of CHANGE from any major genealogy company, I think I will have to go back to bed and pull the covers up to my chin!

So, what's going on? Check it out for yourself.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Debuts New Mobile App. Have you tried it yet?

The latest from - Enhancements for Basic (Free) Users from The Geni Blog. The controversy stemmed from an announcement last week, Geni Pro Just Got a Whole Lot Better.

As a possible result, WikiTree Traffic Jumps 30%.

1940 Census To Be Free on until the end of 2013. There won't be an index, so grab a cup of coffee and get settled for the long haul.

New focus on military records (but the old, non-military stuff will stay) - Footnote is now Fold3 (updated). While I like the name as a tribute to military veterans, it's kind of hard to get used to. Also, I'm sorry to hear that NARA's non-military records will no longer be part of the indexing project. After attending NIGR in 2010, I was looking forward to seeing some of NARA's lesser-known records come online. Sigh...

UPDATE: Read the post News: Footnote is now Fold3. Does that make sense to you? Me neither. And we're not alone from ArchivesNext by Kate T. She brings up some very interesting points about the footnote/fold3 change in focus.

In the News

Did you know there is a cemetery at Harvard University? Me neither. Hidden Spaces: The tiny cemetery

I can't imagine doing this, but to each his/her own: Cremation Portrait: Owner Has Photo Printed with Dead Dog’s Ashes

How much do family members really look alike? Genetic Portraits’ Comparing the Faces of Family Members

Thousands of Tennesseans’ Biographies Now Accessible with Internet Tool

Wired Magazine is looking for a few family photogs - Assignment Wired: Family

Help Wanted

Kathleen at the blog says It’s time to research an Upgrade, and is looking for recommendations on a new printer/scanner.

Got vintage postcards? Check out Join Me For a Postcard Bonanza from Are You My Cousin? by Lisa.

Be part of a Small World Experiment (6 Degrees of Separation), brought to our attention by the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.

Kathleen Brandt asks, Are These 3 Photos of the Same Man? from a3Genealogy.

Jessica of Jessica's Genejournal is Looking For Hosts - Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy

Are you a descendant of a Homesteader? Descendants of Homesteaders Wanted for Oral History Project from Long Lost by Susan Petersen.

Janet the researcher says, I need help determining John A. Thompson's military service.

Share Your Home Movies with the Nebraska State Historical Society from Nebraska History Blog.

From the Blogs

World Photography Day is here, so check out the entries at Gallery Now Open for The Past is Present Photo Challenge from The Family Curator by Family Curator.

This one is primary. Wait, secondary... no... The 5 Most Misused Words and Phrases in Genealogy from Planting the Seeds by Michael Hait, CG(sm).

You have until August 28th - Deadline for 32nd edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy changed! from Jessica's Genejournal

New contest: Win a copy of A Different Kind of Web from ArchivesNext by Kate T.

Gorgeous photos of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy from Steve's Genealogy Blog by Steve Danko.

Unique family history presentations. from The Chart Chick by Janet Hovorka

If you think YOU'RE having a bad day, you need to read this - The Cascade Massacre from Blogging a Dead Horse by Dead Man Talking.

The Last Byte

Digital photography has certainly been a game-changer. We can now take thousands of photos without the expense of film and developing. But on the flip side, are we properly preserving our precious photos for future generations? Will photos of YOU make it to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, or be lost forever? Be sure to read The Impermanence of Digital Photographs at PetaPixel. Be sure to read the article he refers to, Digital Photographs for a Lifetime, which comments on options for digital storage (it's an oldie, but still very relevant).

Personally, I love keeping everything in digital storage. I have a 2 TB external hard drive for local back-ups, as well as 3 smaller externals for various other purposes. I also back up to the "cloud" via Mozy (probably switching to Carbonite when my current account expires), and store several items on Dropbox. And while this keeps my house from unwanted clutter, I still can't help but wonder how these items will make it to my grandchildren (provided that I have any).

My husband and I argue about this all the time. He likes everything stored digitally, which I agree with, to a point. Unfortunately, he doesn't back up his data, so when his hard drive crashes, it's bye-bye photos (and genealogical research). Actually, I think his idea of a "back up" is to remove the non-working hard drive from the old computer, and hang onto it forever, just in case he can someday figure out how to get his data off. We have several of these old dinosaurs laying around.

As for me, I like to print things. Yeah, I know, we're going to have to move into a bigger house if I don't get the clutter under control. But hard copies of photos have endured for centuries. And I can no longer get anything off my old Mac 512K floppies, even with a disc drive.

So, she says PRINT, he says STORE DIGITALLY.

Which camp are you in? How do you store and save your digital photos?

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If I missed a good story, please share in the comments.

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items (which are some great stories that I didn't have the time or space to post here), please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, Donna Pointkouski, Lynn Palermo, Deb RuthJen, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

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The Scrappy Genealogist said...

My photos are spread far and wide. They are printed and stored in albums and scrapbooks. They are uploaded to Shutterfly, Kodak and various other online sites, including my blogs. My ancestry related photos are copied in my Dropbox folder. We have a home server on which copies are stored. Then there are several desktop and portable harddrives with additional copies. Oh and my sister and I share copies too. That way she has mine and I have hers....just in case.

Do you think I have photo issues?

Great blog topic to get people printing or copying and saving.

Scrappy Gen

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Great list. Thanks!
... I pulled the covers over my head, not just up to my chin... ;-)

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Wow @Scrappy, you've really got your bases covered! I love the idea of setting up a shared Dropbox folder for family members: covers both the "sharing" AND "back-up" bases. I have accounts at both Flikr and Picasa, but have not used them for sharing purposes (mostly for blog image storage). I'm still a bit wary... but suppose I should get over it. You can make certain albums private there and only share with some folks, right?

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

LOL, @Dr Bill! I have to keep my eyes uncovered so I can watch on what mayhem my 5 y/o gets into, but if any more crazy news comes out, I may be joining you in the covers-over-my-head club!

a3Genealogy, Kathleen Brandt said...

Thanks so much for mentioning the a3genealogy post.

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

You're quite welcome, @Kathleen!