Why Reality Is As Important As Virtual

I am still digesting all that went on this weekend at the Southern California Genealogical Society‘s 40th Annual Jamboree this past weekend in Burbank, California.  What I don’t understand is why Jamboree was my first genealogy conference and why I waited so long to attend.  But one of the most obvious observations to me:

you can’t do your research or network with other genealogists only in the “virtual world” – you absolutely must interact with your colleagues in the “real world”

Simply put, you need a good mix of “real time” and “virtual time” to really understand the genealogy community.  A good mix, to me, means:

– spend time on the Internet researching your family tree and building your technical skills; but also get out and share those skills with your local genealogy society or others at genealogy conferences

– create a blog about one or more aspects of genealogy (see “What Types of Genealogy Blogs Are There?” from the Genealogy Blog Primer);  but also help your local genealogical or historical society set up a blog to advertise their events

– participate in online chats, carnivals, memes and events like Scanfest; but also get out and see what’s up at your local library, your nearest Family History Center, your local genealogy society

There is much truth in the old saying “no man is an island” when it comes to participating in the genealogy community.  Close to 40 geneabloggers were in attendance at Jamboree this weekend and there were things that we shared that just could not be done online in a virtual world.  I believe that I have a much deeper understanding and appreciation not only for my genealogy blogging colleagues, but for genealogical societies because of this great opportunity to interact.

While I am still exhausted from all this past weekend’s activities, I am also excited, exhilirated and energized by the possibilities of having the geneablogging community become a respected group of “influencers” in the greater genealogical community.  Stay tuned here at GeneaBloggers.com for information over the next few weeks and months.

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7 thoughts on “Why Reality Is As Important As Virtual

  1. Ditto. I’d never thought so many people would show up at such an event. What a high! I spent Monday sleeping and the last two days “genealogizing” into the wee hours. The genea-bloggers could well create their own event!
    Come on, guys, let’s DO IT!

  2. I’d love to see a GeneaBloggers event but how about doing it in a central location rather than on the west coast?

  3. Leslie, I agree! We need to use Genea-bloggers to hook up with others in our neighborhood and to organize events where we can all get together.

    Thomas, one thing I would add to your post is how the virtual relationships we have built made it easier for you all to connect in person. You were already good friends – you just hadn’t met face-to-face. That’s night and day different from walking into a conference cold where you don’t know a soul.

  4. I will expand upon this post tomorrow – I have been thinking about how genealogy conferences on the East Coast tend to be FGS and NGS which is a different vibe while the West Coast has Jamboree and Family History Expos!

    I will also touch upon the “already good friends issue”

    Thomas

  5. I couldn’t agree with Denise more. I have “known” most of the Geneabloggers close to two years now. Meeting in person after all this time was so comfortable and stress-free. The support system that Genea-bloggers has woven around us is beyond compare. I know that I am a better genealogist and more importantly, a better person for it.

    Sheri Fenley

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