Sunday, March 24, 2013

What is a "GeneaBlogger" ?


I think anyone joining GeneaBloggers ought to just go with the flow until he/she "gets" what an awesome, supportive, funky, creative, inspiring, wacky, fun group this is. We're 3,000+ strong. 

Founder Thomas MacEntee hit the "genealogy scene" with power and spunk. Said "spunk" sometimes put people off. (It's their loss, believe me!) But what he has accomplished by establishing GeneaBloggers in building esprit de corps is nothing short of amazing. The site includes info about:
  • what genealogy blogs are out there (by name, by category)
  • how to tweak a blog for best results
  • who is creating new genealogy blogs each week 
  • blogging prompts (several for each day)
Recently someone contacted Thomas, insistently expecting him to change the name of one of the time-honored blogging prompt titles. Thomas explained the meaning and history of the blog prompt, but the newbie would hear nothing of it.

That's what prompts Ol' Myrt here to remind folks:
When joining a new group, don't start out by trying to drastically remake things.
  • Stick around. 
  • Get to know the members. 
  • See where you can fit in. 
  • Make friends. 
  • The last thing you'd want to do is alienate everyone by trying to throw out years of tradition.
Yes, new blood is a good thing. Fresh ideas are welcome, but not from a guy or gal who starts out by shooting down significant traditions.

Members took offense at the pesky newbie's attempts to overhaul our system.

That is not to say we are strict or "un"adaptable.

Indeed we've grown to embrace many points of view and to appreciate our cultural and ethnic diversity. We understand our variety of writing styles, and accept that some write with a technical slant while others write purely to share the story of a family's immigration to a new and different land. We feel the excitement when one of our own busts through a brick wall and shares the triumph (and all the cool details) in a series of posts.

Some write including footnotes, some with less formal in-line citations, but all are careful to share where we learned this or that. Copyright infringements are fiercely supported by our group when even one in our midst gets splogged.

We argue a point not in a competitive way, but to better grasp the idea being expressed. We realize for all our individual contributions, we are better for also being in conversation with the rest of the group.

We know each other. We send prayers when one is nearly down for the count. We mourn the loss of those who have gone on before us. We rejoice at births, weddings, book publications, newspaper articles and TV interviews. We are likewise thrilled by reunions of once lost loved ones and gatherings of heretofore unknown cousins. When we attend the same regional or national conferences we wear our tiaras and beads proudly, happy to spend even a few hours together, perhaps over a meal. We step up to the plate and help by giving a class scheduled for another who is unable to present due to unexpected accident or illness, a father's sudden death or 4 feet of snow in Flagstaff.

In other words, we've got each other's back.

We are family.

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

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Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont


  1. I love your post Myrt, and you have described the community so very well! Hopefully the rules that you shared will be taken to heart! Thank you and Thomas for all that you do, and how the welcome mat is there for all, but all must also mind their manners.

  2. Myrt:
    Absolutely! Thomas is the Man! When I went to RootsTech last February, he was incredibly welcoming (and I keep my purple beads in the right hand drawer of my desk).

    When I had some splogger issues a month ago, I sent Thomas a message and he was quick to respond with good information on how to deal with it.

    I miss his podcasts.

    He's a great guy and Geaneabloggers is a fantastic resource.

  3. You said it well, DearMYRT! Being a member of the Geneabloggers is one of life's big blessings for bloggers and it's good when we can see it that way!

  4. Good manners are the basis of any community. I wholeheartedly agree to what you said!

  5. Oh dear. Sounds like this "newbie" got underneath a few skins? Sounds like they let their enthusiasm get carried away . . . and maybe went about it the wrong way and was a bit too pushy?

    I know there is an invitation to contact Geneabloggers with ideas for blogging prompts. I've taken advantage of this myself fairly recently, and made just such a suggestion. The suggestion was politely rejected and an explanation was given that what I was suggesting was already covered under another blogging prompt, that I hadn't been aware of.

    Fine with me, hadn't thought of it, and was very happy to find a "home" for the blogs I was thinking of writing. Its great to have the opportunity to make suggestions and provide feedback!

    I do think though, that sometimes there can be cultural differences when communicating internationally.

    What may seem enthusiastic and proactive, may seem pushy and demanding to some? Maybe this "newbie" didn't mean things as they were interpreted?

    Not privy to the communication of course, so could well be wrong!

    Kind regards

  6. I agree with you, Myrt. Geneabloggers is one of the most diverse, crazy (in a good way), and friendly group of folks I've ever had the privilege of meeting - virtually or in person! I'm so thankful for Thomas and everything he does to encourage, instruct, protect, and unify us all. It's an honor to be a part of the Geneabloggers universe. Thanks for posting this! :)

  7. Fabulous post, Myrt. I couldn't agree more. Becoming a Geneablogger has enriched my life many times over.

  8. What a wonderful way to put it, honoring Thomas MacEntee and all he has done for the genealogy blogging community. I'm certainly among many who agree with your sentiments.

    While I've never met Thomas--nor you, Myrt, nor many of my fellow GeneaBloggers--I still share that feeling of camaraderie that you describe here. Those GeneaBloggers that I have met, have brought with them that magical, instantaneous sense of bonding. There are very few other groups which have even come close to possessing such a sense of connection.

  9. Wonderful post, Myrt! GeneaBloggers really is an amazing community. And it's an honor for me to be a part of this group.

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

    Thank you and Thomas for all you do for the Genealogy Blogging community.

  10. I agree Myrtle with a lot of the earlier comments. I feel Thomas has really helped bring people together. I'm not sure what the genealogy on-line community was like before geneabloggers was around, but it's clear that it's role is quite unique. When I first joined, unlike the aforementioned Newbie, I didn't quite grasp the power of geneablogger so I just observed. I have been so impressed with how much Thomas does for the community and that he runs the site by himself! After I got my feet wet, I did suggest a daily blog and it was accepted! (Friday's Faces From the Past). It's amazing to see others in the community use the prompt!

  11. Thomas was the one who pulled me out of the dark library reading microfilms to network a little. It was his magic that gave me some confidence about even daring to put up a website(the Hungarian Family one).Blogging is still hard for me but I have immense respect for Thomas and all of you geneabloggers and kickstarters . The genealogy world will only get bigger and better.

  12. Excellent post. Thanks, so much, for sharing what we are all (99.99% or so?) thinking. I feel so lucky to have met Thomas and a few more of you at the only conference I've been able to attend in the last five years.
    I feel so welcome and a part of the GeneaBlogger community. Thanks to all of you! Bill ;-)

  13. Amen.

    When I attended my first Rootstech Conference in 2011 I would have been lost without my geneablogging friends with Thomas at the helm. This year the geneabloggers made my Aussie mates welcome on their first trip to Rootstech. This week a geneablogging friend showed us the sights in her local area when we visited Boston.

    The lives of many geneabloggers from downunder has been enriched by the geneabloggers alliance.

    Thanks Thomas for your leadership and Myrt for extending the hand of friendship to so many.

  14. So I read this yesterday. Thanks for posting it. I thought, well, I don't know what I thought but I sent in a request to join. I don't quite understand how it works but I was accepted. There is so much to read and learn.

  15. It's a wonderful group. I look forward to meeting many of you at the upcoming conference in Las Vegas.