Blogging is another way to put your family online, without a great deal of technical expertise. It's also a great way to share information if you keep your information in a word processor rather than a genealogical database.
A blog is a web log, and can be just about anything…a diary, a place to share news, a teaching tool, a collaborative space…anything you want to write about. For genealogists it takes many forms as well. My blog falls into the catagory of a teaching tool (I hope). I write about genealogy methodology using experiences and my own family to share information. Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, which is published daily, shares news…what's happening in the field of genealogy along with some personal opinion pieces. There are some people who use their blogs as a research log, outlining what steps they've taken and posting documents related to their family. There are thousands of genealogy blogs, and you can check out the Geneabloggers site to pick ones that fit your needs and interests to subscribe to, or to review for ideas.
Blogging is typically free. You can select a provider such as Blogger or Word Press, sign up for an account and you're in the blogging business. Adding information to a blog is just like using a word processor. You decide if you want your blog to be public, if you want multiple people to be able to blog, such as for a family association or a family research group, and whether you want to allow people to make comments on your blog.
So how do you use your blog to make connections? When your blog is published, it becomes searchable by various search engines such as Google. Before a trip to Ireland in 2009, I wrote a blog post about finding a female line, a Morley in County Mayo. I indicated the limited information I knew about Mary Morley, the wife of John Daly and just a few days later I was contacted by a person in Dublin who had read the blog, and said, "I came from that town and know the family….I'll put you in touch with them." Paul Morley contacted me and I met him that year, along with the Daly cousins. This past summer, my husband joined me in Ireland and we again got together with the cousins.
Steve Danko, a genealogist in California was one of the first people I saw use a blog as a research log. He puts copies of the documents he's found online (with the complete source citation) and because much of his research is Polish, a translation of the document. He also has the genealogies of his various families in the form of register reports, with links to the documents he's discussed in his research log…very cool!
Another example of a blog is a one name study, frequently (but not always) tied in to DNA testing. This may also be a collaborative blog where multiple people share information on the same site.
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