As I said yesterday, I believe a very useful aspect to family history/genealogy to have a simple strategic plan. It really helps you focus on what it is you want to accomplish with your genealogy/family history work. So, I encourage you to do the same thing I did and create a simple strategic plan for your efforts.
I outlined my main points yesterday, so now I will take them one at a time and talk about them each a bit.
#1 — MAKE IT FUN!
My number one priority and goal was to make our genealogy as much FUN as possible for my family. I fully realize that not everyone in our family were as nuts about genealogy as I am! OK, so maybe when it came down to it, I could identify two other family members out of the 227 on our website that actually are ‘into’ genealogy! That is one tiny percentage, so I had to figure a way to keep the others engaged, coming to the site, not unsubbing from my weekly Your Family Update’ newsletter, etc.
So I decided to make it as fun as possible. Hence my first goal: MAKE IT FUN!
Then I began to map out a few strategies to accomplish that goal. The following are a few of those strategies:
- Focus on lots of stories, as everyone enjoys reading a story and having a laugh now and then.
- Never, ever call it genealogy rather always call it family history. I found quickly that the term ‘genealogy’ conjured up all sorts of negative connotations in my family. Some thought it sounded too serious. Some said it sounded like a school subject, a science, something they had to study for, something that sounded too high brow, most often the word they used was ‘boring’. You get the idea …. so family history it is!
- Poke fun at myself and my love of family history. If you cannot make fun of yourself and take a good laugh at your own expense, then you will have a really tough time making anyone else laugh or have fun.
- Keep the subject matter light, at least at some point in each weekly update.
- Include a contest now and again so there is something fun and something someone can ‘win’ by helping with the family tree. For me, this happens to be small denomination Starbucks coffee cards. Everyone loves Starbucks and a free cup of Joe will get lots of folks helping and having fun!
So there you have a taste of my first goal and the supporting strategies I planned to achieve that goal.
I have kept this goal uppermost in my mind and I do believe it has paid off. Hey, I even have new family members doing some tracing and documenting — and if it weren’t fun, I doubt they would be helping!
Tomorrow ….. Goal #2!
For now,Onward To Our Past,