Who do you like to hear speak?

UPDATE 21 Oct 2017: voting is now closed. Congratulations to gold medalist Blaine Bettinger  – the winners are listed here: http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2017/10/2017-gold-superstar-genealogists.html and runners-up here http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2017/10/rockstar-genealogists-2017-silver-and.html

Image by Chris Goopy – from John Reid’s rockstar blog post

This is the sixth year John Reid has organized online voting for rockstar genealogists. His stated intent is to “help folks organizing a speaker program to know who is popular internationally and in different regions. “ Click here or on the image to go vote before Saturday.

I think this is a laudable goal and appreciate his hard work organizing it. Sadly he dropped many people from the list this year in a purge. However he then re-added those who got two nominations that met his criteria. Truthfully, I was bummed to be initially off the initial list but pleased to have made the final one.

The way he determines the winners in geographic areas and in DNA is from the boxes checked by the voters as to where they live and whether they are genetic genealogists. Click here to see the top three 2016 winners in each category as summarized by Randy Seaver.

One of the facebook groups I belong to is dismissing this as a popularity contest and is generally being unhappy about it. Personally I think this misses the point. Yes there are many wonderful genealogists who are not on this list, but his criteria is quite clear, it is whose presentations are “must see” ones in your opinion. Why is it a bad thing to vote on that?

Here is the list. Note that can be very worthwhile to google some of these folk and read their blogs. Be sure to nominate folk who you feel are missing and deserve to be there next year!

They are not alphabetized in the voting, so I used OpenCalc to fix that here:
Lisa Alzo (USA)
Jill Ball (ANZ)
Nick Barrett (UK)
Kenyatta D. Berry (USA)
Blaine Bettinger (USA)
Ruth Blair (CAN)
Angie Bush (USA)
Peter Calver (UK)
Pauleen Cass (ANZ)
Else Churchill (UK)
Audrey Collins (UK)
Lisa Louise Cooke (USA)
Kitty Cooper (USA)
Schelly Talalay Dardashti (USA)
Gail Dever (CAN)
Brian Donovan (IRE)
Daniel Earl (CAN)
Dick Eastman (USA)
Roberta Estes (USA)
Janet Few (UK)
Fiona Fitzsimmons (IRE)
Heather Garnsey (ANZ)
Maurice Gleeson (IRE)
Chris Goopy (ANZ)
Jan Gow (ANZ)
Kirsty Gray (UK)
John Grenham (IRE)
Celia Heritage (UK)
Shauna Hicks (ANZ)
Kathryn Lake Hogan (CAN)
Yvette Hoitink (OTH)
Daniel Horowitz (OTH)
Cyndi Ingle (USA)
Thomas W. Jones (USA)
Debbie Kennett (UK) not tabulated)
Michael D. Lacopo (USA)
Thomas MacEntee (USA)
Jane MacNamara (CAN)
Elizabeth Shown Mills (USA,
Paul Milner (USA)
CeCe Moore (USA)
Dave Obee (CAN)
Lynn Palermo (CAN)
Michelle Patient (ANZ)
Chris Paton (UK)
David Pike (CAN) not tabulated)
Mike Quackenbush (CAN)
Geoff Rasmussen (USA)
Pat Richley-Erickson (USA)
Judy G. Russell (USA)
Claire Santry (IRE)
Lorine McGinnis Schulze (CAN)
Helen V. Smith (ANZ)
Megan Smolenyak (USA)
Diahan Southard (USA)
D. Joshua Taylor (USA)
Mary M. Tedesco (USA)
Alona Tester (ANZ)
Judy Webster (ANZ,
Sharn White (ANZ)
Katherine R. Willson (USA)
Christine Woodcock (CAN)
Glenn Wright (CAN)

6 thoughts on “Who do you like to hear speak?

Click here to add your thoughts at the end of the comments
  1. I spent several years as a professional speaker-not on genealogy, gave talks in 46 states, as well as several in Canada and two in Cancun. I have seen several genealogical speakers who did not have the skills or the preparation needed to give a really good speech. My SLIG class this year had one speaker who thought the audience’s repeated requests for her to use the microphone were funny–until I pulled her over and informed her the microphone is not about the speaker but about the audience, most of whom are on the far side of 60 and many of whom have hearing problems. Speakers really need to learn how to give an effective speech! Knowing and presenting are two different skills.

    • I cannot agree more. Strength in content is not at all the same as strength in public speaking. But on the issue of Rockstar Genealogists while I commend John’s intent to identify knowledgeable public speakers, some of our Rockstars use the pen (Okay, keyboard) and rarely a microphone. Perhaps John might consider adjusting the title?

  2. As someone who needs this information to find interesting speakers for the North San Diego County Genealogical Society DIG, I have to agree with you Kitty. After all, we can’t have you speak every month!

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