Today's Helpful Hint for Societies:
Map Your Territory!
I was inspired to write this blog post by the folks at Old Scottish Genealogy & Family History. They took the time to create a map of all the genealogy organizations in Scotland. What an amazing tool! Great for those of us who respond well to visual prompts, this was a great way to organize the information. You can see it here.
How does this apply to societies here in the states? I actually think this could prove to be very beneficial, not just as a "we're here pay attention to us" element, but also as a way to be aware of your area and what other societies are around you.
Certainly you could do this on a state level... but for some states, that might be quite a task. You could break it down by city, metropolitan area, or any other geographic definition. Do what works best for you, what makes the most sense in your area, but this would be relatively simple to put together and embed into your society website. You could use Pinterest, Google Maps and several other free sites to create it. Although the folks at Old Scottish Genealogy & Family History have created theirs to be interactive (they also have one for Scottish archives), it wouldn't be necessary to do that. A nice touch, indeed, but not necessarily a required one.
Using this tool within the organization might also come in handy. Perhaps your society wants to index a cemetery or take on some other preservation project. If you were to map all of the societies in your area, as well as all of the cemeteries, you might find that the area of interest is of equal distance between two organizations. You could potentially share the project with the second society. The opposite of course is true, as well. The map may allow you to easily see that there are several organization to the north of you, but none to the south. Perhaps you then change your focus to work on projects in the southern territory.
There are numerous ways in which you could make use of a map of societies. Find groups to collaborate with, identify target markets for membership drives, and other uses may pop up before you even complete the project.
What can you come up with if you Map Your Territory