APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-08 > 1186146630
From: Sharon <>
Subject: [APG] Public Service - contribute to solutions
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2007 09:10:30 -0400
I have been a Rootsweb list adminstrator for other email lists since
1999 and a member of dozens of other Rootsweb lists since 1996.
These lists are a powerful public service medium originally funded by
folks like me who contributed both money and time for this purpose.
Ancestry/Generations Network now provides the dollars to maintain these
public service lists because there were millions more users of the
public service than contributors in the original Utopian model.
This APG public service list was created in 1998. Over the course of the
last two or three years, the composition of the subscribers and
discussions on this list has shifted from a convenient method for
professionals communicating with professionals - to include a sizeable
component of pro-bono contributions by professionals to those in the
general public who have discovered this resource.
Many readers and contributors to this list have in fact talked about how
this public service resource led them to become APG members so that they
could benefit and grow with other APG services.
However, over the last year, discussions on this email list have often
fueled reactions based on fears and insecurities in both the APG
professional community and the public.
Even my "straw man" survey last winter to test the viability a national
professional genealogy academic program - and address what appeared to
me to be a growing demand for more professional genealogy education
options - unearthed fears and factions that varied widely. Still, a
substantial core group of students were willing to invest their time and
money in such an academic pilot, but the professionals and the
organizations that would need to make that happen were already stretched
too thin for the required time, money and expertise.
How do we get better balance in this growing community with more diverse
demands and leverage such limited resources at a critical growth stage?
We can all contribute to that solution by applying our own strengths,
rather than splitting hairs and having circular discussions -
particularly in tangental emails where the problem of literal
translations and "flames" are well known.
Perhaps, my participation in APG will be instructive. I am more a
prosopographer and education facilitator than a "real genealogist", but
the genealogy discipline and the professional genealogy community has
provided me with methodology, tools and insight that is not available
elsewhere. In the meantime, I have contributed my skills to the PMC, the
APGQ, the Greater Boston chapter organization and publicity efforts.
I pay APG membership dues for this opportunity to both work for the
organization and learn from the organization.
The reality is that many issues can be resolved by rolling up your
sleeves and being a part of even the most mundane tasks in any
organization. It is not only an education, but an inspiration for
solving more complex problems - if you are willing to drop
misconceptions and address real issues.
I can't tell you how many misconceptions I have had, but I know that
there are plenty of folks who can because they periodically will remind
me with a "remember when you thought ...". On the other hand, such
ignorance has it's advantages in that I did not experience the wear and
tear of the decades it has taken to create the professional genealogy
discipline and community. Standing on the shoulders of the folks who did
should not be done like you are jumping on a horse to ride, but with the
respect and coordination that you might see in an expert troupe of gymnasts.
My suggestion to everyone who would like to be a part of solutions, is
to make a list of their skill sets that can be applied to an
organization. Then look at the existing organization to see where your
skills may be of most interest or suggest a new committee that you would
be willing to commit to
Just a little over a year ago, at the Massachusetts Genealogical Council
(MGC) annual seminar, Mel Wolfgang's presentation "Researching 'Birds
of a Feather': How Prosopography, Cluster Studies, and Record Linkage
Techniques Can Help Put New Leaves On Your Family Tree" drew unending
raves from attendees, who were previously scratching their heads about
the word prosopography. http://www.jonathansheppardbooks.com/lecturelist.htm
Mel continues providing his eye-opening techniques at the PMC in Fort
Wayne with "*/If You Think You've Looked Everywhere... It's Time to
|[APG] Public Service - contribute to solutions by Sharon <>|