20 March 2011

Four Years of Scribbling

We GeneaBloggers may be considered a self-indulgent lot, but you have to give us credit for staying the course. This is the fourth anniversary for my blog. I’ve been blogging so long I wrote stuff I forgot I’d written. Awards and doo-dads to stick on my site are minimal. Comments from readers are the best award/reward.

If blogger stats are to be believed (i.e. genealegitimate?), “John Fraser: Missing in Action” is my most popular post. I guess it sounds like a war story (not!) ... what’s with these people? Anyway, I don’t believe stats. Even for math-challenged me, the daily page view numbers don’t add up with the weekly numbers (i.e. genealogistics?). [Two for you, Randy.] But thank you, whoever you are, the gang in Peru and my erstwhile lonely reader in South Korea! Celebrate the first 24 hours of spring!

In my opinion, GeneaBloggers have added a welcome and firmly established dimension to the world of family history. Genealogy blogging has its own broad spectrum. Many are prompt with breaking news and opinions or the latest initiatives. Some choose specific topic parameters. Others concentrate on problem-solving struggles with the ancestors—particularly proof summaries and arguments—and presenting them coherently. Many GeneaBloggers appear on the leading edge of technology and cyber-communications—social and special networking sites, tweeting, webinars, podcasts, live streaming from conferences, e-books, and so on—and tell us about it. New ways of educating. GeneaBloggers’ power as a group has great potential for advocacy or change in the “real world.”

Blogging encourages discussion through comments and feedback. We’ve seen lively blog commentary about the RootsTech effect. We’ve seen enthusiastic, even urgent, warnings that if we all—beginners, professionals, the dilettantes, the serious—don’t catch the honking superspeed technology train, we’ll be abandoned on a nowhere dirt road with a mouthful of dust. Nonsense. Those two things attached to our legs are feet we were born with. It’s an old saw, but we must be able to walk before we run or take a bus or drive a car. Most options for reaching a destination still involve using our feet!

The “shank’s mare” analogy is the fallback position. Technological innovations are a supplement, not a replacement for the standard essentials of good research methodology and family history compilation. 

On a tech level I may be merely chugging along on a bicycle (Self: Is this analogy holding up?) but writing about genealogy will never go out of style whether it’s magazines, journals, family histories, books, or blogging. The newish print-on-demand books and e-books publishing will always need decent writers.

We see criticism of sloppy or non-existent citations on blogs. Blogging is new enough to many practitioners that we are still experimenting—wishing—to incorporate and adapt source citations into our family history posts. It’s my belief that most of us want credibility when sending ancestral relationships and identities into public territory. If we know how to do it right, we should be demonstrating by example.

I’ve found the space appropriate for me (and my mascot). In future I may even adapt to a Model T. When the shoe fits, I will wear it. “Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”[1]

[1] Margaret Atwood, BrainyQuote (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/margaretat386394.html : accessed 19 March 2011).


Susan Clark said...

A wonderful start to the day and season! Congratulations on four years of blogging. I wish you, and we your readers, many more.

Ruth Blair said...

Congratulations Brenda!

Cherie Cayemberg said...

Happy Blogiversary!!!! And many more!

Bill West said...

Happy Blogiversary, Brenda!

Kathryn Lake Hogan said...

Happy Blogiversary, Brenda! Wishing you many more.

Michelle Goodrum said...

Happy 4th blogiversary! Four years is a very long time in blogging years.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

A very happy blogiversary to you!

Janet Iles said...

Happy blogiversary Brenda. I always enjoy reading your posts. Here is to many more years of sharing your stories.

Diana Ritchie said...

Happy Blogoversary ~ here's to many more to come!! I always look forward to reading your blog!

BDM said...

Thank you for the comments from such distinguished colleagues!
- Brenda