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Open Thread Thursday: How Would You Encourage Someone To Read Genealogy Blogs?

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

Recently the Daily Genealogist blog at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston published the results of a survey asking “How many genealogy blogs do you read?”

Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly to some, 60% of respondents stated that they don’t read any genealogy blogs.  Keep in mind that this survey was conducted online, so the respondents all received the survey link via email or may have already been following the Daily Genealogist blog.

This one data point has already generated quite a bit of chatter on various genealogy blogs – what are your thoughts as a genealogy blogger? Are we as bloggers not doing enough to get the word out about how resourceful genealogy blogs can be?  Are we dealing with a perception or education issue here?

Let us know how you would encourage genealogists – especially beginning genealogists – to read not just your own genealogy blog, but a wide variety of blogs.

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.


For me, I think it is still education. We know how important education is in the field of genealogy and how it is education that will help the newcomers to family history research understand the basic foundations of genealogy.

Personally, I’ve been giving a “why you should be using genealogy blogs as a resource” presentation for two years now and continue to do this when needed.  Perhaps we need more – a webinar? A video or slideshow? A campaign such as “Why I Blog?”

I think I have a new genealogy resolution for 2012!


This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

8 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: How Would You Encourage Someone To Read Genealogy Blogs?

  1. When I asked 300+ people at my recent speaking engagements, about 80% said they did not read genealogy blogs. To be fair, though, my talks were in country areas where Internet access is not great. I managed to persuade some of my audience to have a look at blogs that I like – and my own, of course! 🙂 I guess we just have to spread the word whenever and wherever we can, and slowly the stats will improve.

  2. I like the idea of a blog campaign on “Why I blog”. The key problem is that it is preaching to the converted. It’s not until you realise how much information and experience is in the blogosphere that it becomes a priority to follow some/any/a lot. What a shame there’s no link between Ancestry and blog listings -that would get an impact I think. Plus Judy’s plan -for those who do presentations.

  3. I agree with Cassmob on the “Why I Blog” item, it does help with getting content to readers about content on the web other than on virtual properties controlled by the likes of Ancestry, Inc.

    I disagree, however, that there should/could/might be a link between Ancestry, Inc. and blogs. The reason is that the company would seek to control them the way they do with (a volunteer effort) with excessive advertising, and/or eat away at their content like they have done with things that used to be on rootsweb, like the ship transcribers guild materials.

    We do, already, have an excellent nexus at where interested genealogists can browse and find interesting blogs. One way to expand the visibility with Mr. MacEntee’s help, is develop a corpus (no pun intended) of the focus of each blog, perhaps updated “about” statements from each blogger and/or their surnames of interest.

    Perhaps an ebook, presentation of some sort, or other materials, showing *how* to use a blog for family history and genealogy research would be helpful.

  4. We should all write a short article, column-filler or two-sentence snippet for journals and newsletters published (on paper and/or electronically) by family history societies to which we belong. Some submissions may be ignored, but many will be published. Please don’t leave it to someone else – *anyone* can do this.

  5. A further thought -perhaps all bloggers could campaign with their local family history society to include some information in their published magazines or member emails? Perhaps even write something for the magazine on these topics.

    A bit tongue-in-cheek about Ancestry -it does seem lots of people don’t go beyond it 😉

    Great idea about a booklet or ebook…I think I’ll suggest this to Unlock the Past in Oz.

  6. Root Cellar Sacramento (California) Genealogical Society “opened” its blog earlier this year as a member benefit and for society outreach. Ongoing education has been the key to encouraging members to read and contribute content. An FAQ page provides how-to basics and blog themes by Live demos on blog use are held at meetings. Blog administrators send personal emails (rather than all member requests) to members requesting them to contribute their research to get noticed by a new genealogy community. Other blog content includes society activities, genealogy news and intros to useful tools, websites and blogs members may not know about. Slowly but steadily, readership, primarily by email subscription, and member contributions have increased. Members have also started suggesting articles for the blog. Ah, progress!

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