TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-04 > 1271365626
From: Harold Henderson <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Digital vs. Print Publications - Long
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 16:24:27 -0500
Very interesting. My local society is much smaller and I suspect we
can hide from some these changes for quite a while yet, for better or
worse. You mention people dying and being unable to research any more:
I'm wondering if we are doing what we should to attract "replacements"
at the other end! But perhaps that is another thread.
On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 4:01 PM, Elizabeth <> wrote:
> I just have to enter into this discussion. For the last two years, I
> have been the President of the Dallas (TX) Genealogical Society. I left
> that office in mid-December 2009. The costs of running any group is
> exploding. Postage, printing, running a web site, database, etc.- the
> ability of a volunteer genealogical society is fading as we speak. David
> Rencher has spoken to this fact on various occasions. The only way of
> keeping up is to go digital. The problem is with us "moldy oldies" that
> learned to read from print. We just are not comfortable about the
> digital product usage. Our children will have no problem with this as
> they have grown up with reading from the computer/. /In fact, our
> governor from the State of Texas is requesting that we have EVERYTHING
> on line concerning the education of our children (including their
> textbooks) within the next four years. The amount of money that the
> Dallas Society was spending on print was unreal, to the point that it
> was not allowing us to meet our other goals (supporting the Dallas
> Public Library and preserving Dallas documents) The membership numbers
> are falling off is deaths occur or when a person is unable to drive to
> do research anymore. Will more societies go digital - YES! They do not
> have a choice, as if they don't, they will have to price themselves
> right out of the market place. I suspect that more societies will offer
> a print option for more money. Also, there is a problem with getting
> enough volunteers to run a genealogical society, especially in the
> leadership positions. I spent two years as the Vice-President of
> Fundraising and two years as President. The changes that I have seen
> have not been anything to what is going to happen in the next five years
> and the changes in the four years were very great. We MUST prepare for
> the future.
> This means we must get comfortable with the digital medium and quit
> fighting it. It is here to stay. The medium will get better and more
> useful, but it will not be comfortable to most of us. In doing this, we
> will have a lot more to research and have available to us.
> Familysearch.org is already going in this direction. Ancestry.com is
> already there. I am finding that I am getting more comfortable all the
> time with the technology, but I had several friends to push me into
> understanding the usage of internet.
> Finally, this is not a feeling subject. The is about business plans and
> how the genealogical societies will stay in business. There are forces
> at work here (the general overall society) that are going to shape the
> future. Late last year, the board decided to go digital with the
> newsletter. The post office was taking up to 2 months to deliver bulk
> mail. We could not get anything out on a timely basis because of it.
> This was an equal threat that was going along with the price increases.
> We tried several ways of working around the problem, but nothing worked,
> so in October 2009, we decided to go digital.We sent a letter to the
> Society members, explaining the situation and got a mixed result, as we
> asked for them to return the letter to update their email or for a print
> copy. I was the one that entered most of the information on the database
> for the Society, and we got so MANY new email addresses on the people
> that asked for paper copies, I could not believe it. We still have about
> 20% of the Society when I left office that did not have email addresses
> that we know of. Now, there is nothing to say that members can not
> print off copies, but that is their choice, not the Society's expense.
> This is coming down to our survival as a Society.
> I am sorry that I had to take so much email up, but this is a difficult
> subject and there is no easy answers. Just remember that this decision
> has more to do with profit-loss and timely delivery than with how we
> feel about the subject.
> Elizabeth "Liz" Kutz
> Recent Past President Dallas Genealogical Society
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Research and Writing from NW Indiana
|Re: [TGF] Digital vs. Print Publications - Long by Harold Henderson <>|