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About the GEG and me

Donna Baker holds up a sign that says "I [heart] genealogy."The Golden Egg Genealogist™ (GEG) is an ideal, a goal, a perpetual destination. It is a metaphor I’ve created to elevate my ambition to seek excellence in genealogy — a metaphor that will be strengthened in the sharing.

I have found that old adage true: “If you want to learn something, teach it.” I am here to learn.

I know that having the rest of you on the observing end of my learning will force me to be thorough and disciplined. Your commentary and questions will drive us forward into territories I might never have thought to consider.  We can teach each other how to be GEGs — the best of the best.

What am I bringing to the table, you might fairly ask? Why should you invest time here?

I have experience with old and new genealogy — the Soundex and microfilm variety of the 1980s, when I first began, and the databases-in-clouds rendition of today.

How much experience? Let’s call me an “intermediate” with a passion to become an expert. Genealogy occupies an increasingly expanded role in my career, though I am not a professional genealogist. I am heading up a genealogical digitization project for Alabama’s state bicentennial: I often speak to groups about genealogy; and I will be co-teaching my first beginner’s genealogy course for the Osher Life-long Learning Institute at the University of Alabama this fall.

I bring other skills and life experiences to the table, as do all of you, I would imagine. An early career in a Fortune 500 computer corporation taught me to look for ways to let technology automate tedious tasks, eliminate human error, and expand what is humanly possible.

In my years there, I was a trainer, customer support representative, technical writer, manager, and eventually, the director of communications. I learned to explain complex technologies in understandable terms.

My decades in computers have been primarily in the Windows PC world, and I am a happy and fairly powerful user of the Microsoft Office suite. You will see that bias in my blogging. I do have some Apple background, thanks to an iPad that has been always near at hand for six years or so. I have a compulsion to find better ways of doing things — faster, smarter, easier. This is where I can be of help. I encourage those with other areas of expertise to pipe in, as we go.

For the past five years, I’ve lived a low-paper ethic at work, reducing stress and waste, and making it possible to have virtually everything I need available wherever Wi-Fi exists. I have carried that practice to genealogy, as well, and believe in its value over paper-intensive systems. You can anticipate a good bit of blogging on that subject.

I have a PhD in history, have taught it at the university level, and have worked in the field of historical publishing for the past fourteen years. So, you can also expect to see blogs on historical context and the craft of writing.

I hope you will each bring your particular blends of skill and experience to this venue, as you comment on the materials you find here, raise new questions, and apply what you learn.

If we all become stronger at genealogy and prouder to be practitioners by virtue of this site, then it is serving its major purpose.

 

GEG_Single Wrap

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