In my last post, I wandered tangentially through the ideas that have been percolating in my head about the public image of genealogy, the place of professionals and companies like Ancestry.com. It was, and is, a humble rambling of my own thoughts, an attempt to clarify them, and also an attempt to engender discussion about them. Taking my turn at the wheel of the bus, if you will, to ask some deeper questions about our favorite obsession and where it’s going as an industry. I think I may have hit a couple of potholes, though, and I wanted to pull over for a break and take a moment to clarify.
First, I have utmost respect for Ancestry.com and I happen to be a subscriber. Have been since I started my genealogy, in fact, four years ago. Their ads are what got me into it, and they are what sucked me deeper. The service they provide brought me firmly and inexorably into this hobby, and I am utterly grateful for it. In fact, I made it by on ancestry.com’s online trees for my GEDCOM until my recent love affair with RM4 took over. I switched to RM4 because it offers additional features I need, but I still use ancestry.com and turn there often for the products and services they provide. Being a paid subscriber, I figure I’m entitled to my opinions about how I’d like to see things offered in that service, but they are still just opinions, and I obviously like ancestry.com quite a bit or I wouldn’t still be a subscriber. I hope no one finds my opinions about what they do offensive.
Second, I want to make clear that I am not a professional genealogist. I don’t earn money for it, I have no credentials and I don’t do it for a living or a business. I aspire to that realm, and I have a LONG way to go, so I am honored by the professionals who have indeed stopped by to comment and help educate me further about this field we are all passionate about. I am not qualified to make commentary on any professional aspects of the field, really, but I feel like if I don’t ask questions and stretch my brain to understand it, I will never make it there. So I hope no one finds my delving into that offensive, either.
Finally, one of my commenters pointed out the error I made in my reference to ‘anyone doing genealogy’ and I wanted to apologize for that, as well. I also want to make clear that I am very much a beginner myself. There is TONS I do not know, tons I have left to learn – this is why I’m taking classes, of course! What I love about genealogy is that there will always be a new aspect to explore, a new realm to find out about. I have as much fun discovering the methodology as I do applying it to my family. I love the hobby, and I want everyone to have the opportunity to explore it and learn it.
In my last post, I meant to point out my OWN shortcomings in not branching out more, not to imply others were at fault for not being aware of every single aspect of everything. I find I’ve isolated myself too much in the circles I move in, so I’m trying to rectify that by joining my local societies, getting involved in more things and reading more. I meant to hold up my poor example to help others reflect, if inclined, not to criticize.
There, clarification over – use the bathroom and get back on the bus – we pull out in five! (But we’ll totally wait for you because this is a group venture – genealogy’s no fun alone).
A last note: I’m honored to be part of the geneabloggers community, so thank you to all my readers and anyone who’s ever stopped in or commented. Now, back to the research!
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