May I Introduce To You . . . Dr. Bill Smith

Dr. Bill Smith

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to, Dr. Bill Smith of the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories Blog.

Dr. Bill’s blog focuses on the stories of his family’s ancestors and how to share them with us by the way of his blog.  Dr. Bill prepares the stories and discussions of where his ancestors came from and those stories may be non-fiction or fiction (he will always tell which is which, of course!)  Dr. Bill’s blog also serves as a companion site for his book: “13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories.”

Dr. Bill has been interested in genealogy and family history all of his life. He started his family history journey by dabbling and gathering information in the 1970’s; and then became much more serious in 1995…and even more serious, in various ways, since then.

Dr. Bill created a web page in 1996 with literally thousands of pages online. The majority is related to family history and the social history of family in his hometown. His largest online writing project to date is his Kinnick 2003 Genealogy Book Online (just under 1,000 web pages, fully hyperlinked).

Dr. Bill will be publishing a fiction book, under pen name “Liam Leverne” in the Spring: “Back to the Homeplace”. “William Leverne” Smith – Liam is Celtic/Irish for William.

Having lived all over the United States including  Iowa, Arizona, Utah, Mississippi, California, Kentucky, New York, Kansas, and Missouri, Dr. Bill is recently retired and has settled in Missouri.  He continues to use “Dr.” as a branding strategy; this is what his university students have called him for the past 15 years… Dr. Bill to distinguish from another Dr. Smith on the faculty . . . . and the brand stuck!

Dr. Bill’s Family and His Blog

Dr. Bill’s family is extremely supportive, finds his blog interesting and waits to see what he will be reporting next. Dr. Bill’s family provides feedback when appropriate and also will collaborate on blog projects regularly. His first eight posts focus on “letters” penned to his daughters in 1995.

Currently Dr. Bill has approximately 70 followers and his readership grows as each day goes by. Dr. Bill has visits to his blog tracked by Google Analytics, currently reading: 664 unique visits 12/18/09 – 1/9/17; 43% new visits. Average time on site: 4:04 minutes! Dr. Bill hit a daily high of 85 visitors on January 3rd. Daily count since, ranges from 18 to 42.

How Dr. Bill Follows the Rest of Us

While still learning, Dr. Bill uses a combination of methods to keep up with the rest of us. He has about 10 to 12 sites on an RSS feed to an iGoogle genealogy page, which contains five pages with various sets of feeds. Dr. Bill will follow blogs of particular interest by way of Blogger on his Blogger dashboard, giving him the opportunity to catch up on most recent posts.  Dr. Bill also uses an “Ancestor Stories” Google Alert.  This alerts him to blogs he might not otherwise see, along with other websites of interest as well.

Dr. Bill reviews GeneaBloggers posts of daily blogging themes each and every day. He attempts to read and comment on, perhaps, 8 to 10 daily, especially if he comes across a blog he has never visited before.

Dr. Bill is quite use to receiving posts by way of his email. As a professor (retired in June) over the last 15 years and teaching online, Dr. Bill had become quite accustomed to dozens and dozens of emails daily – at times, over 100 a day, so he is quite comfortable with this method.  Dr. Bill keeps his email open at all times and checks it hourly to stay current when near his computer. He will read, respond and file almost immediately to all of his email messages.

On a typical day, Dr. Bill may follow an average of 15 to 20 blogs, but may not be the same blogs each time.  Dr. Bill looks at all of the new genealogy bloggers that are posted each Saturday over at GeneaBloggers, he comments on those blogs, and becomes a follower of those that appeal to his style.  Dr. Bill will go through most of the listings on the daily blogging themes; particularly the five Dr. Bill participates in.  Dr. Bill looks at new posts in his iGoogle genealogy group page and at times, he uses the “followers posts.”

Dr. Bill’s Thoughts on Blogging

Dr. Bill had no hesitations when it came to blogging. Starting his first blog in 2005, a volunteer promotional blog for the Kansas Flint Hills . . . many more came after!

In 2008, Dr. Bill started several other blogs including “Dr. Bill on Retirement” and Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar.  Dr. Bill has a total of seven blogs on retirement, including his book blog. Dr. Bill’s main concern was to stay “focused”! By the looks of things he has accomplished,  staying focused is no problem!

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Please stop by Dr. Bill’s blog, giving him a warm welcome and leave him a comment letting him know you dropped by. Welcome Dr. Bill to the genealogy blogging community!

© 2010, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog,Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven grandchildren!

Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.

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