Monday, February 28, 2011

Party At Maven's

Today Is The Twenty-Fourth Anniversary

Of The footnoteMaven Blog

Last year I explained that the Web doesn't run on human years, it runs on Web-years. Every blog year is the equivalent of six human years. That means that today footnoteMaven celebrates four human years of blogging, the equivalent of 24 web years.

Last year I had three wishes:

May I continue to blog in these interesting times

May I continue to enjoy writing, and you continue to enjoy reading what I write

May I find what I'm looking for, whatever that may be

If wishes were kisses
I'd still be kissing you!

Interesting Times:

There is no doubt that our times, today's times of family historians, have become increasingly more interesting. We are no longer viewed as little blue haired old ladies/men on library tours. We are engaged in the online world; a tech savvy, entertaining, "willing to try anything new" segment of the entire genealogical community.

We have learned to communicate with each other through the emerging and interesting aspects of social media. Facebook and Twitter are at the top of my "getting the hang of it" list. The community and education I receive daily through social media is astounding.

Online webinars have developed to the point where even if you're snowed in somewhere in this wonderful country you can continue to educate yourself with a computer and an internet connection; joining those who were able to make it to the conference in person. All things are becoming possible.

Everyday I marvel at the connections I make. A conversation with a friend in New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Scotland, the East Coast, Midwest, or just down my street. Online. In real time! Isn't that amazing? Amazing!

Television continues to recognize the mysteries of our histories. They haven't made us sexy yet, but there's always next year.


I still love to write and to blog on my version of a Seinfeld blog; a blog about nothing in particular and anything and everything that strikes my fancy. And if you read me you know my fancies are rather eclectic. It amazes me that after four years I still have anything to say, or at least anything to say that others will read.

This last year I've also focused much of my effort on writing, editing, and publishing Shades The Magazine. It continues, and I hope it continues to improve. It is a joy to work with the friends who make it educational and interesting. It is a joy to experience the enthusiasm of our readers. footnoteMaven and Shades are one. Shades was born here.

May I find what I'm looking for:

My third wish is the one wish I would change. I would change it to - May I never find what I'm looking for, whatever that may be, as it is the challenge of discovery that gets me out of bed every morning. The excitement of what the world has to offer footnoteMaven today.

And to those who take the time to read, enjoy, comment, and

become friends, thank you! I wouldn't be here without you

and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Notes: defined a web year as the length of time it takes for Internet technology to evolve as much as technology in another environment might evolve in a calendar year. Early posts by old line bloggers quoted 3 months as equaling a web year, but that was in 1996 and things have sped up since then.

The author of "Manage your speed in web years," on the Business Management Daily website had the what and why of conversion. In 2006, BMD wrote:
"Ever hear of Internet time? It’s kind of like dog years: Each calendar year equals six Web years.

More organizations are realizing that they have to measure time by this new clock: New-product development speeds up from years to months. Developing new technologies accelerates from months to days. Decisions are yours to make in
hours. . .

Lesson: If you’re not six times faster than your competition, you’re in trouble. Your dog days are coming."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's Not Going To Be As Easy As It Looks On TV

~ Rosie O'Donnell ~
Who Do You Think You Are?

Truer words. But then how many of you watch those DIY programs that accomplish miraculous construction and decorating changes in thirty minutes? My husband always cringes when I ask if we "could knock out a wall this weekend or do one of those fancy paint treatments." He's a professional and he knows all too well what's involved.

He let me do the paint treatment once and it was a complete disaster. And yes, I was discouraged. It wasn't as easy as it looked on TV. But I caught the painting bug and I wanted to know more.

Is researching our family history really any different? WDYTYA wraps up a tremendous amount of research in less than an hour. Those who have been involved in researching for themselves or others probably cringe just like my husband. Newbies have caught the bug, but we can all see how they could be discouraged.

Me, personally. I can't do anything unless I do it well. (Type A) So when I embarked on the mysteries of my family history I took a nine month genealogy course at the University of Washington. I already had a solid foundation in research and writing. Yes, I'm a citation geek, and I make no apologies.

In a brilliant post, Kimberly Powell of Kimberly's Genealogy Blog on asks:
How do we as genealogists strike a balance between encouraging sound genealogical standards and practices without discouraging family history newcomers who find themselves quickly discouraged by those same standards, which they often don't understand and find unnecessarily complicated? Isn't there room for genealogists of all viewpoints and varying skill levels? Can't we find a way to educate and encourage without beating people over the head with our genealogy ideals?

