Thursday, January 14, 2010

Volunteerism: Look to Your Local GenWeb

I don't want to "toot my horn". That is not the importance of giving a little time to a cause that you feel is worthwhile. My particular cause is the GenWebs. I adopted my county several years ago and have not regretted it. I love the work and have met so many wonderful people in the process of maintaining the site.

When I first started online research I discovered the GenWebs and knew immediately that I wanted to be a volunteer for that organization. I set out right away to learn html coding so that I would be able to adopt a county. Just so happens that my own county became available as I was learning and I quickly applied to adopt it. I was open about my lack of experience and that I was taking lessons still. I was sure that I would not be chosen because of my lacking knowledge and experience. Big surprise! I was chosen! I try to keep learning so that the site is coded up to date and is convenient for my users. I am grateful that the State Coordinator gave me a chance to work for the INGenWeb. It is very fullfilling.

I spend more time some months of the year on the site. Around the holidays it is quiet and very few submissions come in. In the busy times I will spend up to 3 or 4 hours a week on the site. There have been times I spent much more time working. Getting the site up and running took many hours of work a week, but now that I have it set, I only need to put the data on a page(template) and upload. The County Coordinator chooses how simple or complicated the site is. I also spend time transcribing data for the site. Some months I spend 8 to 10 hours doing that. Again, it is up to the CC how much time is spent there. I'm sure you have noticed that each county site is different. That is because each site reflects the personality of each Coordinator and the amount of time they have to put into the project. How much time spent on the project is up to the individual County Coordinator. I have taken my county from 50 pages to over 2500, and that is smallcompared to some counties. I have a lot of ideas and data I want to provide for my users, so much work is still to be done.

I recommend the GenWebs for anyone looking to volunteer time to providing data and information about genealogy research. I have found it to be a great challenge and a joy. Take a look at your county site. Please consider the GenWebs when looking to volunteer. If you don't feel you can handle a county, remember that the sites are waiting for submissions of data from their users too. You could volunteer data that you have collected over the years in your own research. Next time you go out to that little cemetery in your county, take a while and snap extra photos just to submitt. If you have a book for your county, become a "look-up". You can make your county site better even if you can not adopt it.


Written for the 88th COG.


Becky said...

Welcome back, Sheri. I hope your recovery wasn't too difficult but with injury to both an arm and a leg I'm sure it wasn't easy. It's good to have you back!

Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

It is great to see you are up and about again! What a great post! Although I really don't have the time to adopt a county, I have submitted a few documents. I use GENWEB all the time! Thank you for a great post and welcome back friend! PS Thanks to your daughter too!

Holly said...

Sheri, I hope you are getting along and recovering well. I know it will be a while before you feel 100% (I work for orthopedic surgeons)Hang in there. I am responding NOW (late) to your award from Novemeber, thank you.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

I am glad you are doing better, Sheri. I agree that GenWeb is great. I have not volunteered for my county there, but have used GenWeb often. It is the first place I go when I start looking for new information. In fact, the Missouri Stone Co. GenWeb site was the launching pad for my research of my Stone ancestors. I'm grateful for the work you do for your county and appreciate your reminding us that we can also submit the results of our research to them, as well as host a county. Great job!

J.M. said...

You make some great points about how you can contribute things in small ways, like taking extra pictures when visiting a cemetary. Thanks for volunteering!

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