The White Stone Project Seeks $50,000 to Create a New & Powerful Genealogy Search Engine, App, and a Family Heritage Social Network Site

I am not familiar with this project but the press release certainly looks interesting:

The White Stone Project comprises of a new & powerful Genealogy search engine, app, and a family heritage social network site.

Los Angeles, CA — 07/11/2014 — The White Stone Project is all about putting the power to find one’s true family heritage into the hands of millions of people who until now rely mostly upon the current inadequate genealogy software and technology available, combined with stories passed down, from generation to generation about their own family histories. It’s also about bridging the more difficult aspects of finding one’s true heritage, like those who may have fled from Europe to escape poverty and famine; it’s about slaves, and the plight of Native Americans.

The White Stone Project is much more than a project – it’s a personal way to bring people closer together by helping to open the gates of knowledge to their family histories; knowledge about who they really are, where they came from, and who they are connected to, based upon their family heritage.

Mallorian Group needs to raise $50,000.00 to secure their team and begin coding the designs for the core site of White Stone, then build the infrastructure for the rest of the tools and get their DNA help secured. Once they complete this phase, they will move forward to create the database, the social network, a public wiki page, and the downloadable app for White Stone.

More information may be found on the Indiegogo page at http://goo.gl/w6xOa9 as well as in the video below:

11 Comments

Interesting. Googling “White Stone Project” returns a number of results, none of which has anything to do with genealogy. Aside from promoting the warm fuzzies of bringing “people closer together by helping to open the gates of knowledge to their family histories,” this project is ambiguous enough to be questionable. Perhaps they could start by explaining what’s wrong with the “current inadequate genealogy software and technology” and how they plan to make substantive improvements.

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    —> Googling “White Stone Project” returns a number of results, none of which has anything to do with genealogy.

    Go to Google and search for the following:

    “White Stone Project” genealogy

    Use the quotes as shown. That will show the “White Stone Project” that wishes to create a genealogy web site. As you pointed out, there appear to be a number of organizations called the “White Stone Project.” I don’t see any obvious connections with the different organizations. Each one apparently is independent of the others.

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The Indeigogo page offers no explanations as to what is supposedly inadequate about the various existing systems. Why don’t they just join Family Search Family Tree?

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Dick – I’m not stupid. I did Google “White Stone Project” genealogy. The only results that referred to this project were your newsletter, the original press release (from a dubious press release site), and a couple of web-scraping websites. Hardly reassuring. I expect more from this newsletter than flaky press releases about flaky companies.

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—> I expect more from this newsletter than flaky press releases about flaky companies.

I agree. That’s why I wrote at the beginning of my article, “I am not familiar with this project but the press release certainly looks interesting.” I am not yet ready to invest any of my money based upon this one questionable press release but I do still believe it is interesting…

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There are already a number of pure research apps out there that combine functionality including OCR, PDF markup viewing and cataloging, citation apps, search engine and neural networking, so apps that use the same techniques and focus on family history research is not a big stretch. After trying several research apps for genealogy a few years ago, I’ve settled on Qiqqa.

Currently following your advice and converting to OCRed PDFs. I’m about 1/2 done with the larger books with about 15,000 of them digitized. Focusing on scraping LOC’s newspaper collection – D/Led the top 50K pages that were of interest…

Anyway, while this “White Stone” thing sounds too fly-by-night to be credible, it wouldn’t be difficult to assemble such an app from open source components for very little spend. The “Search Engine” idea is of course the next logical evolution of the more formal boolean searches we’ve been doing for decades – let the search engine figure it out!

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This very short video snip does not specify what isn’t adequate with the current genealogy tools and apps, also doesn’t clearly quantify what they mean by “affordable” nor do they give ANY indication of what they they plan to do differently which would be a positive innovation or significant enhancement to what is currently available. Lastly, it doesn’t provide any indication of its key resource, the person(s) behind this effort, for one to judge their experience and past accomplishments. This video can only be hoping that Barnum was right.

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The original press release names the contact as Randolph Beverly with a telephone number in Milan, Italy. The US Zip code (80432) does not exist. A Google search reveals a ‘Randy Beverly Jr’ who is the head coach of an American football team in Milan, Italy (and son of a former NY Jets player). The Mallorian Group has relatively simple web pages soliciting software development consulting work but doesn’t offer an address or provide any indications of work experience or expertise. $50,000 is a ‘drop in the bucket’ (less than 3 man months) for what would be needed to fund even a small software project. This is not a wise investment choice.

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    Not a wise investment choice? It’s probably a scam. I sure hope none of this newsletter’s readers got sucked into it.

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Hillarious video! Maybe they could connect with those guys in Nigeria that keep emailing me for help to transfer money…

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Even if it did what it wants to do, it sounds as if it would take the fun out of genealogy, for me at any rate!

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