In Which We (Finally) Discuss Taboo Stuff

In Which We (Finally) Discuss Taboo Stuff

by Kerry Scott on 18 April 2011

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There’s a discussion going on about making money from genealogy blogs (and genealogy in general).  In my opinion, it’s long overdue.  I’m tired of tiptoeing around these issues.

It started in the comments on Joan Miller‘s Genea-Bodies: The New Somebodies.  Then it continued with tons of frank comments on Marian Pierre-LouisFacebook pageMichael Hait also has a thoughtful post, and now Thomas McEntee is starting a whole series on the topicLynn Palermo also revived an old post for further discussion.

I’m not writing a whole post about this today, because I’ve said plenty in those comments and on Facebook already, and it’s time for me to do some actual paying work.  But if you’re not reading this stuff, you really should be.

Photo by herval

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith April 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Thanks, Kerry. Good balance! ;-)

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Lynn Palermo April 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Kerry for your candid comments today. I was screaming from my armchair – Go Kerry! I almost feel like your my outside voice, the one that my Mother did such a great job a shhhhing!

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Kerry Scott April 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

HA! That might be my new blog motto…”I’m Kerry. I’m your outside voice.”

This topic is one I feel strongly about. I am glad we’re finally talking about it. I hope lots of people participate.

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Kate Foote April 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

We’ve see the discipline of Genealogy embrace the internet and all the many new technologies with enthusiasm – no wonder then that the topic of using these mediums as ‘for profit’ enterprises is due for a thorough examination.

I am personally in favor of anyone who legitimately endeavors to profit from their expertise in genealogy. However, I would caution that heads should remain calm and minds open. Many of us have seen times, in the past, when the subject of “..who/what constitutes a professional”, and/or “..hobbyists vs. professionals”, has elicited heated comments and, left un-moderated, has gotten completely out of hand. The question, obviously, is how do we moderate something as open and free as individual blogs and Facebook posts? Oh that I had the answer – self control, and self policing, please. And a reminder that Facebook gives all of us the ability to send “Private” messages – lest we publicly air our not-to well thought out responses!

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Kerry Scott April 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

Well, you sure called that one, Kate. Unfortunately, it seems like there’s drama already. That’s a shame. I hope it’s not going to prevent an honest discussion from happening, because I think it’s sorely needed.

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Kate Foote April 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

When I made my post last night I truly was not aware that “rumbles” had already begun. (See Kerry Scott’s blog: http://www.cluewagon.com/2011/04/in-which-we-finally-discuss-taboo-stuff/) It was not until getting deeper into Bill W’s post on FB that I realized what was happening.

As I said in my post to Kerry – “we’ve seen this before” – and it always seems to have a tendendancy to morph from well intentioned discussion to school-yard behavior. Again, I have no answer to this unwelcome consequence, but I stand with my statement that, “…the topic of using these mediums as ‘for profit’ enterprises is due for a thorough examination.”

Therefore; Ladies and Gentlemen, please keep one thought paramount; Genealogists are Genealogists, are Genealogists… no matter that they pursue the discipline as a hobby or a profession, that they blog or do not blog, that they advertise or do not advertise. There is a reason (other than my hope for higher acceptance by the academic community) that I refer to geanealogy as a discipline: however one pursues it, one should and must be mature, thourough, complete, honest, and self-disciplined. We must interact as adults who value intellegence, perserverance, creativity, humor, and critical thinking.

The internet is enormous, genealogy is worldwide, there are more ancestors than any of us can research, everyone is entitled to conduct their business as they please – and in the end, we are all cousins, that mush we have certainly learned. Do not cut off your nose to spite your face! Stay involved, keep digging, keep writing, and value the diversity that we represent.

I am going to cross=post this to FB, because I’m too lazy to type it over again… :)

Reply

Kate Foote April 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

When I made my post last night I truly was not aware that “rumbles” had already begun. (See Kerry Scott’s blog: http://www.cluewagon.com/2011/04/in-which-we-finally-discuss-taboo-stuff/) It was not until getting deeper into Bill W’s post on FB that I realized what was happening.

As I said in my post to Kerry – “we’ve seen this before” – and it always seems to have a tendency to morph from well intentioned discussion to school-yard behavior. Again, I have no answer to this unwelcome consequence, but I stand with my statement that, “…the topic of using these mediums as ‘for profit’ enterprises is due for a thorough examination.”

Therefore; Ladies and Gentlemen, please keep one thought paramount; Genealogists are Genealogists, are Genealogists… no matter that they pursue the discipline as a hobby or a profession, that they blog or do not blog, that they advertise or do not advertise. There is a reason (other than my hope for higher acceptance by the academic community) that I refer to genealogy as a discipline: however one pursues it, one should and must be mature, thorough, complete, honest, and self-disciplined. We must interact as adults who value intelligence, perseverance, creativity, humor, and critical thinking.

The internet is enormous, genealogy is worldwide, there are more ancestors than any of us can research, everyone is entitled to conduct their business as they please – and in the end, we are all cousins, that mush we have certainly learned. Do not cut off your nose to spite your face! Stay involved, keep digging, keep writing, and value the diversity that we represent.

I am going to cross=post this to FB, because I’m too lazy to type it over again… :)

Reply

Lynn Palermo April 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

well said Kate!

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Kate Foote April 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I just realized that my last post appears twice! Who can tell what’s different in the two posts? :)

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Calliope May 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Go you!! Any blog that provides a service (from entertainment to information) should be monetized if the author wishes to do so. It takes time to create and maintain these sites AND there are costs involved with hosting, etc.

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