My Tangent - Cloud Computing and Genealogy

01 January 2010

Happy New Year to all and the best for the upcoming 2010 year…

And last night I spent my time in the clouds, and before any of you say or write that that is typical, me walking around with my head in the clouds, I was trying to get a grip on some semblance of understanding of Cloud Computing. I think I had a quick “I think I got it!” type moment.

My basic, nuts-and-bolts, understanding is that Cloud Computing is really another way of saying Internet Computing, or using the Internet to perform that which I can do with specific software on my own computer. In other words, I do not have to out-right buy a specific software package, if it is available on the Internet, and install it on my PC. It means that the software I use is somewhere out there “in the clouds”, on the Internet. I would suppose that some of the Google products like Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations can be ascertained as “Cloud” software. And there are definite pros and cons. Also there is the idea that there is capability that my data, information, images, etc., are maintained in the Cloud, somewhere.

And so I started looking, albeit surfing, to find “Cloud” genealogy software online. I’ve discovered a number and I’ve also found that the world “Cloud” is being used as the buzz word; it is being used as the new “tech” word. I’m not a technocrat, but it sure looks like the Information Revolution is moving us closer to a Technocracy. But I’m not writing this afternoon to voice any type of political opinion. I’m writing to understand what this may mean for me.

Some of the online genealogy software I’ve gleaned are: GenealogyCloud offered by OneGreatFamily.com; Member Trees and One World Tree by Ancestry.com; Geni Services by Geni.com. I didn’t follow this completely but I did notice that all three have a pricing schedule, which is of course how the “subscription” covers some of the individual’s usage and storage costs.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Jim

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