Sun, 22 July 2012
In this episode author Gena Philibert Ortega and I talk about her new book From the Family Kitchen: Discover your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes. Who doesn’t love yummy home cooking? There is a lot to be learned about our ancestors, and in particular those elusive female ancestors, through a study of our culinary history.
We’ll be talking about the invaluable genealogical records that are so often over looked, ways that you can really dig in to your fabulous food family history, and I’m even going to share a recipe and utensil that our grandmother’s use and that you can still use today to make super scrumptious treats for your family. (Video coming to the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel!)
Speaking of grandmas, I finally found my awesome grandma in California in the 1940 census and it was a snap because the California index along with several other states on July 13, 2012 by Ancestry. Grandma and Grandpa were just 3 months away from moving in to their first real home which they were in the process of having built, and from the birth of their first child, my mom.
FamilySearch continues to add records to the free familysearch.org website. They just announced that they have added the 1881 and 1891 Scotland Census Indexes and Millions More records for Brazil, China, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Other Countries.
Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website:
We’ve got an entirely new website for you, and thanks again to all of you who have been writing in. I know we’ve had some hiccups along the way getting the Premium feed switched over, but that’s up and running now, and let me remind you, Premium Members are now getting all 88 Premium Episodes published to date.
In the past you would get the most recent 6 episodes and then a new one each month. But now, you have a wealth of episodes available to you. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be able to make all of the content available to you Premium Members, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but the old site just couldn’t handle it.
Premium Membership is now a HUGE value – same price, at least for now - $29.95 gets you one whole year’s access to all of those episodes.
“My question is how do I access the early premium episodes, I always listen to Genealogy Gems / Premium via iTunes?”
Lisa’s Answer: Sign in to your premium membership. From the menu go to Premium Episodes and there you will find instructions for updating your premium podcast feed. It’s important to delete your current premium feed in iTunes first and add the new feed. The need feed will download all the episodes for you and then bring you the new ones as they are published.
Mike wrote in to say: “The new website looks great. Having recently redesigned one at work, I know how much time it can take. I particularly appreciate the back catalog of premium podcasts and have started listening to them. And I hope that your video on hard drive organization will finally motivate me to get electronically organized. Keep up the good work!”
Lisa’s Answer: Thank you very much Mike I really appreciate it!
I am really tickled that the new site was Randy Seaver’s Tuesday Tips on July 10, 2012 on his wonderful Genea-Musings blog which you will find at www.geneamusings.com
Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website his Tuesday's Tip - Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Website
Thank you Randy!
Life After iGoogle Follow up
In Genealogy Gems podcast episode #136 I gave you a neat solution to the demise of iGoogle. As you know Google has announced it will be discontinuing iGoogle which is the way you can customize the Google homepage just for you, and here on the podcast we’ve talked many times about how to customize it specifically for genealogy research. Now while it won’t go away until later in 2013, there’s no time like the present to make a switch and Netvibes.com is a great alternative. So in our last episode I walked you through a special process for converting your tabs and your RSS feed gadgets to a new free Netvibes account to get you started in the transition. And I also published a video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel to show it to you step by step.
Nanby said: “Thanks for saving our iGoogle pages. I am going to work on your solution.”
Lee wrote: “Looking forward to your help in converting from iGoogle, and LOVE that all the Premium podcasts are available. Thank you thank you!”
Kim commented on the Genealogy Gems blog:
“I glanced at NetVibes this weekend, but knew you would be addressing the issue! I loved your comment, ".....this will be fun"! You actually make it so easy for us to follow along and yes, even make it 'fun' :) Appreciate the tutorial and I'll be watching for more.”
I you've been trying to get your genealogy vibe on by converting from iGoogle to Netvibes but you’re having trouble (and I've heard from a couple of you) rest assured, it does work. However there are a few things I want to remind you about.
First, this only converts your iGoogle tabs and your RSS gadgets such as gadgets you have for following blogs and podcasts. It can’t convert gadgets that were made specifically for iGoogle because they are coded for iGoogle. However, don’t worry because there are lots of great Netvibe gadgets that can do many of the same things.
Also, in this conversion, it is MANDATORY that you follow the directions exactly! It won't work otherwise. So for example, while it might seem like it should be easier to just drag your mouse over the code to highlight it for copying rather than right-clicking and using SELECT ALL which I tell you to do in the instructions, don’t do it, because I found that it absolutely can make a difference. I don’t know what that is, I’m not a programmer, I just play one on TV, so that’s why I really tried to carefully write out the instructions in the show notes, and demonstrate them in the video.
