Friday, January 16, 2015

Geneabloggers - Who and Where are you?

I love a spreadsheet. I use Excel and Google sheets for all manner of geneatasks. On one of my Google sheets I keep a record of the blogs I have included in my GeniAus' Gems or GAGs posts. I have columns for Date, Blogger Name, Blog Title, Post URL, Country and Blog type.

You wouldn't believe the trouble I sometimes have finding information to record in the name and country fields. I realise that some geneabloggers are shy and concerned about security but you can  afford to give a little information away about yourself.

You don't have to go overboard. On your About Me page or Widget you can simply call yourself Sue from Sydney, Wilma from Wyoming or John from Jersey. This small amount of information will give readers some context when they read your post and should not put you at risk of a major cyber attack. If you are a risk taker you might even add a little more biographical information that does not lead a robber to your door.  Alternatively you can tell a little about yourself in the subtitle of your blog, I describe myself there as "an amateur Australian genealogist who enjoys collaborating via sociall media".

Printed books usually display the author's name and give a bit of biographical information. Let's make sure we do this for our blogs.

Today I looked at the About Me page of a "Professional Genealogist" in which she wrote glowingly of her skills. I had to do some major sleuthing to find out what country she was situated in, from the bias in her blog posts I guess it must be the US. Also amazing was that she did not mention about her areas of expertise. Duh!

Another About Me was from a a genealogy author who is a nameless blogger. Her About Me page had links to her books on Amazon so I had to go there to find her identity. Duh!

This little spreadsheet exercise sent me running back to my blogs to make sure that I was easily identifiable. On this blog I have an About Me widget that directs the reader to my Google+ profile and a Contact page that has my name. Phew!

Have you checked your About Me information recently?


Celia Lewis said...

Yup! My photo, name, country etc. is right at the top of the right hand section. Several years ago, I had the exact experience you had and used it as a learning tool.

I must admit I get rather annoyed when I read a blog I enjoy but then can't find the author's name at all. Oh well, à chacun son goût!

crgalvin said...

Here's a handy tool for embedding an email address as an image so spambots cannot use it but others can see how to contact you.

Kerrie Anne Christian said...

I confess that in the early days of my first family history blog that I didn't include my name and contact details - I realised very quickly from comments on the blog that I needed to add those details.

Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mary Foxworthy said...

Thanks for the reminder. I probably need to add more info to mine.

If you use Google+ the same holds true. Your tagline and your profile should tell people why they should include you in communities and circles.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Yes, that's happened to me too when reading blogs. People who live in big cities are pretty safe anyway unless they have a very unusual name. Some don't even use a nom de plume which is even more frustrating.

Unknown said...

I agree Jill, when I created a genie blog list for CDFHS, I left off quite a few excellent bloggers, including from Australia, as I cannot recommend an author without a name or location, and don't want others to feel as frustrated as I was looking for such basic details.

Sharon said...

A good reminder to check my details.

GeniAus said...

Along the same lines was a blog post I read recently that referred to a town that had a common name. The blogger didn't add any qualifying information to identify which town it was or a link to a wikipedia article or map that would give context to the post. Grrr.


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