|Fishing for Family - You Might Have A Great Catch!|
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I am so impressed with people who seem to be able to publish blog posts about all aspects of their family history - from stories about their ancestors, reviews of the software and apps, travel to their ancestral homelands, cemetery visits, research trips and conferences, to in-depth discussions of their methodology. I even have two genealogy friends who have outlined their A-Z Challenge blog posts (thematically) for 2015!
On the other hand, I am one of those bloggers who has the best of intentions, but not the best follow-through. That is one of the reasons that I jumped on this Worldwide Genealogy blogging bandwagon. Although I am busy with a variety of genealogy/family history related projects, I did want to get back into blogging (as that is where most of my personal family history research is found). When Julie Goucher first mentioned the idea, I thought I can post once a month in 2014 and Julie knows where to find me if I don't. I also hoped that the commitment to Worldwide Genealogy would get me back on track with my own blogs (hey it is always a little bit about self-interest). So I signed on and started with baby steps.
I wrote my first four blog posts here as the spirit moved me. All it took was a bit of thought (walking is a great activity to clear your mind and get ideas for blog topics) and a bit of discipline (calendar the publish date, write up the post at least a few days early, and give myself a day to review before hitting the publish button).
Now it was time to take a look at my own blogs (oh, the horror and all those cobwebs!) and see if they could be saved. I have one blog for my paternal side The Keough Corner and one blog for my maternal side Scandia Musings. The first decision was whether to invest the time and effort in updating the layout, cleaning up (actually pruning) the pages, and committing to posting on a regular basis. I spent some time in April doing just that - reading a variety of blogs, playing with colors, fonts, sidebars and widgets - spring cleaning the layout, tweaking the content, and checking out the results. Now I needed a hook - something that would nudge me to post at least once a week.
Enter Cheri Hudson Passey who publishes her blog at least weekly using the meme of writing about her family history calendar - she uses the calendar creator/list feature in Legacy to note the birthdays and anniversaries of people in her family tree. She borrowed this meme from Linda McCauley (one of my partners in crime over at the Legacy Virtual Users' Group Community on Google+). This looked like a great plan to get me back in the blogging stream with baby steps.
Using Legacy (most of the genealogy database programs have this same feature) - I print to PDF the calendar list for any given month - in my case, one for my Murphy-Keough direct line (tag 1) and one for my Zagradisnik-Lidman direct line (tag 2). Then I go to my Legacy database and check out the family members whose names are in the upcoming week to get a bit more of their back story. The first time I did this I spent a few hours doing a bit of research to fill in some blanks. This is a great way to focus on family members you might miss otherwise - and who should not be remembered on their birthday or anniversary? It is also interesting to see who had a birthday in any given month (if you are into astrology at all you will find those family members who share a sign - as in "oh, that explains it, he was an Aries").
If you are getting back into the blogging habit or thinking about blogging for the first time, why not try a meme (simply a hook) to get you started. And nothing could be easier or more rewarding than to focus on your own family. An added benefit - if you use the names, dates, places, and a bit of their story, you might just get a nibble on that cousin bait hook you put in the internet stream. I have already heard from two potential connections this past month.
|Cousin Bait Anyone?|
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So, why not try fishing for ancestors. Do you have suggestions for topics that make blogging a bit easier and/or more fun for you? Please share them with the rest of us in the comments section. Now it's time to bait those hooks (I fish on Sundays).
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