Monday, June 5, 2006

Post #100 on genea-blogging

It's been only 6 weeks, but this is Post #100 for this Musing Genea-blogger. Hmmm, maybe it should be Blogging Genea-Muser.

Other than self-congratulations (since my arms are too short to pat myself on the back), I do have some thoughts about blogging on genealogy matters.

1) There is a wealth of genealogy information out there, and it is easy to write about it all. But most of what is available is not new or different. The challenge is to find new and useful information.

2) I've tried to post two or three items each day, based on absolute whim, on items that flash on my screen, or on something I read. What I post is usually a first draft and sometimes is not too coherent or timely. My criteria has evolved to be what might be interesting to a beginning genealogist or to the people in my local society. I can't replace Eastman, Smith, Morgan, Aitken, Meitzler or Dunham, among others, and am not trying to.

3) The major benefit I see to blogging is that it gets me to write almost every day. I have created more content in these six weeks than I had in the last year. I will use it in my genealogy talks and in our society newsletter.

3) Blogger is pretty easy to use, once you figure out how to add links and pictures and quotes.

4) Blogging is great for off-the-top-of-the-head shallow thoughts or string-of-consciousness diaries. As an archive of memorable prose or a reservoir of articles, it sucks pretty bad.

5) Even with 20 posts visible, most visitors to the blog don't read much, some nothing at all (probably the click-throughs hitting "Next Blog" looking for whatever turns them on). And when the posts age off into the monthly Archives, I would hazard a guess that nobody even looks there.

6) My conclusion is that this isn't the best platform for memorable prose or "how-to" genealogy articles. It can be useful for "web site of the day" type of posts. At some point, I will put up some web pages for my articles and genealogy data.

7) Lastly, the geneablogging audience is limited. The problem is exposure - when I posted to a mailing list or someone touted my blog, I got a spike in visitor hits, but they rapidly decreased afterwards. People just aren't "trained" yet to visit genealogy blogs (with some exceptions, I think) every day, or even every week.

To my regular readers (I think the count is 3 or 4) - thank you! I will continue to provide timely and hopefully amusing genealogy research tips and the occasional personal note. Visit often, and please tell your friends! And comment - I get lonesome!


Lee said...

Hi Randy,

You might be surprised at how many people are actually reading your blog. Some of us use a feedreader, in my case Google Reader. These "hits" are not always picked up by traffic monitors, or may show up only once when in reality hundreds are pulling from that one hit. Some of us are really slack about leaving comments too, but trust me, we're reading religiously.

Keep up the good work!

Lee Anders

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the note and the encouragement. I'm glad you (and hopefully others) are reading it.

Cheers -- Randy

Joe said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! Amazing...


Preserved Books said...

Hi Randy,

I must admit I am one of the newbies to the blogging bit, but am learning something new everyday. As a matter of fact, I just learned how to put your blog on my RSS reader. Only just got a reader set up too. I've also put my own on it to. LOL!!

Anyway, am plugging away at it and am sure there are others, just like me that are trying to learn their way around.

Take care and keep blogging.