Iconic BYU Creamery ice cream and mint brownies welcomed attendees prior to the first ever off-campus BYU Summit held in January at the Mesa Arts Center. Attendees came for the brownies. They came for the ice cream. They came because they went to BYU. They came because they hope to go to BYU. They came to see a hero. They came to introduce their kids to their heroes. They came to hear Vocal Point. They came because they hope to be in Vocal Point. They came to hear something new. They came to feel some nostalgia, and connect to their BYU family.
Over 9 million users accessed FamilySearch’s online services in 2017, and the church-owned site shows no signs of slowing down in 2018. Patrons will discover even more family connections, record hints, and personalized services as the organization continues to expand and improve.
A notable update that officially went wide last year features a personalized home page. Once a user logs in, they’re immediately engaged in a variety of options related to their own family tree.
Designed to make the family history process easier, the dashboard’s highlights include:
- The appearance of the most recently-added photos and records, allowing patrons to conveniently browse new content contributed by others.
- Tailored notifications of possible matches or records to further one’s research.
- A ‘recommended tasks’ action list prompted by FamilySearch.
- Access to a clickable list of the last five people viewed, streamlining the process of research betweens online sessions.
- A place to create a to-do list.
- The option to view personal statistics based on previous activity on the site.
- Easy access to ‘support’ contact information, and even the opportunity to participate in a live chat with a member of the support team.
All of this is possible because millions of new records are added to FamilySearch every week. Search engines continuously work to match sources with current family tree information providing users with a constant flow of new links to explore.
Further evidences are the email notifications sent to patrons by FamilySearch. These are notices of record hints and possible family connections, or announcements that a family name is ready for temple work. Other event-specific notifications throughout the year prompt family historians to learn more about their forebears related to various dates in their lives.
The more time you spend on your personal family tree, the more relevant content will be sent to you through the customized dashboard or via email notifications. Basically, FamilySearch is working even when you’re not, and the results are just waiting for you to discover upon login. And this is the key. Many miss out on all that FamilySearch has to offer because they don’t sign in with a personal account.
New to look for in 2018: FamilySearch will introduce personal “discovery” experiences online that will be similar to the activities offered at physical Family History Discovery Center locations.
Also, FamilySearch Indexing will move completely to a web-based platform where it can be done on any browser with any computer or tablet device with an internet connection. No downloads or software needed: https://www.familysearch.org/indexing/