About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Monday, 27 August 2015

July 27, 1953. Armistice agreement ending war that had lasted three years and 32 days was signed at Panmunjom, Korea (July 26, US time), by US and North Korean delegates. Both sides claimed victory at conclusion of two years and 17 days of truce negotiations.

July 27, 1953. Armistice agreement ending war that had lasted three years and 32 days was signed at Panmunjom, Korea (July 26, US time), by US and North Korean delegates. Both sides claimed victory at conclusion of two years and 17 days of truce negotiations.

Today is Monday, 27 July 2015, and here is what’s available in terms of Daily Blogging Prompts and other related events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Genealogy Items of Note

  • Today: Insulin First Isolated – Anniversary and Korean Conflict Armistice – Anniversary.

Continue reading

Genealogy Opportunities 2015 at GenBiz Solutions

Thomas MacEntee of GenBiz Solutions shares his own experiences at starting a genealogy business in the blog series Genealogy Opportunities 2015.

In 2011, 2012, and 2013, I produced a weeklong series of articles related to the business side of genealogy called Genea-Opportunities right here at GeneaBloggers and at Hack Genealogy. This series has attracted quite a bit of attention and I have decided to revive the series in 2015 over at the GenBiz Solutions website.

Here are the links to the previous series:

Genealogy Opportunities 2015 Topics

As in previous years, I hope you will join me and other members of the genealogy community in having important conversations about the professional side of genealogy and including a wide spectrum of opinions.

Instead of appearing at GeneaBloggers as they have in the past, all posts will appear at GenBiz Solutions, my new site focusing on starting your own genealogy business. Leave your comments in the posts or post at your own blog and cross-reference the posts at GenBiz Solutions. I would also love to see the conversation picked up in various genealogy mailing lists and groups on social media – let’s use hashtag #genbiz on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

  • Monday, 27 July 2015: Genealogy – For Fun or Profit? – The focus will be on the different types of genealogy businesses and how you can start your own genealogy business.
  • Tuesday, 28 July 2015: Careers in Genealogy – A look at “traditional” and “unorthodox” genealogy careers with a focus on some genealogists who are thinking “outside the genealogy box,” to carve out their own career paths.
  • Wednesday, 29 July 2015 Genealogy: What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? – While the perception is that everything should be “free” when it comes to genealogy, in the past three years we have seen phenomenal progress in the willingness of consumers to pay for quality goods and services for genealogists and family historians.
  • Thursday, 30 July 2015: How Do You Make Money in Genealogy? – Most of my colleagues and follows have heard me talk about the “abundance model” I have embraced not just for my genealogy business, but also in life. I will be sharing many numbers related to the first half of 2015: hours worked, revenue, expenses, income and what it all means. I will also try to share the secrets to my success: be nice, be abundant, and be open.
  • Friday, 31 July 2015: Money Changes Everything – Or Does It? – A recap of the series and I will share my insights on what I have learned so far in 2015.

Stay tuned for an exciting week and I hope you will not just follow along, but participate and share your own insights and thoughts if running a genealogy business is important to you.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Lost Genealogy: Don’t be a Victim of the Digital Dark Ages

Lost Genealogy: Don’t be a Victim of the Digital Dark Ages

[Editor’s note: Click here to download your FREE copy of my Backing Up Your Genealogy Data syllabus. Then read below about how you can avoid being caught up in the Digital Dark Ages.]

It happened again last week. Over on Facebook, I read the story of a genealogist who lost 20 years of work. Yet this time, the circumstances were a bit different. There was no house fire. There was no flood or landslide. All it took was a tap of the Delete key.

Which is Safer – Hard Copy or Digital Data?

As we learn to work more and more online as genealogists in the era of Big Data, we’re busy bees gathering images, records, notes etc. We save them to programs like Evernote for safekeeping. We download images, add source citations to the metadata, but never print them out. We scan documents, track them in our research log, and then move on to the next piece of evidence.

We feel safe and secure knowing that we’re zooming along in the Digital Age. We have new skills when it comes to preserving items. It is all a bit heady and we even get a bit cocky thinking, “What could go wrong? I’m working in the cloud. I’m backing up my data . . .” But there’s more to it than that, and many of us aren’t gathering and backing up everything we should nor do we have a solid backup plan.

Are You Gathering and Backing Up Everything for Genealogy?

If I were to ask you about your current process of gathering data for backup, would it include these items?

  • Emails from family members and other researchers, some with clues, some with family stories.
  • Photos on your iPhone of last year’s family reunion.
  • Digital recordings of interviews with older relatives, waiting to be transcribed.
  • Images of scanned documents not yet added to your genealogy database.
  • Bookmarks of websites used for your genealogy research.

