What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get me, Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more.
I was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so I started building my own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. I also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. My most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”
I’m a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics and I’ve finally figured out what I do best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. I believe in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.
I see things differently than most in the genealogy field; I’m almost never content with the status quo. That doesn’t mean I chase after change just for the sake of change; but when I see an opportunity to improve something and to bring more people into the genealogy sphere, that’s where you’ll find me.
Finally, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I realize that. I tend to be polarizing as a personality and I don’t have a need to be liked by everyone. My followers are as loyal and passionate as I am about genealogy and family history. I encourage constructive feedback, positive and negative, and enjoy a good “conversation” both in person and online. I do have my detractors; success often brings them out of the woodwork. I don’t have time for negative, unconstructive people set on pulling others down so they can raise themselves up. If that’s your bag, kindly move on . . .
So what do I do?
Here is a list of skills and services I offer:
- Speaking and Lecturing: Each year I travel all over the world presenting on over 75 different genealogy-related topics. While my focus is mainly technology, I cover a variety of areas and I’d love to speak at your organization’s event! Click here for a list of currently available lecture topics.
- Education: Sometimes known as “The King of Genealogy Webinars,” I can often be found presenting online education in a variety of formats. Webinars are a cost-effective and convenient way for your organization to share my knowledge with your members.
- Self-Publishing: As the author of 7 genealogy books and editor of close to 100 books and guides, I can help walk you through the self-publishing process. In addition, I offer editing and production services without any upfront fees; I’m willing to take a small royalty and then help promote your book so we both succeed!
- Marketing: I’ve been successful in combining social media platforms and practices with good old fashioned marketing skills to promote my business. Now let me use these abilities to promote you, your business or your organization within the genealogy community.
- Networking: “Telephone, telegraph, tell Thomas” is a phrase some people use to describe my ability to connect the right people together in the genealogy industry. You may just need contact info or you may want some background on a genealogy vendor and their services. Contact me and I’ll help get you connected.
- Market Analysis: I am one of the few people in the genealogy industry who tracks new products and services, user and subscriber data, and more. In addition, I track the “habits” of genealogists including purchasing decisions, what attracts and repels them, and more. If you have a product that you feel will do well with family historians, I can help you understand the landscape of the genealogy market.
- Coaching and Mentoring: I wish I had time and money to provide free coaching to those who want to start their own genealogy business, and I would if I could! I am available to give you an inside look at my success, what I wouldn’t do again, and offer inspiration to carve out your niche in the family history industry.
- Entrepreneurship: I’m always open to new opportunities. I can usually invest time, skill and build sweat equity rather than outright funding. You never know what might happen so contact me!
What I believe
- In abundance; that you get back ten-fold what your give freely to your profession and to your community.
- Knowledge is to be shared and not hoarded.
- Not everything is free, including genealogy records access, educational content and stuff found on the Internet.
- In order to receive the next good thing coming your way, you must have an open hand, palm up . . . you can’t get there if you’re constantly holding on to what you have.
- Always give credit and attribution; if you can’t find the artist/author/innovator, then don’t use it or share it.
- Celebrate the success of others and believe in possibilities – theirs and your own. Instead of saying, “Hey, that should be me!” say “Hey, that could be me!”
Want to know more about Thomas?
- I was born in New York, and after living in Northern California for close to 20 years, I currently reside in Chicago.
- I’m a Baby Boomer at heart, with a head full of useless pop culture trivia.
- What I do and who I am are difficult to describe and I purposely avoid labels.
- If I had my way, I’d be in school forever, racking up degree after degree.
Work With Me
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you want to discuss working together in the genealogy industry.
©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee