Saturday, November 8, 2008

SDGS Meeting Report - 8 November 2008

The San Diego Genealogical Society meeting today featured election of officers, a talk on the SDGS Library Catalog by Pam Journey, some good snacks, and a talk by myself, Randy Seaver, on Genealogy Web Sites You Can Use. There were over 100 attendees at this meeting - presumably drawn by the program content.

Pam's talk discussed the SDGS Library Dewey decimal catalog system, and the logic behind it, how to access the online library catalog from home to plan a library visit, and examples of the library catalog entries.

My talk was similar to the CGSSD class given in September, but jazzed up a bit with some cartoon slides. The presentation was a summary of genealogy information currently available on the Internet. The slides discussed large database sites, family tree sites, data portal sites, some specific web sites and some libraries and societies, often with a screen shot of the web site's home page and some comments about the site. I finished up with a list of commercial databases available for free access at local libraries.

Both Pam and I sat down next to our laptop computer on the table with the LCD projector. This was necessary because the video cord between the laptop and projector was pretty short. This facilitated viewing of the screen by the audience - we weren't in the viewer's way, but it limited eye contact between speaker and audience to the front rows. The stage is only about one foot high, so a speaker who has to be near his laptop is limited (I don't have a clicker to advance the slides, and couldn't turn easily to use a pointer). I really prefer standing at a podium and roaming a bit, but this worked OK.

Due to the overflow crowd, some attendees didn't receive the four-page handout of the web sites I discussed. If any SDGS meeting attendee wants a PDF copy of the handout, please email me at

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