Friday, August 30, 2013

Post 101: The Bloggers Geneameme

It was very interesting to read some of the responses to the Geneameme proposed by Jill at Geniaus to promote National Family History Month.

What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s?
Just the one - Strong Foundations.  

Do you have a wonderful "Cousin Bait" blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. 
Unfortunately I haven't been contacted by any long lost cousins yet.  However I am now closer and in regular contact with many cousins and relatives who enjoy reading my blog and tell me that they enjoy learning about their family, although they never comment.

Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging?
I originally started the blog with a different name and purpose; to provide information about a family reunion and book launch.  Not long after the reunion, Alona at Gould Genealogy initiated the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge................then I was hooked.  Thank you Alona :)

How did you decide on your blog/s title/s?
One of the many titles I was considering for the family history book was "Strong Foundations" after my Great Great Grandfather, James Pilgrim, who as a young man (before an accident) was a stone mason.   He was a pioneer, had very strong faith, strong opinions and great strength of character.  Many of his traits and strengths have been passed through the the genes.  Yep.  I believe that I came from strong foundations.

Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they?
Just my lap top.

How do you let others know when you have published a new post?
Post a link on;
Facebook - none of my friends or colleagues ever read it.  Only family.
Relevant Webpage - eg Sepia Saturday or Geneabloggers etc
Google+ (still not sure about how this works so would be happy for hints or tips)

How long have you been blogging?
The family reunion and book launch blog was commenced January 2011.  It didn't get much attention (only 602 page views) as the majority of of those who were interested did not have the technology and wrote me letters by hand.
It wasn't until  May 2012 when I started my web log (I do like this term better than blog).  This will be post 101.

What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog? 
If I could only choose one, it would be the search widget.   As I write more posts, I use the search function all the time to find and check prior posts.  The tags also make it easier for me to locate prior posts.
When I read others blogs, I like to read their "About Me" and the list of prior/recent posts.

What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience?
This has changed over time.  My purpose now is to record family history research for other family members to enjoy and learn.  If others enjoy them too, that is a bonus.

By using prompts from other blogs, I complete research on alternative people and topics that I may not have otherwise considered, which I really enjoy.

Which of your posts are you particularly proud of?
That is a hard one as there are many.  I do really enjoy doing the research and take pride in most of my posts.  I get a real sense of accomplishment when I complete research and post about someone who does not have family to remember them.
I did get emotional and really enjoyed writing the post about my grandfather returning home from the war.   I didn't know my grandfather and all I had was a picture of the ship (no name) when I started.  As it turns out, this post is written differently to any others that I have written and I felt that he was watching over and helping me.

I also put a lot of research into a post about my Great Grandmother - K is for Killed.  This post was summarised and included in the "One Picture" section of the most recent issue of Inside History Magazine, which made me proud.

How do you keep up with your blog reading?
I don't.  My "to do" list is a mile long. I subscribe to those blogs that interest me.   My email is full of blog alerts, yet to be read.
Working full time, my blogging is primarily on a Friday night and weekend.  I try to comment where I can but often read without commenting when pushed for time.

What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s?

What new features would you like to see in your blogging software?
I would like to have more flexibility with formatting eg. where I insert pictures and text.  Sometimes I would like to be more creative with the look of a post.

Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers?
The two interactive posts, where questions were posed, received the highest number of comments.
A Genealogy Matching Game - How many faces can you match?
Could this be my Great Great Great Grandparents? - Still unresolved unfortunately

Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog?
It is just me.

How do you compose your blog posts?
Firstly I need to be motivated and enthusiastic about the topic.  Then I look through all the information I already have on the person/topic and see what else I can locate.
Then it just seems to flow.  My biggest issue is keeping posts to a readable length (and I often fail).  I regularly seem to have so much information that I cannot include it all.

Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs.
Prior to the genealogy blog, I did write a couple of travel blogs on Travelpod with photos so family and friends could see what we were doing on our travels.  However this has been inactive for some time.

Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers?

Which resources have helped you with your blogging?
I have learnt so much from other bloggers and researchers.  It is such a very friendly,  helpful and supportive community.

What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger?
Just make a start.  Read lots of blogs.  Be willing to learn and enjoy it.

Like others have mentioned, one of the unexpected benefits of blogging has been networking and friendship with others from all around the world.  

The internet really has made the world a smaller place......and to think that my grandmother had to board with her Aunty as 8 miles was too far to travel to High School every day!


  1. Hi Sharon - I absolutely identify with the struggle to make blog posts a readable length. Luckily your blog posts are always engaging and it is never a struggle to read them at all. I don't mind how long they are!

    1. Thank you very much for the compliment Alex. I also really appreciate that you took the time to go back and read the other posts mentioned.

      Thanks again.


  2. "Strong Foundations" - how apt. It is interesting to see how people have thought of names for their blogs. I am impressed that blog title selection is usually not just a random process.

    Thanks for your support of this genememe and my online activities. I'm a lucky old girl to have so many online pals like you.

    1. Hey Jill...Not so much of the "old" please. You are young of heart and mind. You really are an inspiration and the one deserving of the thanks.

      Thank you.


  3. Post 101 ... wow, BIG, BIG congrats. And you've done it in style by highlighting the how and when you started blogging with this Genememe. And I can totally understand the inbox full of alerts etc, sadly mine is like that too. And I have to say that I do LOVE your blog name.

  4. "I get a real sense of accomplishment when I complete research and post about someone who does not have family to remember them."
    Me too Sharon. I enjoyed reading your meme.

    1. Thank you Lorraine.

      When someone dies young and doesn't have children/grandchildren to remember them, it is really special to be be able to find out more about them and remember them, knowing that it is unlikely that anyone else will.

  5. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one reading and not commenting when pushed for time. See how far behind I am in reading THIS post!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. It is appreciated.