We’ve all done it.
Sat around the kitchen table up to our elbows in old black-and-white photos, glasses perched on the end of our nose, asking, “Now, who’s this?”
With new commenting features for online trees, the kitchen table just got a whole lot bigger.
The idea behind the latest changes to commenting is to bring the table online, where more people can join the conversation. In the past, comments were tied to individual copies of photos, which means you could miss out on what people were saying if they weren’t looking at your copy of a picture. Now, comments are shared across all copies of a shared photo, whatever tree it happens to appear in. That way everybody at the table can hear what’s being said and chime in. (If your tree is private, you may see other member trees an image is connected to and comments for that image if you saved it from a public tree.)
It’s a great way to ask questions, offer answers, and build your own mini community around pictures, documents, and stories—a place where everyone who has a stake in that little piece of the past can listen and join in.
You don’t have to do anything new. Go to an individual’s media gallery in your family tree and click on a photo, story, audio file, or video and you’ll see a Comments box underneath it. Add your comment and hit Return or Enter. Sharing happens automatically.
One obvious use for global commenting is identifying people in a photo that you might not know. More eyes and more memories are always going to be helpful. But what about stories a photo brings to mind? Does somebody know something funny about that wedding, or what the family typically ate for Christmas dinner, or other places that old Buick had been? The new commenting system makes it easy to pass those stories along and preserve them in the family lore.
Do you have a marriage certificate or a will you have questions about? Add an image to a media gallery and start asking. You may be able to crowdsource an answer from extended family you haven’t even met yet.
Comments also help you keep track of where photos came from with a permanent credit line for the person who originally shared the image. You’ll also be notified via real-time emails when comments are made on media in your tree so you’re never far from the conversation.
Along with new commenting features, you’ll find the whole media page has an updated look that makes it simpler than ever to update, share, comment on, and view family photos and stories.
Sharing stories is what keeps them alive, and who better to share them with than people who really want to hear them—and who might know an even better one.
So pull a chair up to the table, adjust your glasses, reach for a photo, and start talking.