Thursday, June 30, 2011

COG 107 - The Seasons Of Genealogy



107th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy



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

The Seasons of Genealogy!


- ¤ -

Do you spend more time on genealogy research in the summer
or in the winter, or maybe spring or fall?

- ¤ -

How does the amount of time you put into research and
blogging differ from season to season?

- ¤ -


Or perhaps you'd like to think of things metaphorically... which
season is your genealogy research in?

- ¤ -

Write up your thoughts and observations and submit
your articles to the next edition of the COG.

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
July 1st

This edition will be hosted by Bill West of
West in New England.


- ¤ - ¤ -


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!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Give Up!

Last night I received the following message from Jon Virtes Flipboard Community Manager regarding the problem I've had using a search for #genealogy as one of the sections on the brilliant iPad App. Flipboard. See "Here Be Dragons" and Jon's response below. I think Jon is as frustrated as I am.

Sorry Jon, but it is worse this morning and I have removed those searches. Yes, I can use a trusted list of genealogists on Twitter as a Content Section in Flipboard, which I've had from the beginning, but I was using the broader (no pun intended) search to find those jewels that might not be written by the usual suspects.

I have done a great deal of research as to where the problem actually originates. It originates with Twitter. Flipboard uses Twitter feeds to populate content. The difference is that you have to select a link to make the vulgar photographs visible in Twitter, they are immediately visible in Flipboard. This is where it becomes a Flipboard problem.

And just in case you think I may be overreacting to these photographs, trust me I'm not. Some of the worst I've ever seen. Not to mention the fact that I am furious I have to wade through them to enjoy genealogy.

So, I'm going to continue to "block and report as spam" those #RottenEggs in my #CrackedEggCampaign on Twitter and hope that Flipboard finds a solution. I ask you to do the same. Some amazing content can be found on Flipboard, so I'm not giving up on Flipboard. I'm hoping for a solution.

FlipboardCM said...

Thanks for the kind words, I'm happy to help. Sorry you had to see the inappropriate content. The way Flipboard expands all links and images is a great thing, until confronted with something like this.

I did escalate this issue to the team. We have an ongoing topic about "Not Safe For Work" content and we are working on improving this aspect of the service. With our next update, we will be adding the ability to report inappropriate images, which will flag it for removal from our servers, and it will also immediately remove the image from your feed. This is coming very soon.

In the meantime, you can also Hide posts from certain users. Just tap on the post (I know, not ideal, but you can turn your iPad so you don't have to look directly at the images) and tap on the name / avatar of the user and select Hide. You won't see any more posts from this account. This may help you enjoy your #genealogy feed in the short term.

Thank you again for bringing this to our attention, and for helping police this feed on Twitter. Report it all as spam, like you've been doing. It will help Twitter, which also helps us. :)

Feel free to stay in touch.

~ Jon Virtes
Flipboard Community Manager

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Swift Response From & A Thank You To Flipboard

A lot has happened since I posted my Cranky Pants Alert - Here Be Dragons this morning.

One was the response from my husband who asked, "I don't understand why you didn't exhaust normal channels such as an email and a telephone call before you took to Twitter. Why would you do that?"

I have tried on many occasions to explain Twitter, but this is a man who has just begun to fully understand blogging and thinks Facebook and Twitter are ridiculous. So, I didn't attempt to explain Flipboard.

My reasoning - Flipboard is an application that lives in the exclusive digital world of the iPad. It's content is created from those blogs I select, as well as the ridiculous Twitter and Facebook. They are the consummate virtual business. So I decided to get their attention virtually.

An aside - I LOVE Twitter; this micro-blogging platform surpasses all my expectations of what is possible in the digital world. That was until Flipboard found a way to neatly package and magazine display Tweets.

So, I Tweeted my Here Be Dragons rant and it was picked up by several other people on Twitter and eventually seen by Flipboard. They responded immediately. So obviously my reasoning and their customer service worked, as you can see below.




Then the pièce de résistance. Flipboard actually looked at the images appearing in the genealogy section and I got this response.


So fellow genealogists, social media works. And someone has to protect our genealogy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here Be Dragons*


Cranky Pants Alert!


I've had it! I can no longer browse #genealogy on my iPad in Flipboard with my morning tea without visions of "Debbie Does Dallas" on my screen. I am bombarded with photographs that my Mother would say are "examples of conduct that will make you go blind." Here is a page from Sunday morning. The tamest and easiest to cover up.


What must her Mother think?

Yes, genealogy must be trending in the social media world. I have received many Twitter messages that when you select the link you get an in your face on the big screen example of "that which will not be described here."

On Twitter they are fairly easy to identify. The Egg Avatar and keywords that make no sense, or just a link.




