FamilyTreeCircles.com has been around for over 7 years now, and has been in a constant state of development.
I'll be the first to admit that most poorly crafted area of FamilyTreeCircles has been the user profile pages. And as I've been making improvements to the platform, I'd also say that it's been the most neglected.
This week I've taken steps to resolve that with an entirely newly designed user profile.
Your Own Home Page
Your user profile on FamilyTreeCircles is now your genealogy homepage. Your own journals and posts are featured prominently in chronological order, newest first. Until now, your own journals were relegated to a list, and reading them was an exercise in clicking around a lot.
Now your homepage is a very easy-to-read list of all your journals. As you post journals, your latest ones appear at the top.
This makes it very easy for other FamilyTreeCircles members, and even people searching the Internet for the information that you write about, to find and read your journals.
That means more people see your journals, which means that your information and your own queries are seen by more people, resulting in a higher chance that you'll connect with distant cousins and researchers looking for the same ancestors.
Here's what the new profile page looks like:
Hey, This Sounds and Looks Like a Blog
Essentially, your FamilyTreeCircles profile page is a blog. Blog comes from the words Web Log. A blog is quite simply a web page containing a log of your writing. Web log...weblog...'blog.
The writing activity that you do posting Journals on FamilyTreeCircles is no different than that of "bloggers" that we hear so much about.
Now in addition to how your journals were seen before in the activity lists, your information is organized like a blog and you get all the benefits of blogging:
- Research: By getting your and your genealogy research out there, people who are researching the same ancestors will find you. You may even break down some brick walls just by posting them for others to find and help you out.
- Sharing: Posting your genealogy information helps others, and many times it comes back
- Connecting: There are countless connections that people make with distant and lost relatives through publishing a blog.
- Community: The genealogy blogging community is a friendly, helpful group of genealogists, professionals and hobbyists alike. By starting a blog of your own
- Fun: Writing can be a fun, creative way to express yourself. Some people even think it's therapeutic.
The good news is that just by signing up for FamilyTreeCircles, you now have a blog.
How cool does that make you?
View your new profile here. Or click on the "Your Home" link in the header.
Here are a few great FamilyTreeCircles profiles to take a look at for inspiration: