2013 in review

The 2013 annual report for our family history blog. Many thanks to those who commented and helped with our family history research.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Goodbye Blogfrog

A couple of years ago I linked this blog to a community site called Blogfrog. It provided discussion forums where you could discuss family history in general, or ask questions that were unrelated to any particular post on this blog. You could click on the logo down the right sidebar, and join in discussions. Only no one ever did.

BlogfrogI thought it might be a replacement for MyBlogLog, which performed a useful function, but then was taken over by Yahoo! and then closed down.  There was another such site, called BlogCatalog, which is still there (you can see it down the left sidebar), but it was revamped by some whizzkid who had no idea of what it was supposed to do, and it became dysfunctional. Blogfrog looked as though it might develop into something useful, but it hasn’t, and now the people who run it have decided to close it down.

According to the letter sent out by the people running the show:

We recognize that bloggers and their audiences are expanding their engagement beyond blogs to include more socially-driven content. In addition to engaging on blogs,  readers increasingly want to also engage on Facebook, Pinterest, and  Twitter and community owners are responding by building their audience, content and revenue there as well.

To support this evolution, we are discontinuing the community platform to focus our efforts on our influencer marketing platform. This means communities will no  longer be available after May 31st, 2013.

Do they seriously think that anyone believes weasel statements like “To support this evolution, we are discontinuing…”

Having annnounced just that they are going to discontinue it, they then say: “Remember, BlogFrog is STILL your product, we’re just building it for you.”

In what version of the English language does “discontinuing” mean “building”?

I thought I’d try Blogfrog on this blog to see if it would develop into something useful, and if it did, I might extend it to my other blogs. But it never did develop into anything useful. Instead they say this:

If you are not already a member of the Influencer Circle and are interested in working with brands, please join by completing our application form…

Working with brands?

Brands of what?

There are brands of motor cars, brands of ironing boards, brands of lawnmowers. I can understand someone being interested in lawnmowers, and thus being interested in brands of lawnmowers. But being interested in brands, unassociated with any product or device? That’s weird.

This letter from Blogfrog really does seem to encapsulate everything that is wrong with Western society, focusing on all the wrong things. It’s a weird sense of values — community is nothing, marketing is all.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Reviving an old history blog

I’ve decided to revive our old family history blog on Blogger.

A couple of years ago I moved everything from there to this blog because there were problems with the Blogger software, which caused a lot of people to move from Blogger to WordPress. I left the old blog there with a link to this one.

Now Blogger has improved, and appears to be stable, so I’ll start using it again.

But there’s not much point in having two identical family history blogs, so I’ll use them for different purposes. WordPress and Blogger have strong points and weak points and one is better for some purposes and the other is better at other things.

So this blog, the WordPress one, I’ll mainly use for the more personal stuff, stories and news of our family and our own family history research. So you will be most likely to find this blog interesting if you are related to us, no matter how distantly. WordPress is better for this kind of thing because it makes it easier to post family photos and give them captions. I’ll also use it as a kind of research log, with news of things we find, and what other members of the family find.

The other blog, the Blogger one, I’ll use for more general stuff — notes and news on genealogical research generally, research resources, local history articles, background pieces, and general historical stuff. It will also include articles on historical method, technique and theory, comments on software for genealogists and family historians and for research generally, and so on. That’s because one of the strengths of Blogger is making links, grabbing stuff from news articles and putting it in a blog post. It also does a much better job of displaying widgets, like the “Recent Readers” from MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. WordPress often makes a pig’s ear out of it, and sometimes displays the wrong pictures and so on.

The distinction won’t be absolute — I might still post some of our own family history on the other blog, and more general items here, depending on which blogging platform makes it easiest for a particular post.

The blogrolls on each blog will reflect this division as well. Here the links will be mostly to blogs by other family members, with a few more general links. On the other one, we will link to genealogy blogs that deal with the areas we are interested in — southern Africa, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and also ones that give more general information about genealogical and historical research.

Genealogy bloggers group

Update 12 December 2011: The link below no longer works, and BlogCatalog is generally broken.

I’ve started a Genealogy Bloggers group on Blog Catalog, and invite people who blog regularly about genealogy and family history to visit it and consider joining it.

It provides a discussion forum, and also a place where genealogy bloggers can be seen together, which makes it easier to find each other’s blogs.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.