This morning at a very small press conference in Kansas City at the National Genealogical Society annual conference we made a very large announcement.
In fact, we announced something that I have personally hoped for and dreamed of for more than a decade.
Today we announced a partnership between FamilySearch and FamilyLink.com to publish the Family History Library Catalog — the largest single database of genealogy sources in the world — in Web 2.0 fashion.
This means that individual genealogists, librarians, archivists, and others from around the world will be able, when the Catalog 2.0 comes online in the coming months, to enhance and extend the value of the catalog. Users will be able to add new sources that are currently in the library catalog, and thus extend its scope of coverage. They will be able to improve the source descriptions, and even rate and review sources as to their usefulness.
World Vital Records is running more smoothly, and is closer to achieving our near-term financial goals, with sales 136% higher in September than in our best previous month.
Normally I get my news for Live Friday from 100+ RSS feeds, but this week I found that a deep dive into Business 2.0 (my favorite internet publication–it took the place of Industry Standard which went away years ago) gave us much more interesting topics that the kinds of PR and brand new announcements that hit the blogosphere. Business 2.0 tends to cover companies that are getting real traction, so you can avoid wasting time on all the hype that is out there. I think I\’ll use Business 2.0 a lot more in the future when planning Provo Labs Academy events.
I just recommended that our World Vital Records team all get copies of the new book from 37signals called Getting Real. Get this: you can read it free online or buy a PDF or paperback version of it. They\’ve sold 20,000 copies so far.
Jeff Barr is coming to Provo Labs in February!
This is going to be a great opportunity for Utah\’s entrepreneurs and IT crowd to learn more about what Amazon is doing with web services. Jeff is a Web Services evangelist at Amazon; he has an great inside view of the powerful tools and services that Amazon has built for internal use that they are willing to provide to other companies, some for free and some for a fee.
So I just checked out Cogmap which has some high level org charts for Google and Yahoo (which would be helpful for folks doing business development) but apparently lets anyone create a wiki-like org chart for any company.
The Cogmap Alexa chart looks quite promising.
Our friends at TagJungle have launched a working blog search website at TagJungle.com. I like the implementation a lot. Phil Burns blogged last month about the leadup to the launch. It\’s nice to see a Web 2.0 company launch in Utah with a very different approach to searching the blogosphere than anyone else. I like the TagJungle Alexa chart, which is showing about 18,000 for today.
I heard about Rocketboom last year, a simple, short-format daily news video broadcast that has attracted millions of views. They have a growing archive, of course, and they use a simple web 2.0 tagging system to identify the topics that are covered in each broadcast. (See the Rocketboom Alexa chart.
Phil Burns, whom I have described in the past as a Web 2.0 native that makes me feel like an old, slow, immigrant, is now heading up one of the most exciting things we are doing at Provo Labs. He describes in a recent blog our new Provo Labs Consulting services and how we will are utilizing our employees, our portfolio companies, and their extended networks to provide excellent technology and business solutions for its customers. Phil is on fire with this concept.
Here\’s a great NY Times article about how Japanese cell phone users are able to point their specialized phones at buildings and monuments and get information about the location. More than 700,000 locations have information or advertisements associated with them already. or A San Francisco-based company called GeoVector is involved.