Sunday, August 11, 2013

Serious Thoughts To Quit Blogging


I remember feeling this way not to long ago, should I stop blogging?

The genealogy blogging world has grown immensely since I first started.

GeneaBloggers is over 3,000 bloggers, and I was here when this group came to fruition, thanks to Thomas MacEntee. 

One of my readers brought to my attention the phrase "cousin bait." Those words made me stop and think. Why have I been blogging? Was it to have my posts read by all GeneaBloggers? Was it to be popular? Was it to get known? Was it to find cousins? Why did I start blogging?

I have never had the desire to be a professional genealogist. I do enjoy webinars, conferences, classes and doing whatever it takes to keep abreast in the field. I feel there is always something new to learn, and honestly, there are times I feel overwhelmed and tired of learning. Always "learning something" takes time away from working on my family tree.

Because this field has grown so much in the last few years, the blogging market has changed. I find it difficult to read all of the blogs I once read, let alone add new ones to the list. Most GeneaBloggers probably feel the same way. 

It was difficult for me to accept that it was OK if I didn't read everyone's posts, every day. But...it sure makes me feel disloyal! The interaction online, leaving comments on blogs has really diminished. I am just as guilty as anyone, not leaving comments as I used to.

Which brings me back to why? Why am I blogging? Why did I want to quit blogging?

I miss the genealogy community of a few years ago. I do realize growth is a great thing, so why would I want to quit? In all honesty, I didn't have the time to write blog posts for awhile. I believe I lost a lot of my following because of the lack of posts. So of course I felt like I should quit blogging. 

And...what about cousin bait? Well, that gave me something more to think about.

When I started blogging, I did it to document my thoughts, notes, research and data which I felt would help me to see my families lives better. I wanted to share my experiences, especially what I was learning along the way. I don't believe I ever expected to meet cousins though when I first started this venture.

The cousins who have found me, mostly found me through this blog. Sure, a couple I have connected with on Facebook, but most have been through my blog. I am now keeping a log of the cousins that have found me, with their important information, which line they descend from and of course how we are related. I have a solid 35 cousins now on this list. Two others I need a bit more information though to be certain if they really are my cousins. I have personally met a few of these cousins and have intentions of meeting many more of them.

I can not give up blogging!

I do it for fun, organization, even challenges. I gain information from the new cousins who find me. I am told they are grateful for the information I have and share. They are just as happy they found me as I am that they found me. 

Ecstasy...that is what it is to connect with new cousins. 

Whether I blog every day or once a month, it doesn't matter. Whether my posts are perfect in every way, is not important to me. What matters is getting my ancestors names out there, so my posts are found in Google and cousin connections can be made. Treasure awaits with every new cousin found. 

Thanks to my newest cousin who found me a couple of days ago, through two posts on my blog. She is a second cousin, a much closer connection than most. She has a container full of family paperwork (treasures) that has been given to her, and she lives within about a hour drive from me. She has not been involved in genealogy, and is just getting started. She made a couple comments on my blog, (thank you so much for making contact) I gave her an email address, we wrote a couple of times, and I called her today.

I look forward to meeting her, helping her organize her documents and perhaps watching her get the genealogy bug. If genealogy doesn't grab her as it has me, that is ok too, I have another cousin! 

We have made plans when her mother comes to visit her a little later in the year. I will take them both to visit my father. He is very excited about meeting this cousin and seeing her mother again. I already warned all, the tape recorder will be there, I can just hear the stories flowing!

Give up blogging? I think not!

Blogs = Cousin Bait? 

YOU BETTCHA!

Why are you blogging?


Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 




Copyright © 2013 Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


52 comments:

  1. Exactly! While I sometimes get ambitious and want a following and/or business through my blog, I really started it for myself, to organize my research journey in ways that don't fit on a family chart. This past year a cousin found me and sent me a photo of my great-GREAT-grandparents! Unexpected treasure.

    And there are no rules, eg. about how often we have to post. Blogs seem to ebb and flow with seasons in our lives.

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    1. Congrats on your unexpected treasure Elizabeth!

