From June 27 to 29, 2008, the Southern California Genealogical Society hold a Jamboree in which a Blogger Summit took place on June 28 taking the form of a workshop with presentations and questions from the audience. Being 90 minutes long, that summit marks a sign of the times : blogs take more and more place in genealogy and gain more in credibility.
Panelists were :
- Leland Meitzler, moderator, Everton Publisher's Genealogy Blog
- Dick Eastman, Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
- Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Megan's Roots World
- George G. Morgan, Genealogy Guys Podcast
- Stephen Danko, Steve's Genealogy Blog
- Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Tracing the Tribe
- Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings.
- the diversity of blogosphere is very great and is constantly upgrading as illustrated by the content of Chris Dunham’s blog dated June 29, 2008 and entitled A Blog Finder Reminder;
- in a sense, the panel’s composition reflects very little that diversity by putting the accent on american bloggers only and among the most prolific; otherwise, many bloggers were absent and among the important ones;
- obviously, the course of the summit illustrated the great dependance of the bloggers to technical aspects, and especially an high speed wireless Internet access;
- blogging shows off the «frantic» quest for instantaneity; on that matter, the fact that an attendee [Elizabeth O'Neal (Little Bytes of Life)] took a picture of the panelists from her cell phone and posted it on her blog during the summit may be impressive to onlookers but we can ask ourselves what kind of added value was generated by such a move. On an another hand, another blogger stated that, since he was unable to liveblog from the summit, the consequence was that : «…you are stuck with these «after-action reports»». [Randy Seaver, Jamboree Musings - Post 2] !? In which way standing back may jeopardize the quality of a content?
- from the discussions and the context emerges a vague impression to attend to a members’meeting of an «new church» : the felt to have found «new truths»,
the consecration of chief evangelists, the creation of a new terminology [blogalanche; moblogging…], the resort to specific «in» methods [the RSS feeds]…
- in parallel, we observe that many online researchers did not break the «psychologic wall» yet which separate them from the initiated in that matter; in the same vein, we must note that many researchers don’t post comments and prefer instead the sending of e-mails;
- the fact that different bloggers make comments on that summit [especially : Craig Mansion GeneaBlogie; Dean Richardson's GenLighten blog; Janet Hovorka The
Chart Chick…] illustrates a characteristic feature of the genealogy blogger community where many link each other round in a circle in an atmosphere of social networking, some of these bloggers are already friends on Facebook without having met before;
- otherwise, many aspects of the blogosphere were less or not discussed at all:
- the numerous angles of ethics;
- the impacts on the writing;
- the opportunities for groups et societies to twin a website and an blog;
- how can we me make to upgrade the quality of the blogs’content?
- may a blogger be taken for a journalist?
In brief, that job is far from being finished.
[Thanks to France DesRoches for her help for the translation.]