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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FamilySearch Forums has facelift

FamilySearch Forums has a new look and more integration into the FamilySearch.org family of websites. The new URL is https://www.familysearch.org/learn/forums/en/index.php. One of the changes involves incorporating the consolidated sign-in procedure for the site making it compatible with the other FamilySearch and LDS websites. You can now login with either your LDS Account or your FamilySearch account. The transition is designed to allow you to merge your old sign-in account with the new one, thereby preserving your history of posts. One benefit of the change over is that you no longer have to sign in separately for the Forums site.

Hopefully, this step towards greater integration of the site with the rest of the websites will result in a higher profile for Forums. Here is a screen shot of the Forums startup page:


You can see that the program is still called FamilySearch Forums (beta), but it has a new look. Of course, if you haven't visited the site before, you won't know that it has changed. Even though the URL has changed the old link still works. Currently, although the site is linked to FamilySearch.org, it is literally buried in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. The only link is under the Community link which comes up closed. Although some of the users of FamilySearch.org are becoming acquainted with the Research Wiki, it is unlikely that many have made their way to the Forums unless they randomly click on links to see what happens. Even if you are lucky enough to find the link, clicking takes you to the Wiki Sub-forums as shown in the following screen shot:


From there, you have to know that the rest of the Forums exist and click on the link in the upper left-hand corner.

The Forums are divided into two main areas: FamilySearch Support and Research Advice. The site presently has 1,719 active members with 12,200 total members. It could be a valuable tool for all of the users of the FamilySearch websites, but hidden, like it is, it will have a low profile. There has been some discussion about raising the site's prominence but apparently those steps have yet to be taken.

Even though there is a facelift, it appears that the site maintains its functionality. When I logged in this morning responsiveness of the site seemed to be way slow but that could have been my connection.

3 comments:

  1. So I decided to check this out, after signing in it said my join date was 01-01-1970, haha! Oh well I like the look of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can find FS Forums easily at http://fhc.familysearch.org/ - bottom of the last column.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where do you sign in??? There is no place to sign in? What is the old saying,If it aint broke ,Don't fix it

    ReplyDelete