Scott_J on FamilyTreeCircles - journals

Scott_J on Family Tree Circles

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Journals and Posts

Stats in your dashboard

Got a request for this feature, so I put this together quickly. Like most of the other profile info, this is public.

Click here to view yours

Anything else you'd like to see here? Let me know!

21 comment(s), latest 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Family Tree Circles Update. And Your Input Needed!

Hi All.

Here's an update on what's been going on beyond the recent spam updates...

Mobile Usability

I've been doing a lot of work to make the site more mobile friendly. There are a full 40% of visitors using a phone or tablet and the site is much more usable. It was pretty well impossible to browse FamilyTreeCircles effectively on a phone before, but not any more. Take a look next time you're browsing on your phone.

This basically means more new members.

More Improvements

Now that we've got those boring but necessary things out of the way I'm now entering a phase of development and looking forward to improving the website. There are two major areas of improvement that I'm considering equally: 1. getting new people involved, and 2. making life better for the people who are already here and using the site on a daily basis.

I would love to hear your ideas for both.

Is there anything you think we could do to bring in more researchers? New features or sections? Can I organize information in a different way than we do currently, which is primarily by surname currently.

And what can I do to make your life easier? Whether you're managing a lot of journals, or trying to stay on top of the latest posts and comments, or doing something unique that I'm not even aware can I make it better for you?

I'd love to see a conversation here about that.

35 comment(s), latest 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Spam update

In the past three days I've deleted about 80,000 spam accounts and automatically blocked the creation of nearly 1000 more already.

Only a dozen or two have slipped through, which I'm learning from and tweaking the algorithm.

I am blocking a few countries entirely which I've always been reluctant to do. But in analyzing activity to see if there has ever been any legit participation from there, there's basically zero over the past 15 years that this site has been around.

I know that there was a lot of visible spam in the form of journals and comments, but that was actually a tiny fraction. Mostly they are just creating accounts to link their profiles to their websites or their clients' websites as these are mostly professional link-building companies.

I hope you see a major decrease in that activity.

8 comment(s), latest 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Site down

Hi all.

The site's been down for a few days because when I was doing work on it Monday, I broke it for everybody but myself.

So here I thought there was nothing wrong. Thanks to those of you who contacted me to let me know. Without you, I'd be blissfully unaware.

It should be ok now. Sorry :(

3 comment(s), latest 1 month ago

Spam Cleanup

Hi all. I've been doing a quite a bit of spam cleanup over the past several days. I've deleted about 80,000 spam accounts (there are many more), but more importantly I've been making it more difficult for them to create accounts. You'll see that slow down a lot, and I'll be keeping an eye on it to see what's getting through lock it down further.


4 comment(s), latest 2 weeks, 1 day ago

What are grand and great aunts and uncles?

How do you determine these ancestor names?

11 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago

Where can you turn to find information on your ancestors when the vital records from the town or county that you are looking in are simply gone?

A user posted a journal here with this scenario where the records were blown up (!).

I have a similar situation where apparently the records from Barnstable county here in Massachusetts were lost in a fire.

What are some other ways to get to this information?

1 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago

Who Uses FamilyTreeCircles - 2015 Edition

Back at the end of 2011, I posted a chart of where familytreecircles visitors come from. You can see it here.

And here's an update...


The United States 27.5%
Australia 25%
New Zealand 23.3%
The United Kingdom 11.5%
Canada 4%
Poland 1.6%
South Africa 1.1%
Ireland 0.8%
India 0.7%
Czech Republic 0.6%
Germany 0.4%
France 0.3%
The Netherlands 0.2%
The Philippines 0.2%
Sweden 0.2%
Spain 0.1%
Russian Federation 0.1%
Italy 0.1%
Switzerland 0.1%
Singapore 0.1%
100+ Others 0.2%

It's no surprise to me that Australia/New Zealand makes a strong showing here, and significant growth over 2011, thanks to some of our top users being from that part of the world, also evidence that they're the friendliest people in the world. :)

13 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago

What is a second or third cousin vs. a cousin once or twice removed?

There are charts to view, but does anyone have an easy to remember explanation of this, so that when you hear second cousin once removed, you know what it means intuitively?

18 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago

What's the correct way to cite a Facebook post, Tweet or other social media content as a source?

Or even a FamilyTreeCircles post! It's important to cite sources, of course. What's the best way to do that? Do you have a template that you use?

3 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago