What’s New in the Online Tracker

The free Online Tracker for The Family History Guide has been up and running for about 7 months, and it now has over 1,100 registered users. (It’s the only part of The Family History Guide that requires a username and password; the rest of the site does not.) With the Online Tracker, or “OLT” as we sometimes call it, you can keep track of your notes and progress in The Family History Guide in a secure online database.

Today we updated the OLT in a number of ways to help your user experience be even better. Here’s a list of the new enhancements, going from top to bottom of the screen:

Continue reading “What’s New in the Online Tracker”

Happiness is … an Amazon Smile

Along with the roll-out of the new Home page and the new menu system for The Family History Guide, we also updated the footer section for each page.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Notice that at the very bottom of the page there is a new tile for using the Amazon Smile program with The Family History Guide.

Continue reading “Happiness is … an Amazon Smile”

New Look for the Home Page and Menus

We are excited to announce a new, streamlined look to our Home page at The Family History Guide. This also includes a tiered menu system that gives easier access to a number of features across the site. Here’s a step-by-step walk-through that demonstrates the new additions.

Home Page Design

The first thing you’ll notice is that the new design relies on simple picture tiles and bullets – you can find what you want without reading sentences. The tiles and bullets are arranged by category, each linked to the appropriate topic:

Just below the tiles is the “reading box” with text that explains more about website and The Family History Guide Association. Notice that we have added our Mission Statement here as well.

Footers

The lower section of the Home page is the footer, and that has been redesigned to include our new RootsTech Exhibitor badge, as well as a new Amazon Smile tile (more about that in an upcoming blog).

Menus

Some of our users have requested that we spell out the Learning Path / Partner abbreviations in the menu (FamilySearch instead of FS, Ancestry instead of AN, etc.) That, plus the need to accommodate more menu items as the site grows, led us to a tiered menu system – there are now two rows of drop-down menu items in the upper right:

Here are a few things that have changed:

  • To get back to the Home page, click the logo (upper left) for The Family History Guide.
  • The Learning Paths are now spelled out.
  • We added Activities, Tracker, Vault, and LDS as a new drop-down menus. These were previously in the “More” menu, which has been removed.
  • The Media/Social menu has links to our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages, as well as to the brochures, flyers, and videos in The Family History Guide.
  • We added the Countries menu, with links to the U.S., Canada, England, and major regions (British Isles, Scandinavia, Asia/Pacific, etc.) plus the Ethnic groups. The previous Countries links at the bottom of the Partner pages have been removed.
  • Most abbreviations in previous menus have now been spelled out.

One more important note: the new menus, as well as the updated footer, are now included on each page of The Family History Guide site. No matter where you are, you’ll have the easy-to-use, comprehensive menu system at your command.

We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the Home page and menus. Try them out at www.thefhguide.com. You can give us feedback at info@thefhguide.com.

The Family History Guide Achieves Public Charity Status – 501(c)(3)

It’s a day that has been a long time coming, from a dream to reality. We knew that we needed to take the next step and become a nonprofit organization, so we formed The Family History Guide Association about 6 months ago. As of last week, the final piece has come into place: the Association is now recognized by the IRS as an official public charity with 501(c)(3) status, which means that donors can receive tax credits for their donations. Because our income depends on donations, this has huge significance for us. We owe a huge thanks to the efforts of Bob Ives in bringing our 501(c)(3) status to completion.

So why do we need increased donations? To put it simply, we have big plans. We have come a long way in just over 2 years, including partnerships with FamilySearch, MyHeritage and others, and an expanding role at RootsTech. We have already brought the joys of family history to many throughout the world. But the opportunities ahead of us are enormous – and exciting. Here are a few of them:

  • We will be greatly expanding training efforts in the United States and beyond, and that will require people, equipment, and travel budgets.
  • Our presence at RootsTech is growing, and that means increased costs for booth space and marketing materials.
  • We plan to attend many more family history and genealogy conventions and fairs, which will significantly increase travel and equipment costs.

We are excited about finally becoming a public charity 501(c)(3) organization, and we will continue our pledge to keep The Family History Guide free for everyone and best-in-class. To learn more about the Association and the opportunity to make tax-deductible donations, please visit http://www.thefhguide.com/association.html.

Thanks for your support and enthusiasm for The Family History Guide!

Announcing Openings for Content Specialists

The Family History Guide is a game-changer in how family history and learning are done worldwide. As it continues to grow and improve, The Family History Guide Association is announcing several openings for volunteer Content Specialists. As a Content Specialist for The Family History Guide website, you will

  • Find family history online resources that would make good additions to the content in The Family History Guide and communicate them to the staff.
  • Review existing content in The Family History Guide, including currently used web resources, to recommend updates or improvements in content.

Here are the requirements:

  • Basic familiarity with the content in The Family History Guide
  • Solid Internet and written/verbal communication skills
  • Commitment to two or more hours per week in assigned content work on The Family History Guide

If this opportunity resonates with you, we would love to hear from you! Please send a brief bio outlining your experience in family history and Internet / computer skills to info@thefhguide.com. We look forward to working with you in accomplishing our mission: to spread the joys of family history involvement worldwide.

Update to the Activities Section of the Family History Guide

Bob Taylor added ID numbers to the youth, family, and children’s pages of The Family History Guide Activities Section to help identify activities more quickly, and reference them with ease. Take a look at these examples from the youth page:

1. Anytime Activities and Games

Overview: With modern technology, family history activities can be a snap! You might just need an idea and a little nudge in the right direction to discover that family history can be a fun and inspirational part of your life!

Y1-01: Not Just for Kids!
Everyone can have fun finding out more about their ancestors and family trees. You can be a big help to younger children to teach them how to play games. You can also participate with them in exploring family trees, timelines, and more.
Find some cool games and activities in the FamilySearch App Gallery.

Continue reading “Update to the Activities Section of the Family History Guide”

The Updated Course Catalog

Now that the Partner pages have been included in The Family History Guide, we felt it was time to update the Course Catalog to include classes for the Partner pages. While we were at it, we decided to freshen up the rest of the catalog page as well. Below is a brief rundown of the changes that were recently made – be sure to check them out at www.thefhguide.com/train-catalog.html.

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From Newsletter to Blog

Greetings to all our newsletter subscribers with The Family History Guide, and welcome to our Blog site. We have decided to transition from newsletter to blog, which means that going forward we will be producing blog articles instead of newsletter articles.

The newsletter has been dear to our hearts, for over 2 years and 28 issues. The past newsletter issues are not going away—rest assured they will remain on the Newsletter page of the website.

However, we feel that moving to a free blog is the best thing to do, and here are some of the reasons we think you’ll enjoy it:

 

  • It’s updated more often than the newsletter. You’ll get new blog articles almost every day.
  • We have a talented blogging team working to provide you great content on a variety of topics related to The Family History Guide.
  • You can post comments, ask questions, and easily search for articles in the blog site.
  • You can sort blog articles by category or search for tags.

So welcome to the Blog! You can also find it in the More menu of The Family History Guide website. We look forward to your comments and participation.