Thursday, August 29, 2013

A genealogy meme

Geniaus suggested a geneameme for National Genealogy Month in Australia and provided a set of questions. So here I go.

  1. What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s? I only write one genealogy blog and it's called 'Backtracking' because that's what I think I do - track back through the lives of my ancestors. 
  2. Do you have a wonderful "Cousin Bait" blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. I haven't been writing this blog long enough to elicit many responses from cousins but my experience with my online Flickr photos and my nature blog is that the responses will come in time, and from unexpected places.
  3. Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging? I started a nature blog about five years ago and really enjoy reading other bloggers' writing and photographs. They are such a friendly community. So when I started a family history blog I expected the same and haven't been disappointed.
  4. How did you decide on your blog/s title/s? I tried to use several other titles but someone else got there first. I'm happy with the one I ended up with. I didn't want the title to be surname or locality specific because it would have been too limiting.
  5. Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they? I usually use my laptop but when I'm travelling I use my Asus Transformer tablet (which has a detachable keyboard). We're about to buy a smartphone so I'll probably use that as well when we're travelling (doing the lap in our new caravan).
  6. How do you let others know when you have published a new post? Sometimes I put a tweet on Twitter, I have put a link to this blog on my other blog, I have registered with Geneabloggers, I've made it easy for people to 'follow' my blog by putting the links on the front page, I have joined several themed blog groups (Sepia Saturday and Trove Tuesday) and I email interested cousins if I have written a blog about their branch of the family. I don't usually use Facebook for family history but that's an area I could probably expand.
  7. How long have you been blogging? Since 2007, but only recently about genealogy (even though I've been researching for four decades).
  8. What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog? Links in the side panel to the blogs I find interesting and informative is worthwhile (for me and my readers). I also have a link to Geneabloggers (it's amazing that the majority of genealogy bloggers across the world are listed in one place). I have a spot where readers can subscribe to my blog, I have labels on all my posts so they can be more easily found by search engines, and there is a label cloud in my sidebar. I have an 'about me' paragraph that links to my other blogs and there is a second tab on my blog that lists the surnames I'm researching. The title of each blog is important as well because it can attract or deter a potential reader - I usually put a bit of thought into each one. The LinkWithin widget is excellent as well - it puts random links at the bottom of each post to several other of your blog's posts.
  9. What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience? When I set up this blog I decided that I wouldn't pretend to be an expert on particular resources of sources, that I would concentrate on the minutia of our family's history. There are so many little stories, incidents, facts, photos, memorabilia and biographical detail and hopefully my readers will enjoy reading snippets rather than a saga. I'm interested in local history but I'm trying to restrict this blog to family but in a local and historical context, so I think my audience is wider than just relatives. So far I've concentrated on the Australian generations but will extend that to ancestors in the UK, Ireland and the USA.
  10. Which of your posts are you particularly proud of? I've found that I've learned something new with every blog because I have to use sources or find new sources to back up my story. They've all been fun to write and that's why I keep doing it. 
  11. How do you keep up with your blog reading? It used to be Google Reader but since its demise I use Flipboard and Feedly on my tablet, because they recognise my old Google Reader list, and on my laptop I use Feedly, the list in the side panel on my blog and the feed list that comes in on my Outlook email. Sometimes I follow links in other blogs. It's hard to keep up though so I have a core list of favourite bloggers I always read and the rest are if I have time.
  12. What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s?  Google Blogger
  13. What new features would you like to see in your blogging software? I'm happy with it all at the moment but if they change it I'll probably say 'That's great! That's just what I need.' Blogger is easy to use.
  14. Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers? My most popular post has been one about an ancestor who was a ploughing champion. I know, I'm surprised too. Also high up the list are several blogs I've written about World War 1 soldiers and nurses.
  15. Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog? A sole blogger
  16. How do you compose your blog posts? It starts with a germ of an idea because of a photo, some research I'm doing or an article on Trove. Then I build it into a story. I usually keep it short and usually find something to illustrate it. Sometimes it all happens quickly, sometimes I work on a blog over several days while I have a think about it.
  17. Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs. I write a nature blog called Bushranger and several travel blogs about Europe and the USA. I've also set up a webpage about a rural area of Victoria called Homerton but that doesn't have an associated blog. 
  18. Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers? Yes
  19. Which resources have helped you with your blogging? Trove of course. My family's memorabilia. The wonderful library at the Genealogical Society of Victoria. Other blogs (I copy layout ideas, links, ideas without shame). A Flip-Pal Scanner I purchased a few months ago has been very useful, and I use Google Picasa to organise, process and resize my photos and documents prior to publishing.
  20. What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger? Blog often because if we find a blogger we like we're hanging out for the next post and might lose interest and go away if you don't feed us regularly. This might be personal preference but I like simple blog pages rather than fussy and crowded ones.  Read lots of other blogs because there are some wonderful bloggers out there. Above all, enjoy the process
Please feel free to add an extra paragraph or two with extra comments.
Commenting is an important part of blogging. I love to receive comments on my blog posts and the majority have been positive and rewarding. I also love to comment on other blogs. And it's an important way of publicising your own blog.
I will probably convert my Backtracking blog to a Blurb book at some stage. I did that with my travel blog and was very happy with the result.


  1. Thanks, Boobook, for your support of the meme. Thanks for your insightful comments and telling us a bit more about yourself.

    I always learn something new - am going to add the LinkWithin widget to my blogs. I had wondered how you got those posts to appear and was too lazy to investigate.

  2. A very thoughtful post. I was encouraged to read that we had similar ideas about lots of things :)

  3. Ooh Yes. All the resources you mention are very helpful. My mind was in a different train of thought and I forgot to mention these.

    Perhaps you could write a post on Blurb book? I am sure that I am not alone in wanting to find out more.



I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.



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