Genealogy in Time (GIT) recently listed “Twenty Tips on What Makes a Good Blog.” In review of the list I see some things I could do better and some questions I wish ask you, the reader. Of course, it is not my desire to be a good blogger; I want to be a great blogger!
Here are my responses to the GIT list. Your perception may differ and I would appreciate those comments.
- I use original content. I cannot say I never will use content by others, but so far, all is original research, opinion, commentary, etc. (We are not talking about quoting here.)
- I do not try to emulate anyone and their writing style (distinctive voice). I have a hard enough time writing as it is, much less to analyze someone else’s and copy!
- I started this blog because no one else was filling the need for a blog about the process of educating oneself in preparation for certification. I do believe that individuals who are “on the clock” should share more, but it appears to me we are all uncertain of the boundaries. I figure as long as I talk about the certification process and not the product, I should be in good shape. When I took the architect’s exam, the boundaries were the same.
- By writing this blog, I have learned to write better and have gained appreciation about how hard it is to do it well. Whether that has made me a better quality writer I cannot say; I hope so.
- Who knew that writing a headline would be so hard? I often will rewrite the headline two-three times while I am composing. And making the headline reflect the article seems obvious, but may be not. (This headline was rewritten 3 times.)
- I try to blog once a week. At times I don’t achieve that goal. I will sometimes write 2 or 3 in a single day (like today) but I schedule their publication so I do not swamp your mailbox.
- I use no filler…some may say my writing is filler but I ignore them! 🙂
- I strive for quality and originality. I try really hard to not be boring! That’s the worst.
- I find I am writing three blogs right now and compressing then into one…certification topics, house histories and Jens Dahle. GIT urges you to stay on topic. Do you, the reader, see the multiple topics as an irritation or a relief? Should I be writing two blogs? Certification and everything else? Or, is it OK?
- My pace is not consistent.
- I haven’t used multimedia–but I now insert a picture in every posting. I think it adds interest. I am thinking about doing a YouTube video on some of my lectures. What do you think?
- This blog began because I had a vision of a simple journal of my journey. It evolved, as I did, to reflect my personal education. I hope along the way there have been things that have made a difference for you.
- I rarely am critical–in fact, genealogists can be irritatingly non-critical. but there also is constructive criticism and I hope my approach falls into that category.
- I do not copy material of others.
- I provide attribution where appropriate.
- I recognize that attribution is not approval to use. I find myself reading more of the Terms of Service than I used to. For example, for this posting I read the Terms of Service for GIT to know what I could do to compose a blog based on their “Twenty Tips on What Makes a Good Blog.”
- I have no sponsorships that give me a percentage of the click through’s that originate on a website. I cannot imagine there is a product out there that I would ever find so wonderful that I would risk losing readers if posted. I also don’t like graphic clutter.
- I cite my sources; they are relevant to the topic. Sometimes, there is a better quality source out there, but this is a blog, for heaven’s sake.
- I believe that by sharing the “wandering in the woods” that I do/am doing to get certified, I can offer hope to those who are going through the same conundrum. We are all in this together.
- I hope that some small part of what I write inspires you, the reader. That inspiration might be to go get a beer out of the fridge–but something is better than nothing!
What I have done since the last posting: Worked on a client report and worked on my Ostfriesen Overview presentation. Did you know that Ostfriesland was about 30 miles wide by 35 miles long? That’s not very big. I signed up for the Illinois State Genealogical Society webinar on how to use IRAD (This is the archive that has Dirk’s records!) Check out Geneawebinar.com. I confess to being a webinar junkie.