How Can We Strike A Balance?

One method is by example. I love formulating citations for the weird, strange, and unusual things I find while researching my own family history and those beautiful old photographs that I collect. The standard for formulation of a citation in the world of genealogy is Evidence Explained. I use citations.

Have I been known to modify the standard for my own particular situation or on a whim to make it more understandable for me? Absolutely! Are my citations perfect? Hardly ever, but they make me happy.

The standards I use, the standards I set, are MY OWN. They are to save me when ten years from today I want to compare new information I've discovered to old information I've collected. (Provided I live that long.)

As for tickets, I don’t give them out. In fact, in my own lectures on sourcing,
I give folks that same advice about not getting so uptight
over the citation police.

~ Elizabeth Shown Mills ~

Isn't there room for genealogists of all viewpoints and varying skill levels?

Without question. But Kimberly, I believe part of the responsibility must fall not just to us, but to the newbies as well.

Newbies, what do you want to do with your research? The question of skill/standards will attach directly to your answer. A professional genealogist (for hire) - professional standards, professional education. A non-professional who wants to do professional level research (me on Shades) - professional standards. Girls/Boys just want to have fun blogs (footnoteMaven) and so on and so on - then don't worry about the rest of the world, set your own standard.

Take responsibility for your own skill level. Educate yourself to that level. The online world is filled with classes, tutorials, informative blogs and members of the genealogy blogging community who are more than willing to lend a hand if they are asked. The real world is filled with libraries and societies that go above and beyond the call of duty to encourage and educate.

Please yourself. Life is too short to worry about the standards of others.
Think Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet).

Can't we find a way to educate and encourage without beating people over the head with our genealogy ideals?

I am smart enough to know I don't know everything. And not knowing everything I won't force my standards on anyone else by berating or belittling. Unless you ask me, attack me, or attack my family and friends, then you will get my strong opinions. I have been known to issue ("Cranky Pants Alerts.")

If you have found something useful - share the wealth. Other members of the community can determine if it is useful for them. It will encourage others to share.


We are a community. A community that sees the same personalities online we find in our daily lives. From the "It'll Never Works" to the "Whirling Dervishes." We don't all have the same ideals. We can't control the actions of others.

Really people, would you call anyone "boob," "idiot," "unprofessional," or "misguided" to their face; or be as aggressive as some online encounters with no provocation? You wouldn't have to worry about the Citation Police, you might be meeting the real world police were you to act in this manner.

In the end, I believe we should:

Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with those who're In-Between

Thank you Kimberly for a brilliant framework.

Monday, February 21, 2011

UNCLE! If You Use A Citation Tool - Learn From It

There is a company that produces an online citation tool I've used and for the most part find it is correct or close to correct more often than not. Online citation tools are basic, cumbersome and time consuming. My opinion.

It's called NoodleTools and has an online free version of its citation tool NoodleBib Express. (Has Chicago style used by Family Historians.) There is a professional version for $8.00 per year which creates Bibliographies and much more. (Read about it here.)

Here are the choices for a citation source:

NoodleBib Express: Chicago/Turabian

Newspaper or Newswire

Conference Proceedings
Reference Source (Dictionary, Encyclopedia, etc.)
Religious Work
Technical/Research Report

Electronic/Online (Exclusively)
Electronic Mailing List
UsenetOnline Database
Web Forum (Message Board)
Web Site
Audio Blog or Video Blog
Advertisement or Commercial
Cartoon or Comic Strip
Film or Video Recording
Lecture, Speech, Address, or Reading
Map or Chart
Painting, Sculpture or Photograph
Performance (Play, Opera, Ballet, Concert)
Sound Recording
Podcast Television or Radio Program
Legal Sources (Bluebook Format)
Congressional Debate (Cong. Rec.)
Court Case
Federal or State Bill or Resolution
Federal or State Report or Document
Federal or State Committee Hearing
Federal Rule or Regulation
Presidential Paper or Executive Order


Dissertation or Thesis
Letter or Memo
Unpublished Paper, Manuscript or Primary Source Document

As an example of using the tool (see screen shots), I created a citation for my blog article "Collecting Information For A Source."

This was my result:

Chicago/Turabian Citation (Weblog, Audioblog or Videoblog)

You can copy and paste this citation into your own document:

Annotated Bibliography form:

footnoteMaven (blog).
     Article on collecting source information when scanning in library, etc.

