Friday, April 22, 2011

Money Changes Everything - Or Does It?

The fifth and final installment of the Genea-opportunities series looks back at the weeks' discussions and asks where genealogy goes from here.

"...we'll recap the discussion and see how the genealogy community and industry needs to move forward in its relationship to money."

I'm really glad this topic came up and was discussed by so many people on their blogs.

I can't speak for others, but the feedback I received from my posts was overwhelmingly positive. Hopefully readers found my own experiences helpful in charting their own paths.

This conversation moved well among the bloggers, but I'm not sure it carried further. Did vendors read up? What about the more prominent professional genealogists? I did not see any chatter on the email list to which I subscribe, or in my Facebook news feed (with the exception of other bloggers). My hope is that members of both of these camps read the discussions, even if they didn't comment.

The genealogy industry is growing. Really growing. It is at an intersection with Technology Road and Baby Boomer Boulevard. We all need to position ourselves on this highway, no matter our reasons for being here. Hobbyists will have choices and voices in what is offered. Professionals will have increased competition and increased opportunities. Vendors will hopefully focus on where genealogy is going rather than where it is at this minute.

In order to move forward, this discussion needs to continue. Hopefully the momentum is maintained long after this blog series is over. I would love to see more intermediate blogging sessions that discuss monetization and more at conferences. I'm considering proposing such an unconference session at RootsTech 2012. In fact, more panel and roundtable discussions at professional genealogy conferences would really tap into the collective wisdom. Thomas MacEntee is considering forming a "pro" sub-site in Geneabloggers. I hope he does because I want to talk about this topic and don't feel there is currently a good place to do so.

So what about you? What did you think about this Genea-opportunities blog series? Did you learn anything?

Thanks to my readers for letting me be a part of it. I promise now this blog will get back to the adventures in genealogy and the fun stuff, too. Onward.


  1. It's been an interesting read, but I still don't know who the prominent professional genealogists are. Maybe someone could enlighten me. I'm not being facetious. I really don't know.

  2. Susan, this is just my term for people I respect highly and who I wish would participate in online discussions. I'm not trying to group people and I'm not going to name names. I just want more people in the sandbox and I sometimes wonder why they aren't thee.

  3. Thanks, Amy! That's probably the reason why this week's conversations have been so confusing for me!

  4. I would LOVE to see this discussion continue at conferences. One of the reasons the pay is low in genealogy is that nobody talks about it. We can fix that.

  5. Amy, You should propose and host a panel session at the next Rootstech Conference around this topic. You have the ability and passion to do a great job. Go for it.
    Geniaus .... an amateur genealogist who tried to maintain a professional approach

  6. I have enjoyed reading this week's discussions. Working on the principle of 'Better Late Than Never', I have added my ten cents worth via the blog post at I am considering submitting it (after a bit of editing) to journal editors of at least one genealogical society to which I belong. What do you think? Would it be helpful, too controversial...?

  7. Amy,
    I think your unconferencing idea for Rootstech is an excellent one - intermediate blogging concerns, monetization and more would be good topics.

    I agree with Geniaus Jill that you would be a good one to host the discussion.

    Kerry is right on when she says this can be fixed. The more discussion the more likely things will change.