Turn your history knowledge into a Twile timeline

Could you help us add more history into Twile?

Over the last year we’ve added a number of world history “streams” to Twile, allowing you to see your ancestors’ lives in the context of what was happening in the world around them.

We started with a timeline of World War 2, via the American Revolutionary War and most recently a timeline of French Presidents.  We’re adding more of these streams over the next few months, but would like to offer you the opportunity to share your own history knowledge with other Twile users.

If you have a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about, please get in touch and we will set up a new (free) timeline for you to build.  It may be something global – war, politics, sport, entertainment – or something local, such as the history of your own community.  You’ll be able to share the timeline online, embed it into your own website or blog and – of course – add it to your Twile family timeline.

Simply add a comment below this article or send us an email to help@twile.com and we’ll get in touch.

Add alias or “known as” names to your family tree

You probably have at least one person on your Twile family tree who was (or is) known by a name different to their given name.  For example, my grandmother was given the name Dorothy as a child, but was known as Joan all of her life.

Previously, there was no way to enter these “known as” names in Twile, but we’ve now filled that gap.

To add an alias name for somebody on your Twile family tree:

  1. Move your mouse over them on the tree
  2. Click ‘Profile’
  3. Click on their name (near the top)
  4. Enter a value in the “known as” field, alongside their first name
  5. Click ‘Save’
  6. Now their alias name will be displayed anywhere you see that person in the tree or timeline

This has always been a much-requested feature in Twile, so we’re really glad to finally have it in there for you.  Please add a comment below to let us know what you think.

Add notes and words to your timeline

Sometimes you just want to add some words to your Twile timeline, to help tell the story or to describe an event that you don’t have any photos for.  Our latest addition to Twile allows you to do just that.

Adding a text event to a Twile timelineNow when you click the ‘Add’ button at the top of your timeline, you’ll see a new option: “Add an Event”.

Choose that option to open up a new, empty event – ready for you to add a title, description and anything else you like.

Any “words” you add to the story will be displayed on the timeline, so it’s a great way of adding a narrative to your family’s story.

New feature for managing access permissions for your family

We’ve just added a new feature to Twile that lets you control how other family members can contribute to your tree and timeline.  Until now, people you invited could edit your family tree (which isn’t always what you’d want), but weren’t able to make changes to events on your timeline (though you might sometimes want them to).

Permissions when inviting family membersWhen you invite people now, you’ll see a simple slider control that lets you specify whether that individual can add, edit or delete people on your tree and events on your timeline.

If you choose ‘Add’, they will be able to add people to your tree and add their own timeline events (or photos to yours), but won’t be able to change or remove anything you’ve added.

If you choose ‘Edit’, they will be able to add their own content and also make changes to what you’ve added to Twile – for example, correcting names, places or dates.

If you choose ‘Delete’, they will be able to add their own content, make changes to your people and events, but also remove people and events that you’ve added.

The permissions you grant your individual family members will only affect people and events you have added.

Permissions inside a person's profile on the family treeOnce a family member has been invited, you can always change the permissions they have at a later date.  You’ll find the same slider control inside the profile for each person on the tree.

Move your mouse over a person and choose ‘Profile’ to see these options.

As always, we’d love your thoughts on this new feature.  Does this give you the control you need?  Any suggestions on how to make this better? Please add a comment below or click the ‘Talk to us’ button when you’re logged into Twile.

Timeline of Pitch@Palace

This week we’ve launched our Timeline of Pitch@Palace, the programme founded by The Duke of York to help tech startups get their business ideas in front of a global audience of influencers.

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Twile CEO Paul Brooks at St. James’s Palace for the final of Pitch@Palace 6.0

We were fortunate enough to take part in Pitch@Palace 6.0 last year, which was an incredible experience in many ways.  We attended the final at St James’s Palace, where we rubbed shoulders with many influential individuals (including The Queen herself!) and have since been introduced to many incredible organisations, such as ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions).

ALVA represents many of the UK’s visitor attractions and heritage sites, including the Museum of London, the National Trust, V&A Museum, Glasgow Museums, Historic Environment Scotland and many more.  We are working with these attractions to build timelines for them and for the historical topics they are experts in.

The support we’ve received from the Duke of York’s team has been fantastic – with regular alumni networking events and introductions to valuable contacts – so we’re happy we’ve been able to show our thanks in a small way by building a dedicated timeline for Pitch@Palace.

Want to learn more?

 

Celebrating St George’s Day with a new family history infographic

Proudly based in the North of England, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate St George’s day this weekend with a red and white version of our family history infographic.

If you have English ancestry, take a look at the statistics that make up your family tree, such as the average number of children per family, average age of marriage and the most common surnames.

If you already have a Twile account:

  • Start at your Twile family tree: www.twile.com/people 
  • Click the ‘View Infographic’ button
  • Select ‘English’ to see your red and white infographic

If you aren’t yet registered for Twile, it’s completely free of charge to create your English infographic.

