Friday, February 25, 2011

Actively Participating in #wdytya or Who Do TV

I've thoroughly enjoyed this season of NBC's television program - Who Do You Think You Are? Although I must admit that I am a history or genealogy TV fan. When my great niece (Morgan) and nephew (Mason) visit and want to watch a video - they know that my stash ranges from The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James to George Washington's First War so they usually bring their own video.
However, even these two youngsters are enjoying WDYTYA. They understand that records tell the story of individuals and families. Recently, Morgan and Mason spent the day with me. I needed to visit a nearby county Archives, and knew I could safely visit with these two. Once we arrived, I handed Morgan a genealogical magazine with a small picture of Elvis Presley on the cover. I have to admit that I saw that picture and knew Morgan would be captivated, since she is definitely a Elvis fan.
Her excitement led her to read the article, where she found a copy of his birth certificate and a few other documents. She proceeded to extract the data from the documents in the article, and I saw her look at the front of the magazine several times as she wrote.
"What are you finding in the front of the magazine?" I asked.
"I need the Volume and Number for my citation!" she answered as though I should have known.
I asked her why she had recorded all these details. She looked at me with determined eyes and replied
"Why, Uncle Mark, if I don't record these details, how will I ever find these documents again?"
Her citations aren't complete, but at least she understands one of the major purposes - to locate the documents again.
As I watch each episode of WDYTYA, I see celebrities, librarians, archivists and researchers handle the documents that tell very specific stories. Will they ever want to see that document again? I can assure you that the wonderful folks at WDYTYA will see that the celebrities will get a well-documented copy of that record.
As the show airs, I follow all of the tweets about the show and often ask questions or make comments myself. I use Tweetdeck to follow the posts of others. Add a column - search #wdytya - and you will see all posts that use the 'hashtag' #wdytya. Try it this week or next week. You will be surprised.
Then join Geneabloggers Radio after the show for a discussion of the episode and other topics. Become a part of this genealogical community.
Help us all by keeping the story alive and participating in the genealogical community.
Disclosure: I provided some research for WDYTYA episodes, and have wonderfully brilliant great nieces and nephews.

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J. Mark Lowe
J. Mark Lowe Reviews
Springfield, Tennessee Speakers
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