I finally did it! Yep. It’s been almost two years since I began thinking about starting a genealogy blog and today I am finally plunging into this modern dimension of expression.
Why did it take me so long? Well… I am the type of person who does a lot of research into unfamiliar topics before making decisions about them. My research is then followed by what some people would call geologically-long time periods of careful contemplation which finally results in a decision that leads to action. This process provides me with the “right space” that I need in order to organize my thoughts and ideas.
As I set out to learn about how to create a genealogy blog, I discovered many extremely helpful resources compiled and shared by others who had gone before me. I’m indebted to these blog-gurus for providing guidance, advice, and links to oodles of vetted websites that have helped me begin to figure out what it takes to launch and maintain a blog. Some of the blog-stars that have influenced and guided me to my “right space” where I feel ready to launch my blog include:
- Thomas MacEntee’s Blogging Resources – This is a very nice one-stop-shop collection of links addressing various aspects of launching and maintaining a blog. It was this collection that led me to the blog-stars that follow;
- firstsiteguide.com – The developers of this site have written several free and easy-to-understand guides focused on helping novices like me get started in blogging or site development. I found “Web Hosting Explained: The Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Website Hosting” particularly helpful in unraveling the complexities of web-hosting by looking “at the whole system of web hosting and explain it using real world examples.” 1;
- The Legal Genealogist – Judy G Russell is an amazing blogger. Her posts offer help in understanding obscure laws and how those laws impacted the lives of our ancestors. In addition, she often posts articles devoted to ethical blogging practices. “It’s not sharing” is an elegant examination of plagiarism and copyright infringement that often occurs in the genealogy community. In it, Ms. Russell reminds us that “taking someone else’s work and using it ourselves — even if it’s not for commercial gain — isn’t sharing. It’s theft.” 2 This wise admonition is followed up with numerous links to other sites and articles that have enhanced my awareness of ethical blogging practices; and
- Lorelle Teaches WordPress – Lorelle VanFossen is a prolific blogger and WordPress expert/educator. In addition to leading workshops, she has authored several series of articles covering various aspects of family history blogging as well as tips and techniques in using WordPress and WordPress.com . In one article that I found particularly useful and formative, Ms. VanFossen notes that “there are many types of blog models… Different types of blogs may have distinctive features unique to its model.” 3 Although Ms. VanFossen offers good advice, I’m a bit uneasy about trying to make this blog fit into one specific model. On the contrary… I’m looking forward to a more relaxed and freer form of expression.
So, after all of this research and contemplation, why is now the “right time?” Well… The holidays are almost over and a new year is about to begin. But what really made me decide that now is the “right time” was a recent post on Dear Myrtle’s Genealogy Blog inviting the genealogy community to participate in the FINALLY Get Organized! 2016 Weekly Checklists. Each week, she will post tasks that are designed to help participants organize all that paper and digital stuff that genealogists tend to amass. Since I’ve only been doing genealogy for about two years now, my collection of artifacts/files is not yet too unruly. So it seemed like participating in this series would be a great way to start developing good organizational habits now and hopefully avoid any future chaos.
Although it’s each participant’s responsibility to complete each week’s tasks, Ol’ Myrt does suggest that “you may report your progress by posting a link to your blog or a shared Google Doc…” 4 Wait! What? Post my progress on my blog? Hmm… I suppose if I am going to get organized then now is the “right time” to start a blog.
So here it is. I hope to share stories about my ancestors, the challenges and successes I encounter while discovering these stories and my reflections on how these amazing peoples’ lives have influenced me and helped me to become the person that I am. Join me as I explore some theories of my relativity. And… Oh yeah… Get organized too. I look forward to your comments.
- Ogi Djuraskovic et al, “Web Hosting Explained: The Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Website Hosting,” firstsiteguide.com (http://firstsiteguide.com/web-hosting/ : accessed 29 Dec 2015). ↩
- Judy G Russell, “It’s not sharing,” The Legal Genealogist (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2014/11/04/its-not-sharing/ : accessed 29 Dec 2015). ↩
- Lorelle VanFossen, “Genealogy Blog: What’s the Difference Between a Genealogy Blog and a Normal Blog?” Lorelle Teaches WordPress (https://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/07/29/genealogy-blog-whats-the-difference-between-a-genealogy-blog-and-a-normal-blog/ : accessed 30 Dec 2015). ↩
- “FINALLY Get Organized! 2016 Weekly Checklists,” Dear Myrtle’s Genealogy Blog (http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2015/12/announcing-finally-get-organized-2016.html : accessed 30 Dec 2015). ↩