While the world has been watching the Canadian gold rush at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, I have participating, quietly, in Winter 2010 Geneabloggers Games. These 'games' are one of several clever ways to improve your genealogy skills through a number of 'events' with the added benefit of providing a practical aspect of motivating us to get to some of those genealogy chores where procrastination has been the winning influence.
I didn't participate in all of the 'events.' I would have earned a gold medal in data back-up but disqualified myself as I had already completed all of the required elements. Having lost my genealogy data (as well as all other personal data) to a computer virus some years ago, I have several systems in place to back-up my data including two USB keys and a secure, external 'cloud' data back-up service provider.
I did participate in the source citation event, important to me as I had resolved at the beginning of the year to tackle my earlier research times of laziness when I moved on in my research with the intention of returning to cite my sources - only to recognize that the number of citations was enormous, in fact, overwhelming. My result - a platinum medal. To qualify, I needed to make 50 source citations, a level that I easily surpassed.
I achieved a diamond medal level in organizing my files with more than 20 digital files, hard copy photos, digital photos and new data entries (with sources cited) all completed. I also achieved a gold medal in the writing category as I was able to pre-publish a number of blog posts including a new summary page and ancestral stories.
The area I find most rewarding though is the platinum medal level for genealogical acts of kindness. I have heard of and never really understood individuals who will not share their genealogical information or expertise without receiving something in return. I believe that the secret to success is allowing others to benefit from whatever information and expertise I might be able to offer. In achieving this medal, I commented on another genealogical blog and began 'following' several other very interesting blogs. I've assisted a new 'cousin' connection as well as some new to genealogy friends and family. I've even used Facebook to invite my 'friends' to my blog to find information about a new (to me, at least) free software application.
All in all, a very successful winter games. Now, if the Canadian men could just win the hockey gold, all will be well!