GeneaBloggers On Vacation . . . Down Under

voyager of the seas

Well, in a few hours I fly out of Chicago to Hong Kong on my way to Australia where I’ll start a two-week genealogy speaking tour sponsored by Unlock the Past. With my first appearance in Brisbane on 1 February and ending on 15 February in Perth, I’ll also be one of the featured speakers on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise from 3-13 February 2014.

Visiting Australia has been on my bucket list FOREVER and I’m excited to meet many new genealogists and my Australian genealogy bloggers whom I’ve met at past RootsTech events. Over the two weeks I’ll be speaking in Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth as well as several lectures on-board Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas.

Fewer Posts at GeneaBloggers

So what does this mean about content here at GeneaBloggers? Well, I’ve tried to pre-post as much as possible and being on a cruise ship means not being “connected” in terms of The Internets.

This means you will see a decrease in activity here and on all our social media properties until I return on 18 February 2014. Check in at our Facebook page for updates on our trip!

©2014, Thomas MacEntee

GeneaBloggers Announces New Comments Policy and Features

Comments at GeneaBloggers

Effective immediately with all new posts, GeneaBloggers is instituting the following changes when it comes to commenting on posts and other content at the site:

  • No anonymous comments allowed. This was not a tough decision. I’m following the lead of Huffington Post which recently changed its policy regarding anonymous comments. Not only will this eliminate spam comments (I hope) but also cut down on the troll factor. My basic belief is that if you are willing to make your opinion known here, then do it as if you would get up and express it at any public venue such as a town hall meeting or a genealogy lecture. We’re trying to build community here. We’re not dealing with sensitive topics that require anonymity out of respect for the safety of the commenter. If you know of any roving band of genealogy “toughs” who track down commenters let me know.
  • New commenting options. Disabling anonymous comments means employing commenting tools which allow commenters to connect with their existing accounts on various platforms. So I’ve decided to use the Comments Evolved for WordPress plugin. Now readers can leave comments via Google Plus, Facebook and the Disqus system.

Finally, please take the time to read The Reason HuffPost Is Ending Anonymous Accounts. I love the reference to the scene in To Kill A Mockingbird!

Your feedback on this new policy and procedure is appreciated – so go ahead and take it for a spin!

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Google Reader Update and Changes This Week at GeneaBloggers

changes at geneabloggers


Here is an update on changes at GeneaBloggers due to the demise of Google Reader on July 1, 2013:

  • My RSS Feed Reader: I’ve decided to use Feedly ( as my own personal RSS feed reader.  I’ve compared other programs and right now Feedly comes closest to replicating the Google Reader experience.  I’ve also seen improvements in terms of speed and access compared to last month when I first tried Feedly.
  • Google Alerts: One task is to migrate the tech blog feeds and Google Alerts over to Feedly.  I’ve done my research and determined that Feedly does not allow two accounts so I need to use categories to group those items for easier access.
  • Backing up Google Reader: As a backup so I don’t lose any information in the transition to Feedly, I’ve used the Google Reader export feature and opened the XML file in Notepad and pasted the contents into a Microsoft Word document where I am doing some cleanup. Tedious, yes, but it gives me peace of mind.
  • Blog Types: I am looking at several ways to consolidate multiple RSS Feeds into one feed and then use a mechanism to display those posts and blogs in a widget. I don’t want an open system where any spammer can submit their blog or post and have it appear. On my radar are Yahoo Pipes, ChimpFeeder and WidgetBox.
  • New blogs: For the next two weeks, I won’t be adding newly-discovered or submitted blogs to the list at GeneaBloggers until I set up a system and routine that works.

I’m hoping for as smooth a transition as possible, but members of GeneaBloggers and readers need to realize that there may be some glitches and hiccups along the way.

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee