Thursday, August 17, 2006

Communicating with genealogists

Several genea-bloggers, including myself, have opined about what ails genealogy society membership, conference attendance and the like - and what to do about it. One of the cures that I wrote about here concerned improved communication.

Many national, regional or local genealogy societies have a regular email newsletter or web page to notify you of upcoming society programs. What about programs of other local societies that you are not a member of - how do you find out about them?

Here in the San Diego area, one of the local genealogy societies that I belong to, the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD), hosts and manages a Calendar of Events for all genealogy societies in the County. The CGSSD web site is here. Click on the "Detailed Calendar of Events" to see the genealogy happenings planned in San Diego County for the next two months. As a program planner, I send my updates once a month.

This is a wonderful resource for local genealogists, whether members of the listed societies or not. All of the societies welcome visitors and guests, and take the opportunity to provide interesting and informative programs to the wider genealogy community.

Joan Lowrey, a professional genealogist and an accomplished conference and society speaker, has managed this calendar for many years. Before web pages and email, the list was printed and distributed to society newsletter editors and to libraries and Family History Centers in San Diego County. It still is printed and distributed in hopes of serving those genealogists who do not frequent the Internet.

Joan knew of one other region that has a similar online calendar - in San Francisco. Undoubtedly, there are others. If you know of one, please share it with us.

What value is a calendar of this nature to genealogy societies hoping to attract more attendees to their programs and events? I often peruse it to see what other local societies are doing, and I occasionally attend a meeting of interest. As a society program planner, I also use it as a speaker resource. To me, it is priceless.

1 comment:

Jasia said...

I used to compile a calendar of meetings for all the gen societies in our area back when I was the webmaster for the Polish Genalogical Society of Michigan web site. I didn't have the benefit of other societies submitting their activities to me so I had to go out and comb their web sites for all their meetings and seminars. Occasionally I would get a newspaper clipping sent to me about a local event from someone who was trying to be helpful. But that's the extent of the help I got. It was exhaustive work I can tell you that. I know a lot of people accessed the calendar on the web site though. And I got a lot of good feedback about it.