Tag Archives: genealogy

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

In today’s Monday’s Link Roundup, don’t miss Going through ‘treasures’ at my childhood home. If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve held on to your High School Yearbooks all these years, this is the article for you. And if you’ve wondered why the need for a good editor, be sure to read 7 Deadly Myths and 3 Inspired Truths About Book Editing.

  • How to Use LinkedIn to Your Best Advantage. “While I don’t actively think about it, I do have goals for how I use LinkedIn. As a consultant, I want to be sure that prospective clients can find me. I have also used the site to ensure that potential employers or recruiters can find me, as well as to find employees or partners. I want to be seen as knowledgeable in my area of expertise, and connected both geographically and in my profession (digital content strategy)…Here are my recommendations about how to use LinkedIn to your best advantage.”
  • Going through ‘treasures’ at my childhood home. “It struck me that I had kept all these boxes so that one day – this day, the day we cleaned out the crawl space – an older me could look through them and be reminded of who I had been. The boxes held examples of what I had valued and thought important enough to keep. They were signifiers of phases of my life, souvenirs from years past.”
  • Going In-Depth. “…is the free digital genealogy magazine presented by The In-Depth Genealogist. In each monthly issue, you’ll find guest articles, regular columns, and free resources such as Ask Ephraim and MIAA to help you along your family history journey. As with all IDG products, we strive to create a resource for every genealogist, no matter the age, stage, or focus of your research. Enjoy a new issue on the 15th of each month.”
  • 7 Deadly Myths and 3 Inspired Truths About Book Editing. “I’ve edited lots of books — children’s books, fantasy, memoirs, self-help, textbooks, and especially books about myths. Myths? I like myths. Heck, I love myths… If we’re talking about myths in the more negative sense of “untruths,” however, I like them less — especially if they’re myths about my profession and vocation.There’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about editors and what they do. Here are seven of those myths that I’d like to clean up:”
  • The Essentials of Web Design That Works. “Our sites are created for human interaction. And we human beings — for all our splendiferous variety — share some universal behaviors, no matter where we’re from. As publishers to the open web, we ignore these behaviors at our peril. What are they? I thought you’d never ask. Here are a handful of essentials for designing websites that humans want to read …”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup, don’t miss I Will always be there with you. If you teach Ethical Will writing or are thinking of composing your own, this letter from an American soldier is a must read.  Given the recent destruction brought on by Hurricane Sandy, you’ll find some timely advice in Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers. Finally, someone has touched on what is missing for me with an e-reader. If you feel the same, take a moment to read Out of Touch: E-reading isn’t reading.

  • Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook. “As a lover — and keeper — of diaries and notebooks, I find myself returning again and again to the question of what compels us — what propels us — to record our impressions of the present moment in all their fragile subjectivity. From Joan Didion’s 1968 anthology Slouching Towards Bethlehem (public library — the same volume that gave us her timeless meditation on self-respect — comes a wonderful essay titled “On Keeping a Notebook,” in which Didion considers precisely that.”
  • Social Media Isn’t Dead: It’s Boring. “Social media are a set of tools. They’re not all that interesting to talk about in and of themselves. The “gee whiz” has left the station. We want to talk about action– or if you’ll pardon the self-reference, impact. There are details and technologies you must master if you want to succeed. But that’s the keyboard-level and tactical part of what you’ll do. We wanted to give you something more encompassing.The strategies around and behind The Impact Equation boil down to 5 Cs.”
  • Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers. [National Archives] “During the mid-west floods of 1993, the staff of the National Archives developed some technical tips to guide individuals in emergency stabilization and salvage of damaged documents, photographs, books, and other personal papers. It is important to note that flood damage to some items may be irreversible. The treatment of objects of high monetary, historic, or sentimental value should only be performed in consultation with a conservator.”
  • New eBook: Bring Your Ancestors to Life Using Newspapers. “EasyFamilyHistory.com has announced a new e-book by Paul Larsen called Bring Your Ancestors to Life Using Newspapers. The announcement for the new book states, “Archived newspapers allow you to tap into a reliable source of hundreds of years of history, and give you the remarkable ability to see it through eyewitness accounts. You can easily explore your family tree and bring your family history to life for free using historical newspapers… if you know where to look.”
  • Out of Touch: E-reading isn’t reading. “Amid the seemingly endless debates today about the future of reading, there remains one salient, yet often overlooked fact: Reading isn’t only a matter of our brains; it’s something that we do with our bodies.”
  • Google engineer builds $1,500 page-turning scanner out of sheet metal and a vacuum. “For the past eight years, Google has been working on digitizing the world’s 130 million or so unique books. While the pace of new additions to the Google Books initiative has been slowing down, members of the team have come up with a new automated scanner design that could both make the project much more cost efficient and give everyone with $1,500 and a little know-how access to a page-turning scanner of their very own. In the video below, Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh presents the prototype design that he and other teammates created during the “20 percent time” that Google (and now Apple, among others) allocates for personal projects, showing the design challenges he overcame along the way.”
  • I Will always be there with you. On May 1st of 2003, just weeks after being deployed to Iraq, Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, of Springfield, Missouri was killed when his tank fell into the Euphrates river. He was 34-years-old. Shortly after his death, the following farewell letter was delivered to his bereaved wife, Melissa, and his 6-year-old stepson, Dakota (“Toad”).