I know that it may seem like you are doing too many extra steps by copying and creating an .XML document just to turn around and convert it and then copy it as a .TXT document, but every single step as I described it is critical to the conversion working properly. So if you’re having trouble, I would recommend printing out the instructions from the show notes page, and doing each step and checking it off to be sure you don’t miss anything.
But please, if it gets frustrating, just know that you do not have to convert iGoogle. I don’t want you to get bogged down with the conversion and pull your hair out. Simply start a new Netvibes dashboard and add the feed manually by using copy and paste. It will take a little longer to make the transition, but it’s not that bad and it will save you from further headache.
And stay tuned because I'll be doing additional videos showing you how to start a Netvibes page from scratch and then how to really jazz it up which is going to be really fun!
Now I just want to answer a couple of specific listener questions in case it will help the rest of you.
Don wrote in to say that sometimes the Command bar wasn’t visible in Internet Explorer, and he’s absolutely right. Some folks will not have their Command bar activated so that might cause some confusion when you try to follow the conversion instructions.
How to Activate Your IE Command Bar
1. Right click on a bit of blank space in the browser bar area at the top
2. a little popup menu will appear
3. from there you can check mark Command
4. the bar and the Page menu will become visible
Leroy wrote: “I watched you podcast on Netvibes. Nice solution to the loss of iGoogle. Want to know if Netvibes runs on both Mac OS and Windows platforms? Thanks in advance for the assistance.”
Lisa’s Answer: Like iGoogle, Netvibes is on the "cloud" and resides on the Netvibes website. This means it can be accessed by any computer, regardless of operating system. It also means you can access your homepage from any computer no matter where you are with your user name and password which makes it very flexible and portable.
Julie from AZ wrote to say “Been trying to sign up for a basic account, and can't get pass the sign-up page. Every user name imaginable seems to already be in us. Just keep getting the same message. Any suggestions?”
Lisa’s Answer: Netvibes has been around about as long as Google which is quite a while in technological terms, and I notice the same thing with Google when it comes to user names being used up. What I would recommend is to just get a little more unusual with the name you choose.
One idea that works also for passwords is to create a user name that stands for a sentence:
I Am Migrating To Netvibes From iGoogle = IAMTNFI (the first letter of each word)
Kay writes: “I listened to the most recent Episode 136 and was so excited! First of all, it's terrific news about the Premium service and the access to all the podcasts. This has always been very frustrating to me - I listen while I walk and then most of the time I would forget to save the podcasts on my hard drive before they were gone forever.
So glad to hear there is a solution to iGoogle. BUT the transfer isn't working. When I attempt to convert the source file from my iGoogle page to the OPML format, I get one of two results. Either nothing because the file is "too big" or I get an OPML file that's only about 8 lines long - this is a file that will not import into NetVibes dashboard. I just get "0 files imported".
Lisa’s Answer: I heard from a couple of you that you also got an error message like Kay did saying your iGoogle code was too big to convert, and you told me you have pretty big iGoogle pages. I have a pretty large iGoogle page with 12 tabs full of gadgets and I just went through the instructions again and it converted. I don’t know why that happens, and I can’t seem to replicate the problem, so the best thing I can suggest is that you make a list of the iGoogle gadgets that you have – the ones that are not RSS feed gadgets – and then delete them before going through the conversion process. That should make the overall file smaller. And then you will have a list of the kinds of gadgets you were using in iGoogle so that you can look for replacements in NetVibes.
And the "zero files" result is the same one I got when I was just highlighting and copying, or when I didn't save the code into an XML file first and then re-open it and copy it into the conversion box. I'm guessing with your know-how you might be doing some short cuts that just don't work in this case.
Genealogy Gems Toolbar Tips
A lot of folks have been downloading the free Genealogy Gems Toolbar, and Janice wrote me to ask about how to tweak it a bit. She says: “I just recently installed the Gems toolbar and really would like to keep it. But after installing the Gems Bar it set my home page to "Bing" I had my default set to "Google" but have not been able reset it. Can you help me? Thanks.”
Lisa’s Answer: The toolbar will set Bing as your homepage – and that’s something that is set up by the company that develops and manages the toolbar so unfortunately I don’t have any control of it. However, you can certainly opt out of the Bing option when you install the toolbar.
If you already have it installed, you can certainly reset your homepage – and Janice is talking about the page that the little house button on your browser is set to.
