Follow Friday April 30, 2010

Today is Follow Friday. If you have your own genealogy or family history related blog, you can participate in Follow Friday. What is it?

Follow Friday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Follow Friday, simply create a post in which you recommend another genealogy blogger, a specific blog post, a genealogy website or a genealogy resource. Tell us why they are important to the genealogy community and why we should follow.

A special thanks to Earline Bradt of Ancestral Notes for suggesting Follow Friday as a daily blogging theme!

Here are the latest Follow Friday posts from our member genealogy bloggers:

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Social Media Policy for NGS 2010


Thanks to Elizabeth Hansford of Genealogy Geek who sent us a photo (via Twitter of course!) of the social media policy in force at the National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference going on right now in Salt Lake City:

NGS 2010 social media policy

Here is the transcription:

National Genealogical Society Social Media Policy
NGS does not permit the recording of presentations at the NGS Family History Conference under any circumstances or in any form or media, including but not limited to audio recordings, video recordings, or literal transcripts, except by specific written permission.
NGS does permit and encourage the use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging at the conference as a way to summarize, highlight, exerpt, review, critique, and/or promote the presented materials, syllabus materials, or the conference in general, provided that (1) the material is not shared in full and (2) the author/speaker is referenced and cited appropriately in each case.  Please keep in mind that our presenters have invested many hours in the development of this material and copyright laws apply.

I want to congratulate the organizers of NGS 2010 for putting such a policy in place and for making certain that not only are the intellectual property rights of genealogy speakers protected, but that social media users feel safe in using the latest technologies to help promote the field of genealogy.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

A Code of Conduct

One of my great joys of working with an online community like GeneaBloggers is the opportunity to interact with many people from diverse backgrounds.  I don’t know about you, but my life is much richer for this experience and I feel blessed to be able to learn new things and gain new perspectives every day.

What Is GeneaBloggers?

I feel we have a great community – we are now at over 1,000 blogs as of this week – and our members come from many different backgrounds.  In the past two years (yes, it has only been that long!), I’ve seen not only our impact on the genealogy community but the impact on individual lives – some have said being involved in the genealogy blogging community has been a literal lifesaver in helping them get through rough times.  Others have said that blogging opened up an entire new world of professional and economic opportunities.  And others have said it has allowed them to reconnect with their own families as well as ancestors.

The GeneaBloggers Organization

GeneaBloggers has existed without much organization – we are not incorporated as a non-profit or for-profit and we don’t have a lot of rules.  Many folks have said this is the way they prefer it to be – that it becomes too restrictive when membership requirements (and fees) are added or a board is appointed.  Right now I am in agreement with that but this concept should be periodically re-examined and I am open to working with other members on this topic.

Code of Conduct

However, one area that needs to be addressed is how we as members interact with each other and what behaviors are or aren’t tolerated.  I’ve never been a fan of groups that determine who is “in the margins” and who is “outside the margins.”  But when it comes to the very basic ways in which we treat each other, I do need to try and set the tone, if not help develop a code of conduct.

Recently a member of GeneaBloggers has had to consider legal action against another member due to actions and communications which were inappropriate and personal in nature.  Despite being asked repeatedly to cease contact, the behavior continued.

For me, my guiding principle has been “do unto others” and to consider the impact my actions have.  I was raised to be considerate of others and to not think that the world revolved around me and my wants  and desires.  While I may stray from this from time to time, I always come back to this as my guide.

If I were to come up with a Code of Conduct for GeneaBloggers, it would be that all members should:

  • Work to further the genealogy community and its reach.
  • Communicate the importance of genealogy and family history to others.
  • Comment and give feedback not just to other members but also to genealogy vendors and others involved in the field.
  • Feel safe in the online environment and the genealogy blogging community. This means being able to set limits on communication and involvement and to have those limits respected.
  • Not tolerate posts and communication that advocate hatred, racism, sexism or any of the other insidious “isms,” many of which not only detract from our mission as genealogists, but don’t serve to make the world a better place.
  • Feel comfortable having honest conversations with other members.
  • Separate any advocacy of a political or religious nature to a separate blog.  While our spiritual and civic upbringings have helped shaped us, posts that go beyond informational and seek to advocate or convert are inappropriate.
  • Always be able to ask for help, be it technical advice or emotional support during a rough time.  Many of us feel like family after all.

Your Thoughts?

This is your community as much as it is mine.  What would you include in a Code of Conduct? Do you feel that GeneaBloggers needs more structure and organization?  I’d love to hear comments and thoughts.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee