Conversion Stories of Your Ancestors

Have you ever wondered how your family came to be Catholic or Baptist or Methodist or Lutheran or Muslim or Hindu or whatever faith they may be? I have been fascinated by this question since learning about the conversion of my ancestor Tellef John Israelsen to the LDS (Mormon) faith in Norway in 1857. His story is a remarkable story of searching for something, asking questions, not finding satisfactory answers in the church he attended,...
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FamilyLink hiring microfilm operator / manager

As part of our effort to turn FamilyLink into the most useful site for people to connect with living relatives and discover their recent family history, we are about to digitize our first major microfilm collection. We have 10 scanners in place, and 3 part time employees, but we need someone to manage this project and our team. We need to fill this position immediately, as the first few thousand rolls of film from this...
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BYU Family History Technology Workshop – Wed, April 28

This year’s Family History Technology Workshop will be held at the Salt Palace. NGS has been a magnet that drew all of the annual computerized genealogy and technology conferences to Salt Lake City. Obviously, conference organizers wanted to make it convenient for many NGS attendees and developers to attend as many sessions as possible. The Program Schedule for tomorrow is available from the FHTW home page but I wanted to give the highlights here. There...
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FamilyLink is (or soon will be) for genealogists

Randy Seaver is one of my very favorite genealogy bloggers. (Click here to visit his blog.) He has excellent insights about tools, technologies, and content that genealogists find useful, and he often provides better reviews (and screenshots) of new products and services than anyone else I follow. He is into genealogy – not social networking – so he typically reviews things from the perspective of a genealogist. I think that makes sense, because he is...
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This Week: Ancestry IPO, FamilyLink goes viral, Navigating Facebook Platform changes

This week is going to be amazing. Possibly, the most interesting week of my career. I’ll explain. Ancestry.com is slated to go public on Wednesday. I always dreamed of being part of that IPO, but I’ve been out of the company (7 years) longer than I was in the company (6 years). But my excitement about watching a company I helped create trade on a public exchange is mounting. I cannot wait to see what...
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Top 10 Family Websites – July 2009

via marketingcharts.com I like rankings and lists. This particular chart from Hitwise tracks only one metric — share of visits. In some ways that is more interesting than the more common “unique visitors” reports, which can easily be inflated by successful marketing campaigns. Share of visits can’t be inflated much by spending a lot of money on email or PPC to get tons of clicks in one month. But Unique Visitors reports can be. Share...
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Apology to Terry Thornton

Terry, I want to add my sincere apology to Nathan’s. We have made more than one mistake in the 8 days since GenealogyWise debuted. Censoring your comment was completely inappropriate, and the moment I heard about it (I was in a meeting with FamilySearch in Salt Lake City at the time) I said, we need to apologize and to establish a policy of not censoring any criticisms of GW. The earlier mistake was creating a...
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GenSeekers Wanted

A few months ago I twittered about wanting to hire someone to travel for the next 365 days throughout North America for a special project (which is still in the works.) I even suggested the person may have to legally change their name, in the publicity-stunt spirit of Half.com, Oregon or DotCom Guy from Texas. Within an hour or so I had 9 candidates who direct messaged me on Twitter or replied on Facebook wanting...
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Near Death Experiences

No, this blog post is not about metaphysical near-death experiences, but I bet the title caught your eye. (As an aside, I read the book Life After Life as a teenager, and thought it was pretty interesting. Since reading that book, though, I’ve seen many efforts to commercialize near-death experiences that I think are bogus. I firmly believe in the immortality of all human souls, and I believe that some near-death experiences are genuine, but that...
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Top 25 Facebook App and hybrid business models

I remember when I first learned about LinkedIn.com, and was the 4th person to sign up for it in Utah County. Soon I got into a competition with two friends to see who could end up with the most (real) connections. I finally won that competition, but we all ended up with hundreds of connections. But I remember when one of my friends knew they were losing on the connections number that they claimed to be winning on "endorsements." They changed their key metric, so that they could claim that they had actually won.

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