Monday, June 29, 2009

You Love Them Online - They're Even Better In Person

My Conference Badge &
My Rock Star Ribbon

Back from Jamboree and did I have fun? It was fan-tastic! And I am a fan of each and every GeneaBlogger I met. What a group of (as Randy Seaver [Genea-Musings] has coined) GeneaBabes and GeneaHunks.

After spending time with these wonderful GeneaBloggers, I have a few observations about this group as a whole. GeneaBloggers have tons of personality, not a shrinking violet in the group. Personality is followed closely by a great sense of humor, intelligence, good looks, and being vertically unchallenged. Many of them are tall, really tall.

It was an honor and a pleasure to be a participant in each GeneaBlogger Think Tank session, also known as hanging out in the GeneaBlogger's lounge. I am so honored to know these people and call them friends. As Susan Kitchens (Family Oral History Using Digital Tools) would say, I drank the GeneaBlogger kool-aid and came back for more.

Now, a few well deserved Thank You notes.

To Paula Hinckle and the SCGS09 team. Bravo! I enjoyed every moment of the beautifully put together genealogy meet-up & educational conference. Having put together a few meetings and conferences myself - I salute you! There wasn't a question that wasn't answered, a request that wasn't granted (there were some taken care of before I even thought of them), a session that wasn't of benefit to our community, or a smoother run conference. I know when you run these events you have all the stress and little of the pleasure. I hope you will accept my pleasure as a partial substitute. And a special personal thank you to Paula, I will love you forever.

One more thing about Jamboree. Paula, putting the computer geek - official paparazzi in a kilt so I could see him coming and duck, was brilliant! But, yes, the camera got me.

To Schelly Talalay Dardashti, thank you for being the perfect roommate. There is no one I'd rather have roomed with for this or any conference. But clearly, not enough time to gossip. And to those loyal followers of Schelly and Tracing The Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog, this woman is so dedicated to her blogging that I rolled over at 4:45am one morning to find her posting. I am not worthy.

To Thomas MacEntee, thank you for organizing, arranging, and instigating some of the very best experiences of Jamboree. Thomas is the fuse responsible for the GeneaBlogger explosion. Also, the Mardi Gras beads seen in all those happening photographs on facebook were courtesy of our Thomas. Berry beads and beads with palm trees. I'm a berry and they're hanging in my office this morning.

To Denise Levenick (The Family Curator & Penelope Dreadful), how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. SWAG! Yes, our celebrity status as bloggers was cemented by Swag Bags when we arrived. I love goodies, but these bags also contained the work and personality of our very own PennyD. Thomas and Denise cooked/baked up this surprise and it was such a keeper. Look at this -

Dreadfully delicious muffins they were and accompanied by a label keepsake. Mrs. Fields, look out, Penelope Dreadful's in the kitchen. The bag was filled to the brim, and a very attractive bag it was too. I slipped the label off my muffins and added it to my copy of RootsMagic found in the bag.

Denise also gave us another gift. She brought her mother. What a beautiful woman, we now know where Denise gets her good looks. It was such a pleasure.

To our own Texas Waffle, Amy Coffin (We Tree), thank you. Amy made every GeneaBlogger a "Rock Star!" I was stopped more times then I can count by someone asking where I became a Rock Star. It's all in who you know. I'm certain the reason I got such a good seat and a chat with the pilot on the flight home was down to my rock star status.

To Elyse Doerflinger (Elyse’s Genealogy Blog) for the highlight of my trip - her reaction to meeting footnoteMaven. How I wish I had that on film. So completely unexpected. Could footnoteMaven possibly be that exciting to someone under twenty? NOT! Thank you, Elyse, my husband is certain I'm exaggerating this story.

And as a balance to my Elyse moment, a woman attending the conference and I struck up a conversation. She explained that she was a blogger and asked who I was. I told her I was the footnoteMaven. "Oh, I love your site," she said. "I find so much good stuff in your databases." That hiss you hear is hot air leaving the over inflated head of the footnoteMaven, sometimes mistaken for

GeneaHugs and kisses to Craig Manson (Geneablogie & Appealing Subjects) for his beautiful plug for the footnoteMaven and Shades of The Departed during "Son of Blogger." I can't take credit for the columnists that write for Shades. It's all them. My skill is that I know talent when I see it! Craig Manson you are the talent, Shades the agent. (See, a few days this close to Hollywood and I talk as if I'm "in the business.")

A big thank you to Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems Podcast & Genealogy Gems News) for inviting me to be a guest on her podcast. Lisa is an extremely skilled interviewer. She has the ability to put you at ease, become your best friend, and convince you you're just hanging out and getting in some girl talk; in the space of a few short minutes. That's real talent!

