Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Many Genealogy Blogs Do You Read?

Each week, the NEHGS American Ancestors website sends me a weekly newsletter on Wednesday mornings called "The Weekly Genealogist."  The newsletter has a number of sections - Database News, Spotlight, a Survey, Members Respond, Ask a Genealogist, Stories of Interest, Education Opportunities, Sales, etc.  You can subscribe to the email newsletter here.

Last week, the survey question was "How many genealogy blogs do you follow?"  This week's newsletter gives the results:


I was one of the 3,387 responses, and I selected "More than 10."  Why?  Because I have about 1,000 blogs in my Feedly reader, and read an average of 100 to 150 genealogy blog posts every day.  I also selected "I write a genealogy blog."

I was very surprised that only 2% of this newsletter readers read more than 10 genealogy blogs.  That means that only 68 "Weekly Genealogist" newsletter readers who took the survey read 10 blogs or more, and only 52% read any genealogy blog on a regular basis.  6%, or about 200 newsletter readers, read 6 or more genealogy blogs.  I recall that NEHGS has about 25,000 members, so extrapolating the survey response to all of their members would mean that about 500 (2%) read 10 or more genealogy blogs.

It didn't surprise me that only 1% responders currently write a genealogy blog, and another 1% used to write a genealogy blog.

I think that these newsletter readers are fairly typical of American genealogists, and certainly New England genealogists.  Genealogy blogs are not on the radar of 48% of these newsletter readers, but they at least use email and responded to the survey.

My guess is that almost all of the 98% of these newsletter readers have no clue about using a news reader to easily read blogs and news sites.

Which genealogy blogs do you think the 52% who read at least one blog read?  I have my own list, but I'm interested in knowing what my readers read, so please answer these questions in comments:

*  How many genealogy blogs do you read on a regular basis?

*  Do you read them on an RSS reader, in email, or using the blog URL?

*  What are your top three genealogy blogs that provide useful information for your genealogy research?

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Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver


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24 comments:

herzogm said...

I have 29 genealogy blogs that I read regularly in NetNewsWire plus I’ve been a subscriber to Dick Eastman’s newsletter via email for almost 20 years. You, Dick, and James Tanner are my favorites.

Keith Riggle said...

I was surprised that almost half of respondents don't read any blogs.

You are amazingly productive, Randy! I don't know how you keep it up.

* How many genealogy blogs do you read on a regular basis?

20

* Do you read them on an RSS reader, in email, or using the blog URL?

RSS reader (Feedly)

* What are your top three genealogy blogs that provide useful information for your genealogy research?

Rootdig
The Ancestor Hunt
Family History Daily
Genea-Musings (goes without saying)

Elizabeth Handler said...

I was interested to see those results from "The Weekly Genealogist" too. To answer your question, I went to Feedly and figured out how to see how many blogs I follow (hint: click on the gear icon next to "FEEDS" in the left-hand column). It's changed since I last looked at it and tells me how many blogs I follow, how many aren't active and how many are "unreachable." I just removed about a dozen that are unreachable or haven't posted in years. Of the total 163 that I follow, I think 149 are genealogy-related. Top three are hard to choose - The Legal Genealogist, Dick Eastman's, your blog, as well as several on genetic genealogy.

Charles Hansen said...

I read those results earlier today and they do not surprise me. Blogs have so much information on genealogy research. I have 309 blogs in my Feedly list,about 2/3 of them genealogy related. The Legal Genealogist, James Tanner and Dick Eastman are my top three, but that is very hard to pick.

Kat said...

I follow 285 mostly genealogy related using Feedly. I enjoy all of them. Fortunately they don't all post at once!

Karen Palmer said...

Maybe a blog post on news readers and suggestions for blogs to read. I know I personally used to read more but so many people have stopped writing.

Eileen said...

I checked the same two selections in the survey as you. I have 176 blogs that I follow. They are aggregated in The Old Reader on my desktop. This reader talks to gReader on my smartphone. I tend to read posts on my smartphone but when I need to do a lot of typing I switch to my desktop reader. I really can't pick 3 favorites. I read every post that shows up in my reader, if the topic is of interest to me.

Louis Kessler said...

My top 20 or so blogs I follow are one's I've subscribed to by email subscription to make sure I get them right away. Another 50 or so are from people I follow on Twitter and I find out about their posts there. Another 100 or so, I follow by RSS feed to ensure I eventually read them and don't miss anything. And I usually check out many of the weekly bests you post every Tuesday, Randy.

My top 3 are:
1. Tamura Jones
2. Randy Seaver
3. Dick Eastman

Marie said...


* How many genealogy blogs do you read on a regular basis?
I would say there are about 20 or so that I regularly check. I don't read them all....all of the time. Many do not post as frequently as they used to.

* Do you read them on an RSS reader, in email, or using the blog URL?
Some I am subscribed to and others I catch thru my FB feed, G+ Feed or Twitter.

* What are your top three genealogy blogs that provide useful information for your genealogy research?
Right now my top three other than this one(which I obviously read) are Judy Russell's, DNAGeek, and LegacyFamilyTree(where I find go to find the latest webinars)

I do write my own blog(coming up on my 14th blogaversary in April). I feel like people don't write as much. I'd like to see more people blogging about their own genealogy and things that have and haven't worked for them. A great find they made in a record etc. I think some are under the impression that you have to write a mini-novel as a blog post. Some of my favorite blogs and blog posts are direct and to the point.

Mel said...

