I've personally come to the decision that it's time that I network the old fashioned way with flesh and blood people. Hard to believe, I know. But it's true.
You see, I'm tired of looking into people's eyes as I answer a family history question [that they asked, mind you] and seeing that glazed-over look in their eyes. You know the one I'm taking about, right? That "I-must-have-been-out-of-my-ever-loving-mind-to-ask-this-question-How-did-I-know-she'd-take-the-ball-and-actually-run-with-it-This-is-what-I-get-for-being-polite" look. Yes, that look.
Likewise, I want to meet people who want to talk about local history. People who get excited about a document they found in the local courthouse, and then show it to me. Tell me how it fits into their family's history.
I wanna trade stories with someone whose family has been in this here parts since time began.
I wanna see the excitement in a young person's eyes when they finally realize they, too, have a part in history. That their family was a part of history.
I wanna be a part of a local group who wants to help their community find it's roots, wherever they may be.
I also want to help others with some of the skills that I've learned along the way. And I want others to share their skills with me.
All these reasons are why I joined a local society. And they are the reason I'm attending FGS2011. And they are the reason I'm so excited about the society session offerings at FGS2011 on Wednesday, September 7th. The following are my fantasy non-fantasy [Cuz I'm actually going.] picks for Wednesday:
8:30-9:15am ~ The Plenary Session [No. This is not going to be a talk about plants. "Plenary" is just a fancy word that means everyone's welcome to be there.] with David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, & he will be speaking on "How Will Our Society Survive? Do We Alter, Mutate, Modify, Shift or Switch?" ~ I'm definitely going to this, folks. Hello? I just explained that I need a local place. Therefore, I want it to survive. Right? Besides, everyone's welcome to be there.;)
9:30am ~ "The Dollars and Cents of Fundraising" with Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, FIGS ~ Mr. Witcher could talk about the differences between types of tree bark, and I'd be there. He's that good. I've actually paid good money to see him talk. He's that good. He could sell heaters in the middle of summer to people living in Florida. He's that good. Plus? I'm interested in my local society surviving. That means funds. So? I'm there, Mr. Witcher. With bells on.
11:00am ~ "21st Century Marketing Techniques for Genealogists/Genealogical Societies" with Thomas MacEntee founder of Geneabloggers.com and owner of Hi-Definition Genealogy~ I love Thomas. I love his ideas. I love to hear him talk. I always learn something new from him. Plus? I love marketing. My degree is in English, but my minor is in marketing. And you're probably not going to believe this, but I love social networking. Therefore, I'd like to know how I can help my local society put their best foot forward.
2:00pm ~ "Engaging a New Generation of Genealogists" with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS ~ Now. You were paying attention above, right? You know, the part about young people and the community's roots? How are we going to keep our local societies alive if we don't engage the "New Generation"? Mr. Taylor, I'm all ears.
3:30pm ~ "Finding and Keeping Volunteers" with Amy Johnson Crow, CG ~ Societies don't run themselves, and the same people can't do everything. Not only do we need to find volunteers, but we need to keep 'em around. Again. Not only do I want my local society to survive, but I want it to thrive. So, I'm there. And? I've communicated online with Ms. Crow several times. I can't wait to hear her speak! [See how I'm also converting an online person to an offline person? Social networking works, folks.]
5:00pm ~ "Brainstorming Session: Marketing Your Society" ~ I thought this would be kind of cool to attend and participate in. I like the idea of an unstructured session. Nothing like not putting up barriers so we can share new ideas. So. I hope it lives up to my hype. We'll see.
So. There you go. These are my picks for Wednesday at FGS2011. What are your picks? Even if you're not able to go, please take a look at the sessions here and share in comments below what sessions you would like to attend, or if you are going, which ones you think you'll be attending on Wednesday. And most importantly, why?
Also, for more information about the FGS 2011 Conference in Springfield, IL, please visit their conference site.
An Official Blogger for FGS2011