Sunday, April 15, 2007

One Year of Genea-blogging

One year ago today, I decided to start a blog called "Randy's Musings." I thought that the world would care to know my deep thoughts and shallow feelings (those words are still on Cyndi's List of blogs, by the way) about genealogy, politics, science, religion, sports, music, family, etc. Of course, the world didn't really notice this small blip on the Internet. I quickly dumped politics, science and religion from the mix - I never posted on those subjects. I posted several times about my favorite music from the '50s and '60s, posted pictures of the family, and faithfully posted reports on every 10 game block of my beloved Padres 2006 season through June.

On May 5, after an extended shower, I changed the name of this effort to "Genea-Musings." By the end of June, I had decided to concentrate solely on genealogy posts, and started a Randy's Busy Life blog to cover the sports and family things, adding in jokes from my email correspondents.

There were 801 posts over the first year of this blog. Some were funny (I hope!), some were poignant, some were useful to other researchers, and some were a terrible waste of electrons. I'd like to think that my posts have helped other researchers find web sites and data to further their own family history. Needless to say, I've really enjoyed writing the posts, and hearing from my readers along the way.

It is often a challenge to find meaningful content every day (that's been my goal - not always achieved!). Sometimes I plan ahead on a topic, but usually I read something on a mailing list, in an email, in a magazine or newsletter, or on a web site that strikes me as "blog fodder" and I go ahead and post it. I've been trying to "test drive" web sites with my own research problems to see how easy they are to use, and to determine how much information might be gleaned from them. I'm really just a genealogy researcher pretending to be a blogger.

Every reader is precious to me, since there are so few. During May 2006, I had about 600 unique visits, or an average of about 20 per day. During March 2007, I had about 4,700 unique visits, or an average of almost 157 per day. Since I started the blog, there have been about 45,000 page views. In the grand scheme of genealogy news and views, those statistics pale by comparison to some other genea-bloggers like Dick Eastman, Leland Meitzler, Chris Dunham and Juliana Smith. I really do appreciate my readers and hope that they continue to visit my little corner of the genealogy world.

Other noted genea-bloggers, like Joe Beine and Megan Smolenyak, also started their blogs in April 2006. I salute them for their hard work and success. I also salute all of the people who have stepped out and told their stories, posted their ancestry, demonstrated how to do research and exhibited examples of their research on their genealogy blogs. It's funny - each genealogy blogger has special interests - things they like to blog about - and the whole genea-blogosphere seems like it is more than the sum of its parts. And it's all GOOD.

What's in the future for Genea-Musings? Probably more of the same - I need to finish Della's Journal (only 37 more weeks!), write more "30th Street memories," discuss the present and future of genealogy research, find more useful web sites, continue my search for elusive ancestors, or the parents of them, like Cornelia Bresee, etc. There are still some strange or peculiar names to find in the census records, and there certainly are many San Diego area genealogy society programs to attend and summarize.

Stay tuned. Thanks for reading. Suggestions are welcome. Please comment more!


Becky Wiseman said...

Randy, Happy Anniversary! and Congratulations!! 801 posts in a year is quite an achievement. On average, that's more than 2 a day!

I do enjoy your blog very much and look forward to your posts, regardless of the topic... thanks for all of the research tips and a few laughs along the way. Here's to many more!

Miriam Robbins said...

Happy Anniversary, Randy! I first bumped into you about a year ago as a fellow reader and commenter of Ken Aitken's Genealogy Education blog. Since then, I've enjoyed reading and commenting on YOUR blog, and am happy to be a part of the genea-blogging family with you.

Here's wishing you many more happy years and posts to come!

Anonymous said...

Hi Randy, I really enjoy reading your posts and I comment from time to time. I don't really visit your actual blog too often but I read your posts via RSS in my Thunderbird inbox. I look forward to your future posts.


Jasia said...

Congratulations Randy! I read your blog faithfully every day and I am absolutely your #1 fan. You make me think, you make me smile, you make me feel great emotion for days gone by, and you teach me... about genealogy, about the Padres, about Angel Linda and the importance of family. But most of all you inspire me to be a better genealogist, blogger, Christian, and friend. Thank you!

Joe said...

Dude! You rock! I started my blog 3 days after you, which is why you have 730 more posts than me -- you had a head start :)

JMK said...

Great Stuff Randy!

enjoy all of your musings, keep up the great work!

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak said...

Happy 1st birthday, Randy! 801 posts? Yikes! You've got a lot of stamina! Keep on bloggin' 'cos we all love reading what you have to say!

Craig Manson said...

Congratulations, Randy! Your blog has been a lot of fun and among the most informative and useful. I appreciate enjoying it every day.

Mel said...

Randy, Happy Anniversary! I enjoy your blog so much. May you have many more years of blogging!