Are bloggers the new “experts”?

Genea-Blogger Michael Hait posted this today.

The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new “experts”?1

I recommend that you read Michael’s offering.

What caught my eye was this:

You might ask, so what if those old local societies disappear? We have the GeneaBlogger community or that Facebook group to support us.

Moral support, yes–definitely. Research support, far less:

  • GeneaBloggers do not generally scour every cemetery in a specific county and publish full listings of the gravestones. Genealogical societies do.
  • GeneaBloggers do not abstract all of the obituaries of some small county newspaper from the mid-19th century and publish them. Genealogical societies do.
  • GeneaBloggers do not maintain genealogical libraries containing decades of work on local families. Genealogical societies do.
  • GeneaBloggers cannot go back to 1965 and reproduce the resources that were transcribed by the local genealogical society before that big hurricane or tornado hit and destroyed everything.

These resources can only remain available as long as we continue to support the societies that provide them.

I am certainly not an “expert”. I am not trained, no plans on doing so, but do try to lean. No Expert Here.

The article caught my eye because I had just returned to a “local” historical society, and cemetery.

I am involved as an “active member” of a local Family History Interest Group. By active, it’s more then attending meetings. I have share my research experience through presentations. I do that in hopes that others have a few more tools in their research tool kit to help with their research.

This group is not a “Genealogical Society” but are Family Researchers. Most of my presentations are put together by blogging about my research, or how to use research tools that are available to us.

My trip this afternoon was to visit the local Historical Society to do some research. I took with my another one of my Research Tools, a Flip-Pal. There were 6 or 7 researchers in the library and were amazed as to what the Flip-Pal could do. One of the “officials” at this historical society, went to and put an order in for one. He saw what it could do. I had blogged about it, and had some pictures on Flickr for a couple of my project, that instantly caught his attention as he has some projects he was struggling on  how to attack that project. The Flip-Pal appeared to be the answer to his question. Again, I was only sharing my experience with his Historical Society. The flip side is that he shared the frustration in getting folks involved with the Society.

I have also talked about cemeteries, I take pictures, post them on Find-A-Grave, and my blog. Certainly those won’t be picked up by any Genealogy Society, but as a Blogger, I do try to capture pictures of those headstones and make them available. To me, this is another way, as a Blogger, to share.

Have I gone into a cemetery and taken every headstone that was there? No, but I did take one cemetery and I did take all of the readable stones and posted them. I don’t just take pictures I HAVE to, but try to take Find-A-Grave requests.

I agree with Michael, but I am NOT an expert. From the Blogs that I read, and that is probably about 1,000, it’s about Sharing of our experience in doing Family History Research.

The flip side, and the major comment from the Historical Society, was getting Help from folks, in the area, to help preserve what they have. I do what I can do, try to share my experience, and try to encourage others, bloggers or no, in doing the same. I HAVE offered to a local Historical Society, to do some work, but haven’t had the call back requesting help. I belong, pay my dues, and show up from time to time, offering to help.

I hope that these Historical Societies, nor Genealogy Societies don’t “go away”. We will loose some valuable history.

I am sure that other Genea-Bloggers read and comment about Michael’s offering to us, and comment on how WE, the Genea-Blogging community can help these Societies survive.

Thanks for listening.

Back to posting some headstone pictures I captured today.


1Michael Hait, CG, “The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new ‘experts’?,” Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog, posted 16 Dec 2011 ( : accessed 12/16/2011). [Please also feel free to include a hyperlink to the specific article if you are citing this post in an online forum.]


4 Responses to Are bloggers the new “experts”?

  1. Thanks for the work you do, Russ. This is exactly what I meant in my post. I have heard from people in numerous genealogical societies about this same trouble. With so much available online, it is easy to forget about what is not online.

    And even though you don’t consider yourself an expert, to someone just starting out, you may be more advanced than they are. When they read about your research in your blog, you just might be the “expert” they need to point them in the right direction. ; )

    • Michael,

      Thank you for your reply. I hoped that is what you were getting at. That Historical Society that I visited today had so much stuff that isn’t online. They were not even sure what all they had in their collections.

      What I didn’t say in the Blog Post, is the hour’s worth of conversation that I had with two gentlemen (current and past president) while I was there. It’s those conversations that are important. I tried to encourage them to continue with a couple of the issues that they are currently facing. I do know that if I get a call from them on a project, I’ll see what I can do.

      But like you said, we might become experts to them, but as I looked around the room, they were all experts in their particular area, and there were 3 others in the room learning from those experts. My term ‘sharing our experiences’ how ever we can.

      Thank you for the topic.


  2. […] Worthington, “Are bloggers the new ‘experts’?,” A Worthington Weblog blog, posted 16 December 2011 ( : […]

  3. […] Worthington, “Are bloggers the new ‘experts’?,” A Worthington Weblog blog, posted 16 December 2011 ( : […]

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