Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Genealogy Speed Dating as a Focus Group


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I am an avid podcast listener, I've blogged about this before. Not only do I listen to podcasts in the genealogy genre, I listen to podcasts on various subjects. After a time you start to feel like you know the podcaster. You will also find that there are some you like more than others and some you can not tolerate at all. I now have my "must listen" to list as well as my "listen to until the must list publishes another podcast" list.

On my must listen to list is FGS Radio - My Society presented by the Federation of Genealogy Societies. No, I am not a society or a board member of any society. I am your average "Jane Genealogist" that has a mind that never shuts down and constantly wants new input. I've blogged about this as well, I enjoy the learning process of genealogy as much as the doing process.

FGS Radio is marketed toward helping genealogy societies better themselves. And...let's be honest here...some of them really need the help! While I do enjoy all of the FGS Radio episodes, some of them tend to speak to me louder than others and the latest podcast is one of them.

In this episode Randy Whited talks with John Sabol on the topic of Roundtable Programs and John coined the phrase "Speed Dating for Genealogists". I love it! What has captured my attention so fully with this episode is the possibility of engagement. Yes, genealogists love to attend lectures and apply what they have learned but we also love to talk about our process, success and failures. What better place than at a table full of like-minded individuals?

Not only do I think this is a great idea for societies but for libraries as well. How many times has your local library system presented "Beginning Genealogy - Let's Get Started"? Too many times, if you ask me, but people still attend even if they are not beginners. Why? Because they want to be with like-minded people even if they are talking about the same topic over and over again.

The real gem of this interview is the opportunity for societies and libraries to use these roundtables as focus groups. This is where you will hear directly from your members and patrons what it is they are interested in. Then you can drop Genealogy 101 to just once a year and add programs that are truly sought after.

Thank you to Randy and John for an entertaining interview and to the FGS for continually publishing quality podcasts.