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Open Thread Thursday: The Genealogy Experience

open thread

It has been quite some time since we’ve done an Open Thread Thursday post, hasn’t it? This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

What do you look for in a genealogy experience? Look beyond products and services and the “tangible” stuff.  When you “do genealogy” – be it research, heritage travel, publishing a family history book – what do you want to come away with?

Is the concept of an experience even important? Should we be concerned with what genealogists and family historians experience when they interact with the genealogy industry? What do you see as the components of a meaningful genealogy experience? Education? Product creation? Research? Travel?

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.


Part of my inspiration for The Genealogy Experience series has been a recent post by Lynn Palermo over at The Armchair Genealogist entitled “The Moment You Knew.”  In this excellent article, Lynn discusses the start of her genealogy journey and asks her audience to document the start of their own journey.

The other inspiration is a recent phone conversation with a genealogy vendor involving a new product. Throughout the discussion, I stressed that with an increasing number of choices among products such as family tree sites, memory keeping sites, etc., what will make one product stand out from the others is the experience factor.  I believe that as the genealogy industry grows and matures, consumers and especially the new comers, will judge websites, products and services by the quality of the genealogy experience they give to the user.

There are lots of talking points here and I hope over the next few weeks, we can talk about not just our own experiences that we bring to the table, but what we want to see for consumers in the family history market.


This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

13 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: The Genealogy Experience

  1. Experience IS important. My personal focus is on getting research done, putting a tree together for future generations to look at, and unabashed cousin bait. Thanks for the opportunity to add my two cents!

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