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Overcoming my blogging challenges – Part 2

22 Oct

I must confess to being quite excited about my new plans for this blog, not that there is going to be any major changes, just that I am going to try and be a little bit more organised so that I am blogging more efficiently, thus making more time for actual research.

There will be some new daily blogging themes, although they are not really new, more a case that I haven’t used them on a regular basis before. The intention is that I will know what sort of post I am supposed to be writing on each day, but there is lots of scope within each theme for plenty of variety.

There is also plenty of scope to allow me to make a whole week’s posts based on a particular subject, such as a place or a person. Also I will occasionally do away with the themes altogether for "special occasions", like genealogy conferences or Remembrance Day.

In essence what I am saying is that although I am setting myself some guidelines, they are not hard and fast rules, so expect things to change. That is assuming of course that I can stick to my plans, which is by no means guaranteed, and it goes without saying that I will probably have switched everything round within a couple of weeks anyway.

Now the only thing I have to sort out is the crazy idea that I should turn my current obsession with the parish of West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex into a one-place study. One part of me says "go for it, it would be a great subject for a one-place study", but the more practical part of me says "when are you ever going to find time to fit that in as well?"

I just can’t get the idea out of my head at the moment and I am already mentally making plans, but I know it is just not practical at the moment, but more ideas still keep coming, the more I try and suppress them the more they demand to be brought to life. I need to be strong for now and not give in to them, but I think I will have to eventually.

BBC buzz likes me

22 Sep

I don’t worry a great deal about the number of visitors my blog gets, I don’t go out of my way to market the blog, but I do keep an eye on my stats, just to make sure that people are still reading my blog and I am not wasting my time.

Last year I encountered an increase in visitors when Who Do You Think You Are? was being broadcast on BBC One last year, and this year was much the same. When I wrote about each episode my number of visitors jumped. I haven’t done the maths, but I would say the number of visitors probably doubled, which for my little blog is not a huge number, but still quite pleasing.

I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened yesterday, which turned out to be the best day ever for the number of visitors to my blog. I knew something was up when I checked my stats in the morning and saw that the number of visitors before about 7.30am was more than the usual pre-WDYTYA? daily totals. The numbers continued to rise throughout they day, and as you can see from the graph below the total ended around four or five times the average.

Stats graph

The reason for this was BBC buzz, which had automatically found my blog posts about WDYTYA? and was displaying links to them alongside the programme information on the BBC website. It appears to be a new feature, and it apparently likes my blog posts.

If I was a professional blogger I would have done something to take advantage of all this new traffic, and I might have done if I wasn’t at work, but it has been a real eye-opener, and makes me think about what I could achieve in terms of visitors if I really put my mind to it.

Do you have a netbook? If so, what do you use it for?

28 Jul

I have been considering getting a netbook for quite a while now, and finally at the end of this month I will have the money to do so. Now is the moment I have been dreading, decision time.

I think it will be a great asset, it will be a useful tool for my family history research (and blogging) but the problem is that it is not essential for what I do. Sure it will probably make my life easier, but do I really need it?

There are lots of things I could use it for, the main one is probably for note taking at archives or libraries, but several other uses have come to mind as I wrestle with whether to buy or not.

  • I would like to use it as a temporary digital photo album. In connection with my external hard drive I could use it to share my digital photos, and especially my family history photos, where I can also use it to capture memories and additional information.
  • I love the idea of being able to blog and check email while I am away from home, perhaps even when I am out walking.
  • I would love to have access to the internet when I am out and about, so I can check train times, ending eBay auctions etc.
  • I want to have something else to do on the bus going to and from work. Just think how much work I could get done in that half hour each way.
  • With a small scanner I can take it with me when visiting family members as a portable scanning unit for photos and documents.
  • Of course I would have my family history loaded on there so I can show everyone and anyone my family tree at the drop of a hat.

But still at the back of my mind is the nagging fact that I don’t actually need it, it is more of a convenience rather than a necessity.

So if you have a netbook please let me know in the comments what you use it for? What interesting ways have you found to use it in your research? I need all the help I can get to convince myself that I should have one.

I forgot to turn the internet off whilst I was on holiday!

18 Jul

You know what it’s like, you think you have remembered everything when you plan for a holiday but there is always one thing you forget. In my case I forgot to turn the internet off on my way out.

So what did I come back to? Hundreds of emails, loads of blog posts to read, a couple of dozen podcasts and countless websites to catch up on (have there been any new releases at ancestry.co.uk whilst I was away?) and then there are all those saved search emails from eBay, I must check them just in case something I simply must have has been listed.

I am grateful I never signed up to GenealogyWise or I would need another week to catch up with everything that has been happening!

Seriously though if you have tried to get in touch with me in this last week, then bear with me, I will get around to everything eventually. Next time I am going to pack a netbook as well as the suncream and raincoat.

To split or not to split

11 Mar

Having given it some thought I have decided (almost definitely 100% probably) to split this blog in two.

I am not sure I like the mix of news and reviews, and my own personal research thoughts and actions, all in one blog.

So I plan to separate the two, so there will be two blogs, a professional and a personal. The Wandering Genealogist will probably remain the personal one, and a new (as yet untitled) blog will cover news and reviews, or perhaps the other way round, who knows.

I am not sure that there is enough going on in the English family history world to enable a post a day on the professional blog, but I am sure there is more than enough to make up for it in the personal one.

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