26 September 2008

New Site: GenSoftReviews

Always wondered how you can learn about genealogy software? There are so many different packages out there. Which is best for you and your needs?

Louis Kessler, who's been around for some three decades as genealogist and programmer, has now organized and launched GenSoftReviews, in addition to his venerable Lkessler.com, which has a Jewish genealogy page here.

The new site makes it possible for users of gen software to rate and review programs they've tried or used. The goal is to make it easier for others to compare and select the software best for their own needs.

If you are a non-techie, as many of us are, it can be confusing as you attempt to compare different programs and features. I hope this site will lessen confusion and help more people choose the program or programs right for them.

Some 355 programs are ready for review; categories include Windows, Mac, Unix, handheld and online programs, from full-featured, GEDCOM utilities, website builders and more.

The site is free and does not require registration.

There are five ranking levels: Whether you enjoy using it, if you use it often, if it has easy input, useful output, and an overall rating. You can write a short review and list the major advantage and disadvantage of a program. Viewers may use this information to make more informed decisions.

There is an RSS feed for all reviews as well as one for each separate program.

Why did he create this?

"I created my "Louis Kessler's Genealogy Software Links" page for my website in 1997 and that page has been a popular genealogy web resource with over 400,000 hits through the years. But I've always wanted to have more than just a list of programs. The new Genealogy Software Reviews site allows interactive user input and should be a more useful resource for everyone."

For more than three decades, Kessler has been a genealogist and programmer; written newspaper articles and made presentations on genealogy. He also developed the Behold genealogy program and is past president of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).

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