Let’s get social @AFFHO2015

Congress 2015Some of you may be bewildered by all the references to AFFHO in relation to the Canberra Congress 2015. It’s simple really as AFFHO is the umbrella organisation overarching all the triennial genealogy congresses Down Under. The acronym stands for the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc. You’ll be hearing lots more about Congress 2015 in the coming months and if you’re on social media you’ll find news about Congress under the hashtag #AFFHO.


Other useful links to follow on Twitter are:

Congress 2015                  @AFFHO2015

Jill Ball (GeniAus)             @Geniaus (official blogger)

Shauna Hicks                    @HicksShauna (official blogger)

Pauleen Cass                     @cassmob (official blogger)

You’ll also find each of the official bloggers on Google+ under their names and using the hashtag #AFFHO.

There are two other ways you can check out what’s happening in regard to Congress via the official Facebook page, which includes tips for tag-along partners, and also on Geniaus’s dedicated blog page AFFHO which is collating all the #AFFHO tweets.

I’m assuming you’ve already signed up for the Congress 2015 newsletter which are also available online.

Last week I launched my first foray into a newsletter published using paper.li. I called it the AFFHO Congress 2015 Weekly and it will be published each week on Friday evening. All going well it will draw together all stories relating to Congress but also general news and stories from the Congress sponsors and the speakers. If you have any tips on how to make it more relevant do please let me know via email (on the contact page) or in a comment.


people funWith all our chatter about blogs and social media it’s important not to forget that one of the big attractions of Congress is the chance to meet with fellow genealogists, just get to know them, and also to learn tips and tricks about how they do their research. Oh the joy in days of nothing but genealogy!

The geneabloggers will have little trouble recognising their genimates having been reading each other’s posts for ages, not to mention that we’ll be wearing the blogger beads promised by Geniaus. Judging on my experience on the Unlock the Past cruise earlier this year, the problem there will be keeping us quiet!

However, others don’t have a semi-automatic entrée to the formal and informal social gatherings at Congress. People may be members of family history societies and yet for various reasons not know many other members, or in fact their mates may not be attending congress (gasp!)group people

So it’s up to us to make others welcome in our groups, introduce ourselves and those we’re chatting with, which will help make new people comfortable entering our chatter-groups. This is a win-win for everyone as we expand our networks by being inclusive, and seriously if you’ve ever been a wallflower at a function or a dance, wouldn’t you want to ensure others enjoy Congress as much as you do? “Adopt a friend” sounds patronising but it’s really about genea-kindness and being welcoming. So let’s all go into Congress committing to meeting others, inviting them into our groups and generally spreading the joy of genealogy.

Here’s to a great Congress 2015, meeting old friends and making new ones!

13 thoughts on “Let’s get social @AFFHO2015

  1. You’ve sure got that covered.
    Wouldn’t it be great if we could have stickers or badges for various societies/groups we belong to so we can hook up with fellow members.


  2. Great idea Jill! Why not suggest it to those we’re members of? Or print one off on a sticker for ourselves to save them money.We need those ribbon doo-dad thingies you get at RootsTech. Could also print a bunch off on Cafe Press…food for thought.


    1. Why not get some real blogger beads and wear them in support…people “outside” may think you’re slightly nuts though, especially since the beads are usually VERY bling.


  3. I vividly remember how shy and nervous I felt on day one of my first Congress in 1986. I also remember how much better I felt after Heather Garnsey took the trouble to chat to me and make me feel welcome. Since then I’ve always made a point of saying hello to anyone who is standing alone and looking a bit lost.


    1. I think we’ve probably all experienced that feeling somewhere when confronted by big crowds, either for work or play. You’ve clearly shown how lending a friendly hand can make such a big difference.


  4. I love the idea of ‘adopt a friend’ Pauleen as I am someone who feels very awkward in gatherings when I don’t know anyone. It is always a thrill when someone makes an effort to say hello and make you feel welcome.

    I think I’m heading to Congress, so if you see me sticking out like a sore thumb, please come and rescue me!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jill. We think we’ll do a family road trip, just working out the details. I know the genie community is a friendly bunch. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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