A Reset to The Genealogy Do-Over for 2019
As the originator of The Genealogy Do-Over concept which has had a successful four-year run, I feel the need to make some major changes to the format of the program, as well as to the access platforms (Facebook and Abundant Genealogy). Before anyone panics and leaves the Facebook Group or posts their opinion in the comments, I ask that you please hear me out. My goal here is to move on to an exciting new genealogy education concept while at the same time preserve a tried-and-true concept so that both may serve the genealogy community.
Why End The Genealogy Do-Over Now?
The Genealogy Do-Over began on January 1, 2015, and the concept was enthusiastically embraced by the genealogy and family history community. The original concept was for all the “do-over” tasks to be completed in a 13-week cycle. During 2015, the cycle was repeated several times for a total of four cycles. Starting in 2016, The Genealogy Do-Over concept was changed to a year-long cycle allowing more time to complete specified tasks.
After four years, I believe the concept itself is “self-sustainable” and doesn’t require a large Facebook Group with 17,000 members. I believe that if a stand-alone website called The Genealogy Do-Over were to be created, along with various free downloads, and even making the PDF version of The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook permanently free, the concept can still be helpful to genealogists of all skill levels.
In addition, I really feel the need to create a new online genealogy community with a different focus. In order to do so, I would need to utilize the time I now spend on The Genealogy Do-Over on that new endeavor. One issue I’ve always had with The Genealogy Do-Over concept is the use of a timeline of activities, especially when we do a “reboot” and start a cycle again in January of each year. Many new members feel that can’t join part-way through the year.
Your Input Needed!
Before I spell out the changes that I anticipate making to The Genealogy Do-Over concept, rest assured that over the next three months, I will be seeking input from anyone interested or involved in The Genealogy Do-Over. An on-going dialog will be started soon at The Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group consisting of posts, polls and more with the goal of gathering input and ideas. I can’t guarantee that all suggestions will be incorporated, but please realize that my intent is to truly listen to group members as to what The Genealogy Do-Over means to them and how they have been utilizing the features.
Smarter Genealogy: A Different Kind of Genealogy Do-Over
So the new concept is called Smarter Genealogy and the focus is on educational resources to help genealogists of ALL skill levels work smarter not harder when it comes to research.
For several years now I’ve wanted one site where I can share ALL of the educational resources that I’ve created for the genealogy community. Features of Smarter Genealogy will include:
- Lessons covering basic research tasks such as creating a To Do List, using a Research Log, saving Record Images and more.
- Each lesson will show a variety of technology platforms to accomplish the same task; i.e., using Trello, Evernote, Legacy Family Tree and more to create a To Do List. Visitors will be encouraged to use the platform that best suits their research and research habits.
- Each lesson will have a “Success Sheet” with instructions and links for further reading related to the topic.
- Each lesson will also have a short video available demonstrating how to accomplish each task in the lesson.
- Smarter Genealogy will also have a podcast covering genealogy education topics and will feature guest genealogy educators from around the world.
The focus of Smarter Genealogy will NOT be learning concepts in a specific order or along a designated timeline like The Genealogy Do-Over. Smarter Genealogy is oriented more towards the concept of Just In Time Training . . . meaning the lessons are available when YOU are ready to learn a new concept or you need to better understand a record set in order to succeed with your genealogy and family history research.
Will Smarter Genealogy Be Free?
Right now, to be honest, I’m torn between deploying a totally FREE platform or utilizing a “freemium” concept (meaning free for basic content and a fee for premium content). In general, I believe that the content I create and generate should be available for free and in an unfettered manner for all genealogists. In order for this to succeed, I need to ensure that my income from sites such as Genealogy Bargains and DNA Bargains covers the costs of running Smarter Genealogy.
Another alternative is to have a small membership fee – say $1.99 USD or $2.99 USD per month via a platform such as Patreon to access the premium content. Or I could simply post a donation link via Paypal and “pass the hat” as it were.
Your input would be appreciated over at The Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group; look for a poll or post related to Smarter Genealogy in the next few weeks.
Anticipated Changes to The Genealogy Do-Over
Here is what I anticipate changing with The Genealogy Do-Over:
- Creating of a stand-along website at https://genealogydo-over.com which will host the 12 different lessons and links to all resources currently listed in different posts at Abundant Genealogy. Right now this URL forwards to all of The Genealogy Do-Over articles at Abundant Genealogy.
- All content related to The Genealogy Do-Over at Abundant Genealogy will remain as is and not be removed. There are too many search engine results that point to these materials.
- The current cycle of The Genealogy Do-Over will continue with the last posting on December 1st, 2018, at The Genealogy Do-Over and at The Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group.
- The Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group will either bea) CONVERTED to a Smarter Genealogy Facebook Group with all previous files and posts preserved; orb) ARCHIVED and placed in a “suspended” status where no new content can be added after December 31st, 2018, but all files and posts will be available to members; and
c) A new Smarter Genealogy Facebook Group will be created with an invitation extended to all current members of The Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group.
- The Genealogy Do-Over email list on Mailchimp will be suspended and current members will be invited to join a new Smarter Genealogy email list.
Another option is to set up a Facebook Page for The Genealogy Do-Over which would remove the membership options allow more interactivity, but still serve as a point of access to The Genealogy Do-Over website.
Thank You for Your Support of The Genealogy Do-Over Concept
The Genealogy Do-Over would never have succeeded without the support and input of thousands of genealogy and family history enthusiasts. Please know that I am strongly committed to the idea of making sure that everyone can build a phenomenal family tree with strong, deep roots that will serve as a family legacy. This means breaking bad research habits, embracing proven methodology concepts, and interacting with others online to keep learning and improving research.
At this time, my gut tells me that moving to a more dynamic platform such as Smarter Genealogy will better serve that target audience. Thanks for hearing me out and please feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.