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Where do you think you are?

15 Mar

I don’t take a lot of notice of my stats for this blog, sure I check them most days to make sure that people are still reading what I write, but I haven’t really been making any attempts to increase my readership. If more people find my blog then good, but I won’t be losing any sleep over it.

I have however become quite addicted to the latest addition to the WordPress.com stats page, the ability to view which country the visitors to my blog come from.

My plans for World domination were progressing well ....

As you can see people are finding their way to my blog from all over the world, whether this is by accident and whether they find what they are looking for are both different questions.

The numbers themselves are not particularly exciting, but the distribution of visitors is quite interesting. The most popular country of origin is the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in that order.

Next up after that are Germany and France, which surprised me. I’m not sure why or how they found their way to my blog, but I hope they found what they were looking for.

Most interesting is the long tail, the likes of Azerbaijan, Albania, Georgia, Latvia, Senegal, Slovakia, Pakistan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Jordan, Japan, Lithuania, Taiwan, Republic of Korea, Colombia and Chile. There are only one or two visitors from each, but it is good to see a stream steady trickle of international visitors coming to see me.

Wherever you call home you are more than welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy your visit.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC TV Blog

14 Aug

I still haven’t got around to watching the first episode of the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring June Brown, so I will withhold judgement on that, but if you want to found out more about the making of the series then check out the following post on the BBC TV blog.

In the post Tom McDonald, the executive producer for this series, describes some of the work that goes into making the series and discusses some of the issues faced when dealing with some of the more difficult topics covered in the this and past series.

What really comes across in this blog post is the amount of work that goes into producing each series, with 30 celebrities being researched to produce a series of just ten episodes. It sounds to me as if a programme about the making of each episode would be just as interesting, documenting the research process and sharing the breakthroughs that are made along the way, many of which I am sure that we never see on the finished episode.

Thanks to Gary Andrews of the BBC TV Blog for bringing this to my attention.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Back to blogging

25 Jul

I have decided that it is about time to get back to some blogging because I am starting to feel rather lazy now for not having blogged regularly for so long.

When my father passed away I had no time or energy to blog and to be honest time had been an issue for quite a while before that but I insisted on continuing with my daily posting schedule even though it was a struggle. Having taken a break I now don’t feel quite so bad about not posting every day, so I probably won’t be. After all it is my blog so I make up the rules.

The other problem had been a lack of things to write about. Again time was an issue here and I hadn’t really been doing much family history, so as a genealogy blogger it was sometimes a struggle to come up with things to write about or to find time to research the things I wanted to write about.

I have started to do a bit of family history again, although I am getting a little frustrated by frequently running into dead-ends where a visit to an archive or record office is needed before I can continue. The problem of course is that I don’t have the time to actually visit an archive or record office at the moment, but I do know that time will come.

I should probably give my blog a bit of a makeover, I think the design is looking a little tired now although I am sure that the majority of you are reading this through a feed reader of some description and will never see my blog on the web for months on end.

As for content, I have lots of ideas about what I want to write about, but in general I want to focus more on Sussex. It is where I live, where the majority of my ancestors and relations lived and where my expertise (such as it is) lies, so it seems natural to me that I should concentrate on Sussex. I know I will sometime stray over the county boundary and occasionally leave these shores, but I would like the focus to be on Sussex.

Whether this actually happens is different matter, but watch this space…

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
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Motivation Monday: A bundle of awards

14 Mar

One of the best motivations for any geneablogger is to know that people are reading their blog, it is even more rewarding to know that people actually appreciate what you are writing. Several fellow bloggers have been kind enough to bestow awards upon my blog, and I really appreciate this.

Ros at GenWestUK, Fi at In the shade of my family tree, and Alison at My Family Puzzles have all seen fit to bestow the One Lovely Blog Award upon by my blog. Thank you all.
Both Jill at Geniaus and Mike at You Don’t Choose Your Family have bestowed an Ancestor Approved award upon my blog. Thank you both and apologies for taking so long to acknowledge it properly.

Happy blogiversary to me

1 Mar

Can it really be two years ago that I started writing this blog, it seems like only yesterday. As I am not really one for parties what better time for a bit of reflection and perhaps a look forward to the future as well?

My life was full of challenges last year, beginning with unemployment in January. Although this gave me time to pursue a lot of the things I wanted to, there was always the worry that my dwindling pot of redundancy money would run out before I found work. Back in employment in the middle of the year it was suddenly all changed, from plenty of time to very little spare time at all. Money was still a problem as my travel costs increased along with the cost of doing genealogy, but at least I have some job security.

Still that shortage of time is a problem, I have tried to keep up my daily blogging schedule (and succeeded), but often this has often been at the expense of other things, such as actual family history research. Blogging is too much of a part of my life now to give up, but a delicate balance has to be found. I haven’t quite found that balance yet but things are improving. It is like anything in life, if you really want to do it you will find a way.

So what of the future? I have lots of idea for this and other blogs, but I know that I would be stretching myself too thin if I was to try to pursue them now. Their time will come in the future but for now I need to concentrate on this blog and improving my communication. I wrote a while ago that I was particularly bad at replying to emails and comments and commenting myself, hopefully things have improved slightly, but I feel there is plenty of room for further improvement.

One thing I really want to do is improve the appearance of this blog, I want a more professional appearance, which may mean moving away from a free wordpress.com blog to paid for wordpress.org hosting. Also I am getting bored with the photo of me at the top of the right-hand column and I would like to replace this with a logo of some sort.

I also have an idea for a series of guest posts with a difference, I am not sure if it will work out (I haven’t asked the guest poster yet) but it would be a win-win situation for me if it does happen.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has made this such a wonderful experience, I wouldn’t have got this far without you. Whether it is by commenting, emailing, providing ideas and inspiration in your writing or by just proving that I am not alone. Thank you all.

Hey that’s me!

25 Jan

The most exciting thing about picking up the latest edition of BBC Who Do You Think You Are Magazine this morning should have been the free copy of the showguide for Who Do You Think You Are? Live, but no, even more exciting than that was the mention of my blog in their article on genealogy blogs.

Audrey Collins had mentioned on The Family Recorder blog that both Anglo-Celtic Connections and Scottish GENES were mentioned in this edition, and I will forgive her for not mentioning my blog (I think she wanted to keep it a surprise for me!)

I resisted to temptation to wander around waving the magazine in front of anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity, I don’t think they would have been quite so excited as I was.

So thank you Jonathan Warren (the author of the piece) and Who Do You Think You Are Magazine for publishing the article, it means a lot to me  to be recognised in this way.

Confessions of a Geneablogger

24 Jan

I have a confession to make, don’t get excited, it is nothing scandalous or salacious and probably won’t come as a surprise to some of you, but I am pretty appalling at communicating. I appreciate that blogging is not just about publishing content, but also about community involvement and building relationships, and I am just not very good at those.

If you were to ask me why I would probably lay the blame on a lack of time, and whilst there is an element of truth to this it is more of an excuse rather than the reason. I guess the real reason is a cross between laziness and not being that outgoing a person.

So let me take this opportunity to apologise for my lack of involvement in the community and slowness to respond to emails and comments, and tell you that I am going to try harder in the future.

Starting today I am going to put aside some time each day for commenting, replying to comments and dealing with emails. It is true that I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I am sure that I can spare 15 to 30 minutes a day, it is after all part of the whole genealogy process, so I will still be able to count it as doing my family history.

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