Thomas MacEntee started the tradition of handing out Mardi Gras or Blogger Beads to Geneabloggers at genealogy events and conferences so that they could easily identify each other.in a crowd. I got my first string of beads from Thomas at Rootstech 2011 and more in 2012, I hear that Thomas has given out beads at many of the US conferences he has attended. DearMyrtle sponsored the beads at Rootstech 2013.
As a stranger in a foreign land I appreciated the opportunity the beads gave me to connect with fellow Geneabloggers.
In Australia I have followed thier example by distributing beads at genealogy events.