I've only been doing this genealogy blog since, let's see, what, March of this year (2011.) But in that short time I've grown to see how much I value and love it. Love the whole process of thinking about what to post, sifting through the debris of my looking for ancestors to pick out something relevant and possibly interesting. It keeps me going and I'd freely encourage others thinking about blogging to go ahead and take the plunge.
It's real easy to get started. Just pop Blogger in your search engine of choice and navigate to a sign-up page to get a free blog. The hardest part is naming your blog, but you can always go with a fall-back fav, The (your name here) Family History Blog. And boom, in a couple of minutes you're in business.
Think you'd have nothing to blog about? No problem. Go to http://www.geneabloggers.com/ for ideas. They have a bunch almost every day. Follow that for a while, take a look at the list of over 2000 blogs for concepts or whatever, see what you like and don't like, and do your own thing! It's a blast.
But enough about you, more about me;) Here are my own top five reason I love my blog.
#1: My Blog Is A People Finder.
This is a small blog by genealogy blogging standards and I only get a couple of visits a day but I'm not in this to have big blog traffic. However it is nice when people find me because of this blog. Like Kris, the researcher working on a project about agriculture in the Finger Lakes area of New York state, who found a tid-bit on Nehemiah Newans. Or cousin Jo Ann, looking for information on Kelly's Pump recently. We're cousins and we've found each other! That happens when I remember to put tags on articles. (See those words below? They're tags.)
#2: My Blog Is An Advice-Getter.
I've posted a question or dead-end problem I'm working on and some very kind people who stop by offer a thought or piece of advice. That's really nice. Most genealogists are really nice. I like that, don't you? Here's an example of what happened when my old CRT monitor died and was replaced by a wide flat screen. I posted, what the heck do you do with all that spare room on the right... is it a place for post-it notes? I got some advice right away: open a browser and your family tree program at the same time! Genius!
#3: My Blog Is A Motivator.
Some days, well I gotta tell ya, it's hard to put one foot in front of the other to move forward. I get stuck in a problem and the whole effort looses its lustre. You ever have that? Well, I think about my blog and look at it and think about the nice people who have found it and communicated with me and I feel better and more motivated. I can see how far I've come and that feels good.
#4: My Blog Is A Planner.
Cheeze! It's so easy to get lost in the stacks of papers, or computer files, or on a data-base web site, isn't it? As I post one entry the process makes me think ahead about what I'll do next and how I can best get that done. If I'm looking for a piece of information I might mention in the blog that's what I'll do next. And some days I even hear back from a kind person about where to look!
#5: My Blog Is An Archive.
How many times have I posted something and then gone on to other matters only later to go back and search my own blog to see what happened. I did that just this morning when I wanted to email Cousin Jo Ann about Google Earth and the old Eckhart property. See that search box on the right? I popped in Google Earth and boom, there it was. I probably visit my own blog more than anyone;) Ha!
I could go on. See the list of my fav blogs on the right? I check them daily to see what's going on in the wild and wacky world of genealogy. I have been know to vent frustration here too... but not too ofter. You probably have your own genealogy troubles;)