Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blogging tips from the experts at Rootstech

 This blog post contains a summary of the notes I took at the presentation. WARNING - these are my notes and may be inaccurate and there may be omissions  even though I sat in the front row and gave my full attention to the speakers!

The members of the Bloggers Panel at Rootstech facilitated by Thomas MacEntee shared their expertise with a large audience. Joining Thomas were panelists, DearMyrtleLisa D'Alzo, Schelly Talalay Dardashti and A C Ivory.

Panelists L-R Myrt, Lisa, Schelly, A.C
After introducing the panelists Thomas asked them what was the first genealogy blog that influenced them.

Schelly - Hadn’t read any blogs apart from Dick Eastman's Newsletter
Thomas - Creative Gene
Lisa - DearMyrtle

Thomas reminded attendees of his Geneabloggers site that lists 1700 genealogy blogs. Anyone with a genealogy related blog can be listed on the site

Thomas asked the bloggers what was their reason for blogging:
Myrt - is her portfolio
Lisa -  to market books
Schelly - commitment of field of Jewish genealogy awareness raising
AC Ivory - has nothing to sell - just as a place to share mobile Monday posts

Q. (Question from audience) How far down should you go to display surnames of interest on a blog?
Answer  - Post on front page

Q. Where did you get domain?
A. was one of a number of suggestions. (Geniaus uses a US company Simply Hosting)

AC - On how he got into genealogy - was 23 years old - going on LDS mission looking for pedigree chart - got hooked.

Q What is a blog? 
A. Online personal diary

Thomas suggested that beginners start with just one blog.

Comments on a question on the Role of bloggers from Industry
Myrt - Companies send press releases - bloggers are a  good lobbying group
Lisa -  Thinks bloggers have a lot of power now being utilised more and more
Schelly - My heritage has someone tasked with blogger contacts - each have niche talents
AC -  We are a benefit to companies and they use us for crowd sourcing by planting info with bloggers.

Thomas reminded us that in the US the Federal Trade Commission requires bloggers to have a Disclosure statement - those who don't disclose affiliations can be fined for positive product reviews.

Comment from audience -one can blog to track family milestones
Advice - Don’t put private info for living people in the public domain was suggested as a place to host genealogy blogs.

Q. The Best way to bring traffic to your blog?
A. Comment on other blog posts - those bloggers are likely to look at your profile and blog and follow you. More traffic moves your google page link up.

Comment If you want to make some money don't link directly to sites like but to your affiliate link that you can have to that site. You will be compensated for any people who sign up via your affiliate links.

Thomas then turned the discussion to genealogy societies and why they don't blog.

AC  - Think they have lack of tech skills
Schelly - Who will take responsibility? Somone on has to take charge
Lisa   - Society membership demographic - folks that want to read in print - on the cusp of using these tools butwant a tangible paper thing
Myrt - Feel they need to give something to member who have paid a fee. - can’t put stuff  in public domain

Thomas commented that the Illinois site paid for itself in three weeks with 40 new members

Q. Why not use a wiki? Eg Albany Hill
A.  A granny can do a blog - don’t need so much expertise as with a wiki. Blogs can have multiple authors - 100 authors limit on Blogger,  unlimited on Wordpress.

Thomas aked the bloggers what would you use if theblogging platform was not available.
Myrt - telegraph,  can’t archive
Lisa - phone, ,snail mail
Schelly - newspaper columns
AC - snail mail and print

Comment Never delete a blog - they can be a resource for others

Q. How to add .pdfs and documents in an easy way to a blog.
A.  1. Host it on your website and link to it from your blog. 2. Post it with scribd. 3 Put it in a google doc and share it or link to it.
Stage Manager, Thomas MacEntee

Thomas asked the bloggers for comments on how not to over publish yourself.

I didn't record who gave which advice but the comments were:
Don’t toot your horn. 
Don't come across as a huckster.
Give to the community as much as you want to take from the community.

After a few more questions and comments and a goodbye from Thomas we attendees reluctantly left this most entertaining session.

For this granny from downunder the major benefit of this session was getting to meet so many bloggers in the flesh. The audience was full of bloggers that prior to this session I had only known virtually.


Becky Thompson said...

Thank you for posting "specific" content...I learned from this. Wish I had been there, but hope to attend in 2012.

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

Great recap, Jill! The main reason I blog is to bring in cousin connections...and it happens all the time.

The second reason I blog is to share great resources I find especially in areas where others aren't blogging. (rural Saskatchewan, New Brunswick etc). This includes sharing conference tips.

Thanks for taking the time to bring this session to us.

Exhibitor Source Nashville said...

Good post. Blogging tips are always helpful.


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