Random Genealogy: Online Genealogy Collaboration

Random Genealogy’s article on “Online Genealogy Collaboration” reviews several collaborative genealogy programs to help family members work together online to create and maintain their family history websites and genealogy data.

They review The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding v5, PhpGedView, and phpmyfamily.

My brother and I have been talking about expanding our family’s website to encompass our genealogy research, as well as to make it easier to share with other family members. This has been going on since last year, and we are just now getting around to it. What I have found is surprising, to say the least. There is a lot of good online genealogy software out there. I’m not talking about simply exporting your genealogy information to a web page format. I’m talking about true, real-time collaboration, that doesn’t require you to upload a new batch of files everytime you make changes or additions. They are database driven, don’t require a lot of know-how (most have clear instructions and a helpful community), some are even free, and, well, they are just plain cool.

While is ideal as a collaborative blog, to manage family tree information, those three programs are options I’m considering adding to this blog.

Have you worked with these? What do you think? Have you gotten them to integrate with WordPress or your blogging software?

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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6 Responses to Random Genealogy: Online Genealogy Collaboration

  1. I’ve used two of the programs mentioned: TNG (which is up to version 6) and PHPGedView. Both are really great programs.

    PHPGedView is free and works great. I just had some issues with it and decided to fork out the money for TNG. I was glad I did.

    TNG offers loads more options and really is just an amazing piece of software. Plus, the author is willing to help out if you have issues. How many people do you know that will do that?

    As far as integrating into WordPress–no. I haven’t seen anything yet but wish it was so. It’s hard to get a consistent look. There are members of the TNG community that use WP and are trying to come up with some sort of workable solution.

  2. Colin P says:

    I did a little bit of research into exactly this point, and found an ideal companion to WP in that the guts of both can be hidden and then ‘dressed’ with themes or templates. Integration is thus very possible – in fact Keith the program’s author runs his site on WP.

    So check out Retrospect GDS at http://www.infused-solutions.com/retrospect2. Just like WP it is nominally free (under a GNU General Public License). You do need your own webspace and a database, but most WP installations are set up this way anyway. After installation, you just upload your latest gedcom file to keep things current.

    Sorry I can’t show you a live version as I’m still (very) slowly building a website that combines both seamlessly! There is a demo on the Retrospect site though.

  3. @Colin P:

    Let me know when you have it all put together as I would be interested in the process. Please report how it goes “seamlessly” together, since I can’t find any instructions anywhere on this.

  4. Bridget says:

    My site uses both TNG and WordPress–not so much “integrated” as simply playing together side-by-side. I’m concerned that too much meshing of the applications could make upgrades a nightmare. That said, I would like to use the drop down TNG navigation menu, but I can’t figure out how to make it accessible from the WordPress side–the current navigation links are in the sidebar. Unfortunately, WordPress does not seem to be very popular among those who visit the TNG forum.

  5. @Bridget:

    These are common complaints from people who think they can easily integrate, which they should, but can’t. I’d love to hear a solution if you can find one.

  6. Pingback: Family History Blogging Resources and Tips | Learning from Lorelle

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