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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.

Introducing “My Ancestors” page

16 Jan

Those of you who are reading my blog posts through Google Reader or some other feed reader my have missed the fact that I have added a new page to my blog.

This new static page is entitled My Ancestors and can be accessed from the link at the top of my blog. It list the names of 120 of my direct ancestors, those of my great-grandparents, my 2x great-grandparents, my 3x great-grandparents and my 4x great-grandparents.

I have been meaning to put up this page for a while (admittedly it has been available for several weeks already), partly to get the names of all my direct ancestors out on the internet, but also to act as an index to my various Ancestral Profile posts.

You will notice that the majority of my ancestors don’t have dates associated with them yet and that is my next job, to add some more detailed information to each person, at least dates but hopefully also places.

I am fortunate that many of the surnames in my family tree are quite unusual and most of them are from Sussex, but it still needs a little more detail to make it easier to find out if we are related.

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.

Overcoming my blogging challenges

20 Oct

These last couple of weeks I have really been struggling to keep up my daily blogging routine. So far I have managed to achieve my unwritten goal of putting out at least one blog post each day, but some days it has been a real struggle. Why am I telling you this? Well, there are several reasons (one of which is to give me something to write about) but mainly the hope is that acknowledging the problem will help me deal with it in some way.

I know this is not the first time I have struggled to post every day and I am sure it will not be the last. I think time is probably the biggest issue here. I have lots of things I want to write about, but most of them seem to be things that will take more research than I really have time for. I want my posts to be more detailed, but that takes up lots more time.

I know there are lots of great blogging themes over at GeneaBloggers and I seem to have fallen out of the habit of using them, but perhaps I should. They are a great way to inspire ideas and generate content. I also have some regular themes of my own, Picture Postcard Parade and Personal Genealogy Update are two of my regular ones.

I think what is needed is a more regular schedule, perhaps not a calendar as such, but just a weekly list, so that I know in advance what I should be writing about on a particular day. What the actual themes are, and how many of the GeneaBloggers themes I use still needs to be worked out, but I think now is the time I got more organised.

I do like the fact that I seem to have a "West Dean" theme running through many of my posts at the moment, if I could manage to do that every week then that would be good, but I think that would probably take too much effort and at times would leave me struggling to find something to fit rather than whatever came naturally.

I will almost certainly allow myself to break out of the routine from time to time, so that I can focus on a particular topic for a week. For example, I have several postcards on a particular subject that I would like to showcase, but dragging it out over several weeks doesn’t make sense, neither does cramming them all together into one really long post.

Having written about my blogging challenges and describing the probable solution, I now feel a lot more positive about the whole subject. It is amazing how getting things off your chest can help, I now feel ready to go out and conquer the blogosphere, well maybe not, but at least I might be able to stop worrying.

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