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The Status of GeneaBloggers Radio


So, what’s going on with GeneaBloggers Radio, you might ask? Well I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching – actually a lot of soul searching – in terms of goals and direction for my radio show. I hope you’ll let me share some of my thoughts and also allow me to give you a status update.

Status and Stuff

First, the status. I’ve decided to put GeneaBloggers Radio on an “irregular” schedule for the time being.  This means the show won’t be broadcast on its regular Friday evening schedule.

Second, this doesn’t mean that GeneaBloggers Radio is ending or going away.  I need a break and more than just the periodic night off.  How can I tell?  Well, for me there are two indicators of when it is time for a change – just like hitting a plateau in a diet:

  • If I don’t feel that “fire in the belly” or that “driving force” to produce a body of work, like a weekly radio show, then it’s time to re-evaluate.
  • And if something feels “forced” and I’m “going through the motions,” then that is also a good indicator that change is needed.

What It Takes To Produce A Weekly Radio Show

Producing a weekly radio show is hard work. It takes about five hours each week to just line up topics, guests and do the production work. Then there is the publicity and marketing. Then the actual show.  All told, each 90 minute episode requires at least nine hours of my time each week. I can handle the amount of time, but when my heart isn’t in it, well then, as I said, it is time to figure out if that same nine hours can be used in another manner to help spread the good word about genealogy and family history.

Is Radio Right for Genealogy?

I still believe that Internet radio is a valuable venue and media channel for the genealogy industry. I also ask that while GeneaBloggers Radio is on hiatus, that my listeners follow some other great shows:

And don’t forget that there are over 60 archives episodes of GeneaBloggers Radio located in the On Demand Section here or via the iTunes store!

The Future of GeneaBloggers Radio

Finally, I’d love your feedback about GeneaBloggers Radio and the direction it should take in the future.  I’ve thought about developing a genealogy radio game show similar to NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! which would require a good deal of production resources. As I’ve said, the entire concept of genealogy radio is open for discussion . . . please email me your thoughts or let’s start a discussion in the comments or over on the GeneaBloggers Radio page on Facebook.

A Heartfelt Thank You

Whatever happens with GeneaBloggers Radio, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the many guests and co-hosts who’ve graced the air waves and helped make the show a success.  However, the biggest thanks go to the many faithful listeners who made me and the show part of their “Friday night date.” The good times are not over . . . they’ll continue, but on a different schedule and perhaps a different format.

©2012, Thomas MacEntee

39 thoughts on “The Status of GeneaBloggers Radio

  1. I understand how you feel and appreciate it. You have been doing so much and know it takes a lot of your time. But when you have to force yourself to do something that is not good. Your heart has to be in what you are doing. I haven’t been able to listen in a while and have really missed it. But I can listen to them.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Thomas,

    I have two thoughts. 1) perhaps there is another Genea-Blogger to share the show with, 2) I totally support your decision.

    What a wonderful start and goal you set for us. I just have this notion, that there are others who might be willing to share the schedule with you. I think that several others have been Start-Ups based on what you have done for us. This might be an opportunity for others to fill in the time frame.

    Rotating Hosts.

    It might help others from the same thing you are going through.

    Thank you for ALL that you do and have done for this community.


  3. Thomas, I appreciate all you have done in the geneabloggers community. I learned so much each weekend and enjoyed listening along with reading the comments live. I loved the programs, BUT, when you need a break, it is time for a break. I look forward to seeing/listening to any reincarnation that this takes.
    thank you.

  4. Thanks for all of your hard work on the show, Thomas! We all appreciate how much time and energy you’ve put into it.

  5. You do A LOT for the genealogy community. In fact, today, I was wondering how you did it all. I took your “10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Genealogy” webinar earlier this year & I remember that “Y” stands for “you”. You said we need to be sure we take care of ourselves. If you need a break, by all means take one! There’s only one you!

  6. I know what it takes to put on a production like yours and it isn’t easy. I’m sure you could find others interested in guest hosting. Enjoy the hiatus and keep up the good work.

  7. Thomas:

    It has been an honor and a pleasure to be both a guest and a co-host on GB radio. Thank you for all you do for the genealogy community. You’re right, if you don’t feel the passion then it is time to step back and re-evaluate. Whatever you decide, I know that more good things are in store.

  8. Totally support you on this Thomas. It certainly is a huge investment of your time. I would suggest once a month and try a different night. I think you would have more listeners for that one night rather then dispersed over 4 nights in a month or make it special events, half dozen throughout the year. It would make them so very special and your audience numbers would be great. I am a big believer in change, keeping things fresh and changing. Good Luck where ever your road leads.

