- a 2011 Family Tree Magazine top 40 blog, listed in the My Family History category – “It’s personal with these bloggers, whose primary motivation is to share their ancestors with the living.”
- Greta’s Genealogy Blog (hereafter referred to as GGB) has 248 followers listed via Google Friend Connect and 134 by NetworkedBlogs. One of the reasons for building a better genealogical blog is to increase readership. Greta has certainly found ways to do that.
- Greta has been following my blog for some time now and has offered comments on a few occasions. While not a family cousin; she’s a genealogy cousin and, therefore, part of the family.
In setting up this week’s challenge, Tonia cautioned us to “Be unique. Learn from others and be inspired by them, but don’t copy them.” Good advice. Unfortunately, as I have reviewed GGB, I have found so many ways that I might improve my blog, that many of them will simply be copied. After all, as it is said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
- I like the pages with Texas and South Carolina blogs. Since most of my ancestors have Ohio roots, I will add a page that lists Ohio bloggers. (Geneabloggers.com lists 19 Ohio genealogy blogs. Since this was the first time that I looked at this feature in geneabloggers.com, I see that my blog is not listed among the Ohio genealogy blogs. I will correct that.
- GGB not only lists the surnames that Greta is researching, but has links to posts containing those surnames. That is a nice feature that I would like to add to my listing of surnames. That will require my reviewing all my posts and making sure that I have tagged them with the appropriate surnames.
- GGB has a page entitled “My Genealogy Toolbox.” That is a nice idea. I have kept most of my links in Google bookmarks and Tami Glatz’s RelativelyCurious Community Toolbar. Since Google is no longer supporting it bookmarks function, I have been musing about how I will keep my research links. A Research Toolbox page on this blog is one way to keep it alive. [An aside: I noted that GGB also has additional links that might be put in theToolbox listed on the main page. That demonstrates a difficulty that I am facing with all the links I want to preserve – namely, where to put them so they will be easily available and how to organize them so I don't have to go searching for them in a number of places.]
- There were a number of ‘gadgets’ (that is Blogger’s name for them) that I found in GGB that I want to explore and/or simply add to my blog:
- GenealogyWise, Facebook, Blogtalkradio
- List of genealogical societies to which I belong
- Blog posts by others that I have “starred” in Reader.
- I reviewed the list of posts for 2011. Greta averages about 15 posts a month. She repeats a number of her own themes (for example: “Monday Memories” and “What I Learned on Wednesday”). Almost a quarter of her posts were “Follow Friday Newsletter.” These posts include links to interesting posts from other bloggers with a brief comment. (I was honored to be listed recently.) In addition, Greta has a paragraph or two summarizing “My Research Week.” What a nice touch!
- I very much liked the concluding words on the blog’s home page: “If you see your ancestors on this blog… contact me! I am always happy to share information. My e-mail address is in my profile (the link under the section entitled “About Me”). ” My only concern about this is its placement at the bottom of the page. The lengthy list of links and archived posts put this invitation in a place where few will ever see it. I will have to think about how to add a similar invitation to my blog, but in a more readily accessible spot for readers.
One of Tonia’s question was: “Is there anything that could be improved?” I did notice one design issue. The header on the home page only extends about 2/3 of the way across the page. The extra white space contributes nothing. Personally, I would prefer the header to span the page. This is not a major issue and it certainly does not detract from the content of GGB.
Greta’s GGB was a delight and a pleasure to review. Greta writes in an engaging manner. I particularly enjoyed The Law and Order Method of Genealogy (2 January 2011).
In conclusion, this was an important task. Since the primary purpose of #31WBGB is to make our blogs better, I chose the right blog to review. GGB has provided me with a lot of ideas about how I might improve my blog. Thanks, Tonia, and a special thanks to Greta!