Changes to GeneaBloggers Membership Criteria

change

As many of you know, I’ve been anticipating hitting the 2,000 blog limit here at GeneaBloggers which is a good thing and a not so good thing. A good thing since it shows how important blogging has become in the genealogy community. Not so good since I use Google Reader as the main content aggregator for the blog listing and the Daily Blogging Prompt widgets – and Google Reader has a 2,000 blog limit.

Membership Criteria Changes

I’ve had to make some decisions as to how to proceed and have set some new criteria for having your blog listed under the Genealogy Blog Listing:

  • Only blogs that are “active” will be listed in the blog listing. This means there has been a blog post on your site since July 1, 2010, or about a year ago. I’ve already begun to delete blogs that don’t meet this criteria and should be done by the end of this week.
  • I realize that some blogs are never updated due to their nature – diary blogs, for example. Those blogs that have not been updated will still be listed in our search engine since the content still has value to the genealogy researcher.

I expect that at least 90% of the current blogs will continue to be listed. This has the benefit of keeping GeneaBloggers below the 2,000 blog limit (for now) and also means that GeneaBloggers can represent the latest and current information regarding genealogy.

Google Reader

So why do I stick with Google Reader with its limits and issues? Well, there is a certain comfort level, and I do like reading all the genealogy blog posts each day.

But there is also another mechanism at work here: privacy and foiling the sploggers and spammers. If you look at the blog listing, especially in the page source where the HTML code is, you’ll realize that the exact URL and RSS feed info for all 2,000 blogs is never revealed. Right now it would be a chore for a splogger to develop a similar list and sploggers like it “fast and dirty.”

Many folks don’t realize that I have been approached by several sites who want to gain access to the OPML file which drives the blog listings here at GeneaBloggers.  I’ve even been offered money to provide a copy of the file.  It just isn’t in me to do that – I think that if the file were made public or sold, we’d all see our content misappropriated on many blogs and websites. And the value of our community and what we do would be greatly diminished.

Future Changes

I’m committed to making sure that GeneaBloggers remains a free resource for the genealogy community. That being said, please realize that this is a one-man operation, so future changes you might see include:

  • An automated way of tagging blog posts which meets the Daily Blogging Prompt criteria.  Right now, I check Google Reader about 10 times a day to manually tag posts.  Too much work. I will be setting up new widgets that work using keywords in the titles of the blogging prompts like “Tombstone Tuesday.”
  • A donation button will be included on the GeneaBloggers website.  I really don’t like “passing the hat,” as it were, but I don’t want GeneaBloggers to be a paid membership site at this time.  I know this goes counter to my “everything in genealogy is not free” philosophy, but due to its unique role in the community, I think it is vital that access to the information in genealogy blogs be free and unfettered.
  • Regional GeneaBloggers sites.  I’ve been approached by several bloggers in Canada, Europe and Australia who want to start their own version of GeneaBloggers, perhaps in a native language or focusing on local culture, history and holidays.  My goal is to see this happen by the end of 2011. These blogs will still be listed on the “mother ship” here at GeneaBloggers.

Conclusion

It continues to be an honor to work with the genealogy blogging community and sometimes I step back and am amazed at not just the quantity and the quality of the content produced by our bloggers on a daily basis, but at how our role has grown in the genealogy community.

Please continue to send me your feedback, your comments and, yes, even your gripes and complaints. This is your community. I am merely someone who tries to make sense of it each day and present it to the world in a format which can be fully appreciated, fully understood and fully utilized.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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