After three years of Randy's Musings and Genea-Musings, this is post number 2,818. Over 1,096 days, that averages out to be 2.57 posts per day. In the past year, I've written 1,036 posts, or 2.83 posts per day. I think that the most was 7 posts in one day and I've had many days with zero posts (usually when on vacation).
Not every post has been a work of meaning or pride. It's hard not to make misteaks in content or spellking (thankfully, Blogger's spell check is working again). I've learned to express opinions after thinking hard about it rather than in a moment of pique or sarcasm. I try not to criticize the work of others, but sometimes it has to be done by somebody. This has become a labor of fun and love - I enjoy hearing from all of my readers. I wake up each morning wondering what I'm going to write about during the day.
My readership has increased each year. Since I started this blog, I have had over 230,000 unique visitors (these can be multiple visits per day by the same reader) and over 340,000 page views. Those numbers have doubled in the last year. My statistics indicate that this blog currently has about 500 unique visitors a day, with an average of about 740 page views. In addition, about 250 subscribe via email using Feedburner, and about 50 subscribe via Bloglines. I don't have a count for other feeds and blog readers.
This is a traffic chart for the last three years (since July 2006 when I subscribed to StatCounter). The three lines are Page Loads (green), Unique Visitors (blue), and Returning Visitors (orange).
You will note a distinct uptick in readership in late 2008. I attribute this to gaining many Facebook Friends and Twitter-folks that read my "instant messages" on Twitter and Facebook and click on a link to a blog post. Social networking works!
What lies ahead for Genea-Musings? I'm not sure... it takes two to three hours each day to feed, and I've posted about all of my elusive ancestors, the three new software programs, almost all of my tombstone photos, and many family photographs. Gee, I'm gonna haveta write something original! Genea-Musings may move to more commentary and fewer personal research items.
What lies ahead for Genealogy? The future of Genealogy 2.0 is limitless, I think, and I'm looking forward to the new web sites coming soon (they say!) - like http://www.worldhistory.com/, http://www.genseek.com/, http://www.mygenshare.com/ and new FamilySearch, among others. What else should I know about?
One of the very best uses of genealogy blogs is to act as a town crier - saying "hey, look at this," or "watch out for this." There comes a time when every genealogist is overwhelmed by "info-glut" - too much information for a full mind. Genea-bloggers can help sort the genea-wheat from the genea-chaff and guide other researchers to useful web sites that provide useful and helpful information. That's one of the functions that I, and many other genea-bloggers, try to fulfill. I will continue to do that as best I can.
In the three years since I've been genealogy blogging, I've seen a wonderful genealogy blogging community form, grow, mature and blossom into a caring and sharing community. A social network of Geneabloggers has grown and flourished on Facebook, and spawned the Geneabloggers blog, and both provide an encouraging and supportive group of fellow genea-bloggers. I'm proud of what we "unknown genealogists" have accomplished over several years - this is really a great example of taking genealogy writing to the common person.
Genealogy book, software and database companies also recognize the potential power of genealogy blogs to reach readers, and have courted genealogy bloggers (e.g., the Blogger Day in Provo in January that I attended) and become more communicative and collaborative in the process.
Many of us are not connected to the "traditional genealogy" world of conferences, magazines, and societies, and some of us have entered into that world with magazine columns or articles, talks at local, regional or national conferences, etc. The "traditional genealogy" world realizes that some genealogy bloggers are the society officers, web site columnists and magazine article writers of the future, and is nurturing them. I am one example - I was recently appointed the "Genealogy 2.0" (a new column) columnist for FORUM, the quarterly magazine of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. My first column appears in the Spring 2009 issue, which should be in mailboxes this month.
It's time for my Genea-Musings birthday cake, and I can hardly wait to open my birthday present. I'll have to show it off when I get it. Genea-Musings is a toddler now! Where's my party hat?