Saturday, March 07, 2009

Find RSS blog feeds confusing?

BLOGS are web logs.

Composed by genealogy nuts, a cadre of no less than 300 some-odd genea-bloggers, write postings, and publish them in a part of cyberspace known as the blogosphere. The blogosphere is virtual space on the information superhighway and is defined in part by WikiPedia as follows:

The term [blogosphere] was coined on September 10, 1999 by Brad L. Graham, as a joke.[1] It was re-coined in 2002 by William Quick,[2] and was quickly adopted and propagated by the warblog community. The term resembles the older word logosphere (from Greek logos meaning word, and sphere, interpreted as world), the "the world of words", the universe of discourse.[citation needed] Despite the term's humorous intent, CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio's programs Morning Edition, Day To Day, and All Things Considered have used it several times to discuss public opinion. A number of media outlets in recent years have started treating the blogosphere as a gauge of public opinion, and it has been cited in both academic and non-academic work as evidence of rising or falling resistance to globalization, voter fatigue, and many other phenomena,[3] and also in reference to identifying influential bloggers[4] and "familiar strangers" in the blogosphere.[5]

Genea-bloggers typically publish postings that include:

  • information about how to do family history research
  • ideas for reunions
  • info about local library closings
  • articles honoring specific ancestors
  • discussions about the research cycle
  • rehashing the genealogical proof standards
  • spotlights of great genealogy websites
  • descriptions of new software releases

and all sorts of soap-box standing and opinion-giving.

RSS = Really Simple Syndication
Meaning, through the magic of RSS, a blog posting is automatically distributed shortly after publication, to your RSS feed reader. THAT is where it gets complicated.

For many, there is confusion about how to LOCATE genealogy blogs and THEN how to place each blog’s RSS feed into in Bloglines, Google Reader or some such service. For help, we’ve been referring to Thomas MacEntee’s listing at There is no point in merely trusting Google to find the genealogy blogs, go with Thomas’ inside scoop about genea-bloggers. Then copy/paste the RSS feed from each blog into your RSS feed reader.

A viable alternative is to go to Alltop’s genealogy section, where you will find many of the genea-bloggers already listed with titles of the five most recent postings. Be sure to BOOKMARK or FAVORITE place this page so you can find it again later.

At Alltop, your mouse rollover pulls up a preview of the blog entry. If it looks interesting, click to go directly to the blog to read the full entry. Be sure to view the Alltop orientation film to gain an understanding of how to search for other topics.

OTHER TOPICS? You mean there is something besides genealogy out here on the Web? WOW! Who would have thought it possible?

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


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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.