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  2. I think we are very similar in terms of the reasons for blogging. I like organizing my thoughts and sharing discoveries and it is such a blessing this day and age we live in that long lost family connections can have a means of reconnecting. I am glad you will keep blogging :)

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  3. Wonderful! I rarely post on my genealogy blog but I still get distant cousins finding me and best of all I had my cousin's daughter find me a couple years ago. I had tried to find him but had no luck.
    I think the thing to remember in blogging (because I also don't post as often on my other blog either) is that this is for us and not for others much as we love the interactions with others.

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    1. Lori, you are so correct! I love blogging, but time has been an issue this year!

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  4. Great post! I also blog for cousins. Found several of mine and my husbands.

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  5. Great post - well said! The cousins I have connected with through my blog have my invaluable to my research and just a pleasure to get to know in general!

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    1. We are so fortunate these days with the internet! Congrats on your finds!

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  6. I am finding I am not blogging as often as I did at first but in addition to my own two, I write blog articles for three organizations.

    I started my primarily genealogy blog as part of a course learning different aspects of Web 2.0. I write not only about my own family but also about other research projects I am working on. It gives me an opportunity to put into writing the process, the results and the analysis.

    If I find a few cousins, that is a bonus. I hope that my family will learn something about their ancestors too.

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    1. You are always so busy Janet! I love your reasoning why you blog!

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  7. Yes! I agree. I've had many of the same thoughts. My primary reasons for blogging are: 1. to reach out to others who connect with my surnames & 2. to keep my family informed about my latest discoveries. It can be discouraging & even if you want to keep up with other blogs it takes time away from research. Wishing you many happy posts in the future.

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    1. Thank you Colleen! Additional reasons you have! My family doesn't really read my blog unfortunately.

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  8. Cheryl, I am glad you decided to keep blogging. I have similar feelings about blogging. I always appreciated your comments on my blog. You were one of my early followers. I don't leave comments as much anymore. I blog for 'cousin bait' and I think blogging helps me to organize my research and be a better genealogist. I would imagine many bloggers have feelings like you expressed.

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    1. Thank you Brenda! I certainly haven't been as up to date leaving comments any more like I used to, but I hope that changes as I get more time in my day!

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  9. Goodness you scared me, almost like an April's Day joke. Cheryl, taking the summer off from blogging has been so freeing for me, and I can't wait to get back to it after Labor Day. So why not take breaks when you feel the need. BTW, you will always be popular with me, but never a cousin. I'll see you around.

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    1. I love that you took a break, I did too, but not intentionally!

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  10. Excellent post Cheryl! I for one have not blogged much in the last three years - we have had this conversation several times already but we do it at our own pace and for our family history and for all the reasons you just posted about . . . well said my friend!

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    1. Thank you Gini for commenting, I appreciate it. We have talked about this!

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  11. I agree ~ you've said it so well. I have been through all the same emotions and feelings about blogging that you and others have, and I'm so glad that you are not going to quit. Our blogs are there waiting for us and for our "cousins" and others when we decide to do a little research or a little looking for a name in our past. I miss the way I used to read and make comments every day, but have had to make adjustments. I have learned so much in the last several years I have been blogging. Thanks SO much to my genealogy friends! Thanks for this great post, Cheryl!

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    1. Thank you Judith! Time has changed things in our blogging world hasn't it? I just needed to re-group and start again.

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  12. You've got the right attitude. BTW, I'll always be around to read your posts. Cousin or not!

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    1. Awe, thank you so much Michelle! You are so committed! :-)

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  13. I'm glad you made the decision not to stop. I went for a couple of years without posting much, as life got so busy after my divorce while I worked extra side jobs to bring in more income. I pared the number of blogs I read way down. There ARE a lot of good ones out there, but I found that the ones I really read are all my old geneablogging friends, anyway. I keep an eye out on Randy's Best of the Geneablogs and Julie's Friday Finds to keep me abreast of good reads on blogs I don't subscribe to. And the cousin bait is SO worth it. I have heard this year from a potential cousin on a brick wall line, plus two cousins on my kids' dad's lines, both of whom have great info, family stories, and photos to share.

    I always enjoy reading your posts, Cheryl!

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    1. I know you have been unable to post as you used to for awhile and totally understand! You didn't give up, thankfully, and I won't either. I will keep priorities straight! ;-)

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  14. Pleased you've decided to stick with blogging, Cheryl. It is getting harder and harder to keep up with others' writings but we all understand. I used to read all posts from all the geneabloggers in the early days but just keep up now. I am just thirlled that geneablogging has so many more disciples. The Cousin Bait (which we didn't think about in the beginning) is a great bonus.

