Last week Ancestry made changes to their member profiles pages – see announcement on their blog. I’ve taken a few minutes to update my profile and after doing so, I think this is a good move. The comments on that blog post are filled with a lot of negative comments, but I’m pleased by what I see. Do I think it’s ideal? No. But I like!
The profile now has
- the ability to add you surnames of interest and the counties they are linked to. Though, it seems you can only have one county per surname and I’d appreciate being able to attach multiple counties to one surname
- links to all of your posts on the Ancestry message boards
- can add you picture! Though, the picture box is way to big
- shows the images and docs you’ve recently added
- shows all of your public family trees and how many people, photos, and sources are attached to them
- links to your favorite message boards
- profile shows date of last login – i like that – lets me know if someone is active or not
- you can also state how you can help others (looking up items at local repositories, take pictures at cemeteries, offer research assistance, etc.)
Here’s a screenshot of my profile page.
Ancestry states that by beefing up the profiles they will be better able to offer connection suggestions – to do so, you have to go to their Main Community Page once you are logged in. I did so and based on the names and locations I put in, it showed me how many Ancestry members lived in that area, how many Ancestry members were also researching my surnames, and even of those, how many were researching that surname in the area that I am also researching. Very cool.
I did notice a discrepancy though in the connections. The location field is not restricted to the county, state, country format I’m used to seeing. You can enter either a city or you can enter either a county. Therefore, this can create issues when matching connections. A few of the surnames I entered are for Washington County, NC, but the connections page shows me people living in Washington City, North Carolina which is in a different county. Methinks they should standardize this field better.
I wonder if Ancestry will continue to add to the profiles – like having “friends” and being able to send out messages to all either in your city, or all your friends, etc; in short – become more like Facebook. You can find my profile here.
I have also explored FamilyLink in the past and while I was initially excited, everytime I go there I get frustrated because I don’t quite fill it lives up to my expectations. Hmm.. I’ll keep exploring though. For now, you can find my Ancestry profile here. I also have my Footnote profile here about which I’ve blogged about before.
Genealogy Social Networking – i love it!