This post is in response to Thomas MacEntee’s post entitled Genealogy – What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free?
I don’t always respond to posts with a post of my own but I just wanted to throw out my thoughts on this. I am thinking my response would be a little longer than I should leave in a comment!
First off, I just want to say that I whole-heartedly agree with Thomas’ post. I believe that the genealogy community, especially the bloggers, are in a transitional state right now. It seems to me that we may be starting to see some of the flip-side of the RootsTech conference!
Thomas makes a lot of great points here. We in the genealogy community, or at least I can safely say I, have become used to getting a lot of stuff for free. Sadly, I’ve taken for granted a lot of the great knowledge I have had access to over the last few years. Now, when a lot of these folks are trying to venture out into uncharted territory, what side am I going to take?
I’m not a rich person! Let me tell you a story, a true story, that happened a few years ago. I hope my sister doesn’t mind. Anyways, my older sister approached me and told me that if we would learn to manage our money better that we could afford to have better things. At first I was offended but I understood it was just big sister looking out for little brother. Later, when we were filing our taxes, my sister saw how much we made that year. Her response was, how do you survive. I simply responded, “We manage our money!”
I told the story above to reiterate that I am in no way rich! That being said, I still love doing genealogy and, if you’ve been in genealogy long enough, this is not a cheap hobby! I have to make decisions about how to spend the little bit of money that I have available for my hobby. At one point, that money was used for traveling to courthouses, graveyards, and wherever else I could to collect information. That was when it was within 100 miles or so. Later, that money was used to create a newsletter for my family to keep them updated about my research and solicit information from them. Here lately, that money is now used to pay for hosting and domain name registration so I can have my website and blog.
My point is, I understand where Thomas is coming from. The knowledge that a lot of the geneabloggers share is worth more than just “Free”. If I could, I would wholeheartedly support each and everyone of them. However, I am of the category of those who will have to start making decisions about where to spend the little bit of money that I can budget for my genealogy research.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m excited about the new opportunities that may be opening up for genealogists. Progress is good! I also understand the idea of having to scratch out a living in any way that you can. I want to wish each and every blogger, genealogist or family historian great success in your future endeavors.
So, that brings me to another subject. How can I help out? How can I support my geneablogging buddies?
I think I will address that in another blog post!