This Sunday, I attended my first scheduled “chat” in the GenealogyWise Chatroom. Never having even entered a chatroom before, I have to admit that I was a little intimidated, but it ended up being a surprisingly great experience. The host of our little discussion was Jean Wilcox Hibben, of Circle Mending, who “spoke” on breaking into the genealogy lecture circuit. I attended for a number of reasons, none of which had anything to do with becoming a genealogical lecturer.
First, I was curious about the chatroom. At the St. George Family History Expo last week, I sat next to Gena Ortega at the Friday night banquet. (Gena, by the way, has a wicked sense of humor, and she is now my new Geneablogger Princess-BFF.) Gena, who manages GenealogyWise, was one of the banquet speakers, and the heart of her comments focused on the GenealogyWise Chatroom. Turns out, the Chatroom is not the seedy underbelly of the genealogy world that its name might imply. (Please, no angry comments from seasoned “chatters.” I know that many chatrooms are the wonderful, joyful places full of rainbows and unicorns, and I am in no way implying otherwise.) Nevertheless, the GW Chatroom, Gena assured us, is a genuinely useful, entertaining means of getting to know some of your fellow family historians and learning a few things while you’re was at it.
- Join GenealogyWise
- Join our newly formed GenealogyWise Photoloom Group
- Check the GenealogyWise Chatroom Schedule
My experience at Sunday’s chat bears that out. Jean had prepared material which she delivered by typing one or two sentences at a time, and offered ample opportunities for “listeners” to ask questions. The forum seemed to lend itself very well to the process, and the visual learner in me appreciated seeing all the comments in print. Jean was thorough, without being pedantic, and offered additional help to anyone who emailed her.
The second reason I attended the chat was a bit more personal – I’m kind of trying to figure out where I fit in this world of researchers. Jean’s area of focus, outside of genealogy, is folklore and music history. It is a passion that I share, and I like to get her take on things. I’ll leave the data gathering to Scott, who loves it, and I’ll focus on the pictures and the stories that go with them. I want to know those people, and understand the “life” that happened between those birth and death dates.
Finally, I wanted to be able to share the Chatroom experience with you, here. And the only way to do that was to go there and find out what it is all about. The process is VERY easy. Login to GenealogyWise and click “Chat” on the main menu. You’re there! If you are shy, or just want to “listen,” that’s fine. But I encourage you to join the discussion. The folks on the other end of the cyberwire are just like you – looking for a community they can trust, receive help from, and be apart of. Give it a try – and maybe sometime I’ll meet you in the chatroom!