Today is my Blogging Anniversary. I received a post from Geneabloggers the other day about the sites that are having anniversaries that reminded me that my blog anniversary was coming up. I was startled to see them reporting that My blog started in 2011. I thought it can’t really have been that long. I double checked and I see I actually started the D Taylor Genealogy blog in 2012. That set me to thinking about my blog and how it has grown over the past four years.
It doesn’t seem like it has been four years to me. That said, the growth of my blog has been amazing. That first year (2012), I was receiving 100 to 150 page views per month. In just January and February of this year, I’ve received well over 10,000 page views. It also looks like my blog following is continuing to grow. I would like to think that it is because my content is better and I am writing more interesting things as I go along and not that there are just that many more people using the Internet.
Lisa Louise Cooke has called blogs “Cousin Bait,” and my blog has acted like “cousin bait.” Numerous times distant cousins have contacted me because of the blog, as well as my Facebook, and Twitter presence. I have received dozens of photos of my direct ancestors that I would never otherwise have received. Some of those photos have led to additional research and new findings. Of particular interest to me was a photo of my Grandpa Dick as a young man on a basketball team in Panama in 1928. The photo proved a family story that my grandfather had been in Panama where he met my grandmother. That photo let to many other discoveries. It also has led to my adding a trip to the National Archives to my “to do” list to find out more about his activities in the Army in Panama in the late 1920s and early 1930s. I am so grateful to cousin Beverly for the photo.
|Dick Brown – on 1828 Corozal (Panama)
championship basketball team.
On another occasion, a cousin entered her grandmother’s name in a Google Search and discovered my blog because of a post I have regarding Bert Allen Roberts. She then contacted me and facilitated a potential half-sister to contact me. I’m still waiting for DNA test results to come back, but I’m fairly certain of the connection. I am so grateful to cousin Melody for her reaching out.
I think my biggest surprise, in terms of blog statistics, is that my number one most viewed post was a 2013 post regarding a review of Family Tree Maker Mac 3. It has had over seven times the page views as my second most read posting. It makes me think that maybe I should do more reviews. Likewise, my second most-read post was my “rant” regarding Ancestry’s decision to drop Family Tree Maker. That post also received the most comments, by far. Maybe, I should write more rants. (Then again, maybe not.)
It isn’t until I reach my 3rd most read posting that I get to a biography about an ancestor. In this case, my wife’s fourth great grandfather, William Price. Writing about ancestors’ lives and documenting my sources is what this blog is about.
Looking at the various statistics reminded me to consider, what is the purpose for the Blog. Is it to act as “cousin bait,” or is it to get the most traffic possible so I can have some income from my affiliate links? Both of these are important, however, as I ponder its purpose, the primary reason for this blog is to act as a journal of my genealogical efforts. The act of journaling, of expressing genealogical findings in a clear manner, helps immensely in assuring my research conclusions make sense. It provides a forum for me to assure I have my sources and that I’ve reached reasonable conclusions and that everything fits together. If it doesn’t then it provides a means to know what is missing and what I should do to reconcile any issues.
This blog is more for my growth and understanding than it is about writing for others. I try to add hints and items of interest for others. They help remind me of things I shouldn’t forget. But, again the process of journaling makes me stronger.
If I ever write something that you think is wrong, please let me know. If you write via the comments form, I will likely publish your comments to the blog, if appropriate and not self-serving. If you respond via Facebook, I will consider your comment as communications between the two of us and private. Either way, please give me feedback, what should I focus upon, Brown, Roberts, Howell, or Darling lines. Should I write more about Donna Montran’s vaudeville life, DNA, my various Projects, or other things? Let me know if there is something specific you would like me to write about. Also, if you have something that is appropriate for this blog and would like to submit it to me for publication, I do accept items from guest bloggers.
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