From all indications, RootsTech was a big success. I was one of the people taking advantage of the presentations broadcast online when I could. And, like the majority of virtual attendees at yesterday afternoon’s Virtual Presentations Roundtable, I think there’s enough “virtual audience” to support including them in other conferences.
While I see a good number of vibrant local genealogical societies as the online genea-community grows, I’m not lucky enough to have a functional society nearby. Yesterday I discovered that I’m not alone. Could it also be time for a virtual genealogy society?
Obviously the first benefit of this society would be to provide the online meeting/webinar platform needed to support the group. With the society providing the financial support, there would be a high-performance platform available and meeting/presentation moderators providing the technical support speakers need. It could also support the development of new speakers to help expand members’ research and technical skills.
Other possibilities could include:
- By taking advantage of collaborative technologies like Facebook and WeRelate, a virtual society could sponsor research groups sharing information on any number of subjects. Because membership would have worldwide reach, this offers all kinds of opportunities.
- In the publications area, not only could the society support newsletters and journals, but possibly a peer review group to encourage members in their writing and publishing efforts.
- Support open source archives and collaboration platforms – like Internet Archive and WeRelate – with digitizing, transcribing and administration projects.
- Not all online events have to be formal. The society could offer online functions similar to Miriam’s delightful scanfest. Regional members can organize meetups for a bit of face-to-face fun.
These are just a few random thoughts and ideas to get a conversation going. Is anyone else interested in pursuing the idea? If you have something to say, the conversation is getting started on the Moultrie Creek page at Facebook.