Sunday, June 29, 2008

Genealogy Blogger Summit at SCGS

I'm probably the last person to post about the Blogger Summit yesterday morning. I finally have a minute this morning to work on my blog. We have been having too much fun. But my post will be the best. I took better notes than anyone else did I'm sure :-)

If you put Steve Danko, Schelly Dardashti, Dick Eastman, Leland Meitzler, George Morgan, Randy Seaver, and Megan Smolenyak on a panel, you better give them 2 hours. Because that is a group that "have never been known for a loss for words" and even if they were, the audience would want them to keep going. For the bloggers on the panel that I have been reading but hadn't met yet, I felt like I was here in Burbank meeting movie stars. I feel like I know all about them.

Learned alot. Benefits/Drawbacks of blogging: Addictive (yeah duh), causes stress (there are so many things I want to blog about--find the time), relieves stress, and you have less time to do research because you are too addicted to blogging. (Yeah, try running a genealogy business too--worst thing you can do for your own research.) George Morgan told Schelly 2 days into starting her blog to be careful or it would take over her life. She wrote back that he was too late. I feel your pain.

Things I want to utilize more: Steven Danko uses his to connect with cousins. I'm going to do that more. Use it as a repository for my memories. Then maybe people will bring my genealogy to me?!? I think it was George that talked about someone sending him a death certificate for someone he had been looking for for years, and sitting there sobbing because it was such a miracle.

New terms: Blogalanche--a storm of hits to your blog because of a mention somewhere else. Census whacking--trolling the census looking for strange names or occupations. Haven't tried that yet. Sounds like fun.

Schelly mentioned that many people will comment privately to her about her blog, but few people want to do it publicly. Glad to hear that. I've experienced that too. Good to know I'm not the only one.

Randy said blogging was like a buffet. You pick and choose what you want, write about what grabs you. I would add--you can also easily end up stuffing yourself. A little gluttony on the blog situation can be a good thing.

I also appreciated their take on the broad nature of communication today. Blogging goes into facebook goes into newsletters goest into podcasts goes into video. They all cross pollinate and are fluid with each other. It becomes really powerful. I've seen that with our newsletters and the blog, good integration. Need to work on a facebook page. Megan really utilizes hers. I'll let you know when it is ready.

Dick was right on when he said a blog is "easy to start but difficult to keep going." My problem lately hasn't been lack of topics, but lack of time. I have a constant desire to get back to it. I'd probably have that if I was posting 25 times a day though. So I guess when you start a blog, you just have to get used to that feeling.

But the classic moment in the session was when someone passed an I phone up to the podium with a link to and she had already posted a picture of the session while it was going on. That is the power of blogs. Quick, up to date. Awesome.


Jasia said...

I really enjoyed your article about the Blogger Summit. I can relate to what you said about feeling like you were meeting celebrities. I know if I'd been there I would have had that very same feeling. I hope there will be more of these sorts of sessions/summits in the future. I'd like to attend one but California is too far away for me.

Janet Hovorka said...

Jasia--funny you should write. I'm thinking this is Jasia of the CreativeGene/Carnival of Genealogy fame. Thanks for reading. In the summit they talked about the Carnival and first on my to-do list is to start posting there. I had seen it but not been brave enough. That is a great prompt for the repository of memories idea that I want to work on more. Too bad I missed the swimsuit edition. Could have posted some of my Venice beach--rollerskating pictures. I'll be working on my Independent Spirit blog post. Thanks Jasia

Robert Baca said...

Oh, I wish I could have gone to the Blogger Summit. I've been reading about it all over the blogsphere. However, I was too far away and too poor!

The most important advantage of having my own blog is that I have been able to contact distant relatives. I have received photos and information from them that has helped me enormously. I've also been able to work out my research. I've used my postings to write article for genealogical journals, and I will be using them this month to create a presentation for the New Mexico Genealogical Society.

My question is: how did people do genealogy before the Internet?

Jasia said...

Hang on to those Venice Beach pictures, Janet! The swimsuit edition will be coming back by popular demand. I'm thinking it will probably be Memorial Weekend of next year. But hey, don't wait that long to participate in the COG! Get to work on that Independent Spirit article. I have to work on mine too! We only have until midnight tomorrow to submit them...

Janet Hovorka said...

Robert--You have that cross-pollination going too. Presentations, articles, blog. It all runs together doesn't it.

At the turn of the century my Great-grandfather was trying to do genealogy. He would write a letter to England, and wait for it to come back, write another letter to England, wait, write, wait. Can you imagine? I think I needed to live in this generation because I am too impatient.