I'd like to thank Eric Keith of (the real deal) for spending so much time discussing my pet project, a central database of photographers, and its adaptability to footnote's existing structure, as well as some of the wonderful additions we will be seeing in the near future. This was such an exciting conversation. Eric even gave me a few ideas for The GYRabbits and Leland Meitzler should take a look at this for his project of a town and a school here in Washington.

The Generations Network invited me to a very nice breakfast and a sneek peek at Family Tree Maker 10. Thank you, it was an introduction into another interesting project. I am a Mac user and have not gotten to the point where I will live in a parallel universe, but I'm always willing to try something new. I'll keep you updated.

Now for my own "Elyse Like Conference Moment." The footnoteMaven got to meet the "Goddess of Old Photo Investigation," Maureen Taylor (The Photo Detective). Thanks to Paula Hinkle, I was able to secure a ticket to Maureen's workshop. She is masterful in front of an audience of photo enthusiasts. I doubt there is anything she doesn't know, has seen, or knows where to find relating to old photographs. I picked up three really important pieces of information that I will incorporate into my own research and share on Shades. I also got to sit down and have a conversation with my idol. I am excited to report we may soon be working on a collaborative project. Thank you, Maureen.

During Jamboree, the Geneabloggers traded cards. I'll trade you a Moo Maven for your Mad Macedonian. I believe it was Kathryn Doyle (California Genealogical and Historical Society) who remarked that we should create GeneaBlogger trading cards. I love this idea! We create the cards (a Moo Mini might be a great vehicle) and announce that we have them on our blogs. Then anyone who wants one sends a self-addressed stamped envelope and a card to trade, to the GeneaBloggers of their choice. Moo even sells a frame and mat for Moo Minis that would look great on my wall. Let me know what you think.

I have saved the best for last. If Thomas is the GeneaBlogger's fuse, then these GeneaBloggers are the firecrackers. It was so good to meet each of you. You were everything I'd hoped you'd be and more. See you next year when our numbers are certain to triple. Until then, you have an open invitation for lunch anytime you're in Seattle.


Bruce Buzbee

Roots Magic Blog

Stephen Danko

Steve’s Genealogy Blog

Illya D’Addezio

Live Roots Blog

Dick Eastman

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Jay Holladay

Jay’s Genealogy Blog

Ancestry Insider

The Ancestry Insider

Thomas Jay Kemp

Genealogy Bank

Ask The Genealogist

Genealogy Librarian News

Kiril Kundurazieff

Musings of a Mad Macedonian

Thomas MacEntee


Destination: Austin Family

Craig Manson


Appealing Subjects

Leland Meitzler


George G. Morgan

George’s Genealogical Gleanings

The Genealogy Guys

Randy Seaver


The Geneaholic

Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe

Drew Smith

Social Networking for Genealogists

The Genealogy Guys


Lisa Alzo

The Accidental Genealogist

Amy Coffin

We Tree

Lisa Louise Cooke

Genealogy Gems Podcast

Genealogy Gems News

Schelly Dardashti

Tracing The Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog

International Jewish Graveyard Rabbit

MyHeritage Genealogy Blog

Elyse Doerflinger

Elyse’s Genealogy Blog

Kathryn Doyle

California Genealogical and Historical Society

Sheri Fenley

The Educated Genealogist

The Year Was . . .

Jean Wilcox Hibben

Circle Mending

Ruth Himan

Genealogy Is Ruthless Without Me

Paula Hinkel

It Just Never Came Up

SoCal Genealogy Jamboree

Janet Hovorka

The Chart Chick

Susan Kitchens

Family Oral History Using Digital Tools

Denise Levenick

The Family Curator

Penelope Dreadful

Leslie Mehana

La Donna Bella

Elizabeth O’Neal

Little Bytes of Life

Cheryl Palmer

Heritage Happens

Dear Myrtle

Dear Myrtle

Teach Genealogy

Internet Genealogy

Maureen Taylor

The Photo Detective

Gini Webb


Diane Wright

The GYRabbit Travels Wright


Blogger Caroline said...

Thanks for your take on the conference. I so wish I had been there, but I plan to be there next year! OOOHHH...I looooove the idea of Geneablogger trading cards! I'm going to start making mine right now...[as if I needed an excuse to play with Photoshop...HA!]


June 30, 2009 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when I thought I was over being jealous for not being there, I read this post. Great write up. Signed, Colleen since I can't figure out how to make a comment under my Google account!

June 30, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Becky Wiseman said...

All y'all had just way too much fun! LOL. I've been enjoying reading everyone's posts on the Jamboree and looking at the pictures. Not the same as being there but...

June 30, 2009 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Greta Koehl said...

Thank you for bringing the conference and all the "fab personalities" of the Genea-bloggers to life for those of us who could not attend. I so wish I could have been there! Some day I'll get to attend a big genealogy conference and meet up with my idols and fellow bloggers. And the trading card idea is wonderful. I'm already thinking about it....

June 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Caroline - I know your trading cards will be to die for!

