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Archiver > TMG > 2011-03 > 1301069643

From: Virginia Blakelock <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Enthusiasm and Elitism
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 12:14:03 -0400
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

> Darrell wrotes:
>>May I be so bold as to suggest that promoting the use of sources for
>>every single piece of data, without exception, is enthusiasm; but
>>insisting that this is the *only* intelligent, or proper, or
>>reasonable way to do it, is elitism.

Close, Darrell <g>.

I think we've gotten a little heavy-handed in our enthusiasm - both
for advanced usage of TMG and for certain genealogical standards.
This list is the face of TMG - where the terms 'steep learning curve'
and 'TMG is for serious genealogists' were born.

Consider our advice to the newcomer:

. . . put everyone in a single project (it may seem a little confusing
at first but once you master flags and accents you'll be able to
handle it);

. . . use custom roles and sentences (like all serious genealogists we
emphasize customized narrative reports; your kinfolks' eyes may glaze
over when they read them - but what do they know? You may want to
write a book or publish in a genealogy journal some day. (You should
know that we call people who don't use customizations 'Beginners'. No
offense; some of them have been around for years.);

. . . use witnesses (de rigueur; they don't GEDCOM out but we don't
approve of that anyway - and I can recommend an easier program for

And then we lay on the lecture about sources - ad nauseum <g>.

Yeah, it troubles me. Maybe elitism isn't the right word - but it
does ring of a certain smugness and air of superiority. Compare that
advice to the 'five points about realizing benefits in TMG' posted
here many years ago. In fact you may remember that discussion. I
call it the 'chasing rainbows' thread. The last message was from a
user who wrote: "I've copied your five points about realizing benefits
and pasted them in front of me and am happier since I quit chasing
rainbows." The five points from that message:
"The majority of the benefit to be had from using the program can be
realized by:

1. Using the Tag Types supplied with the program.

2. Generating output using the default sentences for each Tag Type.

3. Putting appropriate values in each field of the specific Tags.

4. Adding commentary as desired in the sentence Memo fields.

5. Attaching involved persons to Tags, in either Principal Witness
positions or Other Witness positions.

An additional benefit may be had by using Roles; but, as big an
advocate of Roles as I am, I still recognize that their use is not at
all necessary.

I think a disproportionate number of us on this list (compared to the
TMG user community as a whole) have been through significant
transitions involving our genealogical information. These may be
moving large amounts of data to TMG from a different program, or
processing major version upgrades of TMG itself, or deciding to make
major changes in how we handle certain kinds of events or records. We
may need to be reminded from time to time that it is possible to just
buy the program and *use* it...."

Good advice - no lecture, no pressure.

That discussion rambled around under different subject lines for
several weeks. The 5-points message is here:

You will want to go back and read Gary Ruppert's message in that
thread (see the links below the 5-points message) to get the full

(BTW, Darrell - did you realize you have 6,288 messages in the archives?)


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