Taking the plunge – 1 (Online family trees introduction)

Well, kiwitrees is now fully operational, so time for me to "take the plunge" and start blogging….

I'm pleased with that title, because "taking the plunge" is something I want to talk about here. I'm referring to that moment when you, the family historian, starts wondering if you should risk that scary place, the world-wide-web, and display all your years of hard work to the world. I took that step about  five years ago, and can honestly say I've never looked back. But I do recognise that for many, and especially my own age group (upper-50's to low-60's),  21st century technology can be daunting, and many folk simply see it as just too risky. But I don't believe it has to be that way. With careful planning, the right products, and good support (kiwitrees and webtrees, of course) it can be safe, and even a lot of fun. So, I'm going to use this blog to share my thoughts on the matter, hopefully to give you some encouragement to have a go. So, what are the issues that concern people? I think these are some of them:

  • Privacy. Although family history is largely about ancient ancestors, people long since deceased, our family trees often include information about the living, or at least the more recently deceased.
  • Security. The www is FULL of people who are looking for ways to steal, damage, copy, and generally mess-with any information that is displayed.
  • Expense. Having a web site, using research sites like ancestry.com, owning a computer. All these things cost money.
  • Complexity. Everywhere you look on the 'web there are different products offering THE solution for putting your family tree on-line. How do you choose? Why do they all have different ways of doing things? How can I transfer my information from one to the other if I change my mind?

I'm sure there are many more issues, but these are the first that come to mind. In coming days and weeks I'll start to address these, and explain how I think you can overcome them and start to see the benefits as greater than the pitfalls.