Friday, March 5, 2010

The "No Program" Program

I want to draw your attention to a new carnival for bloggers. This one is the Carnival of Genealogy Societies. I am thrilled with the forces behind the California Genealogical Society & Library (who have an award-winning blog, by the way) for bringing this event to fruition. Blogging is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to shine the spotlight on genealogy societies. I hope more groups take the plunge.

Here's the task at hand:

Doin' Things Right!

Shine a spotlight on a specific program, project or publication and tell us why it worked.

Several months ago, I attended a meeting of the Atascocita-Kingwood Genealogical Society. This is a small group with a big heart. At this particular meeting, the schedule speaker did not show up. What to do now? The president decided that we would go around the room and give updates on our own personal genealogy research.  It doesn't sound like an exciting plan B, but it ended up being a really interesting meeting. We talked about brick walls, possible connections and what not. Everybody gave a little and took a little. It was simple and great.

This "no program" program worked well because we had such a small group. If you find yourself in a similar situation with a larger group, divide up and go from there. You can also have a couple discussion topics available for less talkative crowds. Also note that you don't have to wait for an absent speaker to conduct a "no program" program. Schedule some time for your members to socialize, share and learn from each other.

You can be a part of the carnival, too. Just post on the topic to your blog and then fill out the submission form. I look forward to reading the submissions from others about society ideas.


  1. Thanks for your submission, Amy, and for spreading the word on the new carnival! The "No Program" Program sounds like it was a winner.

  2. Excellent suggestion, Amy. We all need to remember, this one!


  3. Ahhh, that should be an interesting one! I will add it to the carnivals I follow, and check it out.

  4. Our society does this at least once a year, we take two months off in the summer, so, come September, we offer each attendee at the meeting 5 minutes to tell about their summer discoveies. Some of the stories are great! We also use this meeting plan once or twice a year, in varying degrees, to stretch the club coffers. Free speakers, etc. One we have used is bring in your notebooks, show how you have them arranged. Very interesting stuff.