Over the past couple of days, we have been busy releasing some incredible new updates to our Beta. The most notable change is opening the Beta to the public. That’s right, starting today, anyone may visit our website (www.familypursuit.com) and sign on as a beta tester.
Another key feature just added is our new Watch List section. Within the Watch List section you can quickly glance through a list of individuals and research projects and view a history of all additions and modifications. When other users make changes, such as adding additional facts about an ancestor, posting responses to discussions, or completing a task, the change will be highlighted to notify you that the change has occurred.
In addition to our updates to the Family Pursuit Beta, we have also updated familypursuit.com. Our informational website now has a new design and more detailed information. We have also included video tutorials demonstrating many of our features in action.
Sign up or logon to the Beta today to try these exciting new features!
On Wednesday afternoon, we officially released Beta 1.0 to all our Beta Testers spread throughout the world. Within seconds we had our first registered user, and our user count has been climbing nonstop ever since. Our Beta Testers have been fantastic at providing feedback, helping us identify trouble areas in our interface, providing suggestions, and conveying excitement. After so many months of development, it is so rewarding to see our users utilizing in our program to organize their genealogy research.
If you are signed up as a Beta Tester and have not received instructions for logging on to the site, click here to see the email we sent out on Wednesday. Some testers have reported problems with yahoo and hotmail placing our emails in spam and junk folders. Be sure to put email from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org on your safe list.
The 2007 BYU Computerized Genealogy Conference was a tremendous success as we officially unveiled Family Pursuit to an awaiting audience. We want to thank all those who visited with us at our vendor booth and the wonderful audience we had at our demonstration class. The excitement of everyone we came in contact with as we demonstrated our software has really validated our cause. All of the feedback and suggestions we received have all been noted and we are assessing everything as we continue on in development.
I also want to mention that we received a remarkable number of signups for beta testers. It is so exciting to have such a high level of genealogists at the forefront of our beta test stage. We will have more opportunities to sign up beta testers as we approach the final stages of development.
I am excited to see the progress we have made in developing the Family Pursuit genealogy management software. Finally, this week we will be demonstrating how Family Pursuit enables families to not only collaborate by locating and contacting distant relatives, but also provides a platform where they can coordinate and organize their research. I’ve needed this functionality in my own family which is why I have spent the last few years developing this product.
One of the difficult challenges we have faced as we designed Family Pursuit is how to enable multiple family members to truly collaborate and work together in a common family tree without stepping on each others’ toes. After looking at several options, we determined that a wiki approach would be the best solution. This would give family members the flexibility of making changes, without fear of losing any data.
I personally believe this is the best choice for a collaborative environment. In Family Pursuit, we allow family members to make whatever change they want to the data, but the system stores all changes. That way, less experienced (and sometimes more experienced) family members who make mistakes in their research can revert the changes they made to an earlier version. Often, I have found that genealogists need this functionality even in their own personal genealogy software. They make a change based on information they find, only to find later that they had made a mistake, and the original entry was correct.
I realize this level of collaboration is new to many genealogists, but I believe it is the wave of the future for genealogy research. It will enable families to collaborate in a way they never had before.
In preparation for our upcoming booth and presentation at the computerized genealogy conference, Mike and I have been spending a lot of time on marketing content. Because the foundation of Family Pursuit is built upon working together to accomplish genealogy, we have focused our content around the potential of creating our truly collaborative system.
It amazes me how we have been able to work so long with out a better way of coordinating our efforts as genealogist. But what is more fascinating to me is the potential we now have with Family Pursuit to truly communicate and organize our research.
I joined Family Pursuit because I wanted to help in providing a way for new comers to get started in genealogy. That has become one of our greatest objectives in building a collaborative genealogy software. Not only will current genealogists be able to finally tear down the walls that block them from working together, but also other family members will now have an open pathway to be mentored by and be able to see the extensive accomplishments of their experienced family members.
This all so exciting to me to see the possibilities of this incredible system.