Monday, August 29, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 9 ~ Participate In An Online Genealogy Group




I am following Tonia's Roots as she brings several GeneaBloggers through 31 weeks of working towards a better blog prompts written by Darren Rowse. 
Tonia's blog states~
Welcome to Week 9 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!
Our topic this week is participating in online genealogy groups.  These could be forums, mailing lists, message boards, facebook groups, etc.

Why Should We Participate in Online Genealogy Groups?

There are three main reasons to participate in online communities:
  1. Profile Building – if you put consistent time into an online group, you can build a significant profile in the genealogy community.  Keep in mind the “What’s In It For Me” perspective of the other group members.  If you are able to provide value in the form of information, advice, or support, you are more likely to develop fans among the other members.
  2. Driving Traffic — when you provide value and become a resource to others in the forum, they will want to know more about you and will be more likely to click over to your blog.
  3. Understanding the genealogy niche – Not only will you learn about the genealogy niche that the forum pertains to, but also you’ll get a lot of ideas for topics to write about on your blog.  Keep your eyes open for questions being asked repeatedly and then write posts to answer them.

Finding Online Groups

There are plenty of groups around that you could participate in.  Some categories include:
  • Groups related to being or becoming a professional genealogist
  • Surname or locality groups
  • Genealogy software groups
Take a look at Ancestry’s message boards, Genforum’s forums, RootsWeb mailing lists, and GenealogyWise groups.  Also search Facebook for “genealogy groups.”  And don’t forget about Google – a search for “Genealogy Forums” will turn up other possibilities.

Action Items

  1. Join an online genealogy group that is geared toward one of your interests.  If you are already a member of one or more groups, then:
  2. Spend 10-15 minutes participating.  Notice the bold font.  Don’t just lurk.  Get in there and join the conversation.
  3. Tell us about your experience in the comments section:  a) what group(s) did you join (or what groups are you already a member of)? b) did you come out of lurkdom in any groups this week?

I understand this concept, I really do. Hang with people who are like-minded... learn, share, listen, participate. I have belonged to groups such as this before. 


I recently "introduced myself" under the introduction section over at Genealogy Wise as part of the National Institute For Genealogical Studies Social Media Class. That reminded me that I hadn't been very active over there for some time. I have participated in the Sweden group several times, and appreciate the hep I received there. So, as I went over to participate on Genealogy Wise, I actually saw a group entitled "Doolin Surname" which includes many spellings of the name. My great grandmother's surname being "Dulin," I felt a strong desire to ask for permission to join this group. I have belonged to an online genealogy based group for several years. It was a fun and great group, we took genealogy courses together and stayed together I think it has been 5 years now. It isn't as active as it once was but several of us have gone on to "blog-land." I am looking forward to participating more on Genealogy Wise, and with those attending classes at the National Institute For Genealogical Studies.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!







Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 28, 2011

You Say You Want To Purchase A URL?



I have been asked to share how I changed my domain name/URL. I would tell you at this point to buy your URL through the blogging company you are using, I am sure it must be much easier to implement. I purchased my new URL from a company outside of Blogger, the company I have been using for this blog. Blogger will give you directions on how to make the change. The company I bought my new URL from was where the confusion and problems I had were centered. After a year and a half of waiting to purchase a URL, and then another couple of months trying to make the new URL work, I was getting very frustrated. Many of you are aware that I have had issues with this. I finally spoke with someone, at the company I bought my URL from, who knew what they were doing and who knew I was extremely frustrated! Thankfully, that call went to him!

This was the first time I have changed the URL of a blog, so I am unaware if it would be that difficult with every outside company, but I highly doubt it. I have started a new blog before, purchased a URL upon setup and everything went much smoother, I must say.

You don't want to listen my experience, I know it is much easier than everything I went through. I also do not want to discourage anyone from getting their own personal/vanity/business URL!

Because I was asked I thought I would give instructions the best I could on how to make this change. I am not Thomas MacEntee, so please bear with me. I can only explain as I know it through Blogger, because that is who I was using for this blog and others I have. 