How to Change Your Homepage in Firefox back to Google:
1. Go up to the menu (Make sure your Menu bar is on and visible) and clicking TOOLS
2. Select OPTIONS
3. Select the GENERAL tab in the pop up window
4. Paste http://www.google.com in the "Home Page" field
5. Click OK
6. That will reset your Home button on the Firefox browser back to Google.
Internet Explore: just click the little arrow next to the button and follow the menu prompts to reset it to http://www.google.com
John asked about another feature. “I recently reinstalled your toolbar on my IE9 browser. I've found this to be a very useful tool. However, I noticed a few things changed soon after adding the toolbar. When I add a new tab in my browser it defaults to what I believe to be a Bing search page with your logo on it. I miss my old New Tab page where I could click on several of my most used sites. I'm not even sure what the default was prior to adding the toolbar.”
Lisa’s Answer: When you install the toolbar it will set the page you get when you click to open a new browser tab page, to a search page which shows a search box and a Genealogy Gems logo. If you don’t want a search page on new tabs, you can change it back to the default page that shows your most recent pages as options to click when you open a new tab.
How to Reset New Browser Tabs:
1. Click the wrench icon in the toolbar menu
2. Click the ADDITIONAL SETTINGS
3. Uncheck the box for "show a search box" for new tabs
Thanks to all of your who have installed the free Genealogy Gems Toolbar. I really want you to enjoy it and hope these customizations help you do so!
GEM: Interview with Gena Philibert Ortega
When you click this link to buy Gena’s book you are helping to financially support the free Genealogy Gems Podcast at no additional cost to you, and you'll save money. Thank you! Family Tree $10 Off Purchase at Shop Family Tree. Use coupon code FAMILY1050 during checkout. Expires 07/31/2013.
Watch the Companion Interview Video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel
Watch the Companion Interview Video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel
Please be sure to click the SUBSCRIBE button while you are there!
BONUS VIDEO: Gena and I hit the kitchen to make a blast from the past. Watch the video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. Be sure and leave a comment, "Like" the video, and pass it along to your friends!
Genealogy Gems App users will find the video in the BONUS CONTENT for this episode.
Cool Cooking iPad Apps (click images below:)
Sun, 8 July 2012
Everyone is concerned about Google pulling the plug on iGoogle, but in today's episode I have a fantastic solution for you. And you will find the companion video at my Genealogy Gems YouTube channel and as the video bonus content in the Genealogy Gems Podcast App. And the new Genealogy Gems website has been launched!
It’s here! I promised you it was coming and it has. The brand new website is up and running at genealogygems.com and at lisalouisecooke.com. You’ll find Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems in both places. The old site was 5 years which is ancient in techie years, so it was time.
Back in the Fall of 2011 I began laying the framework for the new site, well aware that the old one had become cluttered, and it wasn’t keeping up with all the new versions of web browsers out there. Things were starting to not display properly.
A few months later in March 2012 listener and Premium Member Simona wrote me to tell me she had noticed it too. And she had some opinions about the magazine delivery nature of the podcast episodes. The original model for the premium podcast was like a magazine. When you subscribe you get the last few episodes, and then each new episode as it was published. After about 3 months the oldest episode would drop off and the new one would come on. There were a few reasons for this which included the capabilities of the old site. Here’s what Simona had to say:
“I downright LOVE your productions Lisa and think you are the sweetest and smartest. But I get frustrated and even -dare I say- annoyed with the shelf life limit of your premium podcasts. You see I very rarely hard-wire sync my idevices to my notebook pcs. So I end up missing more premium podcasts than I download and listen to.”
OK, well I obviously completely agree with Simona on her comments on the website, and the email just helped support the decision I had made to invest in a new site. And I hope Simona and all of you are happy with all the changes and upgrades.
NEW SITE UPGRADES:
Everything is on one site: The blog, the free episodes, Premium Membership, and our brand new store.
The free iTunes podcast feed and the Premium feeds are both functioning now.
Premium Membership includes ALL past episodes, and continued access to those episodes while you are a member.
But the big news for Premium members is that premium membership is no longer a magazine subscription model. I’ve built a site that is set up to hold all the gems I’ve created for you over the last 5 years, and the many more years to come. Yep, right now we are on Premium episode #88 and ALL 88 episodes are available to you as part of your premium membership. What we are creating for you is a growing catalogue of gems and tutorials and genealogy entertainment that you can tap into when you want it. And Genealogy Gems Premium Membership gives you access to all of it! And of course each month we are adding new premium episodes and videos so that catalogue will just keep growing and growing.
You know sometimes a gem or topic isn’t what you need this week, but it’s exactly right for what you want to do 2 months from now. Now you can sign in to your membership and grab the gems you need when you need them. And I hope you are as excited about the amount and accessibility of content as I am!
