Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Alone in the Wilderness

As a Geneablogger I realise that I am in a minority in the larger Geneasphere. As I sit at the kitchen table, in my study or in the car and interact with my online pals I feel I belong to a supportive and friendly community. However, when I attend a face-to-face meeting at a genealogy society, a presentation in a local library or a genealogy show I realise that I am different.

I find that most other genealogists do not share my enthusiasm for blogging or social media; some of them do not even care about or want to know what blogs and social media are. I want to spread the word about the benefits of social media, blogging and collaboration to others in the world of genealogy but opportunities for this are limited especially in Australia.

There are only about two dozen active Geneabloggers in Australia, the rest of my blogging pals are from overseas. These are mainly from the United States with a few from the United Kingdom and a couple from Canada and Europe. Distance and country of residence do not affect the quality of relationships I have these blogging pals.

Nearly half of my readers come from the United States, around 40% come from Australia, about 5% come from the United Kingdom and the remainder from other countries. It is pleasing to see that some Australians read my posts.

This morning when I woke I found links to two thoughtful blog posts from my mates James Tanner and Randy Seaver in my RSS feed. In the first post "No Big Deal" James spoke about this topic; Randy followed up with "Are we Strangers in Genealogy Land? These posts generated many comments and thoughtful discussions. I suggest that you read the posts. In case you do not have time for this I am pasting the comments I made below.


You are a star in the blogging firmament. Just keep on doing what you do so well and eventually people will find and follow your light.

Interesting points, everyone, but I disagree that blogging is on the decline YET but newer and more exciting platforms will replace blogging in the future. 

Certainly people in the genealogy mainstream are not aware of the benefits of blogging and social media but are these the people we want to embrace? What about the younger people out there who are just dipping their toes into genealogical waters. What do they do? They put an ancestor's name into Google, find some links and then land and are hooked by the 'cousin bait' on our blogs. I find this happening on a regular basis.

I remember Curt Witcher's inspirational presentation at Rootstech 2011. He suggested we need to look to the future and think about genealogists of the future - they will not be turning up to local halls for face to face genealogy meetings and trotting down to the local library to use Ancestry etc. on the library's computers but using the tools they are comfortable with on their personal portable devices to interact with the genealogy community and its resources aywhere, anytime. If we keep collaborating through blogging and other social media tools we will be there to welcome them.


You and each of the people who have commented on this post have demonstrated the benefits of collaboration and the richness of dialogue that blogs can initiate and the warm relationships that can develop through them.

When I met Randy and James for the first time at Rootstech this year and Helen at the Australian Congress it was like catching up with old friends. I knew them already via social media. Yes, Diane, my relationships with fellow bloggers are richer than those with the people I see each month at genealogy meetings.

So what if we differ from the mainstream? We have chosen to go down a collaborative path while others are happy to do it their way. If we convert a few along the way then that is a bonus.

Let's keep on blogging and baiting cousins and enjoying the rich relationships we build up along the way.


James Tanner said...

Thanks for the kind comments. Keep up the good work.

Randy Seaver said...

Each of the comments on my post were on point and helpful and encouraging. That's the way geneabloggers are, it seems.


Fi said...

Blog on!

Anonymous said...

There are 4 geneabloggers in Scotland that I know of - one of them is someone I see regularly in person for lunch or a chat, but I feel I know the others quite well too. The same applies to my worldwide genealogy chums :-)

Maria said...

As an Aussie genie, I can definitely say that I find your blogs inspirational, informative and fun too. The non-bloggers of the genealogical world don't know what they're missing. Hopefully they'll catch on from your enthusiasm.

Anne Stafford said...

Also as an Aussie genie I read your comments religiously and find them most inspiring.
I am still tackling the social media side of genealogy and your blogs certainly help with that.

Anne Stafford said...

Also as an Aussie genie I read your comments religiously and find them most inspiring.
I am still tackling the social media side of genealogy and your blogs certainly help with that.


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