What Impact Will WDYTYA Have On Your Blog?

If you haven’t already heard – it is the worst kept secret on the geneablogosphere today – NBC is launching a new series entitled “Who Do You Think You Are” with episodes about the ancestry of specific celebrity participants.  And as Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings mentions today, we all should be ready for an uptick in interest in the field of genealogy.

While Randy’s post focused more on genealogy societies and researchers, what impact will it have on geneabloggers?  It only seems natural that after the first episode of WDYTYA ends on April 20, viewers may walk over to their computers and begin looking into their own family roots.

Are you as a geneablogger ready for, hopefully, an uptick in readers and new followers? Are virtual organizations such as Association of Graveyard Rabbits or Geneabloggers ready for new members?  Are carnivals such as the Carnival of Genealogy ready for more entries?

What plans to do you have to handle more visitors, more followers or more participation?  Will you actively market to these potential new genealogists or wait for them to find your blog?

Geneabloggers would love to hear your ideas in the Comments section.  And while I don’t expect WDYTYA to have the same impact as the debut of Roots did over  30 years ago, who knows what will happen with the debut of WDYTYA on April 20?

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

5 thoughts on “What Impact Will WDYTYA Have On Your Blog?

  1. Hi, Thomas

    It is not a rip-off, it is an official licensing agreement between BBC and NBC and WDYTYA has similar agreements in Australia and other countries. Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe on ‘Friends’) is the executive producer. Her physician father is a genealogist. The Kudrow and the Talalay are both from Mogilev, Belarus. i wrote about this most recently here, and included my past notices about this as well (last year when the first news broke).

    I think our computers will overload as this series gets underway. What we need from NBC is a widget about the show to stick on our blogs.

  2. I can see myself blogging about the errors on the TV show. This will come from two fronts. Hopefully they hire good genealogists to do research, but if not, well–that’ll be fun.

    Secondly, these types of shows are entertainment. So, the “aha” or “discovery” moment is necessary and the shows are edited accordingly. It is impossible to determine how much real research went to get to that moment. I felt frustrated watching either the PBS shows like Prof. Gates’ show on African-American genealogy or History Finders thinking I would do things quite differently. But that was based on the edited program and not on what might have been actually done.

    I’ll also be blogging things like “been there done that.” If the show is a hit, then other writers and so on will be commenting and most of them in ignorance. So I foresee many, many corrections coming.

  3. The Canadian version of WDYTYA was on CBC last year. http://www.cbc.ca/whodoyouthinkyouare/
    It was a half hour programme featuring one famous Canadian per episode. I found the show to be quite entertaining and well researched. Janice Nickerson of Upper Canada Genealogy was one of the genealogists for the show. The genealogists working on these shows are up against deadline which make accessing records especially oversees a real challenge.
    Unfortunately, CBC decided to cancel the show despite it being popular.

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