Monday, April 22, 2013

Thoughts on Blogging

Geneablogger Feet by midgefrazel
Jennifer Zinck and Midge Frazel by Russ Worthington at NERGC 2013

Sharing Blogging Thoughts

Serendipity has its place such as this photo where two female genealogists are brought together by a shared love of a particular shade of nail polish. Jennifer Zinck (on the right) and Midge Frazel (on the left) took off our sneakers and socks to show that we are wearing OPI's Strawberry Margarita polish. (Like it Kerry Scott?)

BUT, what does this tell us about blogging? 

It tells us that people are getting to know each other using social media, most notably Facebook, Google + and Twitter. These serendipitous moments are sending us to each other's blogs. 

Thomas MacEntee's Geneablogger's site is a better way to find blogs to read but looking at our toes got your attention, didn't it?  [as of this writing there are over 3, 000 blogs being written and not all wear toe polish!]
While planning the New England Geneabloggers SIG meetup for NERGC 2013, Heather Rojo and I thought we should try to think about topics to talk about in case people were shy. I am happy to report we only needed a few icebreakers. We were quite worried when it became apparent that Thomas was not going to make it to Manchester, NH (due to weather) and we wanted to show him that we felt he was there in spirit.
Myself and Heather talking to a large group of Bloggers, NERGC, 2013  photo by Russ Worthington
I made a quick list of my own ideas about blogging in a genealogy community. I had blogged as an educator prior to my Granite in MY Blood blog and felt that this audience might have different needs. 
Here are my thoughts and my opinion:
  1. I wished that I hadn't put hyphens in my blog name and URL. ( They make it hard to type.
  2. I wish I'd made a searchable list of the people's names on the gravestones I've blogged about. Who knew I could keep this up for over 6 years?)
  3. I am glad that I let no one influence what topic or who I write about. Yes, people have tried. It's a long story.
  4. I am glad I never took ad revenue for my blog. I do reviews of books and products but I don't get paid for it except for a sample book or two). Taking payment for your blog means they influence your writing. 
  5. I never worry about how many people read or don't read my blog. Some comment at different social media places I post selected blog posts or email me. That's great. I glance at the blog stats daily but I don't worry about it. (I am a worry-wart in real life)
  6. I'm grateful to whoever it was that told me that the best way to blog is to read other blogs. I read/skim over 200 daily. They are very helpful to me. I read them on my iPad with my feet up (think toes)
  7. I don't always put source citations on my blog (but I am happy to provide them to anyone who asks). I am also grateful for any help I get from readers. I love it when people send me gravestone photos to blog about.
  8. I have a visual blog. I almost never blog without a photo. I give credit to those who share.
  9. I learned to put the name of an ancestor in the blog title and label (in the sidebar to the right) when I want cousin bait. It works! I save my special witty remarks for the body of the text.
  10. I expect blogs to change and evolve over time. I attend other presentation of people who blog. They often ask me why I am there since I have blogged so long. I am there because I get great tips from others. It only makes my blog better. Thanks to them, I am a Top 40 blogger. 
I'd love to hear what you think. Communication is essential to blogging....


Kristin said...

I like the idea of putting the name in the title that you are using for cousin bait. I am going right now to change the title of the post I'm working on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Keep doin' what you do. I agree with your points. I especially like it when you put in stories and tie-bits outside the norm about the folks you are highlighting as ancestors or others. I actually read your other blog when I was a grad student (books too). Even before finding out we are distant cousins.

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Correction - "Tid-bits" not tie-bits. Sorry.

Midge Frazel said...

I love writing about gravestones most of all. Readers like the stories about people. I can only provide stories if others help me.
I'll never run out of gravestones, I guess.

Jana Iverson Last said...

I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

Barbara Poole said...

Midge, I just read you made Randy's Best of for the week, and I'm glad I read your post. It's informative for new bloggers and fun to read for the oldies. Congratulations.

Kerry Scott said...

Yes, I DO like it...and I agree with your tips too. Fundamentally, though, if you're still blogging after six years, you're doing lots of things right.