Tag Archives: feedback

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011: BBC Magazines wants your feedback

4 Mar

It is week on from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 and BBC Magazines (the new folks in charge of the show) want to hear your feedback on the show.

The following paragraph is taken from the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website:

If you visited this year’s show, we hope that you had a fantastic time. The Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team were there the whole weekend, and it was great to be able to meet so many of you – but now we want to know what you think. What was your favourite part of the event? What could the organisers do better next year? Let us know by emailing your thoughts to Matt Elton at mattelton@bbcmagazines.com.

I will be sending Matt an email, but I thought I would share some of my thoughts here first. Overall I thought it was an excellent show, but it could be improved.

My favourite part of the show sounds a bit odd now I come to write it down, but standing upstairs on the gallery and looking down on to the ground floor and all the stands with hundreds of people wandering about. I have never thought of myself as a people watcher but it was great to see people exploring the show, wandering from stand to stand or purposefully darting to their next talk. It was reassuring to see so many people engaged enough in genealogy to make the effort to visit the show.

However, it wasn’t all good, but most of my negative points are pretty minor, such as a shortage of tables and chairs and a lack of choice from the food vendors (from a vegetarian point of view). It appeared that the only cash machine in the building was out of order for the entire three days, although it didn’t really bother me because I was there for three days and could get more cash before coming the next day.

My only real concern would be the content of the talks, there was a good mix of subjects but in my opinion the experience level seemed to be very much targeted towards the beginner. The time alloted for each talk (45 mins in most cases I think) was not really enough to go into much depth in any case. Whilst there are still aspects of genealogy where I am a beginner, I am sure there are plenty of others like me that would appreciate a few more advanced topics being covered.

The line up of talks also seemed short on technology related subjects, such as file management and of course blogging and other social media. Back to more traditional methods I would like to see some talks covering best practices like citing sources, organising paper files and making backups.

Having said all that, the talks are only one part of the whole experience and I will of course be back next year, hopefully for all three days but if not then for the whole weekend at the very least.

Try out the latest tools in The National Archives Labs

17 Jun

The National Archives (in the UK) have announced a new way to try out some new tools for "sharing, re-using and accessing" their data in the form of The National Archives Labs.

The purpose of The National Archives Labs is to give users a chance to try out some new tools and applications that are in development, and to get feedback about their good and bad points. The idea of "labs" is nothing new these days, many genealogists will no doubt be familiar with FamilySearch Labs.

The hope is that users will play around with these tools and leave some feedback about your experiences. There are currently three tools available in The National Archives Labs:

  1. Valuation Office Map Finder
  2. Person Search
  3. UK history photo finder

The Valuation Office Map Finder looks like it is going to be a very useful tool, removing the need to consult the master maps and try to pinpoint the relevant map (and find the correct catalogue reference) for the property you are searching for, not an easy process on a small scale map.

The Person Search for me doesn’t really provide much more functionality than the normal catalogue search, so I am not sure that it is really needed, but I will have to play with that one further before I leave any feedback.

The technology behind the UK history photo finder doesn’t seem to be that new, searching for photos using a map, but it is a new way of accessing the image collections of The National Archives, which might not be seen otherwise. Although you can view the images for free, I would like to see some information on how the images can be used.

So put on your white coat and safety goggles and pay a visit to the labs, and let them know what you think of their new tools.

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