Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Party At Maven's

Today Is The Thirtieth Anniversary
Of The footnoteMaven Blog

Just so you know, 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 five human years of blogging, the equivalent of 30 web years.

Last year I had three wishes
and amazingly those wishes haven't changed:

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 never 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. Family historians are more 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 has become my life journal and Twitter continues to introduce me to some of the most interesting people on the planet. The community and education I receive daily through social media is astounding.

Magazines and books no longer pile up in the corners of our offices, instead they reside in the Cloud or on our new best friends, tablets and smart phones.

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. Pod and Vod casts are anytime education. 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! When those online encounters translate to real life encounters it is as if we have been friends forever.

Television continues to recognize the mysteries of our histories. Family history is becoming sexy via celebrities such as Martin Sheen and Kim Cattrall. With all the beautiful people discovering their roots before our very eyes we are now viewed as relevant, interesting, and yes, even sexy!


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 five years I still have anything to say, or at least anything to say that others will read.

This last year real life fell on me like a ton of bricks. This blog has suffered, but I love it no less. I've gained a new appreciation for the time I was afforded to speak on this blog and I look forward to regaining that time in the next year. A year where I will return to my roots, writing.

May I never find what I'm looking for:

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, tomorrow and forever.

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.


Whatis.com 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."

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Tech At RootsTech


I LOVE business cards. I collect them, but you knew that. In preparing for RootsTech, the genealogist's technology extravaganza, I decided to add a little tech to my cards by way of a QR Code (Quick Response Code).

Now, there has recently been much discussion regarding QR Codes on genealogy and design blogs, a RootsTech Lecture about them (Genealogical Resources for QR Codes from Thomas MacEntee), and some vendors in the exhibit hall using them on their cards and their products. Even the TechLess Mr. Maven asked me to download a scanner for his iPhone so he could check them out in his hunting magazines. I view this as an indication the QR Code's time has come.

Kerry Scott author of Clue Wagon, and the article (What Do Modern Business Cards Look Like For Genealogists), in talking about QR Codes asked, "Does it make sense to include them on the card itself? Because the QR code is just going to direct you to my website, which is already printed on the card. If you have a card, you probably don’t need a QR code. To me, the QR codes make more sense on objects other than business cards, because they mostly serve as an alternative to them."

Kerry was responding to a post by Michael Hait, Planting Seeds (21st Century business card designs) discussing the need for a QR Code on your business card. Thomas used an image of Michael Hait's business card as an example in his QR Code Lecture, Genealogical Resources for QR Codes.

Here is my two cents worth. I agree with Michael that we need QR Codes on our business cards, but not as limiting as his discussion. I agree with Kerry; why have them if they are only going to direct you back to a website listed on your card? So, I included a QR Code on my business card and created a page just for RootsTech explaining Shades, how and where to find it, and a sort of why should anyone listen to me section. If I were to attend another conference I could alter this page for the next conference specifically without designing a new QR Code and having new business cards printed. By the way, I met Kerry at RootsTech. She is absolutely lovely and thinks I may have a new career in QR Design. Hmmm!

Now those who have spent anytime at footnoteMaven know I couldn't add just the QR Code, I would have to do something unique. On the back of my card is a photographer's imprint from the mid-1800s. I removed the photographer information and added my QR Code. Shades is, after all, a magazine about old photographs and this seemed only fitting. I may just have outsmarted myself though, some people thought it was just part of the design and never noticed it was a QR Code. I will ponder this in future designs.

Joining me with "A Little Tech At Roots Tech" are the following tech savvy bloggers.

Caroline Pointer
For Your Family Story

Becky Jamison
Grace And Glory

I'm certain their were others, I just didn't receive them. I'm also writing an article about how to make a QR Code, How To Make A QR Code Beautiful, Some Of The Most Beautiful QR Codes I've Seen, and Some of the VERY interesting things I'm doing with QR Codes in Genealogy and Old Photos. Check back.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Early Valentine to Kim von Aspern

MY FAVORITE HAPPENING at any convention is the interaction with my fellow Genealogy Bloggers. RootsTech was certainly no exception.

Just before leaving I got a FaceBook note from Kim von Aspern, Le Maison Duchamp, saying she wanted to meet in Salt Lake City, as she had a photograph to show me and added the words that get my attention every time - women wearing glasses.

RootsTech is huge, but Kim and I finally bumped into each other and I was treated to a beautiful photograph of seven women, several wearing the eye-wear fashion of the time period, pince nez glasses. Kim explained she had been on a treasure hunt to find a photograph containing seven women, as Kim is one of seven sisters and is starting a blog aptly named Seven Sisters Genealogy. The photograph could not be more perfect.

But wait, there's more to Kim's story of photographs. You see, during her treasure hunt she was bitten. You know what I'm talking about. We've all experienced that bite. The "how could all these wonderful photographs reside in the orphanages we call antiques stores? Aren't they crying out to go home?"

While in an antiques store near her home Kim decided to empty the orphanage by purchasing as many photographs with clues as she could afford, hoping to reunite them with their living relatives. When the store owner discovered Kim's plan he offered her all the photographs she wanted at a very reasonable price. Oh, my!

Over the next two days, in fits and flurries, a very patient Kim teased me with the treasure trove. One photograph in particular took my breath away; a large framed wedding photograph from Paisley, Scotland. And bless her, Kim is going to allow me to stick my finger in the research. Be still my heart.

There's more, much more. Kim has a U.S. Navy "on deck" photograph with everyone in the photograph identified. Amazing! Kim says this will be her first project and I can't wait to see what she finds. Perhaps she'll even write about her finds for Shades Military issue. (Yes, Shades has been given CPR and will be out with "School Days" in March.)

And then came the reason for the valentine. A gift, a very generous gift from Kim to me, the photograph to the left. On the face of it, a very unassuming cabinet card of a middle-aged man. Not a woman wearing glasses. Not a bridal party. No, but when I turned him over. . .

You see, I've outlined three books I'm working on; my goal to see one published this year. They are "women wearing glasses," "visiting cards," and a book on "photographer's imprints."

This is where the man to the left became my valentine from Kim. I have been looking for this particular ornate photographer's imprint on a cabinet card, because it comes with a very sad photographic story.

What, you can't see the imprint on the back? You will, we'll both see you in the bookstore.

Thank you Kim. I LOVE LOVE LOVE you!

Stoic Man. Cabinet Card. Bradley & Rulofson. Original Cabinet Card privately held by the footnoteMaven, [address for private use,] Preston, Washington. 2012

The link to this article can be found by selecting the title "An Early Valentine to Kim von Aspern.