Friday, March 9, 2007

Are Genealogy Bloggers Newsworthy?

After a couple of hours putting together a Genealogy Bloggers Roll (as I couldn't find any existing pages that made it easy to find the blog for a specific person, and I know many of the people, but often cannot remember their blog names), I began to wonder if the views and opinions of these folks are newsworthy? By newsworthy, I mean would people appreciate getting a consolidated recap of the most interesting items of the week.

A while back, Paul Allen's team (as part of his Provo Labs initiative) put together an interesting meta-blog called the Genealogy Blog Planet, which allows you to read the latest news from over 50 different genealogy blogs on one page. This approach uses technology to combine RSS feeds, and while that solves one problