Today is my blogiversary marking two years of blogging. Although still a “baby blogger” by most standards, I am amazed at all that I have already gained from blogging. My initial intention was to share my stories for the benefit of others who are researching my families or locations, but in reality I am the one who has benefitted. I would like to share a few of the ways blogging has helped ME! (Just what’s on your “benefits of blogging” list?)
1. I realize that although I know a lot about my ancestors, there really is so much more to learn.
As I began to write their stories, I was initially amazed at how often I needed to stop and do more research. The process of writing has helped me to see the holes in my research, which in turn has led me to new discoveries. Suddenly it made total sense that we are encouraged to stop and write when we hit a brick wall.
2. I realize how often I assume information.
In the process of writing my ancestors’ stories, I can see that it is so easy to assume things that are not actually substantiated by fact. Sometimes those assumptions are just floating around in my head, influencing the decisions I make on where to look next when, in reality, I need to be looking elsewhere. It’s a good reminder to not be too quick to jump to conclusions and to always check the facts before assuming anything.
3. I benefit from the experience of other bloggers.
I think we all have little tunnels of reasoning that our thoughts tend to follow. I know I sure do and I have benefitted a great deal from the comments and insights that other bloggers have shared as comments on my blog.
4. Blogging is helping me to learn more about the topics of interest and my areas of research.
We love to visit and chat with people who like the things we like. As anyone who has attended a genealogy conference can tell you, this certainly extends to genealogist. Blogging about a topic or location has served as a magnet for other like-minded genealogists. They in turn have shared new websites and sources, which of course have benefitted me immensely.
5. Blogging is broadening my circle of friends and associates.
I love the opportunity to interact with the community of genealogy bloggers. (Thank you Thomas MacEntee for establishing Geneabloggers.) Not only am I learning more about how to be a good blogger, but I have also connected with new friends. The world truly has become a little smaller in the process.
6. The “cousin bait” thing really works.
We’ve all heard that blogs can serve as “cousin bait.” I am still waiting for a major breakthrough from a newfound cousin, and while I haven’t received a boatload of genealogical goodies from anyone yet (although I still have hope), I have received a few stories and pictures that I have absolutely loved.
7. Having a blog is forcing me to sit down and write.
For years, I said I was going to write….tomorrow……next week or maybe after the upcoming major event. The truth of the matter is I like the thrill of the chase, which is research. But having a blog and wanting to have something to share in my blog has forced me to quit procrastinating and make writing a priority.
8. Writing a blog has reminded me that before I conquer writing that family history book someday, I need to remember how to write.
I am amazed at how many of the writing rules and “niceties” I have forgotten and how much I need to practice practice practice.
9. Because I blog, I read other people’s blogs more often.
Writing a blog has created a greater interest in poking around the web to see what other people write about in their blogs. From other people’s blogs I’ve learned about everything from how to blog to how to research and everything genealogical in-between.
10. Blogging is just darn fun!
I don’t know what I expected exactly when I started blogging, but I didn’t realize that writing a blog would be so much fun, but it is! Writing, sharing, reading other’s stories and seeing the stories in my own ancestors’ lives unfold as I write have all added a new dimension to my world of genealogy.
While “blogiversary” is a bit of a funny word, it is definitely something worth celebrating.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014, All rights reserved
8 thoughts on “Happy Blogiversary to ME!”
Happy Blogiversary! Mine is coming up next week. Look at all of us August Babies!
Something else that I've learned because of blogging is how poor my early research was and how incomplete the documentation. As a result I'm retracing those old steps and finding the same information again, but ultimately that's a good thing.
Congratulations on your blogiversary, Michelle, and thanks for sharing your top ten reasons to blog! Yes, it certainly does reshape your research focus when you shift to (essentially) writing biographies of your ancestors, doesn't it?
Congratulations, Michelle! Here's to many more years of great blogging.
Thank you Nancy!
It really does, but in many ways it makes it so much richer.
Thanks Wendy… and sooo true. I really see the "holes" in my early research. I've long heard we need to go back over our early research and assumptions, but drug my feet over it until I started blogging.
Happy Blogiversary Michelle! I love your blog! And your #8? I think you're already an amazing writer.
Thank you so much Jana.
There seems to always be so much to learn, but that adds its own element of fun.