Friday, August 08, 2008

Doing as I say

DearREADERS,Click to join the Facebook Genea-Blogger 2008 Games
Finally, it's time for Ol' Myrt to do as she says, and actually complete some worthwhile personal family history projects instead of merely blogging about them.

I've accepted the challenge to participate in the 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games.

I've been in training for some of these events since 1995, when I first began writing the DearMYRTLE Column in AOL's Genealogy Forum, and since 1985 when I began actively researching my family history, averaging about 60+ hours per month. Additional background on Myrt's rigorous training see:

WHAT ARE THE 2008 Genea-Blogger GROUP GAMES?

This is the part of the invitation Ol' Myrt received from the committee.

"In the Spirit of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, we would like to invite you to participate in
2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games beginning August 8th through August 25th (one day longer than the Olympic Games, due to Scanfest occurring on the 24th). There will be five categories in which you can participate. All participants will receive a badge, and qualifying participants will be awarded medals (designed by our very own creative footnoteMaven) on Monday, August 25th during the Closing Ceremonies.

If you would like to participate, please carefully read the criteria below. If you have any questions, please post them at the appropriate discussion boards [...] provided at the Genea-Blogger Group page.


1. Sign up at the Facebook Genea-Blogger Group page by RSVPing to the Genea-Blogger Group Games that will be listed in the Events menu on that page. Submission deadline is 3:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time on August 7, 2008. Only participants who have signed up in advance will be listed in the Opening Ceremonies. If you are not yet a Facebook and Genea-Blogger Group member, you must sign up for these immediately. Administrators can also participate. DONE!

2. Participate in Opening Ceremonies by publishing a post on your blog on August 8, 2008, by 12:00 noon, PDT describing the categories in which you will compete. Describe your goals for achievement. Look for the Official List of Competitors at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors to be posted later that day. These are our Opening Ceremonies. THIS BLOG ENTRY SERVES AS MY ENTRY.

3. Start competing on August 9, 2008 at 12:00 noon, PDT.

4. Record your progress daily on your blog. Keep track of your own statistics. This is on the honor system! For those who may be on vacation during this time and perhaps not have Internet access, keep record of daily stats manually and publish them when back online.

5. Stop competing on August 23, 2008 at 12:00 noon, PDT.

6. Post your final tallies by 3:00 p.m. PDT on August 23, 2008 on your blog.

7. Visit Destination: Austin Family on August 25, 2008 for the Medals Ceremony/Closing Ceremonies (we are postponing this by one day because of Scanfest and to give the administrators time to double-check tallies).

Badges and Medals
The footnoteMaven has graciously created the participants' badges as well as medals in the following levels: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond, with bronze being the lowest level and diamond being the highest. These badges and medals will be awarded during the Closing Ceremonies on Monday, August 25th at Destination: Austin Family."

Ol' Myrt intends to participate in the following categories:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources! - My goal is to create at least 10 new citations in my genealogy software management program. This should earn me at least a Bronze Medal. According to this year's rules, Ol' Myrt must "create proper citations of sources for as many events possible using either
Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills or
How to Cite Sources
by John Wiley.

BACK UP YOUR DATA - MY goal is to compete in sub-categories A, B, and C. I quite simply am no where close to qualifying for sub-categories D & E, as most of my genealogy photocopies are filed, but not yet scanned. (I'll have to participate in a Scan-Fest every month for a year to catch up. In this category, participants are permitted to "Backup data to choice of formats (flash drives, CDs, DVDs, online) or storing hard copies properly (safety deposit box, safe, etc.)." So this means, rather than Diamond or Platinum, the best I can hope for is a Gold Medal.

A. Prepare a comprehensive backup plan for your digital research files and a security plan for your hard copies and photos

B. Secure your hard copies and photos in waterproof containers

C. Backup all your data using a flash drive, an external drive, CDs, DVDs, or an online resource

D. Have all your hard copies and photos scanned and secure them either in a fire-proof safe or offsite in a safety-deposit box/secure environment

E. All your data is backed up digitally and secured physically and you can recover from any disaster while losing only one month or less worth of research

Organize Your Research! - Oh, dear. This category is going to be my hardest competition. Again, I will only be able to compete in sub-categories B, C and D, that concerns digital files, and photos quite simply because the majority of my household is still packed away in boxes.

A. Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate

B. Organize at least 20 digital files into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.

C. Organize at least 20 photos into photo albums, scrapbooks, collages, protective holders, boxes, etc.

D. Organize at least 20 digital photos into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.

E. Create at least 20 data entries in your database, or scan 20 photos, or scan 20 documents

F. Create a master list of your files and notify your family members of where it is stored

4. Write, Write, Write! - Ol' Myrt will compete in four sub-categories, namely A, B, C and D. Writing is what genea-bloggers love to do, and I see this competition as perhaps my easiest of the entire 2008 Games. If I successfully complete any four tasks of the following tasks, I'll receive a Diamond Medal.

A. Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it on your blog – you may not have done this since you started the blog and it is a great way to have new readers learn more about your site.

B. Participate in a genealogy or family history related blog carnival. See the AnceStories post "August Is..." for a list of these carnivals and their submission URLs and deadlines.

C. Prepare several posts in draft mode (if possible with your blog platform) and pre-publish.

D. Write a brief biographical sketch on one of your ancestors.

E. Sign up to host a future [genealogy blog] carnival. See game rules for details.

REACH OUT & PERFORM GENEALOGICAL ACTS OF KINDNESS - We do get by with a little help from our friends. Ol' Myrt will compete in all sub-categories A, B, C, D, and F and successful completion should earn me a Platinum Medal. (One can only hope!)

A. Comment on a new (to you) genea-blog.

B. Join another genea-blogger’s blog network on Facebook Blog Networks (

C. Invite other genealogists to join Facebook.

D. Assist another researcher with a research request or lookup. See AnceStories "Random Acts of Kindness Week" posts for ideas for this item and Item E. Participate in an indexing project.

F. Join a genealogical, historical, heritage or lineage society.

Check out the more detailed participation rules or the criteria for the categories and please post them at the appropriate discussion boards at the Genea-Bloggers Group at Facebook!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.
This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.