Welcome to the 2010 State of the NCGenWeb!
We thought it would be helpful to share with our researchers a recap of some of the activities that have occurred in the project over the past year. Perhaps this can also help our collective memory going forward as we continue to strive to bring you free & excellent resources for your family history research. This update will cover the 12 months spanning July 2009 – June 2010.
NCGenWeb Board & Administrative Functions
Elections were held in June 2009. Diane Siniard was elected as State Coordinator. Shortly thereafter, Ron Dailey & Katherine Benbow joined as Assistant State Coordinators #1 and #2, and I came on board as the webmaster; Derick Hartshorn serves as Board Advisor. After Ron resigned from the ASC position, Deloris Williams came on as ASC #2 Dee Gibson Roles, Sue Ashby and Jo Branch joined the board as Regional Coordinators, a role designed to help county coordinators in regions throughout the state. We now have 4 regions to cover the state – Coastal, Eastern Piedmont, Western Piedmont & Mountain. We’ve had some turnover throughout the year, so currently Katherine Benbow & Deloris Williams are our co-State Coordinators until we have our state elections. Additionally this year, the NCGenWeb project also revised the County Coordinator Guidelines and passed our Bylaws!
In late July 2009, we launched a new NCGenWeb homepage. This site is now using WordPress, a blogging/content management system platform. As part of the new site, we also started a blog and have published 53 posts since then, an average of one post each week. If you’d like to follow along with us, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, or sign up to receive each post to be sent directly to your email account. Additionally, all county URLs were configured to work by using http://www.ncgenweb.us followed by the county of choice – this will work whether or not the site is hosted here, on Rootsweb, or elsewhere. This was done in order to help make it easier for researchers to get to the county of interest.
During the course of the year we’ve also had some new and/or former county coordinators join us here in the project. These include:
- Davidson County – Trent Briles
- Durham County – Ginger Smith
- Forsyth County – Patsy Dwiggins
- Nash County - Earl Bell
- Randolph County – Trent also signed up as CC for Randolph County. Thanks Trent for taking on two counties.
- Stokes County – Patsy was kind enough to take on Stokes as well. Thanks Patsy for also taking on two counties.
- Wayne County – Guy Potts, file manager for the NCGenWeb Archives
In addition to the new CC’s, we also have several counties shift hands among current NCGenWeb members and/or sites have gotten facelifts. Be sure to check the new/redesigned sites and update any older bookmarks.
This year, we unfortunately lost two county coordinators – John Burney McGowan, co-CC of Hyde County & Sheila Hanna, cc of Franklin County. Both were active participants in the project with vast knowledge of their counties and are missed by many. We’ve also lost Beverly Gail Cole, an active contributor to the NCGenWeb though not a CC. If you know of others that we may have missed please let us know.
Data Sources/Additional Features
Furthermore, we continue to try and bring you resources relevant to your information seeking. The NCGenWeb has a few new pages of resources for your perusal, including a Statewide Resources page, a Digital Bookshelf site for categorizing ebooks, an index of graduates of North Carolina schools & universities, and a list of social networking feeds relevant to NCGenWeb. But, information resources aren’t coming just from us directly; over this past year we’ve seen the online offerings greatly expand from UNC-Chapel Hill, from the Church of Latter-Day Saints, from Google News Archive and more. Visit the blog for postings over the past year highlighting new collections.
Over the past 12 months many have visited the NCGenWeb site. While we don’t have data for all the counties combined, for those hosted on the ncgenweb.us server alone we average more than 2,800 visits each day and more than 87,000 visits each month. Much of our traffic comes from those who directly bookmark our pages (58%), with 31% of the traffic coming from search engines, and another 10% coming from referrals from sites such as the main USGenWeb site.
We have site visitors from all over the globe – China, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, South Africa and Canada to name a few.
We have accomplished a lot this year here at NCGenWeb, with many thanks to all of our site contributors. Help us continue to grow and expand and promote free genealogical resources. Next time you are working on your family research send an email to a county coordinator to see how you can help. We all benefit from everyone’s contributions and look forward to continued growth in this upcoming year.