Thursday, September 23, 2010

End of an Era?

The SGS Computer Interest Interest Group (CIG) was the first of its kind in the US, formed in January 1981. Due to our inability to find anyone willing to lead (or co-lead) this group, the CIG missed its regular September meeting and is likely to be discontinued. Ironically, a member has volunteered to do the tasks that previous leaders of the group have found the most tedious--scheduling meeting rooms, maintaining the email and attendance lists, and communicating with SGS Publications and Education directors. What we don't have is anyone willing to find and schedule speakers on topics that combine genealogy and computers.
Several members have suggested that this might be a reasonable time to discontinue the CIG. Unlike 25 to 30 years ago, virtually everyone doing genealogy these days uses a computer in their search for those elusive ancestors. And virtually every SGS presentation includes information on websites or other computer-related resources.
Personally, I already miss the learning that occurred on those second Saturdays. While I probably qualify as a computer nerd myself (having worked with computers since 1968), I learned something new almost every month. There are so many new applications coming out every year that there's no way one person can keep up with all of them. Some of my favorite sessions have been the "holiday sharing" and "new toys" sessions, when I got to see all the cool computer toys other CIG members with larger genealogy budgets had acquired. And I really loved that we had a wide range of computer experience in the audience every month.
So...this month's poll question is simple: is it time to permanently disband SGS's computer interest group? Please take the poll in the upper right corner of this page and share your thoughts by using the comment button below or email me directly at

1 comment:

  1. I for one would be sad to see it disbanded. I originally thought that they couldn't possibly do anything in their meetings that I would understand or use---and I was wrong. I believe that almost all Society members who have a computer will learn information of value ..and use. I know that Dawn and the other chairs or co-chairs had to spend time putting together a very professional program and it was certainly appreciated by myself and I know many others. I do hope that someone with the smarts about computers and keeps up on all the many new things in that world will come forward.

    Robert Ryan