Friday, December 14, 2007

TransylvanianDutch in 2008

I've been geneablogging for six months now, and it's approaching January, a natural time for reflection, so I've been asking myself where to go from here. What posts have garnered the most positive response?

There are two types of positive response in my mind
1) a reader saying: "Thanks for posting this"
2) a reader saying, "I think I'm related to you…lets exchange info!"

Call me selfish, but if a post generates positive reaction #2, I don't care if everyone else is bored silly by it. But considering how much I have been helped by other genea-bloggers in my research, I'd like to help/entertain others in return.

I think I've seen what has generated positive reaction #1.

1) Tech-geek posts. Examples include my recent post on downloading YouTube videos, and some earlier posts on Google Groups' Usenet archives, and Google Books. I've spent 10 years doing amateur web design, and I do internet research as part of my daily job, so I have some experience, and ideas to share. I think I may go into some detail on the process I've gone through in creating a family website.

2) Reviews. My review of Ancestry's latest 'book' offering, and earlier reviews of genealogy software. There may not be much for me to review, but if I see something, I will.

3) Poetry. While it might not be useful in the same way as the first two, there have been comments from people that they have enjoyed the poetry I've posted, and I like sharing poetry – my own, and that of others – so as long as some are enjoying it, I won't stop. I will try to keep it related. (pun intended.)

I like the idea of posting some family ahnentafls like I've seen others do, though unfortunately mine are relatively short. Of course, I haven't been doing research for very long. There are a handful of lines that do go back a distance, but one comes from research by a cousin who has not given me permission to share the research with the world, and I will honor my promise not to. The others come from questionably sourced material I have found on the internet, and elsewhere, but I could indicate that in the post.

In addition to not publishing research done by others without their permission, I have so far refrained from posting photos, and for the most part, writing anything about living kin. The only exception I can think of are a couple posts where I mentioned I was cousins with some individuals who are public or semi-public figures, but I didn't say much that wasn't public information. I don't see that changing as I don't really want any internal family squabbles to result from my blog.

I've begun a little research on my Swayze ancestors, because I think they arrived in the US earlier than any non-Native American ancestors (circa 1650). I could end up writing about what I'm discovering, but there would be no reason to write about any of their living descendents. Of course, if I turn up any black sheep, perhaps this blog could end up getting quoted in some tabloids.

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