Website Update and Suggestions Requested

I’m so excited about the website update. I wish that you all could see it, but I have to keep it offline for now, because when I set it to run, the old website will be wiped clean for the new installation. Don’t worry, I’ve backed up the old stuff so nothing will be lost. Anyway, this site has A LOT of new features which will truly make this a site run by Heycuz members. Members will be able to add news, create reports that others can view, set up their own profiles (which includes a list of surnames so you can link up with others who are researching the same ancestors), upload documents, attach documents to specific people in the database, make changes, etc.
The Share the Wealth section will be integrated into the database so that it’s not a separate section any more. That way, for example, when you’re looking at the information on your ancestor, you can click on a thumbnail image of his death certificate and see it right there. As it is now you have to navigate to Share the Wealth, click on death certificates and then find his and then download it and then open it and then compare it to where you started.
There’s this really cool “reports” section. It not only shows who’s celebrating a birthday on any given day, or anniversaries, or deaths, but nearly every type of report I could think of like what branches have the most triplets, most twins, who is missing parental information, who lived for more than 200 years (obviously that shows that we need a death date), anyway, these reports will also show who was born under the sign of Sagittarius or Pices. I’m not kidding. You can also make your own pdf. reports of ancestral charts, descendant reports, etc.
Can you tell that I’m excited?
It’s so freakin cool. I’ve been working on importing all of the existing documents and adding the more recently submitted documents. And, all that is coming along nicely. Unfortunately, I had some personal stuff that got in the way. Can you believe the gall of my family? They actually want to be fed on time and have the house cleaned? And then, there’s work. ha ha.
One thing–I can’t figure out how to do, and I’m sure there’s a way, but I can’t get it to show WHO made a change under a persons information. Until I can figure it out, what I’ll need is that when someone makes a change to a date or whatever– if they could put in a note who made it and why in the notes section. The Database shows when someone’s information was changed but it doesn’t show who did it and what they changed. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place for that information, it seems like it would be there. In the meantime, I’ll have to add that to the guidelines section as soon as I figure out a better way to word it.
This is going more smoothly than I thought and so I think it shouldn’t be too long before I’m ready for the big unveil. Then, there’ll be some adjustment time when we get all of you “registered” with your passwords and “permissions”, etc. Your Yahoo username and password won’t work cause this is completely separate. People who registered will get more of an experience from the site because they can view, download, add, correct, submit photos, exchange information, etc. While non-registered visitors will only have a limited view.
So if you see a message saying ‘We’ll be back soon,’ you’ll know that I’m installing the new system.
Anyway, I need some suggestions from you guys, because it is–after all–your site. Part of the site includes a forum messaging system and I can come up with some topics on my own–like, ho hum, the rules, guidelines, and most wanted–but if any of you have an idea you’d like to see, let me know. Also if you want to be the moderator for a certain board, too, that’s fine, just let me know.
Gary, I think you were working on a project to do some mapping? I can put it in as a board subject if you’re interested. The cool thing about this site is it integrates with GPS so you can put in longitude and latitude coordinates! And, people can see exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve already found the coordinates for all the major cemeteries and loaded that onto our cemetery lists so now when you look at where a person is buried you can look at the map and get a map, satellite, or other view of the cemetery. Anyway, Gary, if you think you want to have a forum on that topic, let me know what it should be called, etc.
Some of the old topics which I am migrating to the new site include: The Past Lane (Family stories told by or about our ancestors); and Grandma’s Secret Recipes, Book Reviews, Announcements, Reunions. I think I’d also like to add a forum I call “the Kitchen Table” which would be a place where people just go to chit chat about non-genealogy stuff.
What are some forums You want? We can have surname specific forums if you like, but just know that I’m not familiar with all the research on some of the surnames, so you might have to help answer queries as a moderator.
Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated!
Can’t wait for you to see this! I’m bouncing off the walls with excitement.
Your cuz,
April
P. S. I also need to thank cousin David Brunger for his donation to Heycuz in August. It was very much appreciated. THANK YOU! David found us after reading a copy of Dennis Lampley’s “Capt. Baxter’s Artillery” and visiting Williamson County, Tennessee. He is a descendant of William Sullivan who fought under Capt. Baxter. David’s grandmother was my Great Aunt Grace. David told Dennis a great story about William Sullivan:
“When I was a child, grandma Coates [Grace Lee Zell (Sullivan) Coates] would tell us stories of “Billy” as he was known to his family. Stories he had related to his family, including my grandmother.
“One of my favorite is of how his brothers would say upon seeing him “here comes that dammed Yankee!”  Curious enough to ask why, Grandma Coates said that old Billy took the oath so that he could go home. Many other stories were told of his time in the CSA service.
“Of a sidebar note, is the fact that I enlisted in the US Army on December 10
th 1971, 109 years after Billy enlisted in the CSA. I did not know that until 6 years ago.

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