Basic Steps on Blogger to change your blog to a new URL:

  •  Find a company ("Go Daddy" is who you would be buying through if you chose to do this through Blogger) where you would like to purchase your new URL. There are so many sites these days to buy domain names from, I have seen them offered as low as $2.99 a year! Be aware though, a good portion of these lower priced sites are outside of the United States, communication could be a little tougher if you need it. Most of the people from these companies speak English, but be aware it may be broken English. (My purchase was with a company outside of the United States.) Here is a link with more information you may like to read on making that purchase. 

    How to Buy a URL | eHow.com

  •  Enter the URL you wish to purchase, you will be notified if it is available for purchase or not. If it is not available,  try making a minor change. For instance I wanted to purchase HeritageHappens.com. It wasn't available when I first tried to purchase it, so I waited for over a year because it wasn't being used, thought I would grab it when the renewal came. Then, it suddenly started being used, so I needed to think differently. I added the word "my" to Heritage Happens and purchased  this  URL, www.myheritagehappens.com.  Be a bit flexible going into this, have a second or third choice in mind in case you need to make a change.
  • When you find a URL you are comfortable with that is available, make your purchase. This may take 3-5 days to propagate.
  • When the URL is ready, log in to Blogger, go to Settings, then Publishing, Advanced Settings, and "Your Domain."
  • Enter your new URL  in "Your Domain." Make sure once you enter your new domain name you go back under "Publishing" to make sure the switch was made showing you will be publishing under a "custom domain." If not, make the switch. (you may have to enter your new domain address again.)
That is basically it! I have a feeling going through Go Daddy on Blogger would be the easiest, but I could be wrong. If you go through another company and you have trouble getting the site to work, there is a help section on Blogger that gives you detailed information on what to do. (Which by the way I needed and used-I learned a lot about C-names and addresses.) This help link may be of assistance if needed. It gives information on pointing your blog to a new domain.

http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=58317


Also, if you have problems setting up your URL, and find Blogger isn't where the problem exists, don't hesitate to call the company you bought the URL through. Most are very friendly and will help work through the problems with you. After all, they want you to have a good experience with their company and hope you will recommend them!

If you purchase a domain name through Blogger and GoDaddy you do not need to add a "C-name." The company I used (which was a recommendation) happens to be listed on the help page link above, with several other possibilities of companies you could use when purchasing a URL. 


Because of my experience I won't recommend a site to buy a URL from, but ask around. I am sure there are many people who have had much better experiences with this than I had. I think I was the one in a million with such issues. 


If anyone has information they wish to add to these directions, please don't hesitate to add the information in the comment section, or enter a post of your own I can link to! Please leave a comment if you do a post so I can make that link!


Good Luck!


Thanks for stopping by! 


Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 





Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved





Thursday, August 25, 2011

WOW, It's My Third Blogiversary!!!



Yes, a couple of weeks ago I actually thought about putting this blog to rest. Nighty night, good by, adios!


If I hadn't walked away from the blog, laptop and internet for several days, that very well could have been the case. By the time I came back to it all, there had finally been improvement with the URL I purchased. It only took 6 or 7 phone calls, a couple of months, a lot of waiting AND literally going in circles!


I am not sure how everything is working for all of you, but it seems to finally be correct at my end! I would be interested in hearing if you have any issues or problems, so please don't hesitate to leave me a comment if you are having difficulties.

For now...today...

I CELEBRATE!

  "my Heritage Happens" ~ 3rd Blogiversary!
 (I hoped to have the new URL in place by blogiversary time, and it looks like I just made it!)


Please, don't forget to take note & update your Google Reader, lists etc. to the new URL if you haven't already done so ~
www.myheritagehappens.com  
(You do need the www. in front of the URL  for the link to work properly)


So where is this next year going with my Heritage Happens? I have been making changes to the blog and am not complete with this project yet. I have been taking a few genealogy classes with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and have been participating in the #31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog with Tonia over at Tonia's Roots, so I am hoping there will be more improvements with the posts here as well.


I plan to continue sharing my ancestors and their stories with you as well as sharing what I am learning, seeing and doing in the genealogy field. Like most of us bloggers, I have been crazy busy and still can't find enough time in a day. I don't think this year I will be able to fix that though.


