Sunday, January 1, 2012

Buddy Up for 2012

With the start of the New Year, many genealogists are thinking about setting goals for 2012. Recently, I heard about some genealogists who took it a bit further in 2011 to ensure their success.

How did they do it? They connected with a genealogy buddy to hold them accountable for reaching their goals. As far as I know, the idea started with Amy Coffin of the We Tree Blog and Denise Levenick of The Family Curator Blog.

Not only did Amy and Denise encourage each other to achieve their goals, they also blogged about it.

From Denise came "Blogging Buddies and Genealogy Resolutions, report from the West Coast Partner" and from Amy, "Blogging Buddies and Genealogy Resolutions."

Finding a Genealogy Buddy

If you're a genealogy blogger then finding a buddy might be as easy as asking another blogger. Geographic proximity is not a requirement for genealogy buddies. You can support each other's goal publicly or privately via blogs, email, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

If you're not a blogger, don't feel left out.  The buddy system could work great whether you are online or offline.  I think this could be a great activity for genealogy societies to get involved with.  They could encourage their members to find buddies amongst the membership to help them with their goals and research.

And don't forget to think locally.  Are there any genealogists in your town or region? You could meet your buddy monthly at a local coffee shop. Don't know of any genealogists locally? Perhaps your local library or archive could help you connect with one.

Make It Happen

At the start of 2012 don't just write down your goals.  Make achieving your goals more fun by connecting with another genealogist.  You'll have a better chance at achieving your goals and have lots of adventures along the way.


  1. And, with things like hangouts on G+ and chat on FB it will work with buddies who aren't local to each other as well!

  2. The buddy system wins big time. Thanks for posting this; I'll have to go to the other sites mentioned and check them out.

    I am trying to remember who the person was (a guy named BJ Fogg outta stanford-- psychologist who talks of motivation), but when it comes to getting something done, he said, don't change your behavior, change your environment.

    This fits so well.

    The environment of a nudging buddy will help you to make the changes in behavior that you need. I've been applying this to some parts of my life, but haven't been thinking of it in terms of family history. Most excellent way to spread "already known knowledge" into a most important sphere.

    Happy New Year. May all those little lifehacks tricks help out with family history, too!

  3. Sounds perfect!! Where do I sign up for a buddy? :)

  4. Great idea Marian! Thanks for sharing.

  5. The buddy system did start with Denise and me. It was a fluke we made up during a lunch outing, but it went so well that we decided to share the idea with everyone.

    Having a buddy makes you accountable and motivates you as well because you don't want to disappoint your buddy.

    Denise and I have a set meeting date in December 2012 where we reveal how we did. If you can't meet your buddy in person, try a Google+ hangout or chat (one of your goals could be to learn how to use Google+ hangouts).

    As always, you don't have to do it the same way we are. Make the idea work for you. What's most important is that you get things accomplished in 2012 and HAVE FUN!

  6. I LOVE this idea! But as 'ironhide781' points out, not everyone knows how to create this relationship. Perhaps you can follow up with some suggestions?

  7. I'd love a follow-up post with suggestions!

  8. I just emailed a genealogy colleague in England (I'm in Scotland) to see if we can help each other out. Great idea!

  9. Thanks for the mention, Marian, about our little buddy-system. We didn't imagine we would be such trendsetters.

    Amy's ideas for finding a buddy are spot-on. I would add trying a post on your blog and dropping some bait. Just let it be known that you are looking for a buddy. You don't have to meet in person (but that makes it more fun). Or try a FaceBook post or Tweet... I'm glad to be a matchmaker at The Family Curator too, leave a comment and let's see if someone wants to join the fun.

    Here's to the New Year and a new set of goals.