Famicity Closing

It’s a sad day. The content of our family’s Famicity network was delivered to my inbox this morning. Famicity is shutting down. It has been a delightful family network for our family – a network designed to support all members of the family – young and old.

Famicity page

We used Famicity to share special events like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations with family members all across the country. It was also a digital scrapbook where we could share family stories, photos and other ephemera related to ancestors so younger members could discover more about their family history.

Famicity posts

We will miss Famicity. Yes, there are other social networks but none of them have protected our privacy like Famicity did. I would love to see someone take on Famicity in a way that families can afford and the platform can support itself. These features along with privacy protection are worth paying for.

Journaling Your Research Notes

Have you ever considered using a journaling app for your research notes? DayOne offers a number of features that make it easy to capture, organize and find the notes you add to your DayOne journals.

Each note created with DayOne automatically includes the date, place and time it was created. You can also include hashtags – keywords describing the content of each note – by including a hash mark (#) immediately ahead of each keyword. For example – DayOne will automatically identify the #Barrett hashtag as a tag for that note. Then, when you want to find all the notes related to that hashtag, go to the Search box and enter the tag in the Search box. Yes, it’s that easy.

Another useful feature is the sharesheet. Tap the share icon at the top right side of the note you are writing. Use it to email this entry to someone, post it to social media or you blog. I’ve tried it with both WordPress and Tumblr and it works beautifully!

Mayday! Mayday!

When heard over a radio, it’s a call for help. The term “MayDay” generally means some kind of disaster. I find it interesting that May Day – the day – is traditionally the day that cultural institutions and archives set aside to review and adjust their disaster plans. Here in Florida, the month of May is the time to review our personal disaster plans and prepare for hurricane season which begins the first of June.

In addition to checking our disaster supplies (batteries, non-perishable food, water, etc.) I also use May to review my digital disaster plan. Here are some of the things I review:

  • Data backups. I am set up for automatic backups, but it’s time to make sure any new data folders or other content is included.
  • Blog backups. Since I use WordPress, I use their export feature and download a complete copy of my sites every quarter.
  • Image backups. I have a Flickr Pro account ($50/year) which includes auto-uploading all new images on my desktop and mobile devices. It serves as my off-site backup for photos and scanned images. Those images are also stored on my desktop and an external hard drive.
  • Security check. I use 1Password to manage passwords and other personal data. It includes a security audit to let me know it’s time to update old passwords. The new Watchtower feature identifies the sites that have known vulnerabilities so I can change the passwords at those sites.
  • Power check. We use surge protectors and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices to protect our electronics. Now’s a good time to check them and replace older ones no longer operating at full capacity.

You may not have the threat of hurricane season to worry about, but there are plenty of disasters just waiting to destroy your research and historical documents. Make May Day your call to review your own disaster plan and insure your archives are also protected.

This article was originally published in 2016. It has been updated with current information.

Genealogy Collection At Internet Archive

The Internet Archive’s genealogy collection supports an ever-expanding collection of genealogy resources. Items in this collection includes:

Resources include books on surname origins, vital statistics, parish records, census records, passenger lists of vessels, and other historical and biographical documents.