I plan to continue to share a bit of my personal life here and there also, such as crafts, photos, vacations and maybe even a bit of the prince and princess! (My grandson and granddaughter) I have been printing my blog to books, which hopefully will be heirlooms one day. This is why I have chosen to add a bit of personal life also, after all, we all have lives!


A great big THANK YOU to all of my followers, supporters, and teachers, including my "personal assistants!" (You know who you are!) I have made great friendships and thoroughly enjoy the GeneaBlogger Community. I hope I have grown in the last three years of my blogging career and plan to continue to learn, grow, and share!


Keep in mind also, I still have to live "MY GREAT SWEDISH ADVENTURE" and plan to share this with you in the up coming year also!



Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!








C
opyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Kung Foo Panda





Kung Foo Panda. Photo taken July 7, 2011 by Cheryl Palmer. [Address for private use] California. 2011.


Thanks for stopping by! 

 Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 




 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


Sunday, August 21, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 8 ~ Interlink Your Old Blog Posts



I am following Tonia's Roots with #31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog! Come on along and join us! It is never to late to start!

Welcome to Week 8 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  Our topic this week is interlinking old blog posts.

Why Should We Interlink Posts?

There are three main reasons to interlink posts within one’s own blog:

  1. To help your readers – if you’ve written other posts on a similar topic or that tie into a post in someway, then interlinking makes it easy for your readers to find those posts.
  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – search engines look at links within your blog to find content to index and to rank your content for search results.  They like external links, but internal links count, too, and can help push your blog higher in the search results. 
  3. Increase page views – this is tied to item #1.  Inserting links increases the chances that a blog visitor will view more than one page.  If someone views more than one page on a your blog, they are more likely to remember it, subscribe to it, leave a comment, and ultimately become a regular reader.
Ways to Add Links to Old Posts
  1. In-post links – All you do is add a link to a keyword in the post that links to another post you’ve written that is related to that topic.
  2. Updates – if you’ve written a post that needs to be updated, you can write a new post on the same topic, then leave a link in the older post to the new one.  For example: if you’ve written up what you know about an ancestor or a research project, but have now found new information – write a post about that new data, then link the original post to the new one (and vice versa).
  3. Further reading: many blogs include a Further Reading or Related Posts section at the end of each post. These are often generated with a plug-in. I’ve recently started using LinkWithin (Tonia originally wrote this, but I too, have now added this to my blog) which works with self-hosted WordPress blogs, Blogger, and Typepad. Darren suggests that adding manually-chosen links can be more relevant for the reader.
I should now integrate some links from older posts. I thought about doing this as a separate post, and I am not at all sure this is exactly what was meant by adding links within a post but I feel it is an opportune time to do this!


My aunt, who lives in Texas, recently came to spend a week or so with my dad for her birthday. I spent the birthday with them also. We all had a great, special and fun time. I feel very fortunate to have been able to get many stories from my dad and aunt as they sat and reminisced. I wish I knew shorthand though, when I went through those notes with a fine tooth comb, I found I didn't really understand or remember some of the details regarding what I had written. How I wish I used had a tape recorder for this! (HEADS UP EVERYONE, KEEP A RECORDER HANDY!) I will have to get some updates and added information to complete some of those thoughts and stories.

While spending time with my aunt, she asked about my blogs. It became apparent she was unaware of my Swedish Adventures and wanted to read those posts. Here, I can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. I want to make it a bit easier for my aunt to find those particular posts, so I am listing the full series here for her and anyone else who may be interested that hasn't read my adventure. This way, I can now email her one link where she can find each of these posts and catch the whole story.





Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 




 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 20, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 7 ~ Write A Link Post





Welcome to Week 7 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  Week 7’s topic is about linking to other blogs or websites. To see more detail why you would want to link to others post's or blogs I offer you this link from Tonia's Roots and thank her, again, for giving us the #31 week challenge!


I also would like to share with you Michelle Goodrum's post over at The Turning of Generations. Michelle was very clever in posting both action items from week 6 and week 7 into one great post! I have to say, it really was a great post for me as she just  happened to include me and my Heritage Happens in that post! Thank you so much Michelle!