  9. Thomas,
    I totally support your decision to take a break. I am one of many that has benefited from the extra mile you go for us all and I can understand you running out of steam. I am not usually able to join you on Friday evenings, but I look forward to listening to the recorded podcast very much. I agree with others that you should cut it down to once a month or every other month if you decide to continue. Take care of yourself.

  10. I second what everyone else has said. All of us are working with a finite set of resources- time, energy, etc. and we ignore that reality at our own peril. (I’m preaching to myself here too!) I’ve always been amazed at all you accomplish but even Thomas “Omnipresence” MacEntee has his limits! Good for you for recognizing that and being flexible enough to make changes.

  11. Now George can turn the volume on the TV !! The most important thing is you and family. If you decide to come back in the same format, a different format, or not at all, needs to fit your life. Genealogists have a tendency to share information, knowledge and often a whole lot of their time. Thanks for your time in the past and whatever you decide…..just let us know when you’re ready!

  12. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto to all the previous comments.

    Regarding the thought of a show modeled after “Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me,” Simply brilliant idea and it should be pursued with Mucho Gusto!

  13. I must chime in my thanks as well, Thomas. I haven’t made it to the last few shows cause it was getting so hard to make it every week, and that’s when all I had to do was show up at my computer! The amount of work you’ve put into the show is stunning and I know we all appreciate your effort and the fun times we had getting together to chat, listen and participate. I know you’ll go full board in whatever direction strikes joy and energy in your life, as it should be for each of us. I hope we’ll see you at Jamboree!

  14. If you don’t feel that fire in the belly, it’s hard to spend the time preparing for the show. That being said, perhaps a once-a-month show would be less stressful and (I’m not the creative type) a different format would get you energized to host or co-host every 4-6 weeks or so.

    I think you can tell we’re all behind whatever you decide.

  15. I totally support whatever you decide, Thomas, and I think that decision has to be what’s right for you. I usually am not able to join in on Friday nights anyway, because it’s a time I generally relax and go out to eat with friends. I think Lynn’s suggestion of once a month, on a night of your choice, is a good one. Or take a break entirely. Whatever you decide, I appreciate the time and dedication you give to us every day!

  16. Thomas, first of all, Thank You for all your hard work and support. Have NO idea how you get everything done.

    Second of all, you MUST go with your gut. No fire on the belly means you gotta change. Of course, I’m the queen of change [among other things]. I’m a firm believer with trying something out and seeing how it goes. If it works and you love it, then all is good. If not, then try something new.

    So, whatever you decide, good luck.


  17. Hi! Thomas,

    Thanks for all the great genealogy shows and information from you and your guests. I am glad to know that the ones I missed are archived here or on itunes.

    Please take plenty of time for privacy, R&R, and to reinvent yourself for the next phase of your life.

    Take care! I and we all love you and what you do to bridge genealogy and the use of technology. We’ll see you around in one of your many forms on the Internet. Linda Robbins

  18. Thomas, thank you so much for all you do for the genealogy community. And thank you for your honesty and knowing when to say when – sometimes that’s the hardest decisipn to make. I know you will still be there for us, just morphed into another creative form. Otherwise, we would come find you to get you back!

  19. What is radio best at? It’s very good for on going “news.” For example, the 1940 census coverage was great; however, there are multiple outlets for learning about specific aspects of genealogy. In my opinion that is not an area where there is a gap in coverage. Because the webinars etc. are given by those with a vested interest, we rarely get comparison information, e.g. educational opportunities, certification/accreditation, software, etc. This is another area not presently covered. I love the show and am a recent regular listener, but with so many webinars and video learning opportunities on line, I think the radio show has to find its best niche.

  20. Thomas,
    First of all, like so many others I would like to say thank you so much!! I am one of those who couldn’t tune in live to the show, but listened to them religiously through iTunes. The tremendous work you put in to create the show was obvious.
    As some have suggested, perhaps you could continue on a less frequent basis or my favorite idea is: what about a one-hour pre-recorded (at your convenience) podcast?
    At any rate, catch your breath and relax and regroup. We love what you do, but you’ve got to love it, too!
    Hope to see you at Jamboree,

  21. The show was always an end-of-the-week treat that we shall all miss. However, on those occasional moments when you have a show, we will be thrilled to catch them!
    But follow your heart and listen to the drummer that beats inside of you! Thanks for all you have done so far for the genealogy community!

  22. I’m sad about this. I’m sad for the ending and I’m sad for Thomas. Geneabloggers is plural, but Thomas has been single-handedly carrying the load. I may not tune in every Friday night, but I have listened to every episode, really enjoy it and will miss it. I totally understand not having the “want to” anymore. If you don’t, you don’t. You have to do what’s best for you.

    But since you did ask for feedback and suggestions for direction, I will give mine :). Perhaps weekly is too much, I know most listeners would be thrilled to still have the show 1 or 2 times a month.