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    1. Thank you Jill! It has been nice to know so many understand!

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  15. Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate the time you took to reply here to this post! I will stick around and write when I can. It is amazing, sometimes I feel we all think alike! ;-)

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  16. You are not alone, Cheryl. I have found myself wondering the same thing every once in awhile over the last few years. It almost seemed like every time I had the thought of stopping enter my head, I'd get a great feedback comment or a cousin contacting me, reminding me why I do this. My blogging goal is to help others with their genealogical quest, and if I find cousins along the way, well, that's just a bonus! Glad you decided to stick around...it would not be the same without you.

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  17. So glad you are still writing Julie, your goals are the reason you are writing, and you are helping many others! Thank you so much for leaving your comment!

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  18. I was getting quite downhearted about a perceived need to write on a very regular basis. Thank you for this post - it's helped me to refocus on my blog and feel better about not posting evey week. I'm so pleased to find that others have felt the same way.

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  19. Cheryl,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/08/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-august-16.html

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  20. This was a great post! I post a photo every Friday to keep family interested. Any other posts are for me - as you wrote - to keep organized, help with research, and find cousins.

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    1. Thanks Diana! I wish my family was more interested!

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  21. Thank you all for taking time to leave a comment! They are greatly appreciated!

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  22. Keep on Blogging!
    I enjoy reading - work you have done.
    Inspiring to all.
    GJohns

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  23. Cheryl, this is an excellent posting in which I have been thinking about since I read it when it was initially posted. Now that I have retrained my brain to think of the audience for my blog as 1) myself; and 2) cousins and other kin; I feel more focused to continue with blogging. Right now, I'm reading through my previous postings on various family lines. This morning, I posted a link to an old blog article on a Facebook group which is for people from my grandfather's hometown. I am now in discussion with one individual who may be kin through the marriage of one of my aunts who married into a family with one of his family surnames. Thia marriage occured prior to 1870. As I looked through my blog further, I discovered that I have written several articles about this family line which I didn't remember writing.

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    1. I feel the same now Dru, I just needed to put it all in perspective again! I also find I need to go back and read some of my posts because I have forgotten what I have written about! Oh, but the power of blogging!

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  24. Happy 5th Blogiversary Cheryl. You started blogging and I followed. Why did we have so much free time back then (you were even working, and I was too). See you soon, I'm sure.

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    1. Oh gee, I think I missed the anniversary didn't I? Well, thank you so much Barbara! I do not know how we had so much free time back then, it makes no sense to me! lol

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  25. This really struck a chord with me. Most of my genealogy blogs started as an 'educational tool' as an extension of my Web site (130+ pages of indexes and advice for family historians). I do use blogs as cousin bait too, and I want to start scheduling more 'Me Time' for that. I often long to turn off the computer and spend a day gardening or reading a good murder mystery, but somehow I can't overcome this urge to help others and share what I've learned. And I can't find an 'Indexers Anonymous' to join. :-)

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  26. Love your comment Judy! I think many of us agree with you on your points! If you find an "Indexers Anonymous" please let me know! :-)

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  27. I echo what everyone else has said. I feel particularly envious of those retired bloggers out there, when I struggle often with finding time between "real life" and a full-time career (and, for a while, another part-time job). But, every time I "catch a cousin," it makes it all worthwhile. Ecstasy is right!

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  28. Even being retired, it is difficult to find and make the time to blog. I thought I would have all of this FREE time and...no way. Your time fills up quickly with all the things you want to do! Thank you for commenting Pam!

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  29. Your article was posted on my birthday, and I'm just now reading it! It's soo hard to keep up with old friends, but I am very glad you'll still be a part of the blogosphere. From all the comments here, it's clear you've struck a chord with many of us. I think the reasons to blog may change a bit over time, but cousin bait is one that never changes. Thanks for the reminder!

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  30. Happy Belated birthday Denise! I hope I told you at the time of your actual day on Facebook though! This post did click for many folks, I am so surprised. I am glad I am still here too, I have a whole new outlook! Thanks for commenting!

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