The impetus to create GenSoc Soup can’t be traced to any one issue or incident related to genealogy society technology. I created this community initiative due to a lack of technical support for genealogy societies from both the business and professional genealogy communities.
Many of today’s genealogy societies in the United States were started in the 1970s, some as a result of the American Bicentennial in 1976 and the mini-series Roots on US television in 1977. Right now many of these groups are just getting by with websites hosted by Rootsweb or some are using the EasyNetSites platform (slated for shutdown in June 2021).
GenSoc Soup seeks to build a community genealogists with tech skills to advise genealogy society leaders on how to upgrade their technology and create a strong web presence to fulfill educational missions and attract new members.
Thomas MacEntee, creator of GenSoc Soup, has set up a grant fund valued at $5,000 USD as of 1 January 2021. The grants application process will include a needs assessment and grant money given to those organizations with the most need.
As genealogists we often marvel at what our ancestors accomplished. Often, their success depended on a strong, participatory community. That same type of community is needed in the 21st century to guide genealogy societies to success in the digital age.