Thursday, February 03, 2011

APG's Second Life Chapter


If getting to your local Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Chapter meetings is cumbersome due to time and travel constraints, consider attending a "virtual" chapter that meets once a month in Second Life.

Accustomed to traveling 4 hours round trip to attend a quarterly meeting in Texas, one APG member welcomes the availability of monthly meetings in Second Life (a free service) using her computer's access to the internet. Another has the care of her young child to consider, so online access to informative, productive APG chapter meetings is a God-send. A third regular attendee has no local chapter meetings held in her country. Despite time zone differences, she fires up her computer to attend Second Life APG meetings.

APG  is the umbrella organization for professionals from every corner of the genealogy world including specialists in adoption, archivists, authors/writers, booksellers, brochure designers, columnists, compilers/indexers, conference planners, editors, ethnic-specific researchers, genetic research, heir research, historians, house historians, instructors, lecturers, librarians, lineage societies, lineage specialists, locality-specific researchers, photographers, project managers, publishers, researchers, reunion planners, technologists, translators, travel/tour guides and web designers. 

Attending meetings "virtually" (using your computer) has become main stream for genealogists with the proliferation of genealogy classes, courses and webinars throughout the web. Even Ol' Myrt here has given her fair share of long-distance classes. As I write this I am waiting for another webinar to begin. Tom Kemp will speak about the use of newspapers, thanks to the sponsorship of Legacy Family Tree. But webinars cost money to produce, and local APG Chapters rarely have funds to provide a virtual component to their meetings. (For 100 attendees, its about $100 per month using

Ol' Myrt here was surprised to hear that one APG Chapter has the impression that the Second Life Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists is "just a game" and that it is designed "for non-researchers".  My only reaction is to recall there was a time when email was considered outlandish, yet now, professionals from all walks of life use the tool.

During the planning stages for the Second Life chapter, prospective members recalled the best meetings of their "face-to-face" APG chapters when determining the focus of the Second Life Chapter meetings:
  • Learning about research resources both on and off the net
  • A forum for practicing new presentations (peer review)
  • Discussions of professional business practices in compliance with APG Code of Ethics
Off the top of my head, Ol' Myrt here remembers attending Second Life APG Chapter meetings during the past year on the following topics:  
  • What is APG? Why Should We Belong? with Genie Weezles (Tami Glatz, Chapter President)
  • Cemetery Restoration with Kaylee Korbitza (Karla Lang, a librarian in Palestine, TX, and Chapter VP)
  • Revolutionary War Records with Krag Mariner (Craig Scott, CG and military track coordinator at Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research)
  • English Research with LadyClaire Ashbourne (Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS, AG (r) a real life a reference librarian with British Isles specialty.)
  • The Find-Grave website with Russ Hazelnut (in real life a prolific Family Tree Maker blogger.)
  • Conquering the Paper Monster with Abigail Edring (in real life a young, active geneablogger and presenter.)
  • Who Can You Trust? - A Case Study of a Death Certificate Informant with Tina Ubble (Tina Eiswerth Lyons, Chapter Secretary)
  • Civil War records with Krag Mariner (Craig Scott, CG)

The Second Life Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists welcome all to attend our meetings. Current Chapter members range from beginners curious about APG, an FGS Board Member, a local conference chair, several geneabloggers, to nationally-ranked genealogy speakers. The 2011 RootsTech Conference will feature a live Chapter Meeting in the Family History Library on Friday 11 February, and Ol' Myrt here will be teaching a Second Life workshop earlier in the conference.

APG members may attend both their local and this "virtual" Second Life chapters. Sign up for a free Second Life account, and contact Tami Glatz, Second Life Chapter APG President for more info.

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

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