Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Bloggers' Geneameme - Geniaus' Response

Half a dozen geneabloggers have already responded to my latest geneameme. It is time that I got cracking and joined them in this reflective exercise. So here goes:

What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s? 
Android Genealogy : androidgenealogy.blogspot.com, Geniaus: geniaus.blogspot.com. There are also a couple of defunct ones. 

Do you have a wonderful "Cousin Bait" blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. 
Quite a few cousins have contacted me as a result of blog posts or from finding an ancestor on my family website, Geniaus Family site. I have received copies of certificates and photos, details of further dates and places and have gratefully accepted corrections to (mis)information I have posted. As far as family history goes I think that If you've got it you should flaunt it.

Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging?
I started a blog, TLNewsau, for Teacher Librarians in Australia in 2003. I started blogging because I found a niche to fill; by writing this blog I was able to help fellow professionals especially those who were isolated.No one inspired  me it was just the lure of using the blogging platform, a new exciting tool for collaboration. 

When I retired I wanted to keep blogging and get stuck into my family history research. It was obvious that genealogy should be the topic for my continued blogging.

How did you decide on your blog/s title/s?
I wanted something short and snappy so I played around with the words genealogy and Australia and came up with GeniAus, a genealogist from Australia. Android Genealogy was not taken at blogspot and as it described the content of that blog that's what I called it.

Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they?
I sometimes blog from my Samsung Galaxy's: a camera, a phone and a tablet. I find the android blogger app clunky and limiting so I tend to only use mobile devices for blogging when I am travelling. If, however, an idea comes to me when I am out and about I will post a draft on my mobile device that I will expand on at later date.

How do you let others know when you have published a new post?
I usually just post a notice on Google+ but if I really want to get a message out I also tweet a link to the post. sometimes I might post a link to a relevant article of mine in the comments section of someone else's blog, for example with Sepia Saturday posts. It annoys me when people put links to their posts all over the place. I think we should all have a personal social media policy that we adhere to; our readers will get to know how we announce the publishing of a new post.

How long have you been blogging?
I am a veteran in the blogging world having been at it for 10 years. I have been geneablogging for close to 5 years

What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog? 
I like a nice clean interface. I don't like to see sidebars that are overladen with widgets but yet it's important to see some. Widget selection depends on the blog's purpose and what is appropriate for it. An about me paragraph is essential to let one's readers know a little bit about the author, a search  widget is important so that readers can interrogate your blog, information on how to subscribe to the blog needs to be visible. Static pages with extra information about the blogger and his/her activities add value to a blog, a page detailing the ancestors being researched may reel in new cousins. blogs must allow for commenting, blogging is a two way street, a collaborative exercise. Those who blog without having a facility for reader comments misunderstand the blogging platform.

What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience?
My blogs are multipurpose. Hopefully the Geniaus blog helps to educate and entertain, promote a sense of community amongst those who blog in Australia and showcase Australian genealogy to the world. Android Genealogy is a place to share news about software andhardware and their use on android devices. 

I hope that my audience is made up of people who are interested in my content and to want to enter into online conversations with those with shared interests. I love it when family members who are not into genealogy read and enjoy my ancestor stories.

Which of your posts are you particularly proud of?
I am proud that I lasted the distance in the Genealogy through the Alphabet Challenge instituted by Alona Tester. I was travelling overseas at the time and it was a real challenge to get some of those online.

How do you keep up with your blog reading?
With great difficulty. I was distressed when Google reader was discontinued. It took me a while to find another RSS reader that I was happy with; I am now using inoreader.com and relatively happy with this probably because it is so much like Google reader. I take every opportunity to read blog posts in the car, on the train, in the bath, in fact anywhere where I can grab a few minutes. When I am really busy I just ignore my RSS feeds.

What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s?
Because I'm a creature of habit I am still using blogger after 10 years although some of its features annoy me and the mobile app leaves a lot to be desired. I have dabbled with WordPress and last week set up a private WordPress blog where I will post my writing for Julie Goucher's My Book of Me blogging activity. I would like to be brave enough to move over to a self hosted WordPress blog.

What new features would you like to see in your blogging software?
I wish that blogger would remember the links I have referred to in my blog posts so that I do not have to retype the URLs every time I mention a site.

Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers?
The post about my grandmothers first husband, John Bertram Chatfield, has been the most popular post on my blog. It is also a post of which I am proud and one that brings tears to my eyes as I recall the challenges my grandmother must have faced as a teenage widow.

Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog?
I am both a sole blogger and a co-blogger. Together with Jackie of Jax Trax I maintain the blog for the Ku-ring- gai Historical Society, it is so pleasing to watch the growth of this blog and witness its acceptance by members of the Society.

How do you compose your blog posts?
Although I keep telling myself it is bad practice I compose most of my posts in the blogger application. Sometimes when I am travelling and Internet access is expensive and dodgy I compose my posts in Evernote so that they are available for editing on any device that has an Internet connection. I know this is putting a lot of faith in blogger but they have only lost a couple of my posts in 10 years.My keyboarding skills are lacking so for long posts like this I use Dragon voice recognition software on my laptop.

Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs.
jillballau is the place where I record odd bits and pieces, the description on that blog "journeys, jottings, joys" sums up its content.

Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers?
Sure have.

Which resources have helped you with your blogging?
The resources are mostly from outside the genealogy world. I subscribe to around 30 technology blogs and find Free Technology for Teachers and The Digital Inspiration Technology Blog most helpful. Additionally Mr Google does a pretty good job of finding free online guides and resources on a needs basis. 

What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger?
Your audience is waiting. Join the Geneablogging community by reading and making comments on genealogy blogs then get cracking. Start a blog and share your opinions, stories and thoughts. Your audience is waiting together with an amazing group of Geneabloggers who will support your geneablogging journey.
The last word: an unexpected outcome of blogging
I did not start blogging to find friends but those bloggers who comment on my posts and support my activities are now very dear to me. I get so excited when I have an opportunity to meet these people in person. This unexpected outcome is a real bonus.

3 comments:

Janelle Collins said...

http://janellestree.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/national-family-history-month-2013.html
Here's another one for you Jill

Sharon said...

WOW! I am impressed. You are the most experienced blogger that I know.

Mmmm I am thinking that having two sidebars is too much. I would appreciate your honest opinion on the look of my blog. I wont be offended. Promise.

Sharn White said...

Hi Jill. Thank you for dragging me out of 'essay' mode and back into my beloved blogging! Find my geneameme at FamilyHistory4u
http://www.sharnsgenealogyhints.blogspot.com

regards, Sharn x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...