The blog is a social medium; a collaborative tool that enables people to communicate and share information; it gives consumers/readers an opportunity to communicate back through the 'Comments' feature that is enabled on most blogs. Blogging is a tool not just for communication but for conversation.
The genealogy blogging world is full of generous souls who believe that "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). These people blog because they have something to share and they don't want anything in return. People use blogging software because it provides an easy mechanism for online publishing.
As a blogger I try to blog 3-5 times per week whenever I have something that I think is worthy of sharing, that I want to record for posterity for the family or to take part in online festivals etc. If I didn't ever get a comment I would still blog.
I get a buzz whenever someone makes a comment on my posts - I am human and love a bit of reinforcement be it positive or negative. I wonder if other bloggers feel the same?
Last night I received an email from an old mate, Carolyn, who said " I was elated to find such a wealth of information on the Geniaus Site with quick links to my favourite sites. I read today’s blog about your Christmas loot and note that Perry McIntyre is related to me...I will follow your blogs and wealth of info to see what I can do to pin down the John and Caroline xxx family." Getting this email that also gave me information about Carolyn's research was a welcome belated Christmas present.
My blog statistics tell me that I have several hundred visits each week but yet I may only get one or two comments. It could be that my posts are not relevant to others. I think, however, it is that many people miss the point about blogging being a social or collaborative tool. Maybe bloggers see it as a publishing tool and their consumers treat it in the same way as they treat a magazine article or ebook as something to be consumed fullstop. I have looked at the blogs of some top bloggers and have noticed that, most of them too, don't seem to get many comments from their huge readerships.
As a consumer I subscribe to numerous blogs via RSS and read them religiously each day. As I believe that "Blogging is a two-way street" I regularly comment on other bloggers posts. This morning I posted a comment on Dear Myrtle's post"Ancestor Approved - Thank-you" and Shelley's "Twigs of Yore" post "In genealogy, the smallest discoveries can make your day". I found one post quirky and interesting and I agreed with the content of the other - so I told the writers.
As part of my genealogy resolutions for 2011 I am going to recognise that "Blogging is a two-way street" and commit myself to using the comments boxes on genealogy blogs for conversation.