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup I’ve listed several book reviews that I think you’ll find interesting. If you’re concerned about  digitizing your precious family history, you’ll want to read Digital Imaging Essentials.  For an understanding of  what it’s like to be  supportive parents of a gay teenage boy who tried to commit suicide, be sure to read Oddly Normal. And for John Lennon fans, don’t miss The John Lennon Letters.

  • No sunlit room, no last words. “As Luke Allnutt watched his father die, he thought the time for a meaningful conversation and emotional epiphany was at hand. His father had other ideas.”
  • The best way to get unstuck. “Don’t wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.This is precisely why you’re stuck.”
  • 10 Essential Marketing Skills for Freelancers. “As a freelancer (or potential freelancer), you live and die by your ability to sell your services. And uOddly Normal is not Joseph’s story. It’s the story of his parents, who struggled for years over how best to raise a child whom they knew was gay, who wasn’t out to them or the world, and whom they thought was mentally crumbling under the pressure of that secret.nless you’ve got some kind of agent or marketing firm doing your marketing for you, you’ve got to be your own marketer. If you’re like me, that doesn’t come naturally.”
  • Digital Imaging Essentials by Geoff Rasmussen. “Genealogists use digital imaging technology every day. But what they do not know about it can harm their digital treasures. They have needed a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide, full of illustrated step-by-step instructions to learn how to digitize, organize, preserve, share, and backup their digital collections.”
  • The John Lennon Letters, Edited by Hunter Davies. “The triumph of these 200 or so letters is that they are not just about John and Mimi, or John and The Beatles, or John and Yoko. They are all of that but, within the framework editor Hunter Davies gives them, they’re also about a time and place, and Lennon’s role within it. It is hard to distinguish whether the honestly and innocence of some of his correspondence reflects his personality, or his era.”
  • Translating from speech to prose. “Terkel’s books consist of tape-recorded conversations with mostly common people; after a brief introduction from Terkel, each text unspools almost seamlessly, with only an occasional nudge from the questioner. But here’s the thing: most people don’t talk that way.” [Thanks to APH member  Pattie Whitehouse for alerting me to this article.]
  • Book Review: Oddly Normal. “Thirteen-year-old Joseph Schwartz …came out at school one spring day in 2009, rode the bus home, shut himself in his suburban New Jersey bathroom, and downed way too many capsules of Benadryl. He had never been subjected to overt homophobia, was only a few years away from hearing the president of the United States express unequivocal support for gay marriage on national television, and was the son of two very supportive, loving parents. But no matter his direct relationship with what it meant to “be gay,” Joseph carried the weight of his difference… and it almost killed him. Joseph’s dad, New York Times national reporter John Schwartz['s],… new memoir, Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle To Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality… is not Joseph’s story. It’s the story of his parents, who struggled for years over how best to raise a child whom they knew was gay, who wasn’t out to them or the world, and whom they thought was mentally crumbling under the pressure of that secret.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

