Earlier this week, James Tanner posted his thoughts via his blog, Genealogy’s Star, on the future of genealogical blogging. He set off quite a firestorm of comments on the subject, both on his blog post and on Facebook.
I was one who commented about there being plenty of room for all and decided to expand on my comments with my own post.
I do want to say right off the bat that Genealogy’s Star is one of the blogs that I do read regularly and I have learned a lot from the prolific posts. Mr. Tanner has a lot of knowledge to share with genealogists.
Like Mr. Tanner, I am new to blogging as Empty Branches is approaching its second anniversary in January, but I have 35+ years of experience in researching family history, both for myself and for others. I’m a retired teacher and blogging allows me to still teach others, but at my own pace.
Being, I believe, a more than competent researcher, the first thing I did was check out GeneaBloggers.com and started scrolling through the Genealogy Blog Roll found on the site. I knew there were a lot of bloggers out there, but I was still surprised at discovering links to literally thousands of other genealogy bloggers.
Today, I follow over 200 blogs and add a few new ones to the list each week. While I do follow a few (very few) professional bloggers promoting themselves or the company for which they work, the vast majority of these blogs are written by others like myself. We are people who just want to tell the stories of our ancestors, share resources and strategies that have brought success, and meet new cousins, however distant they may be.
The consistency of new posts varies tremendously from blogger to blogger, but that is to be expected. A professional blogger has all the time in the world to create new posts because that is his/her business. The rest of us have other limits on our time and some have more limits on that time than others.
Does that bother me? Not at all because it doesn’t stop me from learning new things and enjoying the stories being told.
Are there months or seasons when bloggers seem to be more prolific? Yep, definitely. Things are quieter in the summer, probably because kids and grandkids are out of school. Families go on vacations and have seasonal activities that fill their days. As we approach the holidays, I’ve noticed fewer posts appearing in Feedly. Again, people are busy with family preparations and obligations.
Do I see a decline in the number of genealogists sharing their thoughts through blogging as compared to using other social media? Not really. If anything, I am noticing that bloggers are ADDING Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to their blog websites and expanding their use of social media, not limiting it to one venue over another.
And my thoughts about for-profit companies and businesses publishing blogs? I’m all for it. I follow those businesses that offer products of interest to me. I’d much rather have product news announcements appear in Feedly than I would having to go trolling around online to find out when the new version of “Product X” will be released.
The best part about all is is the “DELETE” key. I have yet to remove a blog from my Feedly stream, but if a link goes bad because a blog has been taken down or its focus has moved to a topic in which I have no interest, all I have to do is delete the website.
There is more than enough room for bloggers of all types in the cyber sphere. For anyone who thinks genealogical blogging is going away, I challenge you to check out a site like GeneaBloggers and not be able to find at least 25 active blog sites that interest you – and that number is very, very low. You will likely discover many more than that.
I can’t see geneablogging disappearing any time soon.
That is the future of genealogical blogging from my perspective!