|Joseph Shumway, AG at BYU Family History Technology Workshop|
Joseph begins by explaining that professional genealogists is a growing profession. Most professionals have no degrees in genealogy. Most professionals work independently and part-time. There are only two accreditation organizations; ICAPGen and BCG. Most clients are new to genealogy and want the work hired or lawyers tracing missing heirs. At ProGenealogists they also work on documentation for television programs on genealogy.
Historically, genealogy has been for older people. Now, Joseph sees a increase in interest among middle-aged, pre-retirees. There is also a significant interest in the younger 25-40 age group who are more tech savvy. This means that people expect more cloud-based, mobile options and better ways to share and collaborate. I certainly agree with this assessment, but I am not seeing quite so many younger people who are involved.
People are looking for fun and interactive and sharing their ancestors' stories. The real stories are what get people interested. I have some very definite ideas about this aspect of genealogy, but on to the presentation.
Joseph analyzes the approach of beginners vs. professionals to genealogy. He spends a lot of time fixing trees. So do I. He observes that beginners are usually stopped in their research when the "easy" records run out. More advanced, i.e. professional researchers spend more time assembling "evidence to build a case." (We are back to law?) Professionals do their research by building a base of family, associates and neighbors, reconstructing neighborhoods and establishing an historical context.
This is a very interesting perspective and concurs with my own very closely. It is always interesting to find out that you agree with a professional. By the way, he talked about having a tree rating system.