My favorite article in today’s Monday’s Link Roundup is Reading Cookbooks as Life Stories. One of my prized possessions is Mom’s 1945  Purity Cookbook.  Thumbing through the grease-stained pages and reading her handwritten notes is like stepping back into Mom’s kitchen. Also, be sure to take a look at Boring Is Productive. I can now feel justly proud of my “boring” morning  routines! ;-)

  • An Illustrated Homage to Grandparents and the Art of Looking Twice. “As a lover of vintage and vintage-inspired children’s books, I was instantly enamored with The Frank Show (public library) by British illustrator and designer David Mackintosh — a charming homage to grandparents and the art of seeing beneath the grumpy exterior.”
  • The simple power of one a day. “There are at least 200 working days a year. If you commit to doing a simple marketing item just once each day, at the end of the year you’ve built a mountain. Here are some things you might try (don’t do them all, just one of these once a day would change things for you):”
  • The Top 10 Social Networks for Creative People. “I begin by looking at WHY networking is critical to your success as a creative professional. Then it’s onto the networks themselves, with quotations from the founders of some networks and success stories from users, explaining the networks’ individual cultures, how to use them, and how they can help your creativity and your career.”
  • Reading Cookbooks as Life Stories. “…cookbooks tell us something much more personal about their readers,..The problem is, we often only come about this information by inference – particularly when we know nothing about the original owner. Still, many cookbooks do offer at least a few tantalizing clues who owned them and how they were used.”
  • Data Lives Forever in Quartz Glass. “Hitachi has discovered a way to store digital information on slivers of quartz glass. This data can seemingly exist forever, enduring extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading… at least until the sun begins to die and expend to consume the earth, that is.”
  • Using WorldCat to Find Genealogy Books. “WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. It is an online library catalog that lets you look up items in libraries around the world. The items available include books, electronic documents, journals, microform, and audio and video recordings. Best of all, WorldCat is available to everyone free of charge.”
  • Boring Is Productive. “Making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of a limited resource: your mental energy. In the late 1990s, Roy Baumeister (a professor at Florida State University) and colleagues performed several experiments showing that certain types of conscious mental actions appeared to draw from the same “energy source” — gradually diminishing our ability to make smart decisions throughout the day.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In today’s Monday’s Link Roundup take a look at Outrageous adverts from the past that would never be allowed today. It’s jaw dropping. Being a Downton Abbey fan, I couldn’t resist The Downton Abbey Guide to Irresistible Narrative Marketing. The article is worth a read for its useful marketing insights. But for personal historians it’s also a good reminder of what we need to aim for in our storytelling.

  • Playing Kitchen Detective. “There’s a new obsession at the intersection of genealogy and foodie culture—reconstructing beloved, long-lost family recipes. Fueled by nostalgia and thrift, legions of eaters are returning to the kitchen for some food detective work, searching for the half-remembered dishes they grew up sharing at the family dinner table.”
  • A Brief History of Children’s Picture Books and the Art of Visual Storytelling.In Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling, illustrator Martin Salisbury and children’s literature scholar Morag Styles trace the fascinating evolution of the picturebook as a storytelling medium and a cultural agent, and peer into the future to see where the medium might be going next, with case studies of seminal works, a survey of artistic techniques, and peeks inside the sketchbooks and creative process of prominent illustrators adding dimension to this thoughtful and visually engrossing journey.”
  • Little Phone Booth Libraries. “There are 13,659 pay phones on NYC sidewalks, even though there are over 17 million cell phones,” reads a poster designed by New York architect John Locke. Seeing an opportunity for creative reuse and community building, Designboom writes, Locke is turning obsolete phone booths into mini libraries.”
  • 30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers. “Forbes has joined a group of 30 clients using Narrative Science software to write computer-generated stories. Here’s more about the program, used in one corner of Forbes‘ website: “Narrative Science has developed a technology solution that creates rich narrative content from data. Narratives are seamlessly created from structured data sources and can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone. Stories are created in multiple formats, including long form stories, headlines, Tweets and industry reports with graphical visualizations.”
  • Outrageous adverts from the past that would never be allowed today. “They’re incredible by today’s standards, but once upon a time these adverts were perfectly acceptable. From an ad that claims smoking is healthy to one telling mothers they should give Coca-Cola to their babies, these shocking posters give a fascinating insight into a time gone by.”
  • A Brief History of The Elements of Style and What Makes It Great. “The book has become a legend in its own right, its story part of our modern creative mythology — but, like a good fairy tale, it brims with more curious, unlikely, even whimsical details than a mere plot summary might suggest. Those are exactly what Mark Garvey, a 20-year publishing veteran and self-professed extreme Elements of Style enthusiast, explores in Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

