By the time you read this post, I will be all at sea, somewhere between Bruges in Belgium and Warnemunde in Germany on the Unlock the Past Baltic cruise. After leaving Southampton on Saturday 11 July we should be well settled into cruising and Monday 13 July is a full conference day. As internet access is likely to be limited (and probably expensive) I am writing this post from the comfort of my own study at home before I leave.
As we reach our one year blogiversary (who knew there was such a word), I thought I would reflect on what’s been happening with the blog since it was launched in July 2014.
We aim to publish our posts on Mondays, although sometimes there have been delays due to a range of other commitments. There are four regular bloggers, Helen V. Smith, Tiggy Johnson, Lyndall Maag, and me. We take it in turns to post. In those months when there are five Mondays we’ve invited guests to contribute. Thanks go to Shauna Hicks, Jill Ball, Pauleen Cass, and Meg Carney for their respective posts.
In the past 12 months we’ve covered a wide range of topics as each of us has a different take on the world of genealogy and family history. Lyndall for example has based her posts on the, mostly hand-drawn, family trees which GSQ has in its collection; Helen often draws attention to a wide range of resources and strategies to help us in our research; Tiggy generally takes a personal approach, drawing on issues raised during her own research for inspiration; and I mostly centre my posts around writing. Some of these posts generate comments from readers, whereas others remain seemingly unacknowledged, although they are obviously read as I monitor the stats on the site. Talking about stats, of the 54 posts to the site, we’ve had almost 9000 pageviews. I’m sure that other sites attract well in excess of this number, but we do seem to have a reasonable following.
Blogging for Tapping your Roots has been an interesting exercise for me, as previously I avoided all forms of social media. I’m not on Facebook nor Twitter, and neither do I regularly follow anyone else’s blog. I’m still pondering the question of whether I should only write about what interests me, or whether I should try to second-guess what will be of interest to the wider genealogy/family history community. Second-guessing is quite difficult as the statistics show quite a varied response to our posts. I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as the post is interesting, it will appeal to some readers. I also try to ensure that the post itself is well-written – I’ve not abandoned spelling and grammar yet.
Although I said I hadn’t followed anyone else’s blog, there is one which really attracted my attention – it is so well-written and develops like a detective story – that I binge-read it, starting with the first post. This is Hoosier Daddy?which gradually reveals genealogist Michael Lacopo’s search for his ancestry with a significant emphasis on using DNA to facilitate his search. Like a detective story, each post leaves you wanting to know what happens next. His explanations of DNA testing were especially helpful.
I googled what others did to celebrate their blogiversaries. I’m afraid GSQ can’t organise a competition and offer a prize. What we can offer is a weekly dose of our respective thoughts on the wonderful world of genealogy and family history – what more can you ask!
I welcome you to another year of Tapping your roots@gsq and look forward to receiving more of your comments on our thoughts.