Thursday, September 6, 2012

May the Force Be With You

If your society is willing to adapt in order to attract 21ster genealogists, that is great!  Really great.  Some societies, however, are not in that same place. In these societies, it may take a Force to initiate that change.  One society I know of was lucky to have a passionate 21ster join the board a few years ago.  She was just full of ideas on modernizing things.  But her ideas were met with a mixture of reactions.  Some board members liked her ideas, and some certainly did not.  Some did not know what she was even talking about (e.g. Social Media): 

“What is The Facebook?”  ;)

Responsible board members, understandably concerned about the cost of these “techy things”, wondered if the society could afford them: 

They asked: “How much does The Facebook cost?”
Her answer: “Nothing.”
Their reply:  “Nothing?!”

You may also encounter confusion, surprise, disbelief and/or a cautious acceptance of your suggestions.  It will probably be an uphill battle to effect change, but it’s worth it -- for the good of the society.  Technology is only going to become more prevalent, not less, in the world around us.  It only makes sense that we try to keep up, as much as possible, so that we are relevant to those around us, so that our societies thrive in this 21st century.   So I ask: 

Do you have someone in your society that can be a catalyst for change?

Do you have someone to start these conversations, someone to organize like-minded people to initiate change.  Is it you?  If so, great!  If not, may I suggest that you start asking around – maybe even advertise in your newsletter, start an interest group, etc.  And once you identify a Force for change, please encourage and support them.  Ask them if you can help in some way.

It’s not easy to change, but in my opinion a society’s long term viability depends on it.   May you find a Force in your society today.


  1. For those interested check out this group on Facebook:

  2. Great post - but dare I share it with our society members?

    We have a FB page, a blog and many nervous Nellies worried about the consequences.

    Our small Force will gain strength from posts such as yours.

    Cheers, Jill

    1. Hi Jill! Thanks and congrats on your FB page and blog. I'm curious to know what consequences your members are worried about. Care to share?

  3. I was just thinking about the fate of our regional society when I realized that we need to step up and make that jump over the technology -genealogy hurtle . Your article convinced me to be that catalyst !