There’s some excellent practical advice in this Monday’s Link Roundup.  Because I have a home office, I found How to Set Personal Boundaries When You Work From Home a useful reminder of how to cope with the competing demands of work and domestic life.  C.J. Hayden’s article What if you were wrong about marketing? is a great method of challenging assumptions about the subject.

  • Words in stone and on the wind. “After I wrote, in a recent Wall Street Journal article, about the malleability of text in electronic books, a reader asked me to flesh out my thoughts about the different ways that “typographical fixity” – to again borrow Elizabeth Eisenstein’s term – can manifest itself in a book.”
  • How to Set Personal Boundaries When You Work From Home. “…the challenges of working from home can sometimes make life/work balance seem unattainable. You may feel like you are constantly being pulled towards both family and work commitments–a bit like being in the middle of a tug-of-war. One answer that can help you achieve better balance between your work and personal life is boundaries.”
  • What happened to the former slave that wrote his old master? “You know that letter from former slave Jourdon Anderson to his old master that’s been going around? First of all, it’s good and you should read it…David Galbraith poked around a bit and found a record of Anderson still living in Ohio at the time of the 1900 census as “Jordan Anderson”…At the time, Anderson and his wife Mandy were in their 70s and had been married for 52 years. Mandy had borne 11 children, six of whom were still living…”
  • In the Footsteps of Giants. “Biographer Michael Scammell has devoted much of his long career to writing about two of the 20th century’s foremost intellectuals, whose impassioned writings defined in human and moral terms the stakes in the struggle against communism. Scammell’s book about the Nobel Prize–winning dissident Russian writer Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, Solzhenitsyn: A Biography, published in 1984, was the first major biography to shed light on this towering yet secretive figure. Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic, which came out last year to much acclaim, revived the reputation of the protean Hungarian writer Arthur Koestler, best known for his 1940 anti-totalitarian novel Darkness at Noon…Writer and translator Michael McDonald interviews Scammell about his life and work.”
  • How to Become the Person Everyone Wants to Interview. “You need to establish yourself as an expert, and getting interviewed by radio, podcast or TV hosts can help you do just that. So, here is how you can help speed up the process by positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.”
  • What if you were wrong about marketing? “Lately, I’ve been playing the “what if you were wrong” game with my coaching clients…questioning your assumptions about marketing can lead to designing a much more solid strategy. You can try asking yourself what if you were wrong, but it can be even more powerful to have a friend, colleague, or coach ask you.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

It’s Monday and another Link Roundup. This week I was struck by the wisdom in Post Secret. For those who’ve faced the challenge of interviewing some reserved older clients, this article is for you.  More food for thought in The Counter-Intuitive Benefits of Small Time Blocks. The author suggests there is a  way to get larger creative projects done by making the best use of small chunks of time.

