It is Friday. Thank goodness! And, more importantly, it's the Friday before the week of the National Genealogical Society's Annual Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. I can't believe it's here already! It seems like yesterday that Jen Holik was asking me if I was going to go; at that point I decided to take the plunge and just do it.
Of course, the biggest factor is cost. It costs a lot to go to a conference. Between the cost of the conference itself, which to be honest in my opinion is very reasonable, to the cost of getting there, feeding yourself, going to events, etc. it adds up quickly. If you're lucky, like me, the conference is somewhere you can drive to, but not everyone's so lucky. And, I'm splitting the cost of the room with someone who wouldn't have gone to the conference otherwise, so that was a cost saver and a win-win there as well. (Thanks, Becky...I can't wait to meet you!)
So, what do you do if you CAN'T afford to go. You miss the whole thing, right? Nope! There are lots and lots of ways to get the information about what's happening right here on the Internet. Whether it's blogs, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, people will be talking about what's happening. In the past I've been able to follow along at the Society of American Archivists convention, American Library Association convention, and even some events I wouldn't have thought of going to but was able to 'attend' through social media.
I'm going to suggest that if you haven't tried Twitter before, now is the time to do it. The benefit of Twitter is that you can follow the entire stream of information by searching the hashtag (the '#' sign) #NGS2012 . Follow @ngsgenealogy for up to the moment (not minute, moment) information also. But, by following the hashtag, you're seeing everything that people are commenting about as it happens. So, for instance, let's say there's a particularly interesting session happening that I'm in, and the presenter provides a pearl of wisdom that everyone goes 'aha'! to: I would tweet it with the hashtag and you'll see it in your stream just like you're there. It's so cool!
There'll be a group of Official Bloggers who will (hopefully) be doing just that: blogging about what's happening at NGS2012. I'm one of them, so I'll be blogging more than I usually do. I know lots of people will be updating their Facebook pages and Google+ streams. Oh, and don't forget LinkedIn!! Lots of Genealogists will be using LinkedIn to provide information about what's new in our Industry.
So, I hope you'll follow along with me as I attend my first NGS conference. I'm excited, nervous, and thrilled at the opportunity to learn what's happening in Genealogy today. And, if you can't afford to go, I'll be there for you. As a matter of fact, if there's something you'd like to know, a vendor you have a question for or a session you're particularly interested in, comment here, or email me or get me on Social media and I'll do my best to get an answer for you!
Oh, did I mention I'm staying with my 2nd cousin Mary Sunday and Monday so I can get some of my own personal research done too? You'll definitely want to keep an eye out for that! Have an awesome Friday everyone!!
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