Randy, I read 26. I read them from at RSS feed via Feedly. My 3 favorite blogs are yours, the Legal Genealogist, and the French Genealogy Blog.

Peggy said...

I subscribe to about 30 and read in Blogger. I need to change my reader since I can't make it work on my phone. (I usually use my laptop or desktop, but occasionally it would be nice to pass some time reading something useful on my phone.) My favorites? Legal Genealogist, Randy Seaver, dnaExplained. Thank you for blogging!

RHolmes said...

Hi Randy, I have about 15 blogs in Feedly, then read others on a “catch-up” basis when I am into a certain topic they relate to. My favorite three are yours, Genealogy’s Star and Vita Brevis. I will have to admit that I rely heavily on your “Best of” series, which saves me a lot of time and leads me to posts that I believe are really useful, without having to search for them. Thanks for all that you do for the genealogy community!

mbm1311 said...

Hi Randy,

I read genea-musing everyday. I also like James Tanner's blog. I rely on your "Best of" post on Sunday. I almost always read something that really moves me or makes me think. I use to read Linda Stufflebean but a year ago I was "advanced blocking in effect" - don't know why, so I miss that blog. Now I love your Genealogy News Bytes. I listen to you tube, more than I read blogs. Thank you for leading me to great genealogy content. I wouldn't have the energy or time to dig through all the blogs.

L Fulmer said...

* How many genealogy blogs do you read on a regular basis? 75-80

* Do you read them on an RSS reader, in email, or using the blog URL? E-mail, blog URL

* What are your top three genealogy blogs that provide useful information for your genealogy research? Donna Doughty's Irish Gen. Blog, arlene Eakle's Gen. Blog, Genealogy's Star, Genealogy History, Olive Tree, Vita Breva. Genes-musing has been responsible to leading me to much help with Roots Magic, as well as many, many blogs.

lindaharper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lindaharper said...

I am fairly new to researching family history, only in the last year or two but I read and follow a lot to get tips and to learn. I probably have at least five that come in to me as an email and I read from your "best of" to keep us with other ones each week. I also follow several through Facebook posts.

My top three are yours, Lisa Louse Cook, and James Tanner.

Mary Welter said...

Randy, I look at your weekly list and generally read between 4-7...depending on the topic. Plus I read your daily blog --it always gives me good research tips and ideas. Thank you for writing it. Mary Welter, Chicago

Marian Koalski said...

Good idea, Randy.

I have 67 genealogy "blogs" in my Bookmarks, although about 15 of them have turned out to be advertizing vehicles, and I haven't bothered to clean those out yet.

Mostly I read them by going through my Bookmarks each morning. Of course, many of them don't have a fresh post each day. A few come through email.

My tops are
1. Randy Seaver
2. Mary Kircher Roddy (http://www.mkrgenealogy.com/searching-for-stories-blog) -- a little quiet lately but excellent how-to posts, like finding our way through those blasted, complicated probate indices.
3. Jacqui Stevens (http://afamilytapestry.blogspot.com/)

Kathy Steckelberg said...

I read about 40 genealogy blogs, most of which I read on Feedly. My steady favorites are Genea-Musings (naturally!), Dick Eastman, and The Legal Genealogist (Judy Russell), although any of the ones I read can produce a daily favorite. Thanks for all of your hard work! I've found a lot of blogs I now read through your weekly post about your favorite blogs.

Randy Seaver said...

mbm1311 - would you please email me at randy.seaver@gmail.com about your Empty Branches problem. Linda would like to correspond with you to see if she can work through your problem. Thanks!

Craig Campbell said...

I also participated in the poll @ NEGHS. I was surprised at the results also. I follow about 6-8 blogs, yours, the Legal Genealogist, Amy Crow Johnson, Dick Eastman and a few from the UK and Canada.
I like yours because of the weekly content updates from Ancestry etc. I also check out the other blogs that you list on a weekly basis.
Craig

Linda Stufflebean said...

I follow about 200 blogs, but with feedly, I only check in on the ones with new posts. I also regularly delete blogs that have been inactive for 6 months. My favorites are the ones that teach me something new, help me find new cousins or tell a great story. Amy Cohen, who writes Brotmanblog: A Family Journey, is a fabulous story teller. I am constantly amazed by the level of detail she is able to find about her family's lives. Genea-Musings is definitely on my list, both for teaching and discovering cousins. The Legal Genealogist by Judy G. Russell is terrific. James Tanner's Genealogy's Star has a lot of interesting topics. I alos like Yvette Hoitink's Dutch Genealogy, even though my lone Dutch line is a Loyalist born in 1761! There are really too many to name!

Jacquie Schattner said...

Randy, This has been interesting to follow. I read you every day!!!! And I'm a pretty regular reader of Dutch Genealogy, Empty Branches on the Tree, Genealogy Star, French Genealogy blog, Eastman's and others. I miss Clue Wagon... But this brings me to a question I've had for years. I wish someone would explain feedly. I read about people using it, and it seems efficient, but I have no idea.. maybe someone can explain it in a blog post.

bgwiehle said...

Currently, I only have 4 genealogy blogs bookmarked in a "Blogs" folder - The Legal Genealogist, Genea-Musings, Eastman's OGN, and Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. I have followed others (but never more than 8 at a time), but removed them when posts became too infrequent or uninteresting or annoying. Following so few makes it easy to also follow comments. I do check your weekly "Best of ..." posts for interesting posts from bloggers I don't actually follow.