Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Playground in Town: Technology for Genealogy

There's a new Facebook group in town for genealogists - Technology for Genealogy. Three weeks ago I realized that there really wasn't a common online playground for genealogists to get together to ask questions, share tech news and visit about how we use technology for genealogy.

Just in case I might have missed it, I messaged my pal, Thomas MacEntee, to see if he knew of any such group. After all, if Thomas doesn't know about it, no one does! Thomas' reply was basically "great idea, go for it!"

In a few minutes, the Facebook group was hatched. I invited a few friends, posted a message on my Facebook wall and Twitter. Before I could finish configuring the group settings, the online genealogists were flocking to this new gathering place. People were really jumping on the bandwagon and there were nearly 100 members during the first hour.

Three weeks later, we are quickly approaching 400 members, much due to mentions by Thomas MacEntee, James Tanner and Lynn Palermo of the Armchair Genealogist.

While the chatter has calmed down a bit after the first week, there is still plenty of information sharing going on regarding the technology tools that we use for genealogy. If you have a question about a product or need to learn the "how to" of software, apps or other technology, this is the group for you.

Lincoln, Nebraska "Genea-Tech" group

Along the same lines, I've started a Genealogy Interest Group through my local society, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society. We had our organizational meeting last Sunday with 10 members and three guests present. We brainstormed the various technology topics we wanted to pursue in depth, then  narrowed down the topics to four major themes. Our next session in September will be a comparison of some of the major genealogy software programs. My hearty thanks goes out to Drew Smith (one of the Genealogy Guys) who graciously shared his PowerPoint slides from a presentation he did for his society this month. It's a great starting point for us without having to re-invent the wheel.

It's very clear that technology is a hot topic for genealogists - we just can't get enough! And it's an ever changing field with new devices, apps, software and web sites emerging on a daily basis, a person really needs to keep up with it.

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