Saturday, October 13, 2007

Musings on the Big Genealogy Bloggers

I just noticed that a major genealogy blogger just took a posting from another big genealogy blogger and did not offer a link to that blog in any way. Now, to give some credit to the blogger, he did not repeat the wording of the other blogger verbatim. He just took the story without offering a "tip of the hat." I've also noticed this same major genealogy blogger has not given credit to several of us smaller genealogy bloggers over the last few months and years. While it's not necessarily plagiarism, it's not exactly ethical when one's sources are not cited!

Why is it that many of the big players in genealogy blogging are so afraid of sending a little traffic to another blogger? One of the most successful political bloggers is Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. His links to other bloggers, both the big bloggers and the lesser known bloggers, are so legendary that there is even a term to describe the surge that occurs when a person receives a link from his blog. It's called an "Instalanche." It's a win-win situation for Reynolds and for those to whom he links. Glenn keeps people coming to his blog because they know he's going to offer them interesting links and commentary. The other bloggers win because they get exposure and pick up new readers on a regular basis. Why do some of the major genealogy bloggers seem to think that blogging is a competition for business and try to gain a monopoly? The very nature of blogging is that it is social! "Social" implies networking, and there's no better way to network in genealogy than to provide links to other blogs. While adding blogs to one's blogroll is a way to make a lasting link to those blogs that you read on a regular basis and which are similar in content to your blog is one way to do this, just giving a "hat tip" to someone for having it on their blog and calling it to your attention is another way to do this.

It's time to end the competitive, monopolistic attitudes that are out there. Let's help one another. It can be a win-win situation for all of us, but most of all for our readers.


Moultrie Creek said...

You've hit a ten strike on this one! I too am a big fan of the Blogfather.

My pet peeve is those who don't allow comments. Why are they blogging at all?

I'm finding myself drawn more and more to the independents - they have the most interesting articles and the most useful research ideas. The H.O.G.S. are quickly becoming an addiction and people like Susan Kitchen's Family Oral History, Tara Calishain's Research Buzz and Sally Jacobs' Practical Archivist provide much more useful info.

There's still a huge market of digitally challenged genealogy buffs to keep the Bigs going, but they're a dying breed (pun intended). I'm quite happy to sit in my little niche and enjoy friendships I've developed with all my "blog buddies".

Our biggest problem at the moment is coming up with a better description - blog buddy just doesn't do it for me.

Randy Seaver said...


I'm not getting it - who took what and wrote about it from whom? Sorry I'm so dense.

I checked my favorite "big" genea-bloggers - Eastman, Meitzler, Juliana, Kimberly and Myrtle, and I see some overlap in topics but I don't see anything obvious.

Many of us have commented on the Maureen Taylor article. Was that it?

Clue me in please! I just have to know, of course, being the genea-addict I am.

Email me at if you want.

I agree with you about Glenn Reynolds and his crediting others - it's smart to emulate that and try to build a social network.

To answer your question - I don't know that the "big" genea-bloggers (and I'm assuming the 5 I've mentioned above) know a whole lot about the rest of us. Myrtle and Meitzler credit others sometimes and seem more social oriented.

All of my big genea-blogalanches have been because of a link from one of the 5 above or my own comment on their blogs with a link.

Thanks -- Randy

Jasia said...

I realized this quite a while back and have boycotted the blogs of those big bloggers who consistently ignore the rest of us (which collectively amounts to ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room) ever since.

I don't have them on my blogroll and if I ever have reason to refer to them in a blog post I never give a link back to their site. I don't for a minute believe they don't know we're out here. Nor do I believe they don't realize the value of a link from their site to any of ours. I make it a point not to visit their blogs/web sites and leave any comments either (with the exception of during the Ancestry fiasco when I was willing make allowances for a greater injustice being done).

You are smart to not name names in your post. There are plenty of people out there who would be quick to jump to the defense of the big bloggers. And then you'd have a real mess on your hands.

Terry Thornton said...

Lori, Randy needs to know that he causes a "blogalanche" when he mentions one of us lesser knowns. LOL! Last week on the day when he mentioned to his readers to go read something I'd put up on Hill Country, my readership hit a record high. Yes, Randy causes blogalanches too! LOL! And I appreciated it!
Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi