Cyndi's Speaking Calendar - Available Topics
More topics can be created upon request, with advance notice.
The topics below can also be customized to fit the needs or the theme of your seminar.
- Evernote for Every Genealogist
Evernote is a free software tool that is a dream come true for the online researcher. Clip notes from the web, write notes, record audio or webcam notes, and more. Sync your research notebooks on the web, with your computer and every mobile device you own so that your research notes are with you everywhere you go. Learn the ins and outs of this valuable tool for your daily research routine.
- Evaluating Web Sites: 14 Years Later
14 years ago I presented a new lecture titled Evaluating Web Sites. All these years later several things have changed, while many things have stayed the same. How can you know whether what you find online is accurate and reliable? We'll discuss how to delve into online datasets and determine the original source of the materials, and then how to evaluate the material you find there.
- A Guided Tour of Cyndi's List 2.0
This begins with a brief history of Cyndi's List, followed by an overview of how to navigate the newly updated site and how to tell when the site is updated. Learn how to effectively use this valuable resource tool to as your jumping-off point onto the Internet.
- Advanced Googling for Your Grandma
Chances are that you are using Google on a daily basis. Chances are even better than you aren't using it to its full potential. Learn about Google's advance search options, as well as several more tools offered by Google that will enhance your research. We'll dig deep into a variety of Google's free resources and learn how to make them work for you.
- The Internet: Lower Your Expectations to Raise Your Research Potential
People say, "I've looked everywhere," "That site doesn't have anything useful," and "I've hit a brick wall" all because their expectations aren't met for what they assume should be available online. Genealogists should never assume anything in their research. That goes double for research on the Internet. We will explore several examples that demonstrate research success by moving beyond your expectations and using the Internet as it truly is.
- Genealogy Online in Pursuit of ________________
NOTE: This topic requires 4-6 months of prior notice in order to have it properly prepared for your conference or seminar.
Fill in the blank and this topic can be prepared for a location, a record type, research methods, or special topics. We can showcase resources online that will aid the audience and point them in the right direction for their genealogical research.
- The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper
When Google and traditional search engines don't return useful information, don't stop there. We will explore resources that are invisible to Google and hidden deep within web sites and proprietary databases. The "hidden web" lies buried within the collections for commercial web sites, libraries, archives, and museums. We will also talk about the importance of indexes that deep-link into web sites online, thus uncovering hidden gems of information that may not be found easily through a search engine query.
- Genealogy Online: Productive, Organized, and Successful
NOTE: This topic is for an all-day seminar, taking place over 4 lecture hours.
We'll take a walk through a day in the life of the online genealogist. We will go through the process of creating a research plan using online tools and services such as Evernote, Ancestry, FamilySearch, Cyndi's List and more. We will tackle how to keep yourself organized and on task, as well as how to write effective communications and research notes. Throughout the day we will touch on a wide variety of online sources and tools including social networking, databases, and records repositories.
- Productive Social Networking: A Genealogist's Water Cooler
It seems that the Internet and social networking both were made just for genealogists. Social networking can be a productive research venue. Share tools, methodologies, and advice with fellow genealogists. Interact with family members—both genealogists and non-genealogists—to share photos, documents, and stories of your common ancestors. Host collaborative research projects with others. We will discuss how to spend your social networking time in ways that will help you move your research efforts forward.
- The Internet: A Genealogist's Printing Press
Did you know you have become an author and a publisher? For a genealogist, writing and publishing online takes many forms: e-mails, message boards, mailing lists, social networking sites, blogs, wikis, web sites, and any forum/form in which you write something for the public to see. As an author and a publisher you have certain responsibilities to yourself and to other researchers to write clearly and with care. A well-written query, or reply to a query, can make all the difference in growing your family tree. We will discuss the ins and outs of various forums, along with how to make the most of your writing and publishing opportunities online.
- Foreign Language Tools for English-Speaking Genealogists
Whether you're reading an old letter, a record on microfilm, or a web site in a foreign language, don't despair. There are several tools and options available to help you get a basic idea of what it is you're reading, without taking a foreign language class. We'll explore various ways to use these tools to help decipher key words and special alphabet characters, moving you a bit further along in your research.
- Find the Silver Lining In the Cloud
The cloud is becoming home to many tools and functions that make our computing life easier every day. Learn which tools are useful for your genealogical research and how to implement those tools for optimum productivity.
- Pin Your Ancestors Down with Google Maps & Google Earth
Google Maps and Google Earth provide two wonderful sources for geographical assistance in tracking your ancestors and pinning them down for your research. Combined with other mapping resources online we will demonstrate how using these Google tools can give you a visual aid for your research. Follow migration paths, historical routes, and your own family’s path, marking them on the maps with information, photos and documentation.
- Plotting, Scheming, and Mapping Online
The Internet is a source for a variety of maps and geographical tools that will help you in your research. From new maps and atlases with online driving directions to old gazetteers with county lines and ancient place names, the Internet has them all. We'll explore those resources, ideas for using them, and integrating them into your research routine.
- The Great URL Hunt
Web site addresses appear to be long, complicated, and mysterious. Navigating through the web leads you from link to link, web page to web page, site to site, and server to server – all in a matter of a few clicks. How can you sort out separate web sites? How can you track down a new URL for a broken link or a broken bookmark? What happens when your source citation for a web site contains a URL that suddenly disappears? We will break down this technical topic to help you easily hunt down the URL you need.
- Enumerating the U.S. Census Online
The U.S. Federal Census is an important set of records that we must all use to track our ancestors in the United States. The Internet has a variety of sources available for genealogists to help them use the census, including commercial databases, volunteer transcriptions, and numerous tutorials. What is the difference between all the offerings online? How do you best use these online tools to maximize the benefits without duplicating your efforts on different Web sites? This lecture will answer those questions and also demonstrate online databases and the software interfaces needed to view scanned images of the census online.
- Organizing PC Files
Files here, programs there, lost bits and bytes everywhere. Are you tired of searching your computer fruitlessly? Frustrated when you can't find the notes you created in your word processor? Learn how to set up a foolproof filing system and an electronic workbook to correspond with your offline research.
- Question and Answer Session
We invite the seminar attendees to ask questions about any aspect of using the Internet for their genealogical research. A Q&A session at the end of any all day seminar will give people a chance to clarify anything that they learned during the other sessions presented that day.