Monday, December 26, 2011

Societies, Communities, and Gatekeepers, oh my!

The recent conversation on genealogy communities has been an extremely useful one. Despite the holiday bustle it has had me asking myself some tough questions. I share some of Michael Hait's concerns shared on his recent blog post,  "The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new 'experts'?" over at Planting the Seeds. The discussion continued in the comments was particularly thought provoking. Marian Pierre-Louis also provided an interesting and very useful rebuttal to some of Michael's points which was also quite thought provoking in her posts: "Are Bloggers Really the New Experts?" and "Are Bloggers Really the New Experts Part 2" on Marian's Roots and Rambles. But my favorite post, and one with which I agreed 100%, was Elyse Doerflinger's post "Are Bloggers Leading the Genealogy Community" on her blog Elyse's Genealogy Blog.
I've been looking particularly closely at a few trends in the discussion which have pushed my buttons and I'd like to address each one in a separate blog post (3&4 will be addressed together):
  1. The 'what have you done for me lately?' attitude toward genealogy societies.
  2. The American Genealogical Society, its Fellows, and why we need them. (Implications of exclusivity and gatekeepers vs. true expertise and peer review.)
  3. Standards, push-back, and why I care. (Including citation standards)
  4. Do bloggers have a responsibility to adhere to these standards?

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