Monday, September 12, 2011

FGS2011: My Genspiration Session

I hosted a Genspiration session at the 2011 FGS conference and lived to tell about it.

It's not scary when you sign up to talk about something you love. I decided on blogs. Best practices, content, affiliates, layout, etc. Basically anything anyone wanted to talk about in regard to established blogs. There are several sessions and webinars out there dedicated to helping people start blogs, but not much help for succeeding at the next step. Why not start a dialogue?

I reserved a slot on the big poster board placed prominently at the entrance of the exhibit hall. Then I waited to see who would show up. Caroline Pointer promised to be there, so at the very least we could sit there and talk about blogs to each other.

About 15 people made the trek down to room B-9 (dubbed the "meat locker" due to its overactive A/C unit), which is pretty good given that this session started at 5pm on a Friday.

Before the session, I wrote down several discussion topics. That way, if the conversation lulled I could introduce a new subject. Luckily this was a great crowd and everything just flowed.

We talked about affiliate programs (no one in the crowd really makes any *big* money, but some are able to make decent change), dedicated blog pages (for surnames, disclosures, etc.), publicity (using other social media tools to market blogs) and content.

Fifty minutes went by very fast. I thought the session was successful. People showed up and I learned something from them. That's all I was hoping to get out of it. Hopefully the others in attendance benefited as well.

Special thanks to FGS for including these Genspiration session slots in the line-up. I hope they do it again next year.


  1. It was a great session! I have to admit - I wasn't going to go because I was worried it would be more 'professional' bloggers - as in people like you and Caroline who are really, really good AND actually blog on a regular basis ;-)

    I'm so glad I decided to go!!! I learned so much - and it felt like there was something there for everyone. Now I have to find time to set up that surname page...but I AM going to do it!!

  2. Diana, I am really glad you came to the session and learned from it. The good thing about these somewhat spontaneous sessions is that they're different at each conference depending on who contributes from the audience. I'm considering scheduling another one at RootsTech and/or FGS2012.

  3. I wish I could have been there. As a Queenslander, I may have arrived wearing a big coat, beanie, scarf and gloves, but it would have been worth it. ;-)

  4. This was my 1st experience with an off the cuff discussion session. I thought it was great. No doubt it could have gone on much longer without any lull in the conversation. Definitely schedule more at future conferences.

  5. Amy, it was a great session and I'm glad you took a chance and offered it. I learned a lot from the more experienced bloggers in the group (just about everyone!) and enjoyed the conversation and company. Now i just need to put some of the ideas into practice!

  6. Sounds great, I'm coming if you do one at Rootstech

  7. Shucks, I missed it. I didn't think to check the poster board. Since my last session was a review for me, I have to say double shucks! Oh well, it was my first time, I will know more at my next conference. I think the idea of Genspiration sessions is a good one.

  8. What they all said. I'm working through adding some of the new (to me) ideas to Finding The Flock this month. Now to check out the other blog you mentioned to me after the main discussion...

  9. Amy,

    Great title for your workshop,..this in itself is an inspiration and pickup to start posting.