Saturday, April 2, 2011

There are two kinds of tabs in Google!

Last fall I attended a conference session on technology aids for genealogists by Claire Brisson-Banks.  One of the things she mentioned was setting up multiple Google home page settings to aid in genealogy research.  Unfortunately I was in and out doing some volunteer work and I only caught the end of this part of the discussion.  She mentioned using "tabs" to accomplish this, and since I've used "tabs" for years now, I thought I understood what she meant.  But of course, using multiple browser tabs doesn't accomplish what she had described.

I happened to run into Claire on Trax during RootsTech, so I asked her to clarify.  Again, she simply said "use tabs."  I began to wonder just what it was that she got and I didn't about "tabs".  Well, today I finally figured it out.  Quite haphazardly I might add.  Not to embarrass myself or anything, but for some strange reason when Google upgraded their customizable home page experience and added an extra "tab" on the left, I didn't get it.  In fact, many times I've tried to figure out how to get rid of it; after all, it was taking up space, even if it was only an inch.

Today I played around with it enough to finally figure out this is the "tab" area that Claire was referring to.  OK, I consider myself fairly computer savvy, but I must admit I don't have time to keep up on every little nuance, and apparently I completely missed this one, even when it was slamming me in the face!

So, now I have added multiple "tabs" on topics of interest to me--Slovak research, British research, Utah research, etc. etc. etc.  Utilizing the power of the gadgets I have often used on my homepage but in different ways, I can now see the weather, news, related blogs or forums, photos, bookmarks, historical information, and all other kinds of things on one single page about Slovakia for example.  One could create a personalized tab on all things related to a specific surname, country, topic like genealogy, or whatever they wanted.  Now why I didn't see this before is shameful.  But I see it now, and I'm excited to continue to build it into something really useful.

Thanks Claire Brisson-Banks!



  1. Peg,

    Was Claire talking about "iGoogle" by any chance?

    Lisa Louise Cook, of the Genealogy Gems Podcast talks about this tool all of the time. I have one set up, but haven't really used it to its fullest. But, it might be something to consider.

    In the search box, on the Left column, type 'igoogle' (without the quote) and there are several Podcasts to listen to. Its a great genealogy tool. Her Tool Bar is also very helpful.

    Good luck,


  2. Russ: Sorry I should have clarified. Yes, we are assuming that one is using iGoogle to create a customized home page experience. I've done that for a long time. What Claire was talking about was making more than one customized home page, and accomplishing that using the tabs at left.

    Thanks for letting us know about the podcasts and info from Genealogy Gems. I often listen to her podcasts when out walking or working in the yard, but alas, I've hadn't heard one on this topic yet. Random selection I guess.