The Question

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 11: The Question

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Surviving the Disk Errors

Sur­viv­ing the Disk Errors

We began Part 1 by pos­ing the ques­tion, “Why would I want to join?” For some­one under age 30, the answer includes a sub­stan­tial online pres­ence, and sig­nif­i­cant inter­ac­tion. That inter­ac­tion usu­ally begins as online interaction.

Here in Part 11, we need to ask the ques­tion, “How do we get this project off the ground?” Our answer is the same – we cre­ate that sub­stan­tial, inter­est­ing, and inter­ac­tive online pres­ence first. Both the Newslet­ter and the Web site allow us to talk about the project. But we need to also use our Web site to show the project, and become the cen­tral point of inter­act­ing with our mem­bers and poten­tial members.

Please share your ideas!

Our Internet Presence

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 10: Our Inter­net Presence

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Stronghold Castle Descendants

Strong­hold Cas­tle Descendants

The more I think about the His­to­rian Archives project, the more I real­ize that our Inter­net pres­ence is key to mak­ing the project work. How do we find peo­ple inter­ested in help­ing? How do we find peo­ple with knowl­edge or exper­tise to share?

Get the Word Out

We use the Newslet­ter and the Web site to get the word out, just as we always have.

  • The Newslet­ter tar­gets our exist­ing mem­ber­ship, many of whom make very lit­tle use of com­put­ers or Web sites.
  • The Web site is avail­able to our exist­ing mem­ber­ship, but is our pri­mary means of reach­ing poten­tial mem­bers, and par­tic­u­larly the younger generation.

Show Inter­est­ing Results

Our Web site allows us to do far more than tell about what we plan to do. We can show things are actu­ally happening!

Even though they are not a direct part of the His­to­rian Archives project, we can and should enhance our online pres­ence with the fol­low­ing: Con­tinue read­ing

What We Gain

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 9: What We Gain

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Sarah (d/o Elder John Strong) and Joseph Barnard Family

Sarah (d/o Elder John Strong) and Joseph Barnard Family

This pro­posed “Pre­lim­i­nary Updates” pro­gram gains us a lot more than you might think.

  • We stim­u­late inter­est, by pro­vid­ing information
  • We train a new group of experts, the editors/compilers
  • We gain far more infor­ma­tion for future updates, as peo­ple advance their own research
  • We gain mem­bers inter­ested in the ongo­ing project, and who want to be a part of some­thing happening
  • We con­tinue to estab­lish our­selves as a world-class online pres­ence, a point of par­tic­u­lar appeal to the younger generation

The “Pre­lim­i­nary Updates” pro­gram is merely a sug­ges­tion as a log­i­cal next step. It has high value for rel­a­tively low cost. We are tak­ing the work of our for­mer His­to­ri­ans and respect­fully mak­ing that work avail­able to our mem­ber­ship, as the nec­es­sary step towards an Updates project of our own.

Please share your ideas!

Publishing Options

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 7: Pub­lish­ing Options

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

If our “Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion” vol­umes are care­ful to only include infor­ma­tion not already printed in our 7 bound vol­umes, we can use these books on CD to stim­u­late our printed book sales. When some­one buys a Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion vol­ume and stud­ies the infor­ma­tion, they are likely to real­ize that they’d like one or more of the bound vol­umes – and we’ll make sure they know where to pur­chase that bound vol­ume! Mean­while, the “Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion” books on CD become a new source of income. Con­tinue read­ing

Historian Updates in Progress

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 5: His­to­rian Updates in Progress

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Here is my sug­ges­tion: Orga­nize and pub­lish what we already have as a series of “Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion” vol­umes on CD. We have, right now, enough man­u­scripts and par­tial man­u­scripts to pub­lish sev­eral thou­sand pages! Con­tinue read­ing

Moving Forward

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 4: Mov­ing Forward

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

We have described the His­to­rian Archives passed down to us from Bob Strong, our for­mer SFAA His­to­rian. We have sev­eral fil­ing cab­i­nets full of paper records, notes, and other genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion. We dis­cussed cre­at­ing an online Dig­i­tal Library cat­a­log, as a means of let­ting peo­ple know what we have.

The His­to­rian Archives also include thou­sands upon thou­sands of com­puter files. These files con­tain the Strong Updates man­u­scripts, addi­tional Update books in progress, and other col­lected and sub­mit­ted infor­ma­tion. We also have var­i­ous name indexes and other records. The amount of infor­ma­tion we have is actu­ally quite staggering!

In Part 3, we explained that cat­a­loging and pre­serv­ing the His­to­rian Archives is merely a first step, and not ter­ri­bly inter­est­ing in itself. Part 1 does have a tan­gi­ble result – an online dig­i­tal library with pho­tographs, fam­ily albums, and a cat­a­log of the infor­ma­tion we have hid­den away in the His­to­rian Archives.

Now, mov­ing for­ward, let’s sug­gest what we could do as a next step. This is just an idea of mine; it hasn’t been decided or acted upon; but it’s a way to accom­plish a major SFAA goal with­out a large time or finan­cial com­mit­ment. Con­tinue read­ing

WordPress Scheduled Posts Not Appearing

Well. I wrote the entire Shar­ing our Knowl­edge series, and sched­uled the arti­cles to come out once per day. Two days passed, and noth­ing appeared! A bit of look­ing around with Google shows that many other Web­mas­ters have hit the same prob­lem. The “sched­ule a post” fea­ture is bro­ken in the lat­est ver­sions of Word­Press. (Word­Press is the soft­ware run­ning this Web site.)

I’ve wasted the past hour going through var­i­ous peo­ples’ attempts to solve the prob­lem. No luck! For­tu­nately, some­one has solved it, and pro­vided a Word­Press Plu­gin to fix it. And… it looks like it’s fixed! Kudos to 5ubliminal and the Sched­uled M.I.A.s Plu­gin!

The Digital Library

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 3: The Dig­i­tal Library

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

The key here, is to “show what we got” on the Inter­net in a way that peo­ple can find us. Peo­ple look­ing for spe­cific Strong geneal­ogy related to the first five gen­er­a­tions can already find us in Google. But what about the infor­ma­tion buried in those fil­ing cab­i­nets, or the updates sub­mit­ted to us as com­puter files? There is no indi­ca­tion online – yet – that those things even exist.

My local library has their cat­a­log online. I have to go to the library to pick up the book, but I can see what they have, by search­ing with my com­puter. I’d like to do some­thing sim­i­lar with the His­to­rian Archives.

Recovering from PC/AT and Floppy Disks

Recov­er­ing from PC/AT and Floppy Disks

I’m not sug­gest­ing that we place every­thing we know online – far from it! I’m sug­gest­ing we make a com­plete inven­tory of what we have, and place the inven­tory online. Show what we know! You can well imag­ine that mak­ing that inven­tory is a large project in itself, going through six­teen file cab­i­net draw­ers, file folder by file folder.

The result is that we actu­ally know what we have, and we know what we have avail­able to share. Some infor­ma­tion will undoubt­edly be pri­vate, and we won’t want to adver­tise to the world at large that we have it. But with nearly every­thing we’ve been col­lect­ing for decades, we do want to tell the world we have it. That’s a large part of why we are here!

A dig­i­tal cat­a­log is not ter­ri­bly excit­ing. It does not pro­vide an inter­est­ing answer to “Why would I want to join?” But it’s a nec­es­sary and impor­tant first step. Let’s look at some more inter­est­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties. Con­tinue read­ing