The truth is, that most of us only backup items from our main home computer. We don’t think about laptops, tablets and smart devices like iPhone. Maybe we figure the data will always be there. Maybe we feel confident because we’ve copied the data to “the Cloud.” Don’t be fooled . . .

3-2-1 Data Backup Plan from GeneaBloggers

The Cloud Is Not Enough – Use the 3-2-1 Backup Plan

Me, the “tech guy,” got burned by the Cloud last year. It was my own fault and I accepted full responsibility for just being plain lazy. While I’ve been using Dropbox, a cloud-based storage program, since its inception, I turned off the syncing feature on my desktop because of “the need for speed” when it came to working. Each day I kept telling myself that I would turn it back on and do watch television or do something while the program caught up and copied my local data up to the Cloud.

And then the hard drive failed on my desktop computer. I lost two weeks’ worth of writing and research. Poof! Gone!

So now I use what I call the 3-2-1 Backup Plan and I stick to it religiously. I don’t get greedy for speed or lazy and put it off to tomorrow. Here’s how the plan works:

  • At least 3 different backups. One is not enough. For me, I use The Cloud, a local external hard drive, and a 128GB flash drive.
  • Use 2 different media for backup. I chose three actually, but never have all your backups in the Cloud or on just flash drives.
  • At least 1 backup must be offsite, and away from the original source computer. For me, the Cloud qualifies as well as the flash drive since I store it in a fire safe away from my computer.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?  Well, I have a new device that makes it easier to not just gather ALL my data, even from mobile devices, but helps me fulfill the terms of the 3-2-1 plan . . .

iDrive – How Do iLove Thee? Let Me Count the Ways . . .

iDrive – How Do iLove Thee? Let Me Count the Ways . . .

I love the iDrive Universal Backup service because it lets you back up EVERYTHING — all of your PCs, Macs, mobile devices and even social media content. It’s super-easy and secure. But cloud backup has one drawback. It can take a long time to transfer all your data to the cloud, or retrieve it when needed. That’s why you need a local backup, too.

Introducing the iDrive Wi-Fi Drive

Introducing the iDrive Wi-Fi Drive

And that’s exactly why I’m excited about iDrive Wi-Fi … a storage device that combines the security of cloud backup and the convenience of local connectivity. Conveniently backup ALL of your computers to the iDrive Wi-Fi device via iDrive’s desktop application. The wireless connectivity of the iDrive Wi-Fi device enables you to backup multiple devices (up to 5) at once.

Here’s the part I love best … it eliminates the need to tote your external hard drive around, manually connecting it to each computer when it’s time to do backups. Because it connects via WiFi, all your backups (desktop or laptop, PC or Mac) can run automatically. And in my opinion, automatic backups are the ONLY reliable way to get it done.

An Exclusive 5-Day iDrive Offer from GeneaBloggers ...

An Exclusive 5-Day iDrive Offer from GeneaBloggers …

Normally the 1-Terabyte iDrive Wi-Fi device costs $99.99. But as one of my fans and followers, for FIVE DAYS ONLY (26-31 July 2015) you can get it for just $59.50 USD. That includes one year of iDrive online backup. AND it is PC and MAC compatible. Similar external hard drives with Wi-Fi connectivity cost about $150 (check one out here and it doesn’t include any online backup!) so this really is an amazing deal.

Order your IDRIVE WI-FI now…

iDrive W-iFi: A Mobile, Secure and Unique Solution

Got a smartphone or tablet? You can directly backup your mobile devices to iDrive Wi-Fi, using the iDrive mobile app. iDrive Wi-Fi lets you securely store your photos, videos, music and more from various devices, without the fear of losing it.

All data stored on the iDrive Wi-Fi is guarded with military grade security. Your data is protected with 256-bit encryption, using an encryption password known only to you. So the only person who can access your data is you, even if your data falls into the wrong hands.

idrive wifi drive

I don’t know of ANY other backup solution that combines local and cloud storage like this. Nor is there one that allows you to backup UNLIMITED devices like iDrive does. Carbonite and Mozy charge extra if you have more than one computer.

With iDrive and the iDrive Wi-Fi, all the bases are covered. Your PCs, Macs, mobile gadgets and social media accounts are securely backed up, painlessly and automatically.

* * *

P.S. — I encourage you to order your iDRIVE Wi-Fi now, because this exclusive discount will disappear when the clock strikes midnight on 31 July 2015. After that, the price returns to $99.99.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.