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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

Welcome to my own personal exploration of life through reading the great books of the world.

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Location: Spokane, Washington, United States

"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Genealogy Meets Web 2.0 with OurStory.com

If you've always wanted to keep a record of your family's history but didn't know where to begin, you might consider looking at OurStory.com. I've just been playing around on the site, and the unique thing about it is the way it makes family history a collaborative effort. (In the interest of full disclosure, let me say up front that OurStory.com is a sponsor of this site, but they are not sponsoring this post.)

After the free sign-up, you can create a time line for anything, and then invite others to join you in creating the story. For instance:
  • You can invite others to write about what they remember about your wedding, including adding pictures.
  • You can set up a tribute page for your grandparents' 50th anniversary and invite all the grandchildren to contribute their favorite memory.
  • You can tell your family's history and invite all your relatives to participate.
One idea I had was to invite everyone I know to tell the story of the one book that's had the biggest impact on their life.

Each story gets its own time line, and collaborators can subscribe to new entries via RSS, so you can always keep up with newly added memories. You can also add your time line to any blog you author.

I've been trying for over 15 years to put together my family's history, but with OurStory.com I can now invite my parents, brothers, sisters, and cousins to help me in this daunting project. In addition to adding memories, they can also add pictures and videos, creating a multimedia story of my family's memories.

OurStory.com brings the power of social networking to genealogy and memory-making.

As one of their tag lines goes, OurStory.com - Life is a journey. Tell the story.

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posted by Nick Senger at 6:57 PM

Comments on "Genealogy Meets Web 2.0 with OurStory.com"


Blogger Robert said ... (Sunday, September 16, 2007 8:59:00 PM) : 

There are very serious concerns with posting personal information on a web site.
1. Regardless of any promises made, there are no laws protecting information voluntarily uploaded.
2. A document sufficiently detailed to be of interest is fodder for identity thieves and stalkers.
3. To earn enough revenue to survive, the business models are: subscription, advertising or data mining. And the single most lucrative is bots crawling data for resale.
4. The survival rate of any web based business is precarious at best. When they go dark - as 99% will - what really happens to the personal information? Forget any promises of security in perpetuity. Initial assurances are meaningless to the new owner of bankruptcy assets.


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