Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ProGen2 - Assignment #3 Genealogy Columns/Blogs

As part of my continuing education as a genealogist, Ol’ Myrt here has joined what is known as the ProGen2 Study Group. This group of like-minded genealogy professional (some writers, some researchers) will work a total of 18 months together, reading assignments from Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. We then are asked to write a report centering on the reading assignment, and follow this up with a monthly online chat to “discuss” via a real-time typed conversation the subject we’ve studied this past month.

Our assignment for the third month was to read Chapter 19, pp. 381-388 titled “Genealogy Columns” by Regina Hines Ellison, CG. We were then to report on our own columns or blogs. This is most of the text of my written assignment:

One concept brought out in the ProGen chapter was that a good genealogy column should settle on a particular column type.

DearMYRTLE uses a variety of column types (as defined in this chapter of ProGen), depending on what's happening in the world of genealogy. So you'll find:

ETHNIC COLUMNS: These typically come into play when another organization asks Ol' Myrt to announce one of their upcoming events. Blog entries along this line lately include:




New Genealogy Guides for England and Scotland
  • Swedish Emigration Institute threatened
    This was the basis for the DearMYRTLE column, initially. Something akin to the "DearAbby" format, all questions and answers.

    Occasionally, Ol' Myrt will respond to a reader's question, and other questions remain that are subsequently answered by another DearMYRTLE reader. This happened most recently in a series about the use of Google Patent Search.

    #1 The initial blog entry titled "Patent search at Google provides new ancestral locality" was based in a research report from a friend of Myrt's in Second Life.

    #2 A Reader reports on following the advice in the column in "READER'S
    FEEDBACK: Google Patent Search
    ". Myrt gave additional research ideas to flesh out the reader's understanding of her ancestor.

    #3 Another reader answers Myrt's query about the role of witnesses on a patent in "Role of patent witnesses".

    MAINTAINING MOMENTUM has never been a problem -- interference of real life has however, caused me to podcast sporadically and blog semi-regularly. Letting my readers know about some aspects of my personal life was a conscious decision. Readers have been most understanding when I was, for instance, been swamped caring for my Dad and step-mother in the last years of their lives. But, Ol’ Myrt here wakes up with two or three ideas to blog about. Just wish I could do it all verbally, and not have to take the time to type things up in a blog.

    When I first started writing DearMYRTLE in 1995, the choice was to write daily or weekly. I made a list of 365 topics I could discuss in a daily column and chose to write daily. Howver, after the first month, there were enough reader replies that I never had to use that list again.

    WHERE OL' MYRT HERE NEEDS HELP is with editing her blog entries. One must make enough money to support oneself AND pay someone to edit on a quick turn-around basis. That just isn't in the cards for me at the moment. The BEAUTY of blogging is that it costs tons less than web sites do to produce. Joe the plumber can do it.

    Apparently my readers and podcast listeners have basically forgiven my typos and occasional errors of grammar. Either that, or they’ve given up!

    Happy family tree climbing!
    Myrt :)
    Your friend in genealogy.


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    © 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

    This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.