Now Simona brought up a question about accessing the premium episodes and downloading them to her devices. Here’s the thing – as I’ve said many times before iTunes doesn’t support premium membership sites, so we have had to custom build a feed for you so that at least you can add your premium content through iTunes. But for now that still means plugging in your iPod. Technology is moving quickly though and we are constantly searching for ways to make that process easier, and unfortunately we have to rely on Apple to help make that possible. I’m really proud that we have managed to build a way to deliver premium content to you through iTunes and I’ll let you know if and when we develop a method for wireless download, as is available for the free podcast through our Genealogy Gems App (available in the iTunes app store and at Amazon for Android.)
And I’m very happy to say that the response to the new website has been 100% positive. I had braced myself for some folks who didn’t want change, but so far not a one. You were ready for an upgrade as much as I was. Here’s what just some of you had to say:
Robin in Ohio says: “Your new web page is AWESOME! Love the colors, layout and info. All your Gems are sooooo helpful, upbeat and truly some great genealogy fun!!! I look forward to listening to your podcast while riding my bike and gardening. You are such a genealogy-go-getter and amazing example to me. Thanks for sharing so many GenGems and some of your life events along the way. It makes the person behind the cyber voice so pleasantly real. Thanks for sharing your talents with me”
Sue in Nevada says “What a drastic difference! It is so neat, concise, and user-friendly. Can't wait till it is fully up and running. It was worth the wait....” Sue in Nevada
Teri says: “Wow. Really nice look. Makes you a destination site!”
Christine commented on The Genealogy Gems Podcast Facebook Fan Page: "I just "peeked"--1000% improvement! Not only is it more user-friendly, the design & colors are more "you"
I’m ecstatic that you love the site and I hope that those of you listening who have been listening on your mobile device and maybe haven’t stopped by the website in a while drop in and see what Robin, Sue, Teri and Christine are raving about.
Facebook Fan Page
Attention all Facebook users! There's been an upsetting development in the way that site is run, and the unfortunate result is that many of you are no longer receiving Venice's posts. What they've done affects all fan pages. It used to be that whenever I posted a status update it would send it out to every single person who is subscribed to the Genealogy Gems page. Well, no longer. Now it tells us, underneath every post what percentage of subscribers it has actually sent that post out to. And usually that number is right around the 25% mark. Which means that the site deliberately and arbitrarily chose 75% of you to not receive it. But here's the rub: On every single individual post, it now offers us a "Promote" option, where we can pay them money to increase the number of fans who will receive that specific post. To get the note/video/picture/song to show up on the walls of 100% of our Facebook fans, it could cost us around $50. Not as a one-time payment, but rather PER POST.
But there is something you can do. Follow these instructions to guarantee that you'll receive all of our subsequent updates:
1) Sign into Facebook.
2) Go to: www.facebook.com/genealogygems
3) Hover your cursor over the "Liked" box.
4) Put a checkmark next to the words "Show in News Feed."
I’m sorry for the inconvenience and really appreciate your support!
From Barbara: “Hi Lisa, Greetings from a Canadian Premium Podcast listener. I got a notification on my iGoogle home page today and was gobsmacked (my ancestors were British) to see that they are discontinuing iGoogle on the 1st of November next year. This seems really strange, given that they just released the new update a short time ago, however that’s Google for you. If you don’t like what they’re doing today, wait awhile – they’ll be doing something new by tomorrow. This is one change that’s going to be rather sad for me. I’ve enjoyed my iGoogle home page. I sure hope they have something exciting and new coming to make up for this.”
From Linda: “I just looked on my iGoogle home page, and it says iGoogle will not be available after November 1, 2013? (--happens to also be my birthday, so an easy date to remember, for me at least) What?!?!? I have got it all set up, thanks in part to you, and now it is going away...it just ain't fair. You are going to need a new webinar telling us what to do now, cause I don't have any idea how to make it work in Chrome!
There is life after iGoogle, and I have a solution for you!
GEM: Life After iGoogle
In this gem we are going to look at Life After iGoogle.
It’s pretty challenging to stay organized online isn’t it? It seems like every day something new is happening, and it can take some superhero powers to stay up to date while you’re still working on today’s to do list.
That’s why iGoogle was such a gem! In webinars, presentations, my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox and as part of Premium Membership I have taught thousands of you how to convert iGoogle into your personal genealogy homepage. We added gadgets that could accomplish the tasks you needed to get done, then expanded with tabs, and even dressed it all up with custom themes. And I’ve heard from so many of you have it revolutionized your online computing and research experience.
