TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2012-11 > 1353687378
Subject: Re: [TGF] Bad Karma -- oops
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 11:16:18 -0500 (EST)
Oops... My email went out without my signature. I wasn't trying to be
anonymous! Here it is, signed.
I finally managed to find Sharon Tate Moody's blog post, and have read only
a handful of other blogs and emails about it. I want to make only a few
- All great music was once new. All genealogists were once beginners.
- Some beginners eventually become great genealogists, but not all aspire
to such heights. That is o.k.
- Bad genealogists and good genealogists have equal access to the
Internet. Fact and fiction reproduce equally fast on the Internet. User beware.
Tony Proctor said, "The industry should be able to help solve these issues
but we're very fragmented." This points up another interesting reality.
That is, genealogy is both a hobby and a profession. That is, people enjoy
genealogy at very different levels. This is somewhat unusual -- for example,
medicine and law do not invite people to engage in medicine or law as a
hobby. In addition, genealogy has become an "industry" of sorts, which is to
say, a constellation of firms sell services to genealogists -- both
hobbyists and professionals. These firms are in it to make money, not to police
the field. Their goal is to sell, not regulate.
Should someone regulate? Actually, the field already has some effective
self-regulation: certification, accreditation, codes of ethics. Is this
enough? Good question.
J. H. ("Jay") Fonkert, CG
View my speaking calendar at:
Saint Paul, MN
Director, Association of Professional Genealogists
professional profile at _www.apgen.org_ (http://www.apgen.org)/)
*"CG" & "Certified Genealogist" are service marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists, and are used by authorized associates following
periodic, peer-reviewed competency evaluations. Certificate No. 965, issued 11
May 2012, expires 11 May 2017.
In a message dated 11/23/2012 4:31:40 A.M. Central Standard Time,
That sort of attitude (in the articles) smacks of elitism Kathy. It's not
good. However, I find myself in the centre of things on a number of fronts.
I was a beginner once, and (embarrassed) didn't cite my sources. A light
came on one day and I realised that was a big mistake so I had to re-trace
my steps and correct everything. The point being that we were most of us
there once. However, I also believe the atrocious standard of some online
trees is diluting the reputation of genealogy, and making is less of a
science than other forms of micro-history. Criticising individuals is not
the way to solve that situation though. The fault lies in other areas such
as lack of easily accessible education for newbies, lack of support for
sources+citations by content providers, lack of a reliable standard for
sharing more than just names+dates+places, and the encouragement of
copy-and-paste from other trees.
OK, you might be preparing to counter some of those. For instance, many
sites and books try to educate, but most people who are just starting will
be unaware of them. They see the advertisements for the likes of ancestry
and maybe buy genealogy magazines from their newsagent. Some magazines are
better than others but I know that most are reluctant to approach anything
with a vaguely technical vein to it. The information on the Internet is
there but there's probably too much of it, and its uncoordinated and
opinionated content would give most newbies "information overload".
The industry should be able to help solve these issues but we're very
fragmented - especially across the globe. Commercial and "philosophical"
self-interests make it very hard to unite us.
It's probably unrelated to your original post but there's a different type
of perceived elitism between traditional genealogists and the professional
software people. I do hope the perception is not too grounded in reality
because synergy between those disciplines is the way of the future. It is
not productive for software people to criticise genealogists for their
of understanding about issues with storage, data modelling, globalisation,
standards, etc. Nor is it productive for genealogists to criticise
people for their lack of knowledge about research methodology or real-life
scenarios. In reality there are many people who have a foot in both camps.
Tony Proctor (Organising member of FHISO)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kathy Gunter Sullivan, CG" <>
To: "TGF" <>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 1:58 AM
Subject: [TGF] Bad Karma
>I cannot comment at the /Tampa Bay/ website
> because I do not do Facebook. Some bloggers have picked up the article
> and made it a "cause" in bloggers' world.
> The slammed author attempts to point out and educate about problems
> with evidence evaluation. Hyperbole--exaggeration to create emphasis
> or effect--is employed by many authors and bloggers to make a point is
> not a bad thing. In this instance it is inflated on flogs (oops,
> blogs) as if it is a personal attack on "hobbiests" [/sic]/ and
> Ancestry.com--neither of which were mentioned in the author's article.
> And as if "license" was a serious proposition. There was no personal
> attack upon anyone in the author's article despite the prevailing
> crowd mentality of the commentators (a few of whom admit they have not
> even read the article).
> Not everything about is "you" (whoever you are). There is no
> common-sense reason to take every comment by an author or a blogger as
> a personal affront.
> Kathy Gunter Sullivan
> The Transitional Genealogists List was created to provide a supportive
> environment for genealogists to learn best practices as they transition
> professional level work. Please respect the kind intentions of this list.
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
> with the word
> 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the
The Transitional Genealogists List was created to provide a supportive
environment for genealogists to learn best practices as they transition to
professional level work. Please respect the kind intentions of this list.
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
quotes in the subject and the body of the message