Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Taking ideas I have seen expressed online and looking at some ahead-of-me folks, I am designing a society newsletter which gives our society a needed web presence, makes information available to members in real time rather than once every three months, and serves as a gathering place for information for the quarterly newsletter now required by society bylaws.

This has not yet been officially approved by the society officers, so it is available to them by request to evaluate. I used the data from a second quarter 2009 newsletter and took it apart to provide made up dates for posts to show how it would work. I am selling change which is a tough to sell sometimes.

If I get the go-ahead, I'll change the test url and start working on actual up-to-date content.

Has your society done anything along these lines?

Views: 58

Replies to This Discussion

Deason, You are right that selling change is often hard. I think that it is becoming increasingly clear to our Society Board that we cannot continue to support printed publications and mailing ( a quarterly magazine, plus a quarterly newsletter), and the costs to operate an maintain our building and library without substantial increases in membership fees or dramatic changes to our business model. But, we still have a substantial portion of our long-time members who want the paper copies and do NOT want electronic pubs. Some do not use e-mail, and a few do not even own computers.

So, we are struggling with how we can continue to serve the interests of our older members, and at the same time move forward to take advantage of current technology and reduce our costs (and be more attractive to younger potential new members). Maintaining dual systems creates additional headaches, and if the number of mailed copies drops below 200, we lose our bulk mailing discount on postage, so there are clearly tradeoffs.

These issues are an ongoing discussion within our Board.
These are ongoing issues with our society also. We do have a website, plus we are now also on Facebook. Neither are doing much good as far as I can tell for bringing in members. The newsletter is done only three times a year now partially because of lack of material submitted for publication. It is posted on our website and we do mail it out to those members who don't have internet access, we charge them for the postage.

I am in charge of the Facebook site. Most of the "friends" on the site are out of state, if not out of town. So again little interaction. It is primarily used to keep people informed of activities and groups in the tri-county area plus various other things that may be of interest to the membership. That being said, very few of the society members are friends of the Facebook site. It is now getting to the point where some people are joining and posting spam. This is frustrating as I try to spend as much time as I can to find things of interest to post. However we want to appear as an active group.

However, it was felt (and I am a strong supporter of this philosophy) that we need to get our name out in the public eye as much as possible. We are trying to get membership flyers out at various places. We are also going to run a series of ads in the community newspaper (this is scary as they cost a lot and we will probably not break even in obtaining new members).

Our current membership is mainly older people who are retired. They are getting to old to drive at night to attend the meetings, or the cost of maintaining the membership in this economy is too much. It is hard to attract younger people ,so we hope to get more people in the 45+ years to attend, mainly they no longer have children to raise and are starting to think of retirement.

The problem, in my opinion, is that everyone thinks they can find it on the internet, not realizing what a treasure trove the historical, hereditary, family and genealogical societies can be. With this in mind a few of us in our society are having free mentoring sessions. We have just started this and so far it seems promising, but not sure we will get any members. All the societies need to keep emphazing that the internet is NOT the bible when it comes to genealogy. Right now I am seeing a 90% error rate on posted genealogies on RootsWeb WorldConnect. I get very upset when I see Ancestry's ad on TV that you just click on something and that you don't even need to know what you are doing. It is quite obvious that people don't know what they are doing seeing these genealogies.

My two cents worth.



© 2024   Created by IIGSExecDirector.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service