Posts Tagged ‘LDS Church’

Follow Friday: FamilySearch Labs Blog

Friday, January 29th, 2010

fsl

Like many genealogists, I’m anxious for the LDS Church to  open up New FamilySearch (or whatever it’s eventually going to be called) to a broader (i.e., non-LDS) audience. In the meantime, I’m eager to hear the latest from their development team: new features, new records collections, opportunities to get involved or give feedback… you get the idea.

An Inside Source

One place I can go to get this info is the FamilySearch Labs Blog. Here, various members of the group developing NFS cover the latest progress they’ve made. The most common post author is Senior Project Manager Dan Lawyer, but Grant Skousen and several others also contribute from time to time. They don’t post every day, and they don’t offer tons of specifics, but at least I can get a feel for the major milestones they’re hitting, even if the news is mostly after-the-fact.

A Thought-Provoking Post

One recent post that caught my attention was entitled Obstacles in the Genealogical Workflow by Dan. Though extremely low-key, I thought it hit on a crucial point that genealogy software needs to address but seldom does: recognizing the chaotic thought processes most researchers experience  and trying to tame them to allow greater productivity. Ideally, genealogy software wouldn’t just store records or offer them up for searching… it would accompany us on our genealogical journey and offer coaching, support, and encouragement at just the right times. Here’s the key workflow diagram’s from Dan’s post:

fslb_genealogical_workflow

I’m sure it’s pretty obvious why I liked this diagram: notice that box in the lower right corner. It indicates that gathering and searching for genealogical records involves three stages: tapping personal knowledge, mining online records, and finally, retrieving offline records. Naturally, we think Genlighten can become a huge help in the offline record retrieval stage of the genealogical workflow process.

Its Continuing Mission

I look forward to hearing about the NFS rollout to Southeast Asia, and about NFS’  eventual availability to those without a membership number and a confirmation date. Sure, the Ancestry Insider will probably be all over that news when it comes, but I suspect Dan and his team will offer a perspective on those accomplishments that won’t be available anywhere else. I encourage you to include their blog in your RSS feed subscription list.

Imaginative Rumor — LDS Church to buy Facebook?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Update:  the Industry Standard has an even more credible take on this one.

Well, we’ve all heard that social networking is the “next big thing” in genealogical research. But is the LDS Church really planning a hostile takeover of Facebook to “help monetize its genealogy business”? I’m going to go out on a limb and say…. no, not a chance. Here’s the story, according to respected private equity website TheDeal.com:

“Here’s one you don’t hear every day: The Mormon church is reportedly making a hostile bid for Facebook Inc. Brooklyn blogger Zach Klein says an “employee close to the deal” told him the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wants the social network to help sanctify, meaning monetize, its large genealogy business.

Idle chatter, hipster hucksterism, blasphemy punishable by an eternity of hell-fire? Who knows (and quite possibly all of the above)? The LDS Church does have money to burn. And Facebook prophet Mark Zuckerberg, with his choir boy demeanor, might make a nice addition to those Tabernacle singers.”

Originating as this rumor does from “Brooklyn blogger Zach Klein”, this one sounds pretty easy to dismiss. Only one problem — TheDeal.com updates its article on the topic with a comment from Lyman Kirkland, ostensibly from LDS Church Public Affairs, denying the rumor. So far so good… but Kirkland’s comment spells the name of the Church incorrectly!

OK, so there’s still no way this is gonna happen. But what if it did? How exactly would owning Facebook help the LDS Church monetize its vast genealogy resources? How would that help further the Church’s overall objectives? And if Facebook is really worth some $15B, how is the Church going to afford the purchase? That’s a lot of tithing!