Monday, July 13, 2009

GenSeekers Announced and Delayed

Dick Eastman posted about The GenSeeker Project yesterday, from a memo of some sort, which said (in part):

"The GenSeeker Project [is] a unique initiative, recruiting traveling family researchers as "GenSeekers" to introduce local communities throughout the U.S. to GenSeek, a social media website devoted to the monumental task of digitizing and sharing family histories found in small towns.

"The GenSeekers' roadshows are planned to commence in the Fall of 2009, coinciding with the scheduled launch of GenSeek. GenSeekers will teach community librarians, local historical archivists and others how easy it is to use the website to contribute to and share content found on FamilySearch's Family History Library Catalog. To learn more about becoming a GenSeeker or to register to receive notification when GenSeek is ready to launch, visit"

Read the entire post for more information about the GenSeeker Project. From that description, it sounds like:

* Several teams of "family researchers" will travel around the USA (the world?) giving presentations to librarians and archivists to introduce

* Those librarians and archivists will then be motivated to add their local collections to the GenSeek collection. Presumably, this means a link in the pages telling about the local resources (which might be in microform, book, manuscript, audio, video, or digital format), and, hopefully, a link to digitized content.

I have questions (don't I always have questions?):

* What about genealogy societies with private collections? Will society leaders be included in the GenSeekers presentations (i.e., are they the "others" mentioned?)?

* Will the GenSeekers presentations include offers to help libraries, archives and societies digitize their collections? Or provide contacts for digitizing services?

* Will genealogy researchers be recruited for the GenSeekers teams? If so, what will be the qualifications? The time commitment, the pay :).

The information above says "To learn more about becoming a GenSeeker ... visit" Well, I visited and there is only the mail registration box - nothing about becoming a GenSeeker.

Now - The "really big" news, to me at least, was the explicit definition of the launch of the web site in Fall 2009. There have been many promises made about the launch date - many of them centered on May 2009. So they missed that date... the good news is that Fall is only two months off (September 21 is when Fall starts), or then it could be December (Fall ends on 21 December). Is this a really firm commitment on's part? I hope so - the expectations for May were dashed six weeks ago - it's not good to raise the hopes and expectations of genealogists! On the other hand, they do need to "get it right" the first time out.

Some readers may be wondering "What is going to be?"

I've written several posts about it, as have other bloggers. See:

* When will be unveiled? dated 7 May 2009

* Lifting the Skirt on, dated 15 March 2009.

* A Sneak Peek at, dated 2 February 2009

* What Will GenSeek Be? dated 22 January 2009

If becomes the "window to the vast collection of genealogical resources" that is promised, then it will be a tremendous asset to genealogists all over the world.

I'm still impatient... I want it now. I know - "calm down, Seaver, you always want it now." Well, yeah!


M. Diane Rogers said...

I have similar questions and some doubts.

Church teams working around the world in copying &/or encouraging/organizing genealogical projects. Would this replace those or?

And, of course, very interested to know if project will be worldwide (& if not, why not?). Canada is very close by. We could be 'next'.

Tamura Jones said...


Paul Allen has been dropping info like this on twitter, but he dropped the GennSeekers idea in his June 26 blog post on GenSeekers.
He, I and others have tweeted that link:

You remark that past promises of release dates have not been met, and Fall, well Fall is 3-month window :-(

- Tamura