If you would like to read more posts and see who others linked to, you can do so by clicking here at Tonia's Roots and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Here, you will catch more posts for this weeks challenge in the comments section. I am off  to do this myself now, care to join me?


Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 



 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved



Monday, August 15, 2011

Military Monday ~ Leonard J. Plants




LEONARD PLANTS

b. 12, December 1948
d.  4, August, 2010



 Passed away of Pancreatic Cancer.



Son of :
Chester A. Plants
& Geraldine Crouch



Thank you for your service to our country Leonard. You are greatly missed.




Rest in Peace.



Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 






Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 12, 2011

my Heritage Happens Has Moved!






my Heritage Happens wishes to thank you ALL so much for following this blog! We hope you continue to follow along as the blog has moved to a new URL!


Please update your bookmarks and favorites and check your Google Reader to make sure you get the latest posts!


Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!




 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 6 ~ 27 Must Read Tips



I am following Tonia's Roots as she takes us through 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog which was originated by Darren Rowse. I have the actual information but have never found or made the time to go through these steps. I thank Tonia for originating the idea to do it a week at a time, and for bringing it front and center for all of us GeneaBloggers to follow also! Here is Week 6 per Tonia:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to Week 6 of “31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!”

Our topic this week is learning from successful bloggers.

If you are following along in the e-book 31 Days to Build a Better Blog (affiliate link), Darren provides links to 27 blog posts by nine different bloggers.  I’ve included some of those links below, but I’ve also added in some different ones that resonated more with me.
You may not have time to read all 27 posts; if not, pick a few that jump out at you and bookmark this post to come back to at another time.  In fact, it may be better NOT to try to read all these at one sitting, lest you go into information-overload.

ChrisBrogan.com

Entrepreneurs Journey

Copyblogger

SEOmoz

Seth Godin

Problogger

PR Daily

Blogging Bookshelf

Social Media Examiner

Pro Blog Design

Reviewz ‘n’ Tips

A Last Bit of Advice from Me

A lot of these posts were written by professional bloggers, which most of us are not.  Don’t get overwhelmed by all of these tips and by the amount of time the writers seem to spend on their blogs.  Take the advice that speaks to you and temper it to fit your timeframes and blogging style.

Action Item

  • Jot down 3-5 key points from the reading that you want to apply to your blog.

If you are just joining us, then “welcome.” You can read the kick-off post about 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog here.  Feel free to start with this week’s reading and action items – you are not behind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have decided to choose three items to work on at this time and no more. If I choose to many ideas, I may not follow through with any one item, so I will start small. Here are three items I will work on~ 

1. Under "How To Write An Article 20 Minutes", I was intrigued by the statement that said not to hold those best ideas until later, write it now! It says:


 "It’s tempting, when you look through your list of ideas, to save the best ones for later because you think they’ll be easier to write. You don’t want to save time later, you want to save time now. Do the articles you know will come easily and make the most of that time."


2. A couple of different areas talked about making posts brief, paragraphs brief, points brief. I have issues with this at times, feeling I have to write every detail about everything!


3. This is something I don't do enough of! There are so many genealogy blogs now that there is absolutely no reason I shouldn't be doing this more...linking to others blogs and their posts!


Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!





Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Ester & Helga in Harnösand, Sweden






Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 




Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved



Sunday, August 7, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 5 ~ Contact a Reader





I am following Tonia's Roots as she takes us through 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog which was originated by Darren Rowse. I have the actual information but have never found or made the time to go through these steps. I thank Tonia for originating the idea to do it a week at a time, and for bringing it front and center for all of us GeneaBloggers to follow also! Here is Week 5 per Tonia:


#31WBGB: Contact a Reader


Welcome to Week 5 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!
Week 5’s topic is about building a community and making an impression on readers.  Darren Rowse titles this chapter “Email a Blog Reader,” but it is really offers several different tips for making contact with readers.

Key Concept

Pay attention to new readers and it will substantially increase the chance that they will return to your site or spread the word about it through their network.  I think this topic is especially important for genealogy bloggers, because our readers may be part of our extended families and they could have information, photos, documents, etc. that we would like to have.  At least part of the reason that most of that most of us write genealogy blogs is to connect with others who are researching our same family lines.

