Can you recommend any tools for building and maintaining acircle of genealogists
One of the things I find difficult is maintaining contact with genealogists with interests in common or parallel lineage. But these are also the people most likely to share our appreciation of newfound information.
Has anyone found tools or methods that prompt us to message someone when you've found a new source that that falls in a common interest? I use GRAMPS which supports vCard import but doesn't maintain a separate addressbook for living contacts. And I typically add a 'genealogist' occupation when I connect with a cousin doing research. But that doesn't help with parallel lines, hobby genealogists (like myself), or flag when I enter data that should be shared.
One of the nice features of enterprise database applications are 'audit trails' that track who did what record update and when. From that, you can generate reports to notify on changes on ranges of records within a timeframe.
Seems like this would lend itself to the following process: find all living persons with a genealogist occupation; for each of those, check all records of its direct ancestors/descendants/lines that have been modified since the last contact date, generate a collated eMail or mailMerge document with the details of the updated record and sources.
I think most hobby genealogists find their interest later in life. Unfortunately, this puts their research at increasing risk as they age. Conversely, as their scope of family knowledge & contacts broaden, they have to slice thinner portions of their availability because they have to update more people in their circle. For a lot of families, there is a gap of years between between when one family genealogist passes and another family member develops a real interest. And some hobby genealogists are oddly possessive of data.
We need to find better ways to share family information so that it isn't lost as generations pass.
So... what have you found to help make sure your research survives you?