Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What Should Genealogy Society Blogs Publish?

When the Chula Vista Genealogical Society started the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog earlier this year, the CVGS Board of Directors discussed what the content should be. We decided the intent of the blog should be to publicize society activities, encourage our members to read the blog for current genealogy news, and try to connect online researchers to our members by sharing genealogy information.

In the beginning, we decided that the content should include:

* Meeting and Program notices - to inform local genealogists of the society activities, and attempt to draw new members.
* Meeting and Program summaries - same reason as above, and to serve as a draft for the society newsletter.
* Posts or articles about local genealogy repositories
* Posts or articles about genealogy resources - both traditional and online
* Articles or stories about research problems, research trips and success stories by members.

This has worked fairly well so far, at least as far as publicizing the society activities go. Only a few CVGS members read the blog regularly, although most have visited it at least once.

What else could the CVGS blog post? We have thought of the following:

* Family Bible records in the possession of society members
* Family papers with genealogical data in the possession of society members.
* Ahnentafels of society members (perhaps limited to 6 or 7 generations).
* Biographies of ancestors of society members - especially elusive or "brick-wall" ancestors.
* Lists of the loose collections of newsletters, periodicals and family papers in the society file drawers.
* Cemetery gravestone readings or sexton records
* Lists of newspaper obituaries

The reasoning for the above is to try to publicize holdings in private hands or society hands so that it might help other researchers. For example, I have three family Bibles and several family papers containing genealogy data from distant localities that might be helpful to other researchers. If I post them on a society blog, other researchers might find them in using a Search Engine. Frankly, they have little value sitting in a cramped file cabinet at a library or other repository, even if there is a card file index of the society holdings.

All of the items above should also be put onto a society web site for permanent retention. The key, in my opinion, is to put as much information online, that might be helpful to other researchers, as possible.

In all of the above, the privacy of society members should be protected by not publishing information about living people.

We would love to have your ideas on what else could be added to the CVGenCafe blog content.

There are a number of genealogical and historical societies now publishing blogs - you can find an updated list at Chris Dunham's Genealogy Blog Finder web site - the Association and Societies listing is here.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I don't always agree with you, but I see that you are objective in your
postings. Despite the differences I still enjoy reading your posts and I
often learn even when our viewpoints are different. :-)