  • Family Tree University’s Spring 2012 Virtual Conference. “At this weekend workshop, you’ll learn strategies and resources to boost your research—and because it’s web-based, you can participate from anywhere! Dates: 9 a.m. Friday, March 9, to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 11, 2012″
  • Writing With All Your Senses — A Learnable Skill. “…writing dazzling descriptions is a learnable skill. It takes practice and dedication and seeps into remote corners of life, but the results are worth the effort. In my experience, a three-pronged approach has worked well to hone description skills to a keen edge. One prong involves reading, another involves awareness of surroundings, and the third is deliberation.”
  • Post Secret. “After my mother died, my sister kept discovering fascinating things she had left behind, one being a do-it-yourself autobiography that must have been given to her.”
  • Five Tips on How to Write Biographies. “What does it take to be a successful writer of biographies? How do you choose a subject? Does it matter if the subject is dead or alive? Must you be objective? Should you even try?” [Thanks to Pat McNees of Writers and Editors for alerting me to this item.]
  • Five Steps to Doing Genealogy Research Like A Pro. “I’ve been doing genealogy research professionally for almost a decade now. When clients are paying you by the hour, you learn lots of really great shortcuts to keep you moving along and focused. The big tip I shared on Thursday’s episode of The Barefoot Genealogist? (Drumroll, please.)”
  • The Counter-Intuitive Benefits of Small Time Blocks. “It’s a common assertion that doing hard, creative work requires long stretches of concentrated attention. And if you have the luxury of big, open blocks of time, it is a great way to get things done. But what if you don’t? What if you get interrupted left and right by clients and co-workers? Is there a way to push creative projects forward in this non-optimal environment?”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

My Top 10 Posts of 2011.

It’s the end of the year and time for list making.  These are the posts from 2011 that were the most popular with readers.  If you’ve missed some of them, now’s  your chance to catch up over the holidays. Enjoy!

  1. The 50 Best Life Story Questions.
  2. 25 No Cost or Low Cost Marketing Ideas for Your Personal History Business.
  3. How Much Should You Pay a Personal Historian?
  4. 15 Great Memoirs Written by Women.
  5. 5 Top Sites for Free Online Videography Training.
  6. The Top 3 Prosumer HD Camcorders Under $2,500.
  7. How to Boost Your Interviewing Skills.
  8. Three Crucial Steps to Starting Your Personal History Business.
  9. 5 Print-On-Demand Sites You’ll Want to Consider.
  10. 12 Top Rated Family Tree Makers.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup, if you self-publish, don’t miss Book Design for Self-Publishers: Raw Materials.   This is a terrific site for anyone involved in book design.  And if you’re like me and don’t include pricing on your website, you might change your mind after reading Why We Are Afraid to Talk Pricing.

  • Telling Life Stories Through Quilts. “Generations of women have been telling stories in fabric — with quilts. Lisa Morehouse paid a visit to one quilting bee in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. Many of the group’s members emigrated to work in the local apple orchards and vineyards.”
  • End of life: You shared your stories. “As part of the Globe’s in-depth series on End of Life decisions in the 21st century, we asked you to tell your stories around this difficult topic. Readers from across the country joined the conversation.”
  • The Life Reports II. “A few weeks ago, I asked people over 70 to send me “Life Reports” — essays about their own lives and what they’d done poorly and well. They make for fascinating and addictive reading, and I’ve tried to extract a few general life lessons.”
  • Not Your Grandmother’s Genealogy Hobby. “Wikis, social-networking sites, search engines and online courses are changing genealogy from a loner’s hobby to a social butterfly’s field day. New tools and expansive digital archives, including many with images of original documents, are helping newbies research like pros.”
  • Why We Are Afraid to Talk Pricing. “Think about the last time you went to a website for a product or service that you couldn’t buy outright online. Did it list prices? Or did the site encourage you to call for more information? How many times do you walk away from a purchase simply because you couldn’t get enough information on pricing to make an informed decision?”
  • Book Design for Self-Publishers: Raw Materials. “When you sit down to design a book, there are organizational tasks you have to address right at the beginning. Getting your raw materials organized and making sure your workflow will produce an efficient publishing process are important enough to spend some quality time on. Let’s take them one at a time.”
  • Family Tree Magazine Podcast Episode Notes. “Tips on how to get relatives to discuss family history, a discussion of the Historic American Cookbook Project, and news on the Genealogists for Families project at Kiva.com. Plus: Learn more about creating a family history book from Family Tree University’s Nancy Hendrickson.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.