Since early 2020, all SGGS meetings have been conducted using the video conference service Zoom. Once all COVID restrictions have been lifted in this strict lockdown state of California, we will again return to in-person general meetings. Those in-person meetings will also be transmitted to people at home using Zoom, this being known as a hybrid meeting. Will do the same for our board meetings, since we now have directors living in other states (Utah, Arizona). Doing this at our general meeting will require additional meeting support volunteers. For example, one person monitors the room's sound system and assists the speaker. A second will be needed to sit behind a laptop acting as the Zoom host (and possibly pointing a webcam at the speaker). If you are interested in becoming a Zoom host, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizational Planning Meeting
Due to a lot of vacation travel (tis the season), the September and October board meetings have been cancelled. There normally is a next-year planning meeting held sometime in November at the home of one of the directors. Volunteers, current and potential, are invited to attend. All current volunteers will be emailed once a date, location and agenda have been identified. If you are a potential volunteer, email email@example.com to receive that announcement.
SGGS Website: Version 4.1
SGGS uses a subscription website service called EasyNetSites (owned by Blue Crab Software). Blue Crab just announced a free release of version 4.1, to be installed on Oct. 14. The website visitor will not see any changes. All improvements will be visible only to volunteers who administer the website. Blue Crab is also offering optional add-on modules for a nominal annual surcharge. In version 4.0, an online ballot for both candidates and proposals was offered ($25 per year). Version 4.1 will include the Knowledge Base which brings together multiple informational page types into one more organized and searchable page ($10 per year). The SGGS Board will decide whether to subscribe to any of the optional modules.
SGGS Website: Redesign
SGGS has created a committee to redesign the website including bringing the banner up to date and revising the color scheme to improve contrast and readability. Blue Crab said future releases (beyond 4.1) will allow the color scheme to be modified by page settings. That will save SGGS money since we won't have to pay Blue Crab to do that.
Behind the Curtain at SGGS: The Storage Unit
Where does SGS store its stuff? The property we only occassionally need is stored in a rented 10x10 storage unit. Our meeting setup equipment and merchandise (mosly books) are in four metal storage cabinets in the MacMurdo Hall room at St. Mark's United Methodist Church. The below image depicts the storage unit (Oct. 1, 2021). The boxes with the white labels and the metal cabinet contain Der Blumenbaum back issues. The banker boxes contain the equipment from the 2019 German genealogy conference in Sacramento. The white boxes below them contain old paper financial records (must be retained for ten years). The small boxes in the foreground and many not visible contain Shirley Riemer Research Companion 3rd edition books. The reminder of the boxes and the items packed behind the metal cabinet are our seminar and special event setup media and equipment. There is stuff there we plan to get rid of – white plastic tubs containing the pedigree chart binders (now digitized), the overhead projector wrapped in the black plastic bag, and the coffeemaker next to the projector. Not depicted is addition of a bunch of boxes containing donated old German language books (fiction). We plan to give them away to attendees at a future general meeting.
Opportunities to Get Involved
If you are interested in or have questions about any of the following, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
||The current issue of Der Blumenbaum is the last for our current editor. We urgently need someone who likes to put together a newsletter and do editing. You will be provided with support from a DB Committee. Getting it printed is someone else's job. All you have to do is produce a PDF file.
||Our current Membership Registrar said this year is her last. If you like administering a simple online database (creating and updating records) and responding to inquiries from members, then this is for you. You will get technical support and training.
||If composing event announcements and then posting them on the website and emailing them to members appeals to you, this is something we urgently need. You will be provided with technical support and training.
||If you like using an app to do artwork and exercise your creativity, our organization logo needs to be rethought and redesigned. And there is a lot of demand for illustrations by the Der Blumenbaum editor.
||There are two of us who currently set in-person meetings. We are fine with setting up the computer and connecting it to video projection. But we struggle to set up the microphone system. Need help with doing that. And things will be more complicated when we start doing a hybrid meeting (i.e., transmitting an in-person meeting through Zoom).
|Mail order sales
||You may have noticed that our online store is no longer present. We need more help to do mail order sales - order processing, merchandise shipping and customer support.
||We have just joined this European organization (https://www.icar-us.eu/en/about-us/). We are looking for anyone interested in becoming familar with what they do and taking on a project.
This newsletter does not have a set publishing schedule. It will be posted when sufficient material exists. If you have something that should be addressed, please email email@example.com.