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Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to be a total genealogical computer geek

The first rule in Genealogical Geekdom is to always wear your flash drive around your neck on a lanyard. The market for plastic pocket protectors has crashed and I haven't seen any for sale for quite some time, so absent wearing a T-shirt from your last family reunion, there isn't much more that you can do to advertise your position in the genealogical community.

Of course, Genealogical Geeks (GGs) always carry a laptop even when they are camping or otherwise out of range of any possible network signal. You never know when you might need to look at your data file. In the event that the GG cannot carry his or her laptop, a smartphone is a must and the smartphone must have every available genealogy app listed by Apple or Google. Some people think that GGs spend their entire life on the Internet. Despite this impression, they actually do eat and sleep every so often and have other interests like helping other people with their genealogy.

Every GG I know (one or two), has at least six different genealogical database programs loaded on his or her computer. When asked why they have so many different programs, they reply that each program is like a different tool in their arsenal and they need all of to be able to do their genealogy at the high level required by being a GG.

The real GG has at least one of each possible type of electronic device with a genealogy file on every one of the devices and has to carry at least two such devices around at all times.

Of course, the GG has to subscribe to over 200 genealogical blog feeds and has no time to read any of them because of the time commitment to writing four different blogs.

The GG also has an "in" with various software companies and is on a first name basis with Bruce Buzbee and Geoff Rasmussen. The GG drops the name of various officers and employees of large online genealogical databases on a regular basis and knows how many collections are on Ancestry.com without looking.

GGs live entirely outside of the world of genealogy societies and professional organizations, in fact most of the societies and professional organizations would not consider a GG as a member. GGs get tired of people saying things like, "I wish I could download everything in your brain into mine" primarily because they know that if that actually happened the person's brain would explode.

Being a GG is no great honor, but those who are don't really have a choice.

10 comments:

  1. I matched up pretty well here until the last paragraph. I am in many societies and they love having me as a member (I think!).

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  2. Laptop? James, please! Laptops are so 20th century. No self-respecting GG would be caught in public with anything less than a decked-out iPad 3G!

    LOL . . . Great post!

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  3. Always happy to help folks become GGs. -Bruce

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  4. I think I slipped into societies and professional organizations before they knew what a GG was...I definitely remember in the early 1990s trying to convince APG and BCG members that personal computers would (in the future) be good for more than just word processing.

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  5. This GG has a mobile hotspot on her phone so that she is never without a signal. And, this GG has a web-based family tree program so I can access my family tree info no matter where I'm at - ooh yeah! :-) love the line about subscribing to hundreds of feeds but don't have time for them b/c of writing for multiple blogs

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