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Genealogy This Week - 14 August 2010

Our weekly compilation of interesting new tools, resources and stories for genealogists. This week:

National Archives of Australia – This week we would like to highlight a resource for genealogists wanting to trace their Australian ancestors. The National Archives of Australia has an excellent free website that contains over 7.7 million searchable records from various Australian government agencies. Most of the records are from 1901 or later. In general, new records are posted to the website 30 years after the record was created. This means the most recent records date from about 1980. The website also contains a vast collection of images, some 18.2 million historical digital images. We find this website is particularly useful if you have a relative or ancestor who was an Australian soldier (going back as far as the Boer War) or who worked at some point in their career for the Australian government or an agency of the government. [National Archives of Australia]

British Royal Family Launches Historic Photo Website – The British Royal Family has launched a new website of current and historic images from the royal collection. Included is everything from the Queen’s most recent activities (updated daily) to images of the Queen as a child. This is a fun website for fans of the British Royal Family [British Monarchy Photostream]

Try the Twitter Predictor – If you are a Twitter user or know someone who uses Twitter then you should consider trying the Twitter Predictor. This fun little website will make predictions about a person based on their past tweets. All you have to do is enter your Twitter address or the Twitter address of a friend. This site is addictive. [Twitter Predictor]

Does Anyone Read Newspapers Anymore? – A while ago, we wrote a thoughtful article entitled Why Are Newspapers Dying. The article highlighted how the passing of newspapers in the internet age would impact the genealogy community. Apparently, the trend of newspapers dying is accelerating. A new survey from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism found that only 56% of internet users consider newspapers to be an important source of information. So, where do people get their information? Television was found to be important to 68% of people while 78% thought the internet was an important source of information. As an interesting counterpoint, every time the Annenberg School conducts this survey (this is their ninth year), they find more and more people no longer trust the information they find on the internet. Another trend is that people are becoming less interested in paying for information. We like to think this is why trusted websites like GenealogyInTime™ (which is also free) can help our readers sort the good from the bad on the internet. [Annenberg Internet Survey]

Top Five Things Americans Do Online – If people are not reading newspapers online, then what are they doing with their time while on the web? According to a recent Nielson survey, the top five things Americans do online (by time) are:

      1. social networks - 23%
      2. online games - 10%
      3. email - 8%
      4. web portals - 4%
      5. instant messaging - 4%

Basically, Americans like to socialize and play games online. Search (a favourite activity of genealogists) came in 7th place at 3.5% of online time.

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