Our infographics were designed to help you share your research in a fun and exciting way with your family and we have had some great feedback from our customers:

“Since I created my 2 images for free with Twile, some of my younger family members have expressed an interest to know more about genealogy, and a desire to create their own graphics.  Sometimes, the hardest part of doing genealogy is trying to get other family members interested and engaged!” Dixie La Pierre, US (cocktailsandswagger.com)

“Gotta love an infographic! A great way to get the people whose eyes normally glaze over, interested in family history” (@FamilyTreeUK via Twitter)

“The tree and timeline features will have even the most reluctant genealogist participating in family history in no time”, Amie Bowser Tennant, (The Genealogy Reporter)

You can also order a print of your personalised infographic to make a wonderful birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift. If you’re quick, you can take advantage of a 40% discount on printing until the end of April 2017!

You can now order a printed family history infographic!

Following feedback and requests we’ve had from customers, we’re really happy to be able to offer you a professionally printed version of our Family History infographic.

Previously only available as a digital version to share online, you can now order your infographic as a high resolution print, to add to the family album or show off in a frame over the mantelpiece.

We have many customers wanting to frame their infographic for themselves or as a gift to family members. Our aim has always been to make family history more interesting and engaging and we love the idea of infographics hanging in someone’s hall and sparking conversations with other family members and friends!

Special Launch Offer – 40% discount

You can order a printed infographic for £28 ($35), however to coincide with Who Do you Think You Are? Live, we are offering a huge 40% discount until the end of April 2017.

The infographics are available in two sizes and delivered FREE anywhere in the world. And since Twile is now totally free for everyone to use, these printed infographics give you a new way to support our project. (Thank you!)

Get your infographic at www.twile.com/numbers

Already have one?  Follow the same link in the email we sent you originally, or click the ‘View infographic’ button on your Twile family tree to order your printed copy.

Import your Facebook photos to your Twile timeline

Do you have photos in Facebook that you’d like to add to your Twile timeline?  We’ve made some improvements to the Facebook import in Twile, which will help you to update your timeline with the memories you share on Facebook.

A lot of our effort at Twile is spent on finding ways to make it easier for you to share and preserve your family memories.  We know that many of you already share photos with friends on Facebook – why upload them again to Twile if you can just import them with a couple of clicks?

We’re always looking for ways to engage the younger generations with Twile – we hope that our integrations with services like Facebook (and Instagram coming soon!) will play a part.

How to import photos from Facebook

Add button in Twile timeline

  1. Click the ‘Add’ button at the top of your Twile timeline
  2. Click ‘Import from Facebook’
  3. Login with Facebook if requested
  4. Select the photo albums you wish to import
  5. Click ‘Import’

Twile will automatically add events to your timeline, using the photos you’ve selected.  They’re added to the right point on the timeline, making it much easier to explore your Facebook content in context with the rest of your recent family history.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think of our Facebook import feature – please leave a comment here or click the ‘Talk to us’ button inside Twile to talk to one of the team.  Where else would you like to import photos from?

The technical challenges of running a growing startup

While we are constantly trying to add new features to your Twile timeline and family tree, I thought it might be useful to give some insight into how much time is spent simply ensuring Twile runs smoothly behind the scenes.

One of the things we love about building Twile is the close relationship we have with our customers.  We have always actively encouraged our customers to give us their feedback and reach out when we can help in any way.  And our customers clearly appreciate this level of conversation – something they very rarely get from other online brands.

The feedback we receive makes it much easier for us to build the features that customers want to use.  Pretty much everything we add into Twile has been directly or indirectly requested by our users.

Unfortunately, there is also a large amount of development work needed that doesn’t lead to shiny new features.  As Twile has grown (we’ve been around for nearly four years now), we’ve had to adapt many technical aspects of Twile to accommodate the requirements of our audience.  Who knew you guys could have 50,000 people on a family tree?!

And as we add new features to the app, we have to review its look-and-feel and layout, to make sure it still has the minimalist simplicity that our customers have told us they love.

Fortunately, we have a great team of developers who are experts in all of the above.  Every single piece of Twile that you either can or can’t see has been designed and built internally by Twile’s own developers.  We’re very proud of them 🙂

So, please keep your suggestions coming – we love to hear your feedback and we take on board every idea or request you send our way.  We have to spend a lot of our time maintaining the existing features and keeping Twile running smoothly, but we’re also working as hard as we can to add all of the features you’re hoping for.

And we have some very big features coming soon!

Twile present to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions

This week, Twile’s Paul Brooks and Kelly Marsden attended a council meeting of members of ALVA – the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions – at Wembley Stadium in London.

As well as a great opportunity to rub shoulders with leaders of some of the UK’s leading tourist attractions, we had a chance to tour England’s national football stadium and sample some truly fantastic food!  We were made extremely welcome and are very much looking forward building on the relationships we started there.

ALVA represent some of the top UK attractions to Government, media and business and lobby for support for the sector, as well as providing valuable networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for their members.

Twile were introduced to ALVA through our relationship with Pitch@Palace, the startup competition founded by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.  The Pitch@Palace team felt there was a natural connection between Twile’s mission around family and history and the goals of ALVA’s members, which include museums, palaces, galleries and heritage trusts. All members have rich histories, perfect for viewing on a timeline.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to introduce Twile and look forward to long and prosperous relationships with ALVA members.