I was a bit offended last week when catching up on the posts from the weekly ANZAncestryTime
Twitter chat. I got the feeling that some folk were dismissive of Rabbit Holes and Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs)
|Bright Shiny Objects|
In response to Question 4 on the chat "Q4: How do we avoid bright shiny objects (BSO's) when researching? "
I responded " Why avoid BSO's? Most of the world's greatest discoveries came as a result of someone following a BSO or going down a rabbit hole. Let's not give in to #geneasnobbery and deride those whose goal is simply one of discovery and enlightenment."
I know all that glitters is not gold
but, if we avoid a proper examination of a BSO we may miss out on something of value.
Just this week a Bright Shiny Object (BSO) in the form of an upgrade to the RootsMagic software
has appeared. There has been much talk on social media about this particular BSO and its merits. Some people including renowned US genealogist Randy Seaver
have spent hours exploring down the RootsMagic Rabbit Hole. I can see merit in following this BSO and spending time down that Rabbit Hole. We all have an option to avoid a BSO but, if it can potentially add to our knowledge or experience, we avoid BSOs at our peril
Each week when Familysearch and other online providers share the news of their new resources (BSOs) I scan the lists for BSOs that interest me. If an item is shining brightly I may go burrowing immediately if I have time or I will list it for examination as soon as I have time. These BSOs and Rabbit Holes might just provide tool or clue I need the bust a long standing brickwall. After all we are regularly exhorted by experienced researchers to follow every clue, should we ignore those highlighted by BSOs and restrict ourselves to the dull and boring? I am joining Bugs Bunny and his mates by going down the Rabbit Holes that BSOs light up.
|Let's go burrowing|
During this recent Pandemic we have been inundated with many offerings of online learning activities, another form of BSO. I agree that we cannot go down every single rabbit hole and watch everything on offer and we need to apply some filters. But should we avoid these educational offerings (BSOs)?
I think of the great advances that have been made over the years particularly in the fields of science and technology. I realise that these have been made because those who made those important discoveries followed the BSOs of their day and spent much time down in exploration Rabbit Holes.
are not something to be avoided, they should be examined with a critical eye and, if they appear relevant to our research, we must spend time down the rabbit holes they highlight.