    What if you had a producer…and co-producer? They would line up the guests and do all the prep work. Have another person dedicated to the marketing piece?

    Having a co-host, like Lisa, and maybe another is a good idea as that person could step in if you were unable to record a show. Those people would be familiar with the format, tech and be comfortable in front of a microphone.

    I hesitate to suggest rotating hosts. Lets be honest here, we tune in to listen to Thomas say “wonderful”! I don’t know that alternate hosts would drive us to drink so much…uhhhhhhh no that didn’t come out right! LOL

    Those are my thoughts. Thanks so much for all you do, it is appreciated!

  23. Thomas – THANK YOU for the past more than a year of GeneaBloggers Radio.

    Yes you should follow your gut, and having read the above, I’m wondering who put out the fire in my belly on some things that haven’t been getting proper attention lately too 🙁


  24. Thomas, I’m not sure how I missed seeing your announcement earlier… the show is SO enjoyable, but it is a big drain on time and energy, especially if it isn’t monetized, and especially if it ties up every Friday night, which impacts many of your weekends, as well as your travel schedule.
    1) I wonder if people would pay to subscribe?
    2) Perhaps follow the WDYTYA schedule- 12 shows, and the rest of the time off (or does BlogTalkRadio let you rerun a “Best of GBR”?)
    3) Thomas 2x/month, and guest hosts for the other 2 times? (That does not relieve the stress of finding topics, guests, etc.)
    4) Host one 2-hour show per month, and whatever is hot in genealogy that month, spend 30 min. per topic. So you can switch from theme to theme within the same show, and they don’t have to be linked together except that they’re genealogy-related.

  25. Thomas, thank you for all you do for genealogy. I understand about needing breaks. What ever you do I know that it will benefit the genealogy community. Thanks you again!

  26. Thank you, Thomas, for spearheading and carrying on a terrific radio show. You are a man of amazing energy and multi-talents. Whatever you do, you do well and set a standard of excellence. Will miss Friday nights, but look forward to your new ventures! Best wishes always!

  27. I totally understand, Thomas. I’ve been re-evaluating my blog, and that’s a fraction of the work you’ve been doing!

    Honestly, my favorite part is the chat room – geneabloggers are a fun bunch! The speakers are informative, but I could just as easily listen to them on a podcast.

    Perhaps weekly is too much, and monthly would work? Or as someone suggested, have show “seasons” and take a month or two off in between.

  28. Ah, Thomas! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your show and have come to depend upon it for my morning walks. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it “live” but I usually listen quite soon after on my iPod Touch. Taking time to regroup is a good thing. (Hope I don’t gain too much weight while your off the “air!”)

  29. Thomas I am grateful for the shows that you did. They were wonderful! And I appreciate your having me as a guest twice, what an amazing experience, and an honour. You always give more than 100% in any endeavour you tackle and I think you are wise to rethink the show and the workload and energy it demands.

    One suggestion would be to do the show once a month. Make it a much-anticipated monthly event.

    I’m not sure co-hosts are the answer. As good a job as Lisa and Pat did (I’m sorry if I missed anyone else, those are the two I heard) they are not you. And many of your listeners tune in to hear you I think 🙂 They want their dose of Thomas!

    I hope you recharge those MacEntee batteries and do what is best for you as well as genealogy!

  30. I started listening to your show just a few months ago and it quickly became one of the things I looked forward to weekly. I would hate to see it go away permanently. I learned so much from you and your guests. I agree that a weekly program may be too much. Whatever you decided, I just want to say “thanks”.

  31. Thomas,

    First off, thank you for more than 60 podcasts out on the web and available anytime I need to educate myself on a topic. They will stand as a testiment to your work for the genealogical community.

    Second, I’m all for doing what fires us up, for being honest about what is going on, and for letting us all know. Thank you for your work and your honesty.

    Have fun moving forward!

    Yours, Barbara

  32. Thomas,
    I was surprised but then not surprised. I liked the show very much. Instead of tying you down full time why not have rotating hosts and guests. I have a list of people that I think may be great to have on, if they would attend.
    Guess it is because I was so involved years ago with Golden Gate Forum, ie so was Maven and Pat and others. I did 5 chats a week for so many years my husband couldn’t believe when I wasn’t doing it daily any more.

  33. I’m glad for you that you’ve made this decision. You’ve been on my mind lately…I kept thinking–if I’m fighting to stay afloat, how can Thomas be doing four times as much without getting exhausted? Of course, I am older than you…maybe that’s the difference.

    I’ve listened to a few radio programs and find I really like them. The “tv” version sounds good…until I realize that to watch them I have to quit doing whatever else I need to get done, etc. With the radio
    version I could continue doing something “routine” and listen at the same time. Win-Win from my side.

    Rest up — I know you will suddenly get an idea and be off and running again with something that will please the community!

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