Now that we've crossed the "finish line" by officially releasing The Family History Guide website, I thought I'd take some time to describe how it all came to be - or, "how the race was run."
What does all this have to do with The Family History Guide? For the past seven months, I feel like I've been running a marathon of sorts, assembling a website from thousands of scattered family history pieces across the Internet. It began with a vision of what might be, continued with many small steps, and culminated yesterday with the website release.
Now let's go back to the starting line to see what kind of insanity must have overcome me to tackle a project like this (The Family History Guide, not the running ... although insanity helps in both cases). In December of 2014 I was volunteering at the new Sandy Granite Family History Center. I noticed that guests would often ask the same questions - some answers were covered in our quick reference guide, and some were not. I decided to put together a bigger reference - the Help File, a document with categories and links to documents on the Web. Then I thought about how few of our visitors were taking advantage of the great family history videos available on the Internet, so I created the Video File - a document with links to videos on the Web. But the two documents were not connected to each other ... what I needed was a central place to find resources, and step-by-step instructions on how to use them. I didn't want to create another link repository - those have been done, from small to large (think Cyndi's List).
It felt great - the content, design, and direction were coming together well - sort of like I felt the first few miles of a marathon felt, where your body gives you that runner's high. But there were a lot of difficult miles ahead, sorting through oceans of information while keeping the focus on the easy, the doable, and the meaningful.
After a few months, I shared a link with what I had done so far with Bob Ives, Technology Director at the Sandy Granite Family History Center. His reply - "We need to talk." My first thought was that I was in trouble somehow - but Bob had immediately grasped the possibilities of the site and was quite excited about it. Together we formed The Family History Guide, LLC. The next person who caught the vision was Sue Maxwell, noted family historian and blogger (granitegenealogy.blogspot.com), who has lent valuable support to The Family History Guide through social media.
And that takes us to this morning - where I'll wrap up the blog post for now, as Bob & I are scheduled to appear on K-Talk radio in a bit, to chat about ... what else? ... The Family History Guide.