Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why I probably will never go to Blogworld in LA

Blogworld & New Media Expo 2011 is being held in Los Angeles this weekend. Now, don't get me wrong, I never had any intention of even thinking of going to this Expo. I am strictly a genealogy guy and have enough genealogy gatherings I need to go to and don't without adding one more to the list. But if you have looked at some picture of me and then if you go the to the Blogworld site, you will immediately see that I just don't fit in. Most of those people look only slightly older than my grandchildren. Also, if I went to a convention all day, I would not be excited to go to "Evening Parties and Networking." It looks like I am doomed to the outer reaches of Bloggerville for ever. I will never be one of the "in crowd." But how is this different than high school? I never fit in there either. But think about it, I did blend in rather well at the BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference. No one gave me a second look. I had the obligatory white hair, slightly or more overweight and well, you get the picture.

I noticed that Guy Kawasaki is listed as one of the Speakers. I guess it is all about looks. Kawasaki is almost as old as I am, but he looks a whole lot younger. Some of the speakers have no hair, but I only saw some very slight hints of gray on a very few of the Speakers. What I really wonder about is what is a blog strategy? One of the comments says, "I leave filled with new ideas, tactics and strategies that I take home and implement." Yipes, what am I missing? I had no idea there were tactics or strategies, I thought blogging was about content. I must be missing the boat somewhere.

Talking about looks, here is another comment, "The crowd looks great and the speakers are a good draw for attendees." I don't think I have ever seen this line in a promo for a genealogy conference. Maybe distinguished and scholarly would be better terms? I wasn't aware that looking great was a prerequisite for writing a blog, again, I must be missing the whole idea.

I always thought, from the very beginning, that my genealogy blog was fundamentally about my passion for genealogy. It was also about helping others understand some of the ideas, problems, challenges, techniques, details and so forth about doing genealogy either as a pastime or as a full blown obsession. So when I look at statistics, one gauge of whether you are getting through to your audience, I realize that being ranked in the upper million of blogs is not the point. I have a product, I am selling my product and that is all that matters. But what if no one is buying?

When I was teaching at the local community college, we used to have student and teacher evaluations. Also from time to time my Department supervisor would show up to "monitor" my class to see how I was doing. Who evaluates me as a blogger? You do. If you read this, I succeed. If you don't then I never know. Have I "found my voice" as a genealogy blogger? Hmmm. I suppose if that means am I going to keep writing my weird brand of evaluation of what's going on, I guess I have. But I really don't need to go to a Bloggerworld Conference, what I need to do is go to a genealogy conference. This blog is not about blogging, it is about genealogy and how you live with doing it day and night.

One of my friends talked to me about starting a blog and website for a proposed business. He ended our conversation with a question, "Well, how much time do you spend on all this, a couple of hours a day?" My answer. No, I spend 10 to 12 hours a day and only stop when I am too tired to think. Passion and content.


  1. I attended the last Blogworld & New Media Expo, held in New York City. I am about your age, James, but I enjoyed the event. I also learned a lot. I wasn't the oldest person in attendance, although I certainly was much older than the average. Still, I saw quite a bit of grey hair in the workshops and sessions.

    I did skip the evening parties, however.

    I had planned to attend this week's session in Los Angeles until a conflict arose and I discovered I couldn't be in two different places at the same time.

    - Dick Eastman