Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is It TIme To Blog For Family History Purposes?

Please not as you read this article that I invite you to have me link to your blog, or to write an article as a contributor on this blog.

The era of wasting time duplicating each others research is, thankfully, coming to and end. 

So is that interesting story being lost in your file cabinet a sad fact that can change.

Sure you can be the proud finder of information and keep it secret if you want, but I believe you will be persuaded that COLLABORATION is a winning concept.

Time and effort is a valuable resource. By collaborating we give ourselves the gift of each others time and effort. It's a win win concept.

There are going to be numerous vehicles for those of us, especially for those who have limited time to spend doing research.

One of those I wrote about a few days ago, is SharingTime
I wrote about this concept in the article inspired at the RootsTech conference: Click Here

Now I introduce another vehicle: Your Blog About Your Family.

To illustrate, three of my four grandparents were Mormon pioneer families: Cragun, Porter, and Bingham. Jointly they have thousands of descendants. You might think there are stories and facts easily found on line, provided by their loving descendants. Nope, if you do a google search for information on these 3 lines you find a dominance of commercial sites with a narrow slice of duplicate information and information of limited value.

However if you are searching for Patrick Cragun, for example, besides duplicate information you now find on page 1, near the top, this blog - my blog. I will explain at the end of the article why I have attained this type of search results so quickly. One reason is that it is a Google blog. Also, almost every result out there is a website, not a blog. Search engines like blogs better than websites. More on that later.

If you blogged, your site can be found by Google and other search engines. There are many benefits to that. One being unknown cousins can find you.

As important as being found is the content posted. You will care more about the content than a business will. You can post more depth of stories. You can post documents. These documents can link to the new FamilyTree that will be awesome and free. You can update and publish your research instantly. It is likely that your content is important and relevant. Search engines analyze this. Every time you update your blog with new content you automatically tell the search engines to come to your blog and copy (index) the information you just added.

The article, the photo clip above, which Google has already delivered to page 1 was an article I posted yesterday. No other sites on page 1 have fresh information on them. Most of them have far less information about Cragun. Because my content is fresh, and because I am posting several times a week I am getting priority in the searching process. The more I publish the stronger this blog will get.

In the spirit of collaboration, every that site I find that posts family history information relating to my ancestors will get exposure from my blog. I will at least provide a link to your blog, and perhaps an article. We can be a reference point to each other, at least from me to other sites. As more and more people do this with their names, the more positive results they will have.

Patrick Cragun was an immigrant. Every Cragun in the United States is likely a descendant of his. He had 9 children. Some live in the midwest nearer where he died than I do, making it more convenient for them to check out some local sources. If we are all posting our research live and cooperating or collaborating greater depth will happen in discovering our ancestors.

I am thinking of the depth of discovery the popular show, "Who Do You Think You Are" garners. Of course they have resources we don't have. Correction, they have the resources we don't have as individuals. But if all the Craguns, the Binghams, the Porters, or  your ancestors were collaborating, we too could accomplish amazing things as do they.

Writing a blog such as this is not difficult. It does have a small learning curve. Setting it up only takes minutes. For some of you this is all you need to know. For others I will soon write an article on how to set up and publish a Google blog.

Final point. I hate to say this, but I know most of you won't do a blog. You could, you should, but you won't.

So here is my offer to those of you who have common ancestors to me that won't do what I propose. You can post and get author credit for posting on this blog.

My blog can become our blog. That makes it easy. Contact me if that interests you and we can discuss the details. larry@cragun.net Check my tree out by clicking here. We just might have common ancestors. Lets make more progress by collaborating.

A few reasons what I propose brings you up to the top on Google and other search engines:
Google makes sure it captures all new information on its own blog network. That's why a Google blog.
  • Blogs have technology that signals the search engines to come and get the new posts.
  • Blogs are easy for the search engine to analyze as to the what the content of the blog really is about.
  • There are things you can do to an article to make search engines give it priority on the results.
  • Blogs are so simple to setup, write on, and to customize.
  • By writing multiple articles on a topic or certain topics, such as your family names you improve your results. These are done naturally and creating what is called natural search engine optimization without any gimmicks.
PS: Please let me know if this inspires you to get going. I was inspired to do this by another genealogist.

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