There has been much dialogue in the past week about the inclusiveness of the genealogical community from many perspectives. Good discussions and much to consider, especially when looking at one's own position in the community.
I have to thank George Geder, James Tanner, Robin Foster and others for joining the discussion and for bringing out the issue that many have felt for some time. There are indeed communities and circles of influence from which many have been locked out. There are the elite groups that have been a small circle and who have occasionally opened their doors to a handful of new initiates, who will take their seat in the same small circle.
But there have also been changes--thanks to a new medium and new entities shaped by the internet. Yet in spite of those new platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, many others especially in minority communities, still operate in a real-time arena. So as a result the question must be asked, are many talented people being bypassed in spite of their talents and gifts, since new rules have been made that do not include them?
If one is not blogging, tweeting, forming circles and "friending" strangers, is there a new shut-out?
There might just be. And add to that, many are coming online hanging up shingles, setting up businesses, and becoming successful and being lauded as the new "authorities". With a strong online presence, the new authorities realize that they will be seen, and those in the real world, real time arena, who occasionally browse online for speakers---they see the new "authorities" and thus launch them into a higher realm, or at least push them closer into the inner circle.
But--there are others who are also part of the genealogy community, who are not following the new rules. They are not singing the praises only of the elite 50 nor are they working hard to join them. But what they are doing is sharing, teaching, giving and mentoring. And those mentors and teachers are the the critical people who give to all. The emerging stars and the unknown alike benefit from what they do. I have come to appreciate so many people with all of their talents.
But I truly admire most those treasured teachers among us, who have only the desire to share, to help and to nurture. Because of them, many of us have found a comfortable place where we can grow, and learn and feel connected.
Yes there is a vibrant genealogy community and some have made it a good place for the rest of us to find "a place called home."