I think this slide sums it up very well, the current barometer of genealogy. Change is a constant in our lives, especially in our genealogical lives. I began researching in 2001, a little while after Google had been on the scene. That opened up an entire new world for me, seeing pieces of history at my fingertips. Then, of course, I wanted to see these things in person and I haven’t looked back (figuratively, literally I look back into the past a lot!). Just the changes in the past 14 years are astounding, e.g. OCR, digitalization, DNA! Change fuels this passion, I believe. Sometimes, though, it’s not easy to embrace change…it can be difficult moving out of our comfort zones, learning new genealogy software, navigating new websites, wrapping your head around DNA. I’m a fairly shy person, more of a follower than a leader. I’m trying to break out of that shell and meet people at these get-togethers to forge some acquaintanceships. I’m considering having a get-together locally to see if anyone else in my community is interested in starting a genealogy society or just learning more. Me, a leader? Yikes!
With regard to genealogical societies, one pressing issue is social media, spreading the news. Mr. Curt B. Witcher hit the proverbial nail on the head when he said that people expect a response within an hour when they tweet or post on Faceback, no later than 24 hours. People are now accustomed to almost instant feedback, instant information. Also, people want something of value for free. Maybe a searchable database on the society’s website…maybe just that the society has a website posting information, welcoming and encouraging attendance at meetings and volunteering.
Something else I learned at this seminar, well, among a number of things, is what happens when a new society is born. A LOT happens is what happens! I thank the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society officers for opening my eyes to what is involved, how much hard work it entails and how much knowledge and fun is achievable. The WVGS is a lovely group who hosted this year’s IGS Conference, and every person from their group that I had contact with exuded friendliness and seemed genuinely happy to be there and hosting their guests.
All in all, it was a great day…definitely worth attending!
Ron Darrah, Corresponding Secretary for IGS, expounding on the benefits of your society’s newsletter/journal. Check out his blog for upcoming genealogical events and issues!