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Thursday, February 3, 2011

SL chapter APG -- February is a Time to Celebrate! Again!



The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is an organization for, well, obviously, professional genealogists, but really, it is an excellent organization for anyone who strives for professionalism in their research. Whether you take clients or not, if you follow the rules and guidelines for APG members, you will be the best genealogist you can be.

I learned so much from the first APG chapter that I joined. I met so many excellent and friendly genealogists, and developed friendship and camaraderie with them, and appreciate those relationships that helped shape my professional career.

The downside to that chapter was that we only held about two meetings a year, and I had to drive over four hours to attend those meetings.

As I became active in the genealogy community in the virtual world Second Life, I was excited about the possibilities that this format offered for relating to other genealogists. I met genealogists from all around the world. In addition, I met genealogists who were women with small children, parental caretakers, or those with health issues that precluded their getting out for meetings. I met those who appreciated meeting with other genealogists in Second Life because it was too difficult to get to real life genealogy meetings - the wrong side of town, too far a drive, too long away from home... many reasons.

When two of my Second Life mentors, Clarise Beaumont and Krag Mariner brought up the idea of an APG chapter meeting in Second Life, I knew it was an important step to take. Despite opposition from people who didn’t understand the virtual world setting, or those who still shied away from computer use at all, we somehow were able to convince the decision makers that this type of chapter was, not only cutting edge, but also an important direction for the APG to embrace. The SL chapter of the APG was approved in the Fall of 2010. Our members come from all around the world, from many backgrounds, and many levels of genealogical experience, from those who are wanting to learn to be professionals, to those with 20, 30 or more years experience. We are a friendly inviting group, and try to make everyone feel welcome.

The upcoming February 2011 meeting marks the anniversary of our very first organizational meeting. It is also planned to be a very major event. We will be holding our monthly meeting, as always, in the virtual world Second Life, at the Just Genealogy fire pit. But what is extra special is that we will be projecting our meeting to a live audience at the very first RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. Our speaker in our SL meeting, will be the real-life Craig Scott, CG, military records expert and owner of Heritage Books. While our meetings are usually held in text, February’s meeting will be a voice presentation, so plan on turning up your speakers!

While we strongly encourage membership in APG, our meetings are open to anyone. February’s meeting will be Friday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m., as I said, at the Just Genealogy fire pit, in Second Life. If you plan to be at RootsTech, find us Friday night in our assigned room at the Family History Library, at 6:30 pm Pacific Time (that will be 7:30 p.m. there in Salt Lake City).

If you want to join our genealogy community, sign up for a free account in Second Life at www.SecondLife.com. And if you’d like a little practice in-world beforehand, come to the weekly “Meet & Greet”, held Mondays at 5-6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, in Just Genealogy. I’m Genie Weezles in Second Life, and I’d love to show you around. Add me to your friends list, or email me your Second Life name and I’ll add you to mine (genieweezles@yahoo.com). I'm Tami Osmer Glatz in real life, and president of this awesome chapter of APG.

Hope to see you in Second Life.

1 comment:

Myrt said...

AWESOME post, Genie, errr,ummm Tami! You've well described the tone of our Second Life APG Chapter meetings.

THANKS for hanging in there, and for lobbying to bring our proposed chapter to full-fledged acceptance by APG.

As you know, the Second Life APG Chapter meeting is but one of some 14 regularly-scheduled genealogy meetings held each month at various locations in Second Life. Most offer specific topics for discussion, and all invite active participation from attendees.