11 September 2008

Footnote Page: The possibilities for all of us

I was intrigued by Footnote.com marketing director Justin Schroepfer's comments in his email that also included the Footnote Pages press release. Among the points he stressed:

"Multiple Uses – Footnote pages can be used to create tribute pages for family & friends, memorial pages for our ancestors or research pages to gather information. Pages can also be created for events, places and organizations."

Do Tracing the Tribe readers see the same opportunities that I do for pages devoted to long-lost communities, cemeteries, landsmanshaftn and other groups, including Jewish genealogy societies? This is another alternative to getting the word out in a fast-growing networking opportunity.

I just had a fruitful conversation with Justin, who says we are on the same page (Footnote Page) about events, places and organizations. It appears to be a win-win situation for many groups. Of course, I'm looking at how Jewish genealogists and societies can utilize this new means of communication.

This is just the beta version, he reminded me, and there are many possibilities that will be worked in. Footnote wants everyone to utilize this new feature. There are no restrictions on the amount of content that can be uploaded, he stressed. It is completely open, and it is free. The Pages can include Footnote documents as well as photographs and content from other sources.

If an organization is researching a community, for example, it can set up a page for that community and its history, post historic and contemporary photographs, add to the timeline, locate and upload documents for descendants of that community, including immigration records, naturalization records, with items from Footnote and from other sources.

I asked Justin specifically about using these pages for memorials to destroyed communities or the Jewish history of other places, or for landsmanshaftn (immigrant societies). His answer: All of this and more, and we're looking forward to it.

Genealogy societies can set up a page for future events, for community history, for all sorts of information.

The first beneficiary of this feature is my grandfather, Sidney (Shaje) Fink. Although the only thing now featured is this photo. He was born "on Purim, the day of the big blizzard" in 1898, raised in Sukhostaw (Galicia, Austro-Hungary ->Poland ->Ukraine), and immigrated to the US as a young teenager.

The photo is from 1914, when he signed up to serve in the Jewish Legion's 39th Royal Fusiliers and serve in then-Palestine when it was still part of the Ottoman Empire.

In a pleasant surprise, I had also forgotten how many pages were already in my Gallery (the place to store documents obtained from Footnote), and I will be posting more of those to his page. His page is here.

My to-do list includes posting additional Footnote and other documents, photos, texts and descriptions for members of my FINK, DARDASHTI, TOLLIN/TALALAY and BANK families.

A quick search of the cool - is there an age limit on using this word? - interactive SSDI feature made it a snap. I could have set up numerous pages in a matter of minutes just from the results of that one SSDI search. All you need to do is click the little Footnote Page icon to set up a page. Try it, you'll like it!

I'm looking forward to hearing from Tracing the Tribe readers who have set up Footnote Pages. Do share these with us.

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