When I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Tukufu of the popular PBS TV series The History Detectives on The Genealogy Gems Podcast (Episode 63) I found him to be articulate, warm and sincere in his passion for history.Tukufu managed to convey that same warmth and sincerity to a packed banquet room of happily tired out genealogists (after day 1 of The Southern California Genealogical Jamboree) and re-energized them with research stories from his show and thoughtful ideas about why history and more specifically family history resonates with so many of us.
He illustrated the positive and the negative outcomes of the stories they have covered on the the series with carefully selected video clips. Then the genealogical story got more personal as he shared his own journey through the DNA testing process.
But where he really drove his overall message home was when an audience member asked him why he thought genealogy was growing in popularity at this point in time. He then proudly pulled out his brand new iPhone and discussed the "disconnected" way that we as human communicate these days, and how we still have a driving desire to be connected. And genealogy benefits by both technology and that desire for human connection.
And as I looked around and saw many face (live, and in person) that I had gotten to know via Twitter, Facebook, blogging and podcasting, it struck me how all of these mediums add a new and rich dimension to the long standing genealogy conference. Had they not existed it would have been easy to feel alone in that crowded room. And yet social media, in tandem with live events such as Jamboree, offer a richer experience...it's a terrific time to be a genealogist!