My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Surprising Survey

Bill West, in front, at the NEHGS Library.
Every Wednesday for many years, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has been posting The Weekly Genealogist, a free internet magazine, or ezine online. During the past year, one of their features has been a short survey, pertaining to various aspects of genealogy. I've been wondering if they were ever going to cover blog questions.

Well they finally covered blogs, and the survey was posted yesterday. I wrote NEHGS to get permission to print their results. Their reply was, "We've certainly had a range of responses to our blog survey questions – from people asking what a blog is to people saying they follow hundreds.  It is interesting that there is such a variety of experiences."

"Last week’s survey asked how many genealogical blogs you follow. The results are:
  • 60%, I follow no blogs.
  • 24%, I follow 1–2 blogs.
  • 10%, I follow 3–5 blogs.
  • 2%, I follow 6–10 blogs.
  • 3%, I follow over ten blogs."

Wow, 60% don't follow anybody and only 3% follow more than ten blogs.
I know most of my followers are also bloggers. If I want to reach those who don't blog or don't know what a blog is, perhaps there needs to be a way to reach that population. Magazines may write about blogs, but how good of a job are they doing, are they really explaining them, and giving examples? As a blogger, I can't reach those 60% because they don't follow anybody.

What's the purpose of blogging, other than sharing, hoping to make connections or trying to get readers to buy products listed on their site so they can make money? Now, I'm trying to justify my blog. Do I want to reach the 60% or should I be content with the possibility of reaching just 3%. I'm not trying to make money, just want to share and help, so am I wasting my time?

Note: I received a message from NEHGS this morning. Lynn wrote: "Just over 2,000 people replied to that survey."


Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

why do you feel the need to justify your blog? You do it because you love it and want to teach or share your experiences with family or others.

We need not justification at all.

Michelle Goodrum said...

You most certainly are NOT wasting your time.

I would be curious as to WHY that 60% don't follow blogs. What percent don't know what a blog is?

I can remember just a few short years ago hearing that it was a waste of time to read blogs because a lot of it is garbage (kind of like certain online trees). So I didn't read blogs. Then a couple of really good genealogists (who are also bloggers) taught me otherwise. Perhaps it's an educational issue.

Elizabeth said...

A couple of weeks ago, when the NEHGS eNews asked about how many genealogy enewsletters I receive, I replied to the editor noting that although I only read a couple of enewsletters, I read many more blogs. In fact, I read eogn as a daily blog rather than a once a week newsletter. I am also fascinated that so few eNews readers follow blogs.

I now follow over 50 genealogy blogs and over 20 non-genealogy blogs using Google Reader. I'm learning to skim those entries that are not of interest to me, otherwise I spend way too much time online. [I also posted this as a comment on Randy Seaver's blog post on this topic.]

Brenda Leyndyke said...

Barbara, I wonder who answers the NEHGS surveys and since we don't know the total number of people who responded to the survey it might be a relatively small number. I am a 3%-er, so keep blogging.

Cynthia Shenette said...

I started blogging because I wanted to share info and preserve memories. I'm amazed at how much I've learned, the friends I've made, and cousins I've connected with.

I know my blog has a pretty limited focus which automatically limits my audience. That's okay with me. I also know my style of writing does not appeal to everyone. That's okay too. Ultimately I'm happy with what I do.

I have read the comments out and around from naysayers who feel blogs are self indulgent fluff. I disagree, and think they are missing out. I also think some people are not aware of the value of blogs and/or are slow to adapt when something new comes along.

I have found your blog interesting and informative. I also have benefited from making a new friend. Think of yourself as part of the 3% of early adapters who are on the cutting edge of something new and exciting. I do...

Les said...

Of course you're not wasting your time. I've enjoyed your blog since your very first and I think you enjoy being able to express yourself on things you enjoy. Don't STOP!!

Michelle Goodrum said...

I like Cynthia's view that we are the 3% on the cutting edge. Great outlook!

Hummer said...

Thank you for sharing. I love the comments on the post as well. I agree, you are not wasting your time and definitely not mine. I follow you everywhere. ;) You have helped me a lot for what it is worth. Keep blogging. Maybe the 60% will become curious now and look into the blogs, not everyone knows how to look for them. Before I found Geneabloggers 3 years ago, I was clueless how to find fellow genealogists researching. I have loved blogging about memories, family history and sharing new found knowledge.
I think blogging is a great form of communication.

Susan Clark said...

I dream of someone blogging about my brick walls - a fairy blogmother moment. But what I've found, and love, is that others contact me grateful for what I've shared.

Since I started blogging to share my research, I feel I've been successful.

As to why more people don't read blogs, I'm amazed. It would seem an obvious place to look for others researching the same families or locations.

Carol said...

Barb, great subject for a post. I don't feel any of us bloggers are wasting our time. I think I like being in the 3%! LOL

I find that just about every post I make I spend some time researching, and for sure reviewing. I find errors in my data base, input errors, new facts, missing information that I go searching for and in many cases find!

I love the creative outlet and enjoy it so much, I might still blog even if none of you were reading. I know you are reading, and I do relish in your comments and feedback and friendship, but, I do it first for me! That may sound very selfish, I don't mean it to.

For me, I find that blogging has been a wonderful way to review and to improve my research and the family stories I try to tell.

It is all gravy! Yummy gravy!

Barbara Poole said...

All your responses were welcomed, and I especially like being on the "cutting edge." Although I've had wonderful connections with cousins, I'm having better luck through RootsWeb. As far as "wasting my time" I feel I am a lot, esp. since I wrote my 600th blog this week, that is a lot of invested time that could have been used doing research. To each of you, thank you.