Sunday, June 24, 2007

Post #1000 of Genea-Musings

Who would have thought that an unknown, mild-mannered but passionate, non-professional but experienced, and addicted genealogist could start a blog in April 2006 and write 1,000 posts in just over 14 months?

My first post is here -- and it was called "Randy's Musings" at the time, thinking I would share my shallow thoughts and deep feelings about a number of subjects. I had high hopes of pontificating not only on genealogy, but also on sports, family, books, science, engineering, politics, etc.

I changed the blog name to "Genea-Musings" in early May 2006 after an inspiration in the shower. Everything but genealogy (well, except for an occasional family post and book review) went off to a separate Randy's Busy Life blog in June 2006, which has devolved to San Diego sports, family news and email jokes. Then I obtained the domain name from Lee Anders (alas, still no web site - too busy blogging!) and started my own Geneaholic blog in March.

1,000 posts seems like a lot, but it really isn't. I look at Dick Eastman's online newsletter that has been going for 10 years and see a wealth of genealogy information - and history of sorts. My guess is that he has posted something about every important (and many unimportant) announcements over this time - that is quite an achievement. I look at Chris Dunham's Genealogue blog and see a lot of original humor together with finding obscure, strange and funny news articles - and many more than 1,000 posts over two years. Then there are the many genea-bloggers who post regularly on their research, news, etc. Many of them write quality posts that are much more valuable, interesting and stimulating than those of some of the "high volume leaders."

1,000 posts over about 430 days works out to be just about 2.3 posts per day. There are days with 0 posts (when I am away from home, usually) and days with 5 or 6 posts (when my geneaholism kicks in and I can't help myself). I've learned to husband my postings - when the subject is an "evergreen" or is not "time-critical," then I will save it for the rainy day when I don't have the time or interest to write something original. There's a rhythm to genealogy blogging - I try to do it every day and fear that if I don't put out a daily dose of musings that I will fall out of the habit and let my faithful readers down (and reduce my daily visits and page count too).

Honestly, I probably spend too much time blogging and not enough time doing research and including the results in my databases. You should see my piles of new data waiting to go into FamilyTreeMaker - I have a 2 inch pile of probate records and church records on my desk waiting to be transcribed and a 12 inch stack of abstracted early Massachusetts land records waiting to be input. Frankly, blogging is more fun than transcribing, abstracting or data-inputting...but still not more fun than "ancestor hunting." Heck, I'm retired - I try to do the "fun" things in life. Who will care if they don't get done? Only me, I think.

Thank you to my faithful readers - you know who you are! I have 47 readers on Bloglines alone, and I don't know how many on other RSS services. Over the past three months, my visits have averaged about 180 unique visits and about 290 page visits. The absolute highest day was May 10 when I had 831 visits and 1,186 page visits (a post of mine about Michael John Neill's census images being removed was mentioned on Dick Eastman's blog).

I have always considered that my primary audience was researchers like me - those on the lookout for new web sites, databases, articles, etc. I really enjoy sharing my experiences doing research, whether in a repository or at home in my snugs. I share them hoping that it will help or encourage other researchers. I do indulge my penchant for the strange or funny by name-whacking in the census, online databases, newspapers, and the like. It ends up being an eclectic mix of posts.

So I've gone from being unknown to being obscure. I'm still passionate about genealogy research, still a non-pro, and still addicted enough to do something genealogy-related for 6 to 12 hours on many days.

What is the value of blogging about genealogy? For me as a blogger, it is being up-to-date on genealogy news and research. For me as a reader, it is reading about genealogy news as it happens, and reading about the research efforts and successes of genea-bloggers.

What about you? Why do you blog? Why do you read genealogy blogs?


Miriam Robbins said...

Congratulations, Randy!

Yours is, of course, on my "must-read" list. Your posts make me think, smile, ponder, and laugh. I consider you my friendly "genea-uncle," always there to extend good advice and cheer!

Long may you blog!


Jasia said...

Congratulations Randy! You da man!

You inspire us all with your vast genealogy experience, unfailing support, and personal wisdom. I look forward to your posts every day and truly miss them when you're out of town visiting family.

And I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your constant promotion, support, and participation in the COG. I really appreciate you!

Becky Wiseman said...

Congrats from me too, Randy. I think you discount your abilities too much. You're a good writer as well as thought provoking, interesting, and amusing (sometimes). Keep it up!

I started blogging for much the same reasons as you and probably most other bloggers - to share the information I've gathered and to pass on a few tips now and then. But I've gotten so much more out of it since starting in January than I ever expected. There is a growing "community" of genea-bloggers and I'm happy to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

Randy- I read your posts because I am nosy to see what you and others have been doing in the realm of genealogy while I was sleeping last night. and YES genealogists ARE NOSY...that is why we find dead folks other people miss in the census. Also I like to know what you and the rest of the REAL genealogists in the world do with your time, that way I don't feel so bad if I skip a day or the whole weekend of genealogy to do "normal" a church picnic or movies with my NON-genealogy friends(yes I am working on them, but they are really stubborn)...Thanks for letting me in on a different world then just the one in my little corner of the planet.

Craig Manson said...

Congrats, Randy! You are indeed prolific; but your quality surely outmatches your quantity! I really enjoy your writing, your subject matter, and your analysis of issues in genealogy today.
I blog in order to learn, share, enjoy, and appreciate the work of others as well as my own. And in that respect, I get a lot out of what you do. Thanks-- and may a thousand more posts blossom from your keyboard!

Chris said...

Congratulations on reaching the milestone, Randy. Judging from my own experience, you should be running out of new ideas for posts any day now.

Bill West said...

Let me add my congratulations
as well, Randy. Your blog is fun
and informative and makes me think
which, of course, is why I gave it the Thinking Blogger Award!

As for why I blog,I like sharing what I find and I hope my niece and nephews as well as their future kids will read it and learn about their family history.

Moultrie Creek said...

Thank you for sharing your passion for genealogy with the rest of us. Your articles have all been enjoyable - with many inspiring me to look in new directions for my own research.

It's always a delight to find another "musing" in my newsreader.

Anonymous said...


Wow, congratulations on reaching this milestone. I hope you continue to enrich us with your gift of putting forth very interesting subjects with a down to earth approach. I really do enjoy it!

Being fairly new to blogging, I don't have a lot more to add but I will say that I started blogging as a way to share my research with my family. Of course, you know that rarely works because family never reads the blogs. However, I have met a lovely group of folks. I'll continue and hopefully, in about 3 years, I'll finally reach my 1000th post! :-)

Congrats again!


Tim Agazio said...

Randy: Congrats! 1000 posts is an incredible number! I calculate I'll be there in about 3-4 years...maybe. It's not the sheer number, but the quality of those posts that I find so amazing! Keep 'em coming!