4 Ways to Make Contact

1.                   When you spot a comment left by someone that you don’t recognize, shoot that person a quick email thanking them for their contact.  Be sure you include a link back to your blog, so they know who you are, and make the email relevant to their comment (maybe you answer a question they asked or follow up in some way).  Also, point them to your RSS feed in the email, in case they missed it on your site.  You could probably find a tool to do all this for you (I feel certain there is a WordPress plug-in), but I’m going to discourage that.  People recognize automated replies.  Do it yourself and make it personal.
2.                  If the person left a link to their own blog in the comment, then leave a comment on their blog. By doing this, you start to build a relationship with the other blogger (and possibly with their readers).
3.                  If they included their Twitter ID, then start following them.  Again, you start to build a relationship with that person.
4.                  Respond to the comment on your blog.  This shows other readers that you will engage in conversation.

Make it a Routine

As with some of our previous lessons, you don’t need to do all four methods with every comment.  But do some of them every day.  Darren suggests spending 10-15 minutes a day on connecting with readers.

Isn’t this just Common Sense and Good Manners?

That was my first thought as I was reading this chapter, at least in relation to leaving comments on their blogs and responding to their comments on your blog.  I had never sent an email thanking a reader for their comment, unless they shared genealogy information with me.  Then I got to the next section in the chapter and it clicked for me.
“Is This Tip Not Spectacular Enough For You?”
Yes, it is common sense and good manners. Common sense and good manners are not spectacular (at least they shouldn’t be). That’s why we should do this.

Action Items

§                     Spend 10-15 minutes connecting with your readers, either via email or comments.
§                     Make sure at least one contact is with a new reader.
§                     If you don’t have many comments on your blog yet, then spend 10-15 minutes visiting other genealogy blogs and leave “relevant, helpful, and genuine comments.”
If you are just joining us, then “welcome.” You can read the kick-off post about 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy blog here.  Feel free to start with this week’s reading and action items – you are not behind!

MY PERSONAL ACTIONS AND REACTIONS "TO CONTACT A READER"

I have gone a couple of different routes with this. I have commented directly after comments made in my blog for two and a half years, and then at the beginning of the year I switched over and tried replying to comments made on my blog via email. My reasoning for changing my response route was because I was afraid people didn't come back and read the comments I made after their comments on my blog. So, I thought I would respond in emails as it would be more personal. I am not so sure that was the best idea however, because it didn't give added cause for continued communication through the blog post, also other readers didn't see my responses if they happened to be interested.

I have been trying also to make a comment on a person's blog if they commented on mine, but I find it tough to do at times. I like to make responses on posts when the thought strikes me and not so much because I feel I have to. I also try to comment on as many different ones as I can, not just the same ones all of the time. This is something I have tried to do ever since the GeneaBloggers community really exploded.

When someone "follows" my blog, I do try to go in and follow them also, maybe if I am away from my computer for a vacation or something I might miss a few, but I do my best to always include everyone. I have so many blogs in my reader, there is just no way I could ever respond on everyone's posts. I do love to read as many as I can though and try to learn from others. So, if I don't leave a comment on your blog, it doesn't necessarily mean I am not following it. I do try to use good manners and be respectful and appreciative of all those who take time to read and comment on my blog! I appreciate all  of my comments very much and thank all of my followers, especially those that are new!

I haven't put much thought or effort into making sure my followers are friends on Facebook, Twitter and now Google+. Of course, many GeneaBloggers are my friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ because they are involved with genealogy, not necessarily because they friend-ed me on my blog. I do think it would be interesting to see how many of my followers are my friends though, especially in Facebook, being that was the first social network site I joined.

I am anxious to know how others feel about how they respond to comments. I think it is a bit redundant to respond on the blog itself and then again in an email. How do you respond? How do you feel about how you respond? Are you comfortable with your routine? If I responded to you in an email, did you prefer that, or find it to be a nuisance?  So much to think about here! Come on, let me know how you feel!


Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!








Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved