Posted in News

Join Storytellers Studio at MeWe.com

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If you are not familiar with MeWe.com, you are in for a treat. MeWe is a delightful social network offering a number of useful features for collaborating online. It may seem a bit simplistic at first, but you will soon realize there is a lot more to MeWe. One reason MeWe is so special is that it doesn’t stalk you or bombard you with commercials and other junk. Your privacy is protected there.

The image above is a screenshot of the Storytellers Studio group’s home page. In addition to the group’s timeline, you will also find an impressive group chat feature that supports both text and voice chats. This will be useful for Q&A sessions and other events. In the Files section you will find several useful how-to documents along with project ideas.

To join us, your first step is to become a MeWe.com member. MeWe.com is accessible using your web browser. The example above shows you what MeWe looks like in the browser. There are also apps available for iOS and Android devices and phones. Once your account is set up, take a look around to get a feel for the place. The easiest way to find Storytellers Studio is to use the search box at the top of the screen. Once you request to join the group, the adminstrator will authorize your access. You will also see Storytellers Studio listed in your My Groups panel. Feel free to take a look around. You can add comments and/or ask questions on any post published in the groups timeline. Stop by the Files section (found in the menu bar just below the group graphic) and check out the documents posted there. MeWe supports text, voice and even video chats. We plan to put that to good use.

The Studio blog has an important role in group management. This is where most of the news, resource options and other information will be published here and “announced” in the group timeline. Both elements work together to help you get started in your storytelling efforts. We hope to see you soon at Storytellers Studio!

Posted in News

MeWe – The Next-Gen Social Network

Facebook’s days of telling us to ignore that man behind the curtain are over. It’s obvious that our privacy means nothing in their world. Fortunately we have options. One of them is a delightful social network called MeWe. Their privacy policy is short and to the point:

Your personal privacy and the privacy of your data is paramount to us at MeWe. We have prepared this Privacy Policy to clearly explain how we protect you and your data at MeWe.

With MeWe, your content is yours. You won’t find tracking cookies collecting information about us or how we use the MeWe network. As you can see here, your account isn’t bombarded with advertisements either.

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How do they do it? They offer a “freemium” service. You can get started at no cost. Each user has 8GB of free storage for posting photos, documents, videos and other files. If you need more space, you will be charged a monthly fee based on the amount of storage you select. There are other premium features you can choose to use – or not. For example, you can purchase additional emoji collections or add an extra layer of security for one-on-one chats with Secret Chat encryption.

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The My Cloud section is fascinating. It displays all my posts, photos, videos and voice messages. From here I can select any item to download, share or delete. In the left sidebar is a panel showing how much space I’ve used and how much is available. If I need more space, I just click the button to purchase it.

I just had a very pleasant video chat with a cousin via MeWe. She has been a member for a while and once I had given MeWe permission to share my contacts, I popped up in her My Chats panel. They only display your contacts to people who are MeWe users so, for now, it’s just the two of us. I have connected to several other users since creating my account and they also show up in My Chats.

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Groups are impressive yet easy to navigate. The group’s timeline is front and center. Each post has an area for comments – which can include photos, links and files. MeWe uses hashtags (a keyword prefaced with a hash mark) to make searching even easier. Use the Group Chat box in the right sidebar to start a discussion and the Events calendar to organize online events for the group.

I have moved the Storytellers Studio group to MeWe and have found it delightful. It’s easy to navigate, has a Files library where I can post PDF user guides and provides not just commenting, but one-on-one chats and even group chats. They have announced an upcoming video option which will make it possible to present demonstrations and other fun goodies.

If you are looking for creative ways to share your family history, join us here and at the Storytellers Studio group on MeWe.

 

Posted in News

Ancestry Product Update: LifeStory Changes

We introduced LifeStory last year to give you a better sense of what your ancestors’ lives were like. The auto-generated LifeStory does a lot of heavy lifting when translating facts and dates into a narrative of someone’s life but it really shines when you make it your own.

From the beginning, you’ve had full control of all the narrative snippets, had the ability to choose which Historical Insights you want to keep and enhance your ancestor’s story with photos. The end result has been a fast and intuitive way to display the rich tapestry of our ancestor’s lives.

Some of our members have shared that they would prefer to jump straight in to writing their own stories without the help of an auto-generated LifeStory. To enable this, we’ve recently added a new option to each tree’s settings page that allows you to enable or disable stories being generated for that tree.

Read it all at Ancestry

Posted in News, Writing Resources

The Book on Writing

The Book on Writing by Paula LaRocque

How to tell a story—from building suspense, to effective description, to the uses of metaphor and literary devices. Paula LaRocque also deals with the narrative “engine” and the value of the archetype in plotting and characterization—as well as with pace and speed and leveling what she terms writing’s “speedbumps.”

A clear and concise handbook that deals with common problems in grammar, usage, punctuation, and style—the kind of problems that often trouble even wordsmiths. The handbook also debunks pesky language “rules” that are actually myths. The Book on Writing is one-stop shopping for writers. Read it once, and you’ll be a better writer. Read it often, and you’ll be among the best.

Paperback – $9.99
Kindle – $5.99