Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Bloggers' Geneameme

I missed this last Saturday when Randy Seaver used it for his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun exercise, but since it wasn't his to begin with, I grabbed it from the source and will participate.  Better late than never, and all that.

The source is Jill Ball's Geniaus blog, a genealogy blog from Down Under.  She's frequently got good posts, so if you haven't checked her blog out yet, you should do so ASAP.

Here's the exercise:
  • What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s? 
    • Indiana Dillmans
    • http://indianadillmans.blogspot.com/
  •  Do you have a wonderful "Cousin Bait" blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. 
    • I don't.  I've had a couple of nibbles, but nothing that lead to a significant or lasting exchange.  That's one reason I'm posting all of the 'On This Day' posts, hoping someone will hit on names when they search.
  • Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging?
    • I actually started blogging a separate IT oriented blog.  It was part of a job searching group exercise at one point.  Since I wasn't working, I had time then to do more genealogy, and I decided to post what I knew about, both in terms of family history data and technology articles for genealogy people.  I don't think there was any particular person who encouraged me to do so.
  • How did you decide on your blog/s title/s?
    • At the time I started it, the bulk of the people I was researching were my Dillman ancestors, most of whom were in southern Indiana near English.  Once I got most of that information and moved on to other branches and locations, I started to regret the title, but not enough to change it.
  • Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they?
    • I have Android devices.  I've had phones and a tablet.  I've played briefly with the Blogger app, but input is still frustrating compared to a PC.  I have a bluetooth keyboard for the tablet, but that necessitates carrying around another piece, which is inconvenient.  I've also got a Windows laptop, which I have used extensively to post, especially the 'On This Day' series.
  • How do you let others know when you have published a new post?
    • Generally, I don't.  My goal isn't a huge reader base.  I've tied it to a Google+ page and Twitter, but as far as I know, that hasn't generated any readers.
  • How long have you been blogging?
    • Since January 2011, if memory serves.  There was a fairly long hiatus in there at one point.  There are approximately 600 posts at this point.
  • What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog? 
    • 'I Recommend' as I like to highlight some of the blogs that I read or have influenced me with my blog.
    • The Blog Archive widget, so people can look through past articles - and they have.
    • The copyright/use widget which tells people what they can copy with my permission.  As a photographer who has shared some photos on the blog, this is important.
    • The Google Genealogy Search tool.  
  • What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience?
    • Purpose is family history of my lines and my spouse's lines.
    • Secondary purpose is technology information and use suggestions for other genealogists.
    • My intended audience is people associated with my lines to share research, and other genealogists/geneabloggers.
  • Which of your posts are you particularly proud of?
    • I did a few on scanning, and a few on digital photography.  People seemed to get some benefit from the information in them.
  • How do you keep up with your blog reading?
    • I used Google Reader until it closed up.  Now I use Feedly to follow all of my blogs.
  • What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s?
    • Blogger.
  • What new features would you like to see in your blogging sosftware?
    • Perhaps an offline app I could use, then upload/sync.
  • Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers?
    • In terms of page views, it's this Open Thread Thursday article about Copyright by a landslide.   And of course, mentioning it here is likely to boost the view count even more.  The next closest one has about 25% of the page views as this one.  In terms of comments, it's more likely one of the 52 Weeks or Advent Calendar series posts, or possibly the aforementioned articles about scanning and digital photography.
  • Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog?
    • It's MINE, ALL MINE!!  Hehehe.  
  • How do you compose your blog posts?
    • Rarely.  Lately, the 'On This Day' series are basically lists generated by one of my genealogy softwares (Rootsmagic).  When I started the blog, I had more time to write, and that was mostly done by sitting at the computer with a topic in mind, then writing about it.  I tend to write what I already know, so research is limited.  Lately I've felt the itch to write substantive posts again, but time has been the limiting factor.
  • Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs.
    • Yes.  Well, sort of.  As I mentioned above, I started an IT themed blog first.  It's still there, but I haven't posted to it in ages, and I'm not going to list it.  It was really mainly an exercise for a job search group I was involved in at the time.
  • Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers?
    • Oh yeah.  If I hadn't, I'd have ZERO readers.  Thomas McEntee is a wonderful resource for building your blog, and if you don't list with Geneabloggers you're missing an enormous potential audience.
  • Which resources have helped you with your blogging?
    • Geneabloggers.  For everything.
    • Randy Seaver's Geneamusings blog has neat exercises every Saturday.
    •  Several other genealogy blogs I read for ideas and to keep up with what's happening in the community.
  • What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger?
    • Geneabloggers.  Go now.  List your blog.  Read all of the stuff he has about starting a blog.  Follow as much of his advice as applies to you.
    • Read a bunch of other genealogy bloggers to get a feel for the community.  Network with those bloggers if you can.  Later, if time requires, you can cut down the number you keep up with, but to get started read as many as you can.
    • Look for blogging prompts such as the 52 Weeks series and the Advent Calendar series.  Participate in those.  They'll help you find your 'voice' and generate your own post ideas. 
    • Write about what you know.  That will get you going while you research more stuff to write about.
    • Images seem to attract readers.  See the Geneabloggers Wordless Wednesday prompt.  You can post an image (with or without words).  Those tend to be well received on my blog, and there is almost no work involved, as long as you already have the images.  Scan your old family photos!  But be careful of copyright issues.


This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2013 by Daniel G. Dillman