Phil Moir's Blog
Welcome to the new Genes Reunited blog!
- We regularly add blogs covering a variety of topics. You can add your own comments at the bottom.
- The Genes Reunited Team will be writing blogs and keeping you up to date with changes happening on the site.
- In the future we hope to have guest bloggers that will be able to give you tips and advice as to how to trace your family history.
- The blogs will have various privacy settings, so that you can choose who you share your blog with.
The British Newspaper Archive
Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?
Hi, my name is Phil Moir, and I am a developer on the Genes Reunited team, as well as being a keen amateur genealogist. The purpose behind my choice in writing this blog is three fold. Firstly, I want to engage with the members of Genes Reunited, let you know what we're up to and why, as well as finding out what you collectively want from our service. Secondly, I want to help members explore their family tree and family history, with examples of problems faced from my own research. And thirdly, I want to tell my family story, a journey many are only just starting out on. By doing this I hope to enthuse and motivate you all to join in with your own story telling.
In the very near future, Genes Reunited will open the doors for members to blog and we hope you all take this opportunity to join in the story telling with the same enthusiasm we see daily in all the researching and forum postings.
The blog feature will allow users to choose who can and cannot see their blog posts. At one end of the privacy options, you will be able to make each post public and everyone can search and see your postings, while at the other you can keep it completely private, and use the blog as a private family history diary or even to make notes about your research. In between there will be options to let all your contacts or selected contacts see your blog posts. Any blog posts that are not fully private will be searchable, with limited information being displayed, but allowing the user to contact the blog owner in a similar way that we share trees. You will also be able to choose which posts can accept comments. We want to give you control of the features we make available. So keep watching this blog space for news.
One of my best experiences this year was attending the "Who Do You Think You Are" event at Olympia. This gave my a first hand opportunity to meet customers face to face, to demonstrate Genes Reunited and get feedback about the product and service. There was positive feedback as well as some grievances. The Genes team took everything on board and we are working to deliver the best genealogy web site for you, our members, giving you the services and features that you most keenly desire, and fixing those issues that currently are not delivering as expected. I don't want to hide behind any facade and pretend we're already perfect. We're not, but a lot of you enjoy the product and are keen to work with us and see it evolve. I will keep you posted on all the changes coming your way, and showing you how to get the most out of them. As a recommendation any suggestions you have should be posted into the Suggestions forum.
As a software developer, friends and family seem to focus on me at family events whenever they have a problem with their PC (or printer or wireless router, etc.) That's not really my skill, but I try to help. Now that I work for Genes, friends and family have another reason to ask for help. Where can I find Bill Smith, or whoever? Well, I'm not really a genealogist, but I try to help. Rather than help members on a one to one basis, as we have plenty of very generous and supportive members in our forums for doing this, what I'd like to do is take examples from my own research, show you how I got to the point I was at, and how I resolved the problem or found the information I was looking for. It may be that the information is not on Genes, but can be found on other web sites, whether that be wikipedia, google, other genealogy web sites, or from other sources, such as your local library. It may just be enough to help you get past your brick walls.
I like to tell a story. In fact my kids like me doing it every night! But sometimes, stories get lost in translation or when they are passed down from generation to generation. I want to make sure that my family story is available and can give others enjoyment despite my poor attempts at written dialogue. I am very lucky to still have my grandmother alive, who is 92, and she also has an elder brother and sister! I know time is running out, but I would like to capture some of the stories she and her siblings have to tell, and at least share these with family, but if others are interested or in fact want to contribute to the story, then I am quite happy to share these with you all.
I hope to keep this blog column regular and keep you updated on how Genes Reunited is evolving. But for now, I need to get back and plug the comments feature into our blog engine, so that you can have your say.
Till next time, best wishes