Sometime during the course of your research, you might want to "give back" to the community of family historians/genealogists. That's partly what motivated me to extract information of mostly female Missourians from national women's magazines for MOSGA.org. It's not an easy job to go through old magazines and scan each contributors' letters for personal information, then type it up in a format that everyone could use, but I knew of a private collection of magazines that the public might not ever see and I wanted to contribute something to Missouri's genealogical knowledge base.
Contributing information to a county or state based genealogical society is not the only way to give back. I've donated scans of old postcards to The Philatelic Genealogy Website such as this one:
|Christmas greetings from Ell, Norma, & family, To Miss Laura Ullom, Elkhart, Kansas|
I also like to take photos of historical markers of events that my ancestors might have participated in or experienced to stick into my archive of knowledge about them. Sometimes you get quizzical looks from people when you hop out of the car with your camera in hand to take a snapshot. I frequent a website called the Historical Marker Database Organization to see if there are markers that pertain to certain ancestral events. I recently noticed an offer on the front page for FREE business cards you can hand to people should they come to ask you what you are doing. I received mine today in the mail.
The center is left open to attach an personal or business adhesive mailing label or to stamp your name on it if you wish to add it. So far, I haven't found any markers in my neck of the woods that haven't been added to the site, but if I do find one missing, I can contribute there as well.