When you see this on Twitter immediately block
and report for spam.

So to any of my genealogy friends who are new to Twitter and are using the Egg Avatar, you now know why no one follows you and you may have been reported as spam.

Vulgar photographs now use the keywords #genealogy, genealogy and many more innocuous words to get your attention. I guess they're working in a per click world because they can't seriously believe we are their target market. For the genealogists I know, you may get us once, but you will never get us again.

I made a mistake on Twitter by sending a humorous chastise tweet about not being their target market unless the photograph was one of my ancestors. Really bad move. I spent days getting rid of unwanted replies and unwelcome followers. Block and report! Nothing more!

But what do I do with Flipboard? On Flipboard I don't even get the choice of selecting the link to get the photograph. The photograph is routinely posted in living color. Icky!

So, Flipboard or my techie friends, do you have any suggestions other than not using the app? Aside from this I rather like it.



*"Here be dragons" is a phrase used to denote dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of the medieval practice of putting sea serpents and other mythological creatures in blank areas of maps.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Making My Way In The World Today Takes Everything I've Got

I am enjoying Dear Myrt's series of "21st century" blog posts as she drags us kicking and screaming into the "now" world of technology. I say now, because times they are a changin'. Minute by minute. I have a lot of opinions regarding technology and organization and am working on several articles that discuss my research and opinions. Maven has nothing if not opinions.

But Dear Myrtle's, 21st Century genealogists: how websites are failing us post struck a chord. This is something I am in the middle of researching. I've called this Making My Way In The World Today Takes Everything I've Got Series. Yes, on your toes genealogists. We do get it. And we want more and we want it now.

This is the section in particular that peaked my interest:

Where websites fail is that in printing a typical scanned images from a website, we are left with nothing more than our operating system's default to print the URL across the bottom of the page. That doesn't bode well for researchers who look for complete citations. In a recent Second Life genealogy voice chat, several researchers shared how they get around the problem:

* If one is printing out a document from a website, put the paper back in the printer, and using a word processing program, insert a proper source citation to print along the margin of the document print-out.
Work-Arounds:

I handle this another way, and it works for me. I think it is a great time saver and is useful if you print to paper as well. Maybe it would work for you.

Here's my example - I want to print the "The Overstuffed Baby Comes Full Circle!" article from Shades Of The Departed.

I am on a Mac using the Firefox browser. I open the article in my browser window and go to the Firefox Menu > File > Print. The print menu appears and I set my Header and Footer preferences and whether I wish to print all pages or only certain pages. See Below.

As you can see, I want only the Title in the Header leaving white space. I will show you why in the PDF Document later in this article. I select PDF > Save As PDF. I have created a new folder for Photo Connections and the Pdf document is printed to that folder.

Yes, I know, this is a wonderful feature of Macs, but what about Windows centric people? A very quick Google search returned several Pdf Print Plug-Ins for Windows. As I do not have a Windows machine and my husband became increasingly frustrated as I tried to talk him through it over the phone at work, I will rely on my Windows readers to tell me how well it works.

Now the magic! Open your file in Acrobat Reader X. If you do not have X you can download it here. It's WORTH it!. Wait, it's free. It's really worth it.

Acrobat Reader X lets you add Sticky Notes and Highlight text in a PDF. You can comment on ANY PDF as long as the author hasn’t restricted it via security or it is a dynamic PDF form. How fantastic is that? We don't have to buy Acrobat Pro.

I set my preferences in Acrobat Reader. Go To Adobe Reader > Preferences. Be sure to select Print Notes & Pops Ups so that should you ever wish to print the file to paper the notes will be included. Click OK.

Next, select Comments > Annotation > Sticky Notes. You will get a comment bubble attached to your cursor. Place the bubble anywhere you like on the page and click. The comment window opened and I typed the citation for this document in the box. I left all that white space at the top of my document next to the title to place my comment bubble. It is purple and can be seen below to the left of the Citation Comment Window.


Next, I set General and Appearance Properties for the comment bubble. Set anything you like. These are my preferences.


The magic doesn't end here. Acrobat Reader X allows you to highlight parts of the document. So I highlighted the name of the baby in the portrait and the person who emailed me. Now I can instantly find what was important in the document as it pertained to my research.


* If keeping the scanned image in digital format, open it immediately in photo editing software to add a border across the bottom, and then insert several lines of text that comprise the citation.

Making My Way In The Technology World Today Takes Everything I've Got


There is no One Way Here!

I am enjoying Dear Myrtle's series of "21st century" blog posts as she drags us kicking and screaming into the "now" world of technology. I say now, because times they are a changin'. Minute by minute. I have a lot of opinions regarding technology with regard to photograph and document organization. I am working on a series of articles in which I discuss my research, findings, and opinions. Maven has nothing if not opinions.

