This past year has been very successful for our company, all thanks to our great Legacy Family Tree users - you! Our company (Millennia Corporation) celebrated our 26th year in business, and the 13th year since we first released Legacy.
We also traveled a lot this year (49,106 miles), but it wasn't as much as last year (about 50,000 miles). We attended conferences, seminars, and user group meetings in Arizona, California, Utah, Washington, Iowa, British Columbia, Quebec, Idaho, Ontario, Colorado, Texas, Oregon, Missouri, Tennessee, Australia, and New Zealand.
Our biggest success of the year was the introduction of our free online seminars (webinars). One of the webinars had live attendees from 50 different countries.
The year started off with our announcement and release of Legacy 7.4, which added new FamilySearch integration tools. We also gave away the first of many netbook computers at the Arizona Family History Expo and had fun at conferences all year long meeting our customers and giving away great prizes, including copies of our Legacy software. My most expensive purchase of the year was my $15,500 puppy. Thankfully they called me back the next morning informing me that my credit card was overcharged by about $15,000.
This year was the year of the Legacy User Group. New groups were formed in Fresno, California; North Carolina; Tarrant County, Texas; Paraguay; Greeley, Colorado; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; and Qualicum Beach, British Columbia. Thanks to all of the new group leaders for helping organize and educate.
In May, the Mozy 2.0 backup software was released. I still cannot believe how many emails we receive from devasted computer users who did not have a backup of their files. All their pictures, genealogy files, financials - gone. With backup software like Mozy (I'm sure there are lots of other good ones too) you never have to worry about your next hard drive crash. Mozy is free for up to 2GB of data - certainly enough space for all your Legacy files.
At the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree in June, I noticed there was a drawing for a year's subscription to GoToWebinar.com. I had been thinking about using this technology to broadcast live, online Legacy classes for you. Tickets for the drawing were $5 each, and I did not see very many tickets in the jar. So I bought eight of them. For the first time in my life I actually won something. So with this $6,000 annual subscription that we won, we can now offer free, unlimited webinars to you at home. I'm certain we'll "re-subscribe" next year as these webinars have been one of the most successful things we have ever done.
August was an exciting month for genealogy software on mobile devices. The Families genealogy software made its deput for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It synchronizes with your Legacy Family Tree family files. Then, Pocket Genealogist 4 was announced for the Windows Mobile devices. It, too, synchronizes with your Legacy files. Finally, on August 25 we quietly celebrated this blog's 5th blogiversary. When I graduated from BYU I thought my days of writing were finally over. Today's blog article (the one you are reading right now) is our 900th article since 2005. And even with my dry, and often dumb humor, it still gets read by thousands every day. Thanks everyone!
Perhaps our company's biggest advance in education technology came with our first-ever webinar in September, Mapping Software for Genealogists. We've left this one in the archives. Registration was actually over-booked less than two days after its announcement (there is only room for the first 1,000 attendees). I have always wanted to personally visit the home of every Legacy user throughout the world to give them one-on-one guidance, but with this technology, now I can. The Legacy video training CDs are, of course, still valuable, as they give you an entire series of the learn-to-do-it-right-the-first-time advice and guidance. Since then we have held eight additional webinars and already have great ones planned for 2011.
My favorite month of the year was October. It started off with Jim Ericson's FamilySearch Indexing webinar where attendees from 50 different countries were present. Two weeks later, I was scheduled to teach a live workshop to a small classroom of students at the West Valley Genealogical Society in Youngtown, Arizona. With their cooperation, we tested the limits of technology by, at the same time, broadcasting the class to a live webinar audience around the world. The pinnacle of it all was when we took live calls - we had callers from France, England, Ohio, and others. I wish you all could have seen the faces of the students in class - they were as amazed and "tickled" as I was for the experience. Later that week, after DearMYRTLE's fantastic webinar on Blogging for Beginners, Karen Clifford spoke to a live audience at the ICAPGen (International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists) seminar and broadcast her Evidence Analysis class to our live webinar audience as well.
But I'm not very excited about all this...can you tell?
Not much happened in November...except for our What's New in Technology webinar with Paul Larsen, our Heritage Collector Suite software webinar with Marlo Schuldt where we announced version 6 of their photo organizing software, and I think something else happened....Oh yes, I remember now...we left for our 7th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise to Australia and New Zealand. FamilySearch Indexing announced that they had surpassed 160 million indexed names in 2010, making my 63,580 indexed names seem trivial, but every indexed name means a once-lost-ancestor might be more easily found for someone.
December was also a big month for us. Two more great webinars - Janet Hovorka's Sharing Your Family History with Legacy Charting and Katie Gale's Helping Unlock the World's Records - FamilySearch Indexing for Power Users. Google Earth 6 - who doesn't use it - was announced by Google. FamilySearch announced big changes with their website. We announced the long-awaited release date of Legacy 7.5, and finally we announced our 2011 Legacy Genealogy Cruise to New England and Eastern Canada.
As 2010 comes to a close, we are happy with the progress we are making as a company. We have developed a great plan for 2011 and beyond. One more thanks to the entire genealogy community for all you do to help genealogy progress. Happy New Year to everyone!