Janet Havorka posted An Open Letter to the Genealogy Community here: http://thechartchick.blogspot.com/2015/02/an-open-letter-to-genealogy-community.html
Here's my reply:
Thanks for this post, Janet Hovorka, I'm glad you spoke out.
Elitism only serves to puff up the "in crowd" and does nothing to embrace newcomers.
What I heard about the conference is that RootsTech completely ignored FGS. The anger was so loudly expressed I was speechless.
That anger (a lot more than frustration) had to do with FGS meeting rooms being too far away from RootsTech, and FGS not being mentioned in the opening sessions. Gosh, the FGS president was part of the first day opening session at RootsTech.
The anger spilled over into objections that FGS and RootsTech were on different time schedules and that the booklet had FGS classes in a separate section of the schedule. Certainly FGS signed off on the conference brochure.
Why the anger? FGS was billed as a separate conference in the same building. I was required to pay for FGS attendance though I was a RootsTech Ambassador with complimentary access. So the separateness was there by design.
I ❤ the vibe of FGS/ROOTSTECH. Meeting new people, young and old from all over the world was invigorating.
Talking with the two German men from Argus Search proved enlightening for both sides.
This year the mommy bloggers and genealogy bloggers finally "clicked" because our media hub was large enough to invite conversation. Interviewing keynote and innovator Summit folks together with these "lifestyle" bloggers helped me see the world through their bright, intelligent eyes.
The mommy bloggers in turn learned about growing a larger social media following from experienced genealogy bloggers. It was a win-win, particularly as several are beginning to research the facts in their parents' compiled genealogies. That alone is simply amazing.
Eventually the world passes by the naysayers.
While I personally am not into storytelling, I realize those vendors are needed in this genealogy space. At my age, I need to tell the story of my ancestors and avoid concentrating solely on difficult research.
There are always going to be complainers, but let us not be deterred from the JOY of genealogy.
It's a big world out there and there is room enough for everyone at RootsTech.
Happy family tree climbing.
Your friend in genealogy.
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