Sunday, March 06, 2011

Across My Desk: 6 March 2011 Ideas for Blogging

Congrats to the new genealogy bloggers out there. At your request, this post will spotlight some great blogs for ideas. Ol' Myrt here has confined her list to just a few of the blog posts I've read today. My comments appear in italics below.
  • What is Ephemera? posted by Gena Ortega. Defining a perhaps unfamiliar word with a hyperlink to more info at another website. It's always a good idea to link to more resources on a topic.
  • How Does a Wiki Work? posted by James Tanner. Part of a series describing technology and how it might apply to genealogy. Your series of posts might be recollections of your visits to grandmother's house.
  • Sure Its Online - But is it Awesome? by Valerie Craft. Noting differences in scanned images on the internet when compared to a copy from microfilm of an ancestor's marriage record, points out challenges for a typical researcher. This is also part of a series describing research at the Georgia Archives, offering an orientation to prospective archives visitors.
  • You Learn Something New Everyday - It pays to read the description of a database by Janet Iles. Sharing what one learns saves others months of frustration. In this case, Janet finds there are two similar databases at Janet discovered "surnames Sims through Z are missing from the original Burial Registers collection, and hence are not available in this database. Records for those soldiers may be found in..." Janet also explained that by writing the blog post, it reinforced what she had learned about these databases.
  • Zoom-able Research Map by Mark Tucker. Spotlighting the internet resource as a method for viewing larger, detailed graphics than is readily permitted by a typical web browser, gives other bloggers and web developers ideas for implementing the resource. Someone once shared "Print Friendly" with me, and I've since shared it many times to help others.
  • Jamboree Tourist Activity: Whale Watching and Celebrity Home Tours from the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree Blog. Getting the scoop from the locals helps attendees visiting the area for the first time. How about incorporating a report on your recent research trip in a series of blog postings? Some places I've been don't have motels, with the nearest about 20-30 miles away. If you were going to those places, you'd want to know that wouldn't you?
  • Grammatically Correct Photo Captions by footnoteMaven. Short & sweet. To the point. Just the facts. Good idea. Better than ranting. 'Nuff said.
  • Citing Sources is All About Me by Michael John Neill. This researcher describes how he personally relates to this genealogy topic. Internalizing genealogical proof standards is something that plagues all researchers. In this case, we've got to cite our sources sooner or later, or else risk mediocrity in our work.
  • January 11th 1869 Sarah Greene to Sam and Elizabeth by Becky Wiseman. Transcribing ancestral letters and diaries shares the text with virtually all descendants who have internet access. At the end, Becky added a few sentences to put the letter in context. (I would like to see the scanned images of the letter as well.)
  • March Brings Maple Season to New Hampshire by Heather Rojo. The author documents sap gathering and syrup making with her photos and text. Comparing and contrasting how we do it now compared to how our New England ancestors have done for centuries makes it easier to relate to our progenitors. My most popular blog posts are about my Grandma Myrtle's recipes for blackberry and raspberry jam.

As I sat back and reviewed this blog posting before publishing, I asked Mr. Myrt what he likes in a genealogy blog. His first response? "I like your blog, honey." (Good, safe answer, eh?) When I pressed him for more info, Mr. Myrt said he likes blog posts that include:

  • Industry news
  • Technology updates
  • Research tips
  • "how I did it"
  • success stories
  • News items, in the sense that, occasionally, genealogy is in the news. For instance the last American WWI Veteran just died.
  • Organization (Not that he does it!) (OK, that last parenthetical remark was my own, but I digress...)
My best advice? Just write.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)

Your friend in genealogy.


  1. Oh, wow! Thanks for the mention, Myrtle and I'm glad my silly photo post was included with all the other important "how to" posts on your list!

  2. Dear Myrt:

    Thank you so much for the mention. It is greatly appreciated.

    I remember when you first recognized my work and interviewed me for your podcast. I was over the moon.

    And I still feel the same!


  3. Hi Myrt,

    Thanks for the mention regarding the letters I'm transcribing. The copies that I have are very poor xerox copies. I'm hoping to one day get back to Nappanee and photograph the original letters. When/if I do that I'll edit the posts to include the image.


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