Colleen - We want you there too!

Becky - Way, Way, Way too much fun.

Greta - It is a terrific experience. And I'm looking forward to your cards.


June 30, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Midge Frazel said...

For me, stuck her in the East standing on Plymouth Rock, reading the tweets and blog posts and laughing at the photos taken, certainly made my week! Coincidentally, I was supposed to be at ANOTHER convention of the educational technology folks who are ALSO wearing rock star ribbons. Wow, do I virtually hang out with the right groups or what?

fM you take the gracious prize for letting us look beyond the horizon and see your face!

July 1, 2009 at 4:27 AM  
Blogger Family Curator said...

What a gracious post, as always, fM. I am blushing and see that Penny is nodding in agreement. YOU ARE the Genea Rock Star. . . modest, authentic, and so much fun. Let's do it again next year! Thank you for a wonderful recap and roll call; it will be fun to have a record of attendees. And, yes, I am sure the numbers will triple next year.

Love the trading card idea. Mini-moos are perfect. I'm already thinking.

July 1, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Janet Hovorka said...

I already have a good start on the trading cards...yours being the first. So fun.
And thank you so much for allowing me to be the first one to post your picture. I think I got the geneablogger scoop of the century.
Looking forward to Spokane. We'll do it all again.

July 1, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger geneabloggers said...

Thanks fM for the kind comments - I too am in recovery mode both physically and mentally. I have too many ideas in my head and I think that while I am flying to and from DC this weekend for the 4th, I will try to put them down on paper - or netbook, as it were.

You have always been a rock star in my book - and a goddess - and you know I am your number one fan. But not in a creepy Kathy Bates Misery sort of way.

July 1, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger my Heritage Happens said...

As usual, wonderful post! You are a rock star and I am honored to have met you!

July 1, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've already started saving my pennies so I won't miss next year's reunion. I do so want to give each and every one of you a big hug.

July 1, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Kiril The Mad Macedonian said...

Thank you so much for including me in such a funny way in your round up.

I am truly honored to be mentioned amongst such star studded company as you list here.

I hope to be worthy of it someday.

I, too, love the idea of the trading cards, hee, hee!

Now back to writing Part 2 of my own Jamboree Journal (Up after midnite, PST!) ;-D

July 1, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

It was a real pleasure to meet both you and Denise this weekend. We will be following you both on the blogs. "The girls from Temecula"

July 2, 2009 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Sounds like you all had a great time and met some great people. I've never met you, but I'm pretty sure they're all a fan of you too :)

July 2, 2009 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Hear, hear! What she said!

It was so wonderful meeting you in person. Thank you for sharing Maureen's talk with me, and explaining all the things I didn't understand. Sitting with you made an already-memorable event even more so!

July 2, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Midge - Hope to see you next year. My face showing up had little to do with being gracious and more to do with digital cameras everywhere.

Denise - Everything I said is true. You are the best! I have already made arrangements for my room for next year. Did you see, Sheila & April found us?

Janet Hovorka Girl Reporter or is it Scoop Hovorka? Loved finally meeting you. You're beautiful inside & out! Look out Spokane we're on our way.

Thomas - GeneaBloggers are a force because of your hard work and dedication. I stand in admiration of all you do. Can't wait until next year.

Cheryl - I loved meeting you in person. You and the other half of your dynamic duo. You light up any room you're in with that beautiful smile. Got my room, see you next year.

Denise O. - We want you with us! Dueling gadgets! I can just see you and Susan together. Geek speak at a new level.

Mad - You're already worthy, you're one of us. A pleasure to meet you and I loved your Tweet!

Sheila - How in the name of heaven did you remember my name? I just sent an email to Denise that our "favorite girls from Temecula" had left a comment. Is April reading over your shoulder? Hey April.

Nikki-ann - You and your camera would have been the perfect addition to this group. I loved everyone I met. Really great people. Now, if you make it to Seattle we're doing lunch.

Elizabeth - You are far too kind. I was so pleased to meet you after talking online for so long. I was engrossed in Maureen's lecture and can't believe I added anything, but I loved your company. Is the highlighter out of the furniture yet?


July 2, 2009 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

fM - How could we forget the two people who were the highlight of our Jamboree. Hope to see you somewhere else in the near future.

July 3, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger The Photo Detective said...

I'm woefully behind on thanking everyone I met at the conference. I took a VACATION! Dear FM--It was wonderful to finding meet you. We are definitely kindred spirits. Can't stop thinking about the "project" I mentioned. Thank you for all your kind words.


July 9, 2009 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Lisa Louise Cooke said...

FM - You are FABULOUS DAH-LING! Interviewing you was easy because talking to you was like talking to a long time best girlfriend. (Maybe because I was raised in Tacoma not far from where you are.) I'll let you know when the interview goes "live" online.

You're a Genealogy Gem!

July 14, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

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