In Gail Dever's blog post Some of the great Canadian genealogists we have lost she mentions that since the results of the Rock Star Genealogist contest, many of us in the Genealogy Community have been disappointed that very few Canadian Genealogists were recognized.
Why is this? Are we Canadians not good at self-promotion and getting known? Are Canadians so Americanized by our Television Shows and Movies that we automatically (and subconsciously) assume that if it's from an American Genealogist it's got to be better?
I should make it very clear that I am not trying to start a turf war of "us against them" - Canadians against Americans! I am merely advocating that we Canadian Genealogists need to get our game faces on and get to a level playing field with (not against) our American friends and neighbours.
I believe part of the problem is that we Canadians are just not very well known, even in our own country. We don't promote ourselves and we need to do that.
It was also obvious that it was mostly Genealogy speakers who were finalists in the Rock Star Genealogist contest. There are many excellent speakers and it's terrific that they are being recognized but what about the bloggers and writers? I'd like to see all of those who contribute to Canadian genealogy recognized, not just those who speak at Conferences.
STAND UP AND BE NOTICED
It's time to stand up and be noticed if you are a Canadian genealogy blogger, speaker or author. Are Canadian Genealogy bloggers aware of, and using, Social Media to its full potential? Are they on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram? How about YouTube - do they have their own YouTube Channel? Do they have a mailing list or newsletter? Do others in the genealogy community instantly recognize their name, their logo, or their slogan?
Branding is the same as advertising. If you want to be known you have to advertise yourself. But that does not mean you have to spam Facebook groups or mailing lists with your posts! Be discreet.
THE POWER OF PROMOTING OTHERS
We need to promote others. Co-operate with the rest of the Genealogy Community. It's much like the adage "win friends and influence people". We bloggers should not ignore our fellow bloggers - we need to promote others as well as ourselves.
One of the things I did recently to promote other Genealogy bloggers was
to invite several from different countries to respond to 10 Interview
Questions I devised. I was happy to feature them with a photo on my
blog. Any opportunity to be featured on another blogger's blog or in a newsletter or any other advertising media is a golden opportunity and should be jumped at.
But interestingly enough of the dozen genealogists I reached out to, one was not interested in participating, one never replied to my initial email, two never sent me their Interview Responses after expressing interest, and one told me I would have to remind them periodically as they were "busy" and would "probably forget". Wow. How rude is that response?
First it implies that I am not busy and have all the time in the world to act as their (unpaid) personal assistant. Secondly it implies that they consider themselves far more important than me. Third they blew any chance of me ever offering to promote them again. I suspect they will lose many opportunities if they treat all offers of exposure and promotion as they did mine. And no, I did not remind this person. If you want to see which genealogists were featured, you can read their biographies here.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR FRIEND
Every Canadian Genealogy speaker, author and blogger should be on all Social Media sites and should learn how to use them correctly. There are lots of great articles with tips for using Social Media well. There are rules. There are protocols and there are etiquette expectations. If you are interested in my Social Media presence you can follow me by clicking on the icons below:
I confess that I almost certainly am unaware of all of the great Canadian genealogy talent that is out there. In fact when I discussed this with my friend Gail Dever, she gave me names of a few Canadian genealogists I had never heard of.
CANADIAN GENEALOGY PERSONALITIES
So here is my list of Canadian Genealogy personalities - and please, if I missed you, leave a comment or write to me and I'll add your name and website or blog. I'm sure there must be more. We live in the second largest country in the world. Why can I only come up with 19 names, one of them my own!
Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne of Histoquest
Fred Blair of War of 1812 Canadian Stories
Ruth Blair of Blair Archival Research
Elise Cole of Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees
Gail Dever of Genealogy à la carte
Yvonne Demoskoff of Yvonne's Genealogy Blog
Kathryn Lake Hogan of Looking4Ancestors
Janet Iles of Janet the Researcher
Ken McKinlay of Family Tree Knots
Brenda Dougall Merriman
Janice Nickerson of Upper Canada Genealogy
John D. Reid of Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections
M. Diane Rogers of CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'
Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy website and blog
Diane Lynn Tibert of Roots to the Past
Christine Woodcock of Scottish Genealogy Tips & Tricks
Fellow Genealogists - here's a chance for you to promote a Canadian Genealogy Speaker, Blogger or Writer - who are they? Where are they hiding? Please provide their names and a link to their website or blog in the comment section below. Let's all get to know our Canadian Genealogists. I'm going to add one "rule" regarding bloggers - I only want names of those who are actively blogging and who post fairly regularly. So please - only add a blogger who has posted within the last 2 weeks.
Fellow Genealogy Bloggers - here is my challenge to you. Promote one Canadian Genealogist on your blog, website, on a Facebook group, or in a Tweet next week. It's not always about self- promotion, it's about co-operation and promoting others too.