There has been an idea simmering in the back of my mind since the BYU Affiliates conference a couple of weeks ago that is percolating stronger and stronger as I review the blogs I've been watching this last week. Here it is, not at full boil, but perhaps it will come to a boil as I start to work it through in my blog.
The people who are writing the new family history sites, and managing the old ones, are swimming in a sea of *!*!cutting edge internet technology!*!* Wikis--where anyone is invited to collaborate on writing together, Social Networking--sites like Facebook.com and MySpace where people talk to each other, blogs of course, and etc.
This is great for the 20 something crowd, our college students that can text faster than they can talk and do nothing that isn't attached to the internet. But is that crowd doing genealogy? Rather than building genealogy tools to appeal to the 20 somethings, maybe we should be working on attracting the younger generation to the topic of Family History at all. I don't know that the interest is there no matter what the computer system looks like. It seems that the people I know in that age group are conditioned to a much bigger entertainment factor. And I wonder if they are going to be interested in it as they get older.
All of these new and exciting social networking genealogy sites are great for the 20 somethings that don't care. And overwhelming to the older generation that does care. One lady at the South Davis conference a couple of weeks ago told me that her 70ish (?) mother left the New FamilySearch lecture in tears. Hmmm. Are we missing the boat?
Allen, Paul, “In San Francisco for SnapSummit 2.0”, Paul Allen: Internet Entrepreneur, 25 March 2008, (http://www.paulallen.net/san-francisco-snapsummit-20): accessed 31 March 2008.
Grace, “RIP Phone Book, 1878-20??”, Genealogy Insider, 26March 2008, (http://www.familytreemagazine.com/insider/PermaLink,guid,7b6d0e4c-6577-4d6d-b9cd-1e50d188b679.aspx): accessed 31 March 2008.
Seaver, Randy, "Genealogy Social Networking Sites", Genea-Musings, 27 March 2008, (http://randysmusings.blogspot.com/2008/03/genealogy-social-networking-sites.html#links): accessed 31 March 2008.
More at thechartchick.com and http://www.generationmaps.com/