But Dear Myrtle's, 21st Century genealogists: how websites are failing us post struck a chord. This is something I'm working on now. My series is Making My Way In The World Today Takes Everything I've Got Series and this will give you a taste of my direction. Yes, on your toes genealogists. We do get it. And we want more and we want it now.

This is the section of Dear Myrtle's article that caught my attention:
Where websites fail is that in printing a typical scanned images from a website, we are left with nothing more than our operating system's default to print the URL across the bottom of the page. That doesn't bode well for researchers who look for complete citations. In a recent Second Life genealogy voice chat, several researchers shared how they get around the problem:

* If one is printing out a document from a website, put the paper back in the printer, and using a word processing program, insert a proper source citation to print along the margin of the document print-out.

* If keeping the scanned image in digital format, open it immediately in photo editing software to add a border across the bottom, and then insert several lines of text that comprise the citation."
Document From A Website:

I handle this another way, and it works for me. I think it is a great time saver and is useful if you print to paper as well. Maybe it would work for you. If you know all this - Good for you! You're working technology.

Here's my example - I want to print "The Overstuffed Baby Comes Full Circle!" article from Shades Of The Departed.

I am on a Mac using the Firefox browser (the same process for Safari). I open the article in my browser window and go to the Firefox Menu > File > Print. The print menu appears and I set my Header and Footer preferences and whether I wish to print all pages or only certain pages. See Below.

Print
Select Image For Full Size

As you can see, I want only the Title in the Header leaving plenty of white space to the right. The reason will become apparent later in this article. I select PDF > Save As PDF.

I select the PDF Button and select Save As PDF. Here I title the document and add Keywords. I have created a new folder for Photo Connections and the Pdf document is printed to that folder.

Naming & Keywords
Select Image For Full Size

Yes, I know, this is a wonderful feature of Macs, printing to PDF, but what about Windows centric people? A very quick Google search returned several Pdf Print Plug-Ins for Windows. As I do not have a Windows machine and my husband became increasingly frustrated as I tried to talk him through it over the phone at work, I will rely on my Windows readers to tell me how well it works.

Now the magic! Open your file in Acrobat Reader X (10.1). If you do not have X (10.1) you can download it here. It's WORTH it!. Wait, it's free. It's really worth it. Any PDF document whether Windows or Mac will work for the following.

Acrobat Reader X lets you add Sticky Notes and Highlight text in a PDF. You can comment on ANY PDF as long as the author hasn’t restricted it via security or it is a dynamic PDF form. How fantastic is that? We don't have to buy Acrobat Pro.

Open your PDF document in Acrobat Reader X. Now set the preferences. Go To Adobe Reader > Preferences. Be sure to select Print Notes & Pops Ups so that should you ever wish to print the file to paper the notes will be included. Click OK.

Acrobat Reader Preferences
Select Image For Full Size

Next, select Comments > Annotation > Sticky Notes. You will get a comment bubble attached to your cursor. Place the bubble anywhere you like on the page and click. The comment window opens and you can type the citation for this document in the box. I left all that white space at the top of my document next to the title to place my comment bubble. It is purple and can be seen below to the left of the Citation Comment Window.

Comment in PDF
Select Image For Full Size

Next, I set General and Appearance Properties for the comment bubble. Set anything you like. These are my preferences.


Comment General & Appearance Properties
Select Image For Full Size

You have sufficient space across the top of your document to add more comments and color code them as to their purpose.

The magic doesn't end here. Acrobat Reader X allows you to highlight parts of the document. So I highlighted the name of the baby in the portrait and the person who emailed me. I can instantly find what was important in the document as it pertained to my research. This could have so many uses for genealogical research.

Highlighting
Select Image For Full Size


Scanned Image In Digital Format:

"* If keeping the scanned image in digital format, open it immediately in photo editing software to add a border across the bottom, and then insert several lines of text that comprise the citation."
I embed the citation information in the document itself. I selected the photograph of The Overstuffed Baby online, right clicked and copied. I then opened my image editing program Photoshop CS4 and pasted it. Yes, you may "Save As" and open as well.

Next, I selected File > File Info > Categories, named it Cit for Citation and added the citation for the website where I acquired the photograph and the citation for the photograph itself.



It doesn't end here. The best in organization is yet to be posted. I am working on an article that will discuss Photographs, Images, Documents, PDFs and the most brilliant tool for organizing them all. I am taking a class, researching information, and writing the next installment. It's better than sliced bread.

Good Luck!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

There'll Be No Hell For Dogs - Or My Father

A Tribute To My Father

My Father. How I loved him. How I miss him.


