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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Back to the radical change in the Blogs and Social Networking

I backed off from reviewing my reader list for an entire day. Normally, that would be a recipe for disaster, with hundreds of posts to review. But I wanted to get a longer and more inclusive list of blog posts to use as an indicator of the trends in genealogy blogging. I opened the list this morning to 147 posts, a respectable number for the middle of a hot Summer. I decided to divide the list into several categories as follows:

  • Those blogs from commercial enterprises, societies etc., i.e. etc.
  • Blog posts from established and regular bloggers who have businesses to promote
  • Blog posts from established bloggers who are not promoting anything in particular
  • Posts from individual bloggers who are relatively new
  • Non-genealogy blogs which should not really be included
  • Family and other personal blogs

What did I find? Here is a summary with some commentary:

My first comment is that my categories didn't work very well. I have some categories with no blog posts. Of course, with what I have been counting lately, I really do not have any numbers that indicate a trend, but the distribution of the blog posts is very interesting and, at least today, the numbers support my non-scientific, very opinionated observations. The numbers adds up to 145, so I probably missed counting two posts.

The largest category of postings was 46 posts from commercial bloggers who are promoting their businesses. This number was followed very closely by 43 posts from individual bloggers who also have a business agenda, such as selling books or other items. A sizable number were from the non-genealogy related blogs, with 30 posts. I only have a very small handful of non-genealogy blogs represented by this number, so the number is very large compared to the number of blogs in this category. There were 15 posts from regular, established bloggers who are not particularly commercially oriented and only 10 from newer bloggers that I do not recognize as posting regularly. Today, there was only one post from my family.

Now, think about this. Even though this is a random sample from only one day's worth of blog post accumulations, the numbers exactly support my observations. Genealogy blog postings have gone very decidedly commercial and the total numbers postings are dropping like a rock. 89 out of the 145 posts were blog posts from commercially promoted blogs. Only 25 posts came from less commercially motivated genealogy sources. Even though I subscribe to only a handful of non-genealogy related blogs, they represented 30 of the 145 posts counted. The one post from my family is definitely in keeping with my own observations, since I have about 14 Instagram posts from my family in the last couple of days. I also have a solid stream of posts from my family on Facebook.

After discussing this with my very astute and technology oriented family members, we all agree that there is a marked move from blogs to more immediate social networking. One daughter observed that the availability of movies probably cut into the blogging time also. This one-day count supports my observations that the online genealogy community has become very heavily commercialized. Overall, the number of blog posts is declining and a significant number of readers are moving to other online outlets such as Facebook.


  1. I'm a fairly new blogger; launched Revealing Roots and Branches blog in February 2015. I have a huge list of topics that I want to write about and am starting to work on my list. I also have established two days where I post on specific topics (Sunday - spiritual quote, and Monday - memory jogger/personal history post). My husband thinks I spend too much time on family history and blogging as it is and I have two small children to raise. I'm trying to post more frequently. I use Facebook and my blog Facebook page to share my posts and try to get people to come visit my blog to read and hopefully comment. How do I get people to find and read my blog? I know I am writing for myself ... though I do want a community of readers.

    1. Hi Amy, I very much appreciate your blog posts. You are a wonderful addition to the online genealogical community. If you write for popularity you will always be disappointed, but it you write from passion, you will always have something to say. Thanks for your note. I will schedule a blog post on how to get people to find your blog, getting them to read is another matter. Thanks again.

  2. I too am a fairly new blogger having just started last year. I love reading others blogs. I tend to steer clear of anything too commercial, but I love to learn from other's experiences.
    Although I like for people to read my blog, I also do it to get my thoughts laid out about what I am learning in my family tree. I then link my blog post to that person in my tree.
    I've learned so much running through my list of blogs I read before going to bed. I had not discovered too many blogs that relate to challenges researching Mexican American ancestry. I hope that my blog may help someone someday. In the meantime, I continue to write, so I can organize that is swirling around in my head! If you care to check out my blog someday, it is And I very much enjoy multiple series of posts. Thanks for continuing to write.