Thankful Thursday – Genealogy Book Club in Second Life

Inspired from the geneabloggers daily blogging prompt:

Thankful Thursday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Create a post that expresses gratitude for a person (past or present), resource, family history tool or anything connected to you or your and family history that has had a positive impact on your life. This prompt has been suggested by Carolyn Murphy of Family Tree Gal and has been in use by Mary Warren of Mary’s Musings for the past year.

I was very fortunate to stumble upon the Just Genealogy group in Second Life a few months ago. It was DearMyrtle that led me there with her free webinar on how to Get a Second Life. I never would have considered entering Second Life (hereinafter SL) until I saw her webinar, and it really piqued my curiousity. My only knowledge of Second Life before watching the webinar was from a CSI episode in which some SL resident was killing off people in RL (real life). Not really a great intro to SL unless you’re a wannabe stalker.

After watching the webinar, and spending an hour or so figuring out how to walk, sit down, stand up, and dress myself in SL, I started joining some of the genealogy based meetings. That led me to join the SL Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, got me involved in reviewing the Inferential Genealogy course, and now has me participating in a genealogy book club. The current book in the club is Val Greenwood’s “The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.”

I am thankful for this book club in so many ways. For one, it is making me re-read the book with new eyes. I have had this book for a few years now, and but never have I spent so much time reading it in depth, making notes so that I can participate in the conversations during the book club. I have already come across a few gems that I know will help me with my research (if I ever find the time to sit down with my own research again – thus the name of this blog).

Rather than lead the discussion on every chapter herself, Clarise Beaumont (our Just Genealogy SL hostess) has requested volunteers to present a different chapter each week. This is helping me to get to know the other group members in SL, and also allowing for a different vantage point for each discussion. Everyone sees things a little differently, so it is great to experience the different presentation styles and ideas.

Although I cannot attend all of the book club meetings due to my work schedule (doesn’t RL get in the way of our genealogy only too frequently?), I look forward to participating in as many of the meetings as possible until we finish the book. To keep myself honest I’m going to read the chapters and prepare for the meetings just as I did for the last two, even if I can’t be there in SL. And maybe if I’m lucky there will be a week when I know I’ll be able to attend so that I can volunteer to be a presenter. It would be really neat to try my hand at presenting in SL, and I know from my RL teaching experience that presenting material is the best way to become proficient in it.

Why don’t you join us?! No presentations required. :)




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  1. Dana

    I had no idea you were an SLer! I tried it out, but just couldn’t get used to the program. I’m glad you found it a useful medium, though, and that it’s allowing you to gain fresh insight into Greenwood’s book! I’m just now reading it for the first time, so it’s all new to me. :)

  2. 1ancestry2littletime

    Hi Dana, The program is a bit cumbersome at first but I got used to it. I’m sure you would too. Whenever I meet with the Just Genealogy group everyone is so helpful there that it doesn’t matter much if I trip over a step or stand on the seat instead of sitting. :) You should join us. I think you’d enjoy it.

  3. Gail Baugniet

    Hello, I just completed a blog post for my October blog tour. It is a short family history I wrote about one branch of my family. I decided to search for other genealogy blogs to see if anyone else was interested in reading the article. I hope you will have time to take a quick look.
    Thank you.
    Gail Baugniet (that’s Belgian!)

  4. Jenni

    Hi Lisa, just read your tweet about your new blog. I don’t think it looks too lonely! You have me very curious now about SL… Do the genealogy people discuss their research and family trees or is it mostly just for entertainment? I would never have thought of it, if I had not read your article. Thank you for a terrific blog with terrific info! : )

    • 1ancestry2littletime

      Hi Jenni – Thanks for stopping by! The SL groups I meet with are about everything genealogy — there are some discussions about research, some brick wall tackling, some book clubs, case studies, reviews, entertainment…. It’s all there, and you can take advantage of as little or as much as you want. The best way to see what’s available is to join the “Genealogists in Second Life” group on Facebook. Every week Genie Weezles (of relatively curious) posts a document with the events taking place in SL. I think this is the link to the group in Facebook (since it has no name attached to the url it’s tough to tell, but I did copy/paste it):

      I hope you join us!

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