The World Wide Web is a wonderful world wide library. Family historians are sharing their information around the globe and communicating instantly by email.
Commercial interests have taken advantage of this and Ancestry.com is the ninth biggest earner of online revenue in America. Although at some time in the future you may be tempted to pay for specific pieces of information, you will find that you can add an enormous amount of information to your collection at no cost other than your internet bill.
This column will direct readers to a few good genealogical websites each quarter to help you become familiar with what is available. If you don't have an internet connection at home or work go to your local library and the staff will help you to look at websites.
The best starting point is the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society's own website at www.ballaratgenealogy.org.au
The Ballarat site was created in the very early days of the internet by a local pioneer of web technologies, Daryl Povey. As an experienced genealogist he knew instantly that this medium was brilliant for the free sharing family history research. Over the last seven or so years he has steadily added countless valuable resources and the site has grown extensively to about 800 pages. It is truly one of the best genealogical sites on the internet. Exploring this site and its links could keep you occupied for a very long time even if you are an experienced internet user.
But don't be overwhelmed by its complexity. There is an onsite search engine to help you locate what you would like to find. Just click on Main Menu on the first page and that will take you there.
What can you do?
Browse through some entries to get the idea then write a simple one for your own interests and email it to Daryl. Although he is no longer writing 'Genealogy and the Internet' for this magazine he is very keen to put your information on to the internet, especially if you have articles, lists or photos which would be of interest to others.
Having an online presence is so important to make contact with like-minded people. Search engines are relentlessly crawling through websites, collecting keywords to respond to searches. When you have your information on the internet it will only be a matter of time before someone makes contact with you.
Bear in mind that Daryl accepts information by email only (no paper). Use plain text and use the universal convention of capital letters for surnames. This will make it easy for him to cut and paste your text to a web page.