Blog-Reading For Beginners: Your Tips and Successes

After a lunchtime chat with some other genealogists (a fabulous idea, Jean!) it occurred to me that in the genealogical societies to which I belong, members who regularly read and follow genealogy blogs are almost certainly a minority. There is so much out there in the genealogical blogosphere to be read and learned – it’s a shame that many people don’t utilize them.

Since I know a least one society newsletter editor real well (he happens to be me), I thought I would write an article about the value in reading blogs, and for help, I am turning to the subject of the article – blog readers and writers. I’m appealing to the blogging community to share some tips they’ve found useful for beginning blog readers as they try and wade through and filter the overwhelming amount of information available. Being fairly technologically-literate, it’s sometimes hard for me to take a step back and not make assumptions about what a typical society member might know about using the internet (or even the computer itself) – browsers, RSS feeds, readers, etc.

If you’re so inclined, drop me a line about a tip you’ve found that worked, or even a success story – a brick wall that fell because of something you read in a blog, a new cousin found, or other item of interest. You cam email me directly at chris@staatsofohio.com or leave it in a comment below. If I use your tip or story in the article, you will win an amazing prize package consisting of a heartfelt thanks, an atta-boy, and a free issue of the newsletter in which your tip appeared. And you thought Ed McMahon showing up at your door with an over-sized check was exciting?

This entry was posted in Thoughts and Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blog-Reading For Beginners: Your Tips and Successes

  1. I think it would be really helpful to explain about various readers. I use Google reader and was very overwhelmed until I organized my reading into a few categories. I have one called “Daily” for those blogs I don’t want to miss – Geneabloggers goes in there to make sure I am up on things. I try to keep that category small. Things come and go out of there as I find other blogs that I want to follow closely for whatever reason. Then I have one called “Favorites – weekly”. Those are still high on my list, but if it’s a busy week at work and school, those might just get skimmed. The next category is “Info – weekly” where I put things that are more news related like The Genealogy Tip of the Day and Dick Eastman’s blog. Finally I have one called “Other” for everything else. On Sundays I either read everything that is unread or I just mark everything in the folders read. It keeps me from feeling like I have to somehow catch up!

    I have found the new cousins (a number of them) through my blog – or rather they have found me because of my blog. What I gain from reading blogs is generally in the line of new research tips – things I didn’t know about, strategies I hadn’t thought of etc.

    I also find reading other blogs inspires me in my research. It’s just great to know there are so many other out there like me – you know, people who think picnicking in a graveyard is normal and that Curt Witcher is a rock star ;-)

  2. avatar Jean says:

    Really glad you liked the lunch idea!
    I tried to do a presentation on blogs and readers, but I don’t think I got across to anyone but myself. That makes me think you need to make some very basic points and show benefits. I use the Google Reader and find I usually just copy a blog URL into a new subscription rather than go through the RSS button. I agree that grouping the blogs in the reader makes life easier. In addition to the latest news, I especially benefit from posts on best practices and how-tos. Afraid my cousin hits so far have all been to older web postings but my general genealogy blog is fairly new.
    Definitely think your article will be a good idea.