Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Back up Your Data Now or Cry: A short history of BYU Family History Videos

Back Up Your Data Now or Cry - James Tanner

I chose to make this video because I knew it might be the last for a while. I couldn't think of a more timely message than encouraging everyone to back up their data. The Brigham Young University Family History Library will keep producing outstanding genealogy-related videos, but I will be unavailable for a while. As of the date of this post, we have 336 videos online. We now have a number of videos that are available for viewing outside of our YouTube Channel thereby making them available for viewing directly in LDS Chapels. 

The BYU Family History Library began producing videos online back in 2014, just shortly before I moved from Mesa, Arizona to Provo, Utah. My first videos began appearing in July 2014, even before we became completely moved in to our Provo home. There are a number of fully capable and excellently prepared individuals who, I am sure, will carry on the tradition. The first live webinar we produced was the one entitled, "Why You Can't Trace Your Lineage Back to Adam" uploaded on March 4, 2016. 

The people making the videos are not all directly associated with the BYU Family History Library. Some of them are professors or staff from the University. Others are members of the greater genealogical community in Utah. We have quite a number of very experienced genealogical researchers and other experts in the genealogical community that have participated over the past three years or so. 

The number of views we get on YouTube is almost invisible compared to the most common instructional or entertainment-oriented videos on this particular venue. In a sense, however, we are not competing with all the other companies and individuals on YouTube. We are trying to provide a wide-ranging selection of genealogically pertinent topics. We have seen steady growth in our viewership and we thank our loyal viewers, especially those who have taken the time to subscribe to our Channel. 

I realize that YouTube is probably not the first place most people would look for genealogy-related content. But for those who learn and remember visually, these videos are a good way to gain important information. 

Even the short instructional videos on the Channel take the presenters hours of preparation and production. I estimate that each of my webinar videos has taken at least five hours of production time. Some of the videos have taken a shorter time but some have taken much longer to produce. 

My absence from the BYU Family History Library may be only temporary, but there will be plenty of other people who can provide quality videos over the time I am not available. 

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