He was the most handsome man I had ever seen. Movie star good looks handsome, and he was my father. From little girls to little old ladies he could turn them all into babbling idiots just by acknowledging them. He was a farm boy from Missouri who was totally unaware of the havoc his good looks created with women. Oh, women noticed him, but he did not notice women. From the day he set eyes on my mother there was no other woman in the world.


They met in the Army during World War II. My mother was a nurse, a WAC Lieutenant. My father was a corpsman in a hospital for soldiers facing the psychological traumas of war. They met there. I remember my mother telling how she had seen him the first time, sitting on the floor in one of the corridors leaning against the wall. She said he took her breath away, he was so handsome; she hoped he wasn’t one of her patients. They knew each other just two weeks before they were married and it lasted a lifetime – his lifetime.

Yes, women noticed him and often that made me just the least bit jealous. When I was in high school and played in sports he would come to watch me compete. Female classmates who were not close friends would wait for him and sit next to him feigning interest in my performance just to be near him. It was the same if he brought my mother. She laughed, she didn’t mind, he made her feel that secure, and he even made those rotten girls feel comfortable.

To go with those good looks was a large dose of southern charm. That off-handed sense of humor that is natural and not the least bit contrived. My sister inherited his sense of humor and the way with words that were his. I hear him in her speech and when I do, I miss him. I have already told you of his tipping outhouses escapades, but there was so much more to the humor in his life, at least a book of stories more.


He was known for his little homilies. One of my favorites was “there’ll be no Hell for dogs.” What does it mean? I have absolutely no idea, but when he touched his belt buckle and uttered those words his children always ran for it. I still use it today at just the appropriate moment, when I want to daze and confuse. It’s always good for a smile.


He was my knight, my rock. He protected us all. His wife, his children, his mother, his sisters, his friends; we have all been rescued by him at least once. In my case he rescued me more times than I can count. He rescued us from broken down cars, the driving exam, tornadoes, abusive relationships, dementia, heartbreak, disappointment, fractions, and the reality of death at an early age. He did it with surprising good humor, under what were often the worst of circumstances. He always knew what to say and do. We could depend on him.


My very favorite memory of my father is of the two of us sitting on my uncle’s porch on a summers evening while he brushed and braided my hair. He loved my hair. One summer when I was nine my mother got it in her head to give me a pixie cut, without telling him. When he arrived home from work he cried and was completely inconsolable. I attribute my reticence to cutting my hair to that childhood memory.


His proudest moment of me was when, instead of taking Home Economics, I took an automotive class. He taught me to change a tire, the oil, to know all the parts of the car’s engine and to weld. I was the only girl in the class and I got the top marks. Little did I know at the time, he had a bet with the father of one of the boys in the class that his “little girl” would get the best grade and beat his son out for the top mark. He was so proud when I did just that. I think the prize was that infamous 3.2 beer again.


His life had not been an easy one. He was the seventh of eight children. His father died when he was eleven of pernicious anemia, something easily cured today. His mother took in washing to try to make ends meet, but it soon became apparent she couldn’t afford the clothes to send him to school, so he stopped going and got a job supporting his family at the age of twelve. He had no carefree youth. He often talked about how as a child he had wanted a wagon for Christmas, but his mother could not afford to buy him one. For their first Christmas together my mother gave him a shiny red Radio Flyer. He never forgot that gift.


He was plagued by poor health. My first memory of his illness was when he collapsed at thirty-five of a heart attack and my mother and I had to carry him to the car and drive him to the hospital. I have never been so frightened in my life.


When I was a junior in high school he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The pain was excruciating, but he never complained. He would get out of bed and balancing on crutches would fix our meals. We were at school and mother took on the burden of supporting the family. He didn't complain and he didn't give up.


I think it was his absolute joy and love of life and his endless curiosity as to what would happen next that kept him going through the pain; that and the plot for his next practical joke.


I could not have had a better Father, in that I won the lottery. Happy Father’s Day Dad - thank you for the laughter, the curiosity, the extra large dose of common sense and the good hair.

There’ll be no Hell for dogs - or for my father.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

COG 106 - Swinsuit Edition!

106th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy



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

The 4th Annual Swimsuit Edition!
Yes folks, it's that time of year again.
Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner.
We'll all be getting out our bikinis and heading for the
beaches and backyard pools.

- ¤ -

Let's dig into our photo archives and pull out pics
of family members in their swimsuits.

- ¤ -

If your ancestors were camera shy, stop by an antique store and pick up
a picture of someone else's ancestor in a swimsuit. We don't mind!

- ¤ -


There will be no limit on the number of submissions,
so bring multiple stories if you have them!
Submit to the 106th COG by June 1st.

- ¤ -

Oh la la
!

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
June 1st


- ¤ - ¤ -


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!