Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Working with the FamilySearch Partner Programs
There are now 144 apps listed in the FamilySearch.org App Gallery. It has been years now since the concept of FamilySearch.org Partner programs was introduced but I am still teaching classes about the partners to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are entirely unaware of the many programs that are available. What is even more surprising is how few members have taken advantage of even the connections to the large, online database programs such as Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, Findmypast.com, Geneanet.org and others. One surprising thing about the effect of this lack of awareness is how many people would benefit immediately and directly from using some of all of the programs.
Of course, not all of the programs listed in the App Gallery are "free," but many of them are and all of the programs provide additional functionality. Depending on your personal preferences, you may choose to use programs that I do not feel are helpful, but that is the main reason for having a variety of programs. One thing you might note about the App Gallery is that the listings are not always up-to-date. For example, there is an app listed called StoryPress.com that has been offline and unavailable for over a year.
As a matter of fact, I am still getting members signed in and with access to FamilySearch.org and starting them off with the beginnings of their part of the Family Tree.
Is there a solution to this situation? Actually, the entire issue is very complex. Even individuals with a substantial amount of computer experience feel unsure about learning "new" programs. There is a "chicken and the egg" problem also, without learning how a new program works, you cannot tell if it will be useful to you and the way that you work. So, you have to learn to use the program before you can become proficient enough the evaluate its utility.
One solution to part of the problem is The Family History Guide. This structured and sequenced website can help you overcome your initial resistance to learning new programs and give you enough confidence in doing research with FamilySearch, to be able to make some progress.