Note form:
1. FootnoteMaven, "Collecting Information For A Source," footnoteMaven (blog), February 21,
2011, accessed January 21, 2011, 

It is a learning tool, so if you use it, learn from it! If you don't, see graphic at beginning of this post.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, wish there was a tool like this using all the examples of EE. I'd PAYYYY for that one.


Teaching tool
  • Teaches evaluation and analysis; not simply a "machine" that automates the process.
  • Extensive help for each citation element at the point of need.
  • Guides learner through difficult decisions about the source material.
  • Fast, personal responses to individual citation questions.
  • Generates parenthetical reference for each citation, with additional advanced help.
  • Checks for mistakes in punctuation, abbreviations, and more.

Promotes ethical research

  • Ease of use and expert advice gives students confidence to cite even the trickiest sources.
  • Online notecards capture author's words, images, graphs, and original formatting.
  • Software guides student through paraphrasing and prompts for original thinking.
  • Built-in editor enables annotation of notes, improving comprehension, analysis and reflection.
  • Notecards linked to citations to ensure proper attribution.

Assessment for learning

  • Students share working bibliographies and notecards with teachers for feedback.
  • While viewing a student's citation form, teacher can insert comments and ask questions.
  • Statistical graphs analyze quantity, variety and currency of sources.

Convenient and up-to-date

  • Web-based, saved work can be accessed from any computer, no software to install.
  • Bibliographies and notecards can be exported directly to Word.
  • Prompt software changes to conform to current MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian rules.

Administrative support

  • Real-time usage statistics and graphs.
  • Customization of features and preferences.
  • Web-based subscription and user management.
From the NoodleTools website.

Collecting Information For A Source

Just remember, a tip is only good if it works for you.
If it doesn't, we call it an anchor.

~ fM ~

A small, much used Xerox photocopier in the li...Image via WikipediOne of my favorite sayings is "Fortune favors the prepared." While our online world is wonderful, it doesn't always have everything we need. Sometimes we have to enter the real world. They have some wonderful resources available in those brick and mortar buildings. But we need to enter "prepared."

You're at your local library, courthouse, or historical society and you're working the copying machine. Behind you is a line of people coughing, restless, looking over your shoulder and asking you how long you're going to be. They want you to hurry.

But if you hurry, you may miss some really important information. Information pertinent to your source and your ability to find it again.

Here is something I bring with me to save time and money ( yes, I'm cheap). My ticket to cite.

I create a word document tailored to the resource (books, magazines, wills, directories, etc.) I will be researching. In this example, I was copying a photographic article in a magazine and would be researching a couple of books, so my tickets are geared to those resources.

This ticket is created from the source citation examples in Evidence Explained, that tells you exactly what information is needed. I have a binder and I keep two copies of each set I've created. Just in case I find a resource I wasn't expecting. (Books, Magazines, Newspapers, etc.)

Word Document

Now, you can make a copy of the title page for the book or magazine (be aware, not all information needed may be found on that page). Making a copy of another page takes time and costs. They're still in line behind you. And remember, I'm cheap. Or you can copy the information by hand to each page. Time consuming.

So, prior to using the copy machine, I fill out one of these tickets for each source. Then I place the ticket on the front page of my article, face down in the copy machine, being sure not to obscure any important information on the document. You can reuse the ticket, placing it on each page of the article, in the event that the stapler is out of staples and you drop your pile of copies from three different sources on the way back to your table (Yes, I've done this), when I placed the ticket on one page only.

Fill out the information once,

use a dozen times.

Now I have all the information necessary to find the source again, or write a source citation when necessary. Plus, I know which real world repository holds the resource and where it can be found there.

Tim Cox wrote me saying - " I use something similar and I even took it a step further......I copied them on a full sheet of adhesive paper at Kinkos and cut them in strips so now I have a stack that is just like a Post-it. When I need one, I pull it off and stick it to the material copied." Another great idea.

We are a bright group and I'm sure many of you have real world and digital tips for compiling information on a resource you're using. Share, please. Let's make the information available to everyone.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Can We Talk!

If it doesn't belong to you;
don't take it!

~ My Mother ~

I'd like to discuss the artwork you find on my blog. I love to tinker and create. In particular I do a COG poster each month in tribute to Jasia and the Carnival of Genealogy. They are the reason I started blogging. I owe them.

The purpose of each poster is to promote the upcoming COG. Everyone has permission to use the poster in conjunction with their COG submission or to post it on their blog to promote the COG.

The COG posters are not public domain clip art. I am extremely careful to re-purpose posters, magazine covers, and art from the many image source books I own that ARE public domain art.

It often takes days of searching for the perfect source for that month's inspiration. Many of the sources I choose have elements that must be surgically removed in Photoshop. This also takes time.

I am saddened when I see my hard work acquired and used in the "original" work of someone else. Someone who has not asked permission nor even gone so far as to have given attribution. (I hope you are new to this world and just weren't aware of the etiquette.)

Those who know me are aware that if you need a graphic and you come to me, I will make one for you. If you come to me and ask to use anything I own or have made, I will give it to you.

It is the thoughtless taking that bothers me. Would you come to my home and remove it from my computer? Of course not.

So, please, go search for the artwork yourself. As I said, it's in the public domain. Re-purpose the image to your satisfaction. You will find it far more rewarding than taking my work.

Women's History - COG 103

103rd EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:

Women's History

The COG traditionally honors women in March each year in
conjunction with National Women's History Month.

- ¤ -

This is the perfect opportunity to write a biography about
a woman on your family tree.

- ¤ -

Research an aspect of history that relates to women!

- ¤ -

Or create a collage of photos featuring the women in your family.

- ¤ -

However you choose to honor women, post it to your blog and
submit it to the 103rd COG by March 1st.

- ¤ -

Tell it to the COG!

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
March 1st
30 submissions accepted

- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Read Also The Changes To The COG In 2011

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 103th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Select the image or Be My Valentine! to view
my Valentine to you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Club Cite Me!

With very special thanks to Denise Levenick, the Family Curator,
for the mantra!


(See Amy's Genealogy Etc. Blog - I Don't Care Where You Put The Comma)

Time to revisit footnoteMaven's philosophy:

If the women don't find you handsome... they should at least find you handy

- Red Green -

That is also my philosophy with regard to citations. While they may not be handsome (technically correct), your citation should be handy (sufficient information to find the source). You may have missed a comma, capitalized something that shouldn't be, or have things out of place, but we should be able to find that source.

Annotate Your Sources - It Can't Hurt And It Just Might Help


Are You Watching RootsTech Live 2011?

I love online "Live" presentations. For over a year I have been taking Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat courses live online from CreativeTechs in Seattle. All of their live presentations are free with the ability to purchase the entire course for download later. Which I did.

This week at RootsTech 2011, the genealogy world is offering some of the technology presentations live. I don't have to tell you what a fantastic idea that is, it is a technology conference after all. The sound and video quality have been excellent.

Here are some screen shots from yesterday's Digitally Preserving Your Family History.

A look at the audience and the speaker.

3:00–4:00pm Digitally preserving Your Family Heritage – Berry Ewell

You see the Power Point presentation just as
if you were in the audience.

Now, while watching the presentation I was able

make tea, let the dogs out and talk to Mr. Maven on the phone
without missing much.

As a Watcher, I do have a few suggestions, and you know me, I'm sure I'll have more later.

1. I'd love to have a dedicated chat, or a dedicated Twitter page for each presentation. Not plowing through all #rootstech Tweets to find those that apply to the presentation I'm watching.

2. If there is an addition to the presentation (as with the pdf here), please have an online download site rather than send to email presenter, whose email I missed on screen.

3. Love to watch for free, but would be willing to pay for certain individual presentations.

Do you have any wishes or suggestions you'd like to share?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where's My Feed

I've had several comments and emails recently asking where I've hidden the footnoteMaven's Real Simple Syndication (RSS) Feed, so I'm hoping this post will help you find my feed and any RSS feed.

An RSS Feed Icon usually looks like this and can be found in any number of places on a web page: Except on footnoteMaven, where my feed icon looks like this:

If you do not find a feed icon on the page, here are several ways you may locate the blog's Feed.

A blog has a possible 4 site posts feeds.

A blog URL that contains the word blogspot would look like the four below:

Atom (classic):
RSS (classic):
Atom (new):
RSS (new):

You can place a "www." in front:

Atom (classic):
RSS (classic):
Atom (new):
RSS (new):

If the URL does not contain blogspot, but is a .com, it will look like this:
Atom (classic):

RSS (classic): http://www.
Atom (new):
RSS (new):
Now, if you're very ambitious, go to the tool bar of your browser. Select - View - Page Source:. The feeds are contained in the source code and will look like this:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="footnoteMaven -

href="" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="footnoteMaven -
href="" />

Today, however, our browsers make it very easy to access a blog's Feed. (Select the images below to enlarge.) The Feed button is circled in each - Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Those buttons will take you to a site's Feed.



Internet Explorer 8

Hope You Can Find Me Now!