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 -
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 footnote.com.
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 footnote.com (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.
The Accidental Genealogist