Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Big, Annual Thank You to BCG

Seal of the Board for Certification of Genealogists
The BCG seal is a service mark of the
Board for Certification of Genealogists
My thanks to the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). Once each year the board meets in Salt Lake City. While in town they take the opportunity to provide three days of free classes to FamilySearch employees and locals pursuing certification. Some of the lectures relate directly to the certification process. (Getting certified is another project on my To-Do list.) Other lectures address methodology. Lectures are taught by experts on the BCG board.

At the end of the three days FamilySearch hosted the BCG board to a reception and a dinner. Jay Verkler, FamilySearch CEO, welcomed the group and introduced David Rencher, CGO, as the dinner speaker.

While I’m thinking about it, I’d like to suggest to Rencher and the BCG Board that next year they meet with FamilySearch product managers. Product managers are always gathering feedback about their products. I think it would be a good opportunity for product managers and professional genealogists to explore making genealogy easier by dealing with complexity instead of ignoring it. But I digress…

In his short presentation Rencher pointed out common goals of FamilySearch and the BCG. Both value genealogy’s contribution to society, helping us understand our history. Both wish to encourage education and skill building.1

“We are an organization about family and about community,” said Rencher about FamilySearch. He reviewed their community offerings, urging the participation of competent genealogists.

“I index to relax,” said Rencher of FamilySearch’s indexing projects. “I may be crazy. My wife certainly thinks I am. [To relax] she reads a book. I index.”

He said the Research Wiki is growing phenomenally. People are creating 40 new pages a day.

The forums allow genealogists to help one another, said Rencher. He showed an example. On the 8th of May, a person asked about divorce records in 1890 for New Mexico and Nevada. A little over three hours later someone posted an extensive answer, to which the questioner replied,

Wow - thank you SO MUCH for your prompt and detailed reply. I was a little bit skeptical at first when I posted the question (newbie here) but your response has proven the power of the community.
Thank you again!2

These new features are not yet integrated into the www.familysearch.org website, but they soon will be. Said Rencher, “It’s a huge ship to turn, but it is turning.”

 

Next week, I’ll tell you about one of the classes. Stay tuned…


Sources

     1.  “About BCG,” Board for Certification of Genealogists (http://www.bcgcertification.org / aboutbcg : accessed 31 October 2010).
     2.  LynneVC [user name], “New Mexico: Divorce in 1890,” FamilySearch Forums – Beta (http://forums.familysearch.org : accessed 31 October 2010).

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