Saturday, April 4, 2015

Confession Time (or why this blog is overdue)

I have a hobby; it is addictive and time-consuming, full of many details. Sometimes it can take days to get all the details in place or to correct mistakes.

No! NOT genealogy — I’m talking about my other hobby — counted embroideries. Twice a year, stitchers from Nebraska and Iowa (with stray members from other places such as Missouri) meet at the Northeastern Nebraska 4H Camp for 3 to 4 days of stitching. Health reasons had caused me to miss the last three of those meetings. I said I would get to the meeting this March even if I went on a stretcher.

The stretcher was avoided, I went and had a great time meeting friends of more than 10 years standing, and making new friends. No stretcher was needed, but the trip did use more energy than I had expected, so I needed time to rebuild me energies. My computer accompanied me to the stitch-in, as it has each time I have attended (I have stitching programs as well as genealogy programs), so I was able to check in with the Genealogy Do-Over, but there was little energy for true participation in the Do-Over.

I could continue blogging for a bit about the stitchery, but this is a genealogy-centered blog.  So, in spite of some weak participation in the final weeks of the Do-Over, Round 1, here are my experiences during Weeks 11 and 12 (and an observation about Week 13).

Week 11 - Goal 1: Reviewing Social Media.

My first reaction to "Reviewing Social Media" was that I do a lot of genealogy research and genealogy study through Facebook: Genealogy Do-Over, The Organized Genealogist, Technology for Genealogy, Evernote Genealogists, and so on; as well as groups such as Jefferson County MO Genealogy, North Carolina Genealogy, and Dutch Genealogy where I can ask questions about specific family areas and events.

I was content with this attitude until March 18 (the day before the start of the stitch-in). Dawn Williams-Kogutwiewicz posted in her “Dawning Genealogy” blog about Week 18. I was SO WRONG in my assumptions. Dawn investigated sources in a manner I hadn’t thought of — and she reminded me of a source I once depended on, but that I hadn’t used recently. I have a lot of work to do about Social Networking. Thank you, Dawn!! (I did post an immediate thank you; this type of shared research cannot be praised too often, so I am repeating the thank you.)

Week 11 - Goal 2: Building a Research Network.

My first reading of this concept doesn’t resonate with me. This is one of the few areas that Thomas has presented that I need to ponder a while before I can make it my own. More on that to come in my next blog concerning Week 13 — Reviewing the Journey.

Week 12 -Goal 1: Sharing Research.

I agree with Thomas’ ideas on the topic; I seem to be living up to his standards fairly well. I have met with my share of “no responses” but my usual result when sharing is an interesting exchange of information where both sides benefit. I need to improve my follow-up skills in these exchanges with fellow researchers.

[Note to Self: Be SURE to include shared research exchanges in the research logs. Research logs make note of where you’ve been and what you’ve found — when your second cousin five times removed sends you information about the emigrant journey from the Netherlands to St. Louis and Illinois, the exchange should be included in the research log; the relationship between you and the other searcher should be clarified (the five times removed is a guess) and other pertinent information should be included. Reviewing the research log will serve to remind you when further contact is required.]

Week 12 - Goal 2: Reviewing Travel Options.

I need to study this more thoroughly at sometime in the future. Most trips being planned at this time are very local (places in Columbia, Jefferson City, and either St. Louis or Kansas City); my immediate need is to compare Thomas’ suggestions about planning for onsite work. The rest of these techniques can be studied as other types of trips occur.

Week 13 - Goal 1: Securing Research Data

I am a believer in redundant backups. We are adding an additional backup to our local and cloud storage, by taking advantage of the sale on a fire-resistant safe that Thomas directed us to. The safe has arrived; we are now planning where we will keep it, how we will store backups for both our computers, and what else will be placed in the safe.

The final assignment for Week 13 is Reviewing the Journey. This will be the subject of my next blog. I am not sure how soon I will be able to post this final blog devoted specifically the the Genealogy Do-Over; but I will begin to work on it right away.