However, in 2012 as we here in the U.S. were celebrating Independence Day and the freedom we enjoy, Google very quietly announced that it was doing away with iGoogle. The online freedom we were so happily enjoying came to a screeching halt. Ouch!
Now even though I’m known as the Google Guru, first and foremost, I see my role as genealogy gems goddess. And that means that I am primarily focused on bringing you the best gems, not just Google gems. So after a good 5 minute mourning session by the iGoogle gravesite, I got to work on a new gem that would meet all of our homepage needs, and dare I say even surpass iGoogle in some areas. And don’t worry, what I’ve come up with isn’t going to force you to start from scratch. We’re going to move much of your iGoogle content to a brand spanking new genealogy homepage and then add lots of gems to it.
Today I’m very happy to introduce you to www.Netvibes.com
Yep, there is life after iGoogle. And once you get into the Netvibes vibe you’re going be doing the genealogy happy dance. So let’s get started.
Guess what: Netvibes has been around as long as iGoogle! Both were launched in 2005. But here’s the thing, Google never figured out how to make money with iGoogle, and that plays a huge role in why it’s going away. However, the Netvibes team discovered early on that a personal dashboard just wasn’t all that conducive to a bunch of advertising to the pay the bills, and so they expanded their business model to provide expanded premium products to businesses at a price, that allows them to continue to provide the free service to their individual users. The fact that they have figured out how to make their business profitable means that there’s a much better chance that the Netvibes dashboard will be around for a while. And believe me, with the demise of iGoogle Netvibes has already seen a bump in users, and I predict that’s about to increase dramatically.
The first thing we need to do is import your existing iGoogle content into Net Vibes. And if you don’t have an iGoogle page, cool – it just saves you from having to do this step, but hang in there because you are definitely going to want to set up a Netvibes genealogy dashboard with the rest of us which we will do in just a minute.
PLEASE NOTE: Follow these instructions EXACTLY. Any deviation will cause it not to work. And be sure to use Internet Explorer NOT Firefox for this procedure.
1. Log in to a Google account.
2. Go to this page: http://tinyurl.com/6wm8jzo
3. In your IE browser menu click on PAGE (in the COMMAND bar, which if it is not showing you will need to activate) select SAVE AS and name the file iGoogle_code.xml (save it as an XML file to your computer’s hard drive)
4. Open the XML file that you just saved
5. Right click on the page and select SELECT ALL and then copy right-clicking and selecting COPY
6. Go to this page: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/07/export-igoogle-feeds-to-opml.html Scroll down until you see a box
7. Paste the code in the first box
8. Click the CONVERT TO OPML button
9. Copy the converted code
10. Open a new document in Notepad
11. Paste the code on the page
12. Save the file: From the menu select File – SAVE AS and name the file to_netvibes.txt (You are just going to save it as a text file)
13. Go to www.netvibes.com
14. Sign up for a free BASIC account and select the Default layout.
15. On the starting dashboard click ADD CONTENT in the upper left had corner of the page.
16. Click ADD A FEED (the orange RSS button)
17. Under the feedback next to OPML: click IMPORT
18. Browse your computer and select to the to_netvibes.txt file
19. Click the IMPORT button
20. This will import any tabs and RSS feeds that you had in iGoogle
This looks a LOT like iGoogle don’t you think? Making this move is going to be a breeze because the two services are SO much a like!
Now of course, not all of the iGoogle gadgets converted. That’s because they are iGoogle gadgets. You’re going to have to locate new gadgets from Netvibes.
I’m going to set you up with some of the most important gadgets you’ll need. And you can bet I’ll be covering more customized gems in upcoming Genealogy Gems Premium episodes.
Under Add Content there are a couple of different areas where you can get gadgets, which are called Widgets in Netvibes. In addition to using the search box, you can browse Categories, select from Essential Widgets, and you can add more RSS feeds which you’ll use to follow podcasts, blogs, and other types of syndicated content.
Let’s start by deleting the iGoogle gadgets that didn’t convert properly. Just click the little X button in the upper right corner of the widget just like you would have in iGoogle.
Essential Widgets are your desktop tools. Lisa suggests:
Before we go any further, let’s clean up and organize a bit. Moving widgets around is super easy. Click the title bar of the widget, drag, and drop.
And there you have it, in just a few minutes time you’ve made the dreaded move! Stay tuned because I have a LOT more great stuff for you to do to get your genealogy vibe on.
GEM: Genealogy Gems Song by Mike Steward
ArtistSignal is a music contest:
Click to Vote for Michael’s music.