Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Stay N Alive

"Super Indexing Sunday" Breaks World Record With 2 Million Records Indexed in a Day

Facebook has quite a database with 500 million active users, and rumored total users in the billions.  There are few that can relate to the types of problems engineers and architects encounter with a database of that size. is one of those, with a claimed database size of over 1 billion individual records, and possibly comparable numbers in associated documents and files.  Their Facebook Page claims over 400 million records indexed since 2006, and a goal to do half that number in just 2011!  Today broke another record, with an organized “Super Indexing Sunday”, claiming over 2 million records indexed in just one day, breaking their previous record of 1.9 million.

What is Indexing?

For those unfamiliar with Family History or Genealogy research, “Indexing” is the process of taking scanned in images and putting them in searchable, text form that others can easily find.  Similar efforts are going on in smaller scales with, the Gutenberg project, and other organizations, but seems to have mastered this technique (arguably, is pretty good at this as well).  With modern technology, FamilySearch has found ways to quickly and efficiently scan in records, then use its army of 400,000 volunteers (over half of those aren’t Mormon, the LDS Church being the parent owner of to index those records for searching and attaching those records to applicable individuals in users’ Family History.

Example records indexed are Census records, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Civil Registrations, and Marriage Certificates.  With such a worldwide effort it is becoming easier and easier for individuals around the world to prove their lineage and ancestry, and know more about their ancestors.  See the video below for a glimpse at what goes on to make this happen.

“Super Indexing Sunday”

That’s why today is particularly important.  Today, as others were watching the Greenbay Packers play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Superbowl, potentially hundreds of thousands of people were participating in breaking a new world record in the number of records indexed in a day.  The event “Super Indexing Sunday” was organized by a person not affiliated with, Ken Sisler, a Family Historian who lives in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.  It was a grassroots event started on Facebook, and spread to hundreds or even thousands on Facebook as all rallied around this event.  I’m sad to admit that despite my employment at the LDS Church, I had not even heard of this until the event was over.

This evening the FamilySearch Indexing Facebook Page announced that over 2 million records had been indexed in a single day.  Assuming the 1.9 million record from before is correct, that would make this a new world record, and goes to show that Family History and Genealogy are things that aren’t going away any time soon.  To me this is an amazing feat!

If these types of efforts continue, is going to have no problem growing by almost half its size in indexed records for the year.  As the world’s largest database for genealogical information, I think they could easily say that they could compete for the title of one of the largest databases of individual data in the world.  To me, this makes one Web 2.0 website that is worth paying attention to.

You can participate in the FamilySearch Indexing effort at

Disclosure: is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my employer.  While I am employed by the Church, the statements herein are my own opinion and do not constitute official word or doctrine from the Church or its counterparts.  To be clear, I have not recently talked to and the information contained is all information I gathered from publicly available resources – I have no insider information.  I’m sharing this because I think it’s cool technology and something my readers might be interested in.

Kids and Christmas

We recently produced this at the Church (I am in charge of Social Media Strategy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  It’s a culmination of an amazing team that I think did a great job on this.  This is one of the cuter videos I think we’ve produced, and it has a great message.  Enjoy, and please share!:

Tragedy Turns Into Inspiration as Thousands Turn to Help Slain Bishop Through Social Media

My heart just tears at the thought of this story as it hits really close to home – I can’t help writing this without a tear in my eye and heaviness in my heart.  A man enters a Visalia, California LDS Church meetinghouse, asks to meet with the leader over the congregation, and gets referred to the Bishop (all Bishops are volunteer, lay clergy in the LDS Church).  He meets with the Bishop, pulls out a gun, shoots him in the foot, then drags him out into the hall and shoots him in the head in front of his congregation and family.  The Bishop, Bishop Clay Sannar, is a husband and Father of 6 sons, ranging from the ages of 14 years and 3 months.  The wife and children are now left without a father, and the Congregation heartbroken as the man who served them was slain doing what he believed to be right, helping the poor, comforting the afflicted, and feeding the needy.  The shooter and the Bishop had never met prior to the event.

There’s a good side to this story though.  Connor Boyack (Twitter), a local Utah activist (he used to manage the Social Media Campaign for Mike Lee for Senate), geek, and I think all around good guy, heard this story and decided to do something about it.  He created a Pledgie campaign, setting a goal of $60,000 to raise for the family that was left behind – that’s $10,000 per boy in the 6-children family.  In just a couple days, they’ve met that goal, and in a single day they are in fact exceeding it and have raised over a thousand dollars just today.  The brother of Bishop Sannar has asked to keep the pledges going, on behalf of the family.

The fundraiser seems to be raising records for Pledgie as well, raising over 45,000 pageviews just in the few days since last night for the site, bringing over 1,100 pledges, and a total of $63,000 for the family.  The fundraiser hasn’t stopped either – it is spreading like wildfire, starting in LDS/Mormon circles, and expanding to many more who feel a need to donate.  It’s inspiring!  It, to me, shows the power and good of Social Media and that there’s a little good in each of us, and while this family will never see their father again, hopefully this effort can at least remove the burden financially for them so they can focus on resetting their life without a Dad.

If you could, would you please donate?  Just a few dollars is sufficient.  If you can’t afford to donate (and even if you can), would you please share this story on your blog, Tweet about it, tip Techmeme, post on Digg (I don’t even care if you do this for my article – feel free to post other articles that explain it better if you like), or whatever you might do to help out?  This family could be any one of us, and their Dad had put his whole life out to help others, even ahead of himself and his family.  Let’s show some good Karma and give back at least a little towards his priceless life and what is left behind.

As I write this, the family is grieving at the Father’s funeral (again, this just breaks my heart!).  These boys will never have their father to go to Scout camp with.  He won’t be able to watch his boys grow up.  While I hope justice is served, let’s show a little compassion and mercy by helping out this family.  Will you please donate?  As a father of 3 boys, this just tugs at the bottom of my soul.  Please help me out, and thank you for any help you can give.

You can do so now by just clicking this widget:

Click here to lend your support to: Help Bishop Sannar