Open Thread Thursday: Tweeting and Blogging at Genealogy Conferences

Dead Twitter

Having returned from a week in Knoxville where many genealogy bloggers attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Annual Conference from August 18 to August 21, 2010, some interesting issues come up involving social media and genealogy conferences. In addition, some bloggers also attended the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 also in Knoxville where the same issues arose.

During several sessions, presenters or those introducing the presenters, stated that blogging and/or tweeting of sessions was prohibited. Neither event had a prepared social media policy in place and printed in the program.

Over the past two years, as genealogists and family historians have realized the value of social media in relation to their research and the ability to connect with others, practices such as tweeting and live blogging at genealogy conferences has increased as well.  However, when compared to other types of conferences, the genealogy industry lags far behind the use of social media.

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For our Open Thread Thursday, please comment on these issues:

  • If you did not attend #fgs10 last week, did you follow along via blog posts and/or tweets on Twitter?
  • If you attended #fgs10 last week, what are your thoughts on banning social media at genealogy conferences? What about the lack of a clear social media policy?
  • Do you think that conferences benefit from the increased exposure if they allow social media use during sessions?
  • Why do you think some presenters won’t allow the use of social media during their sessions? Disruptive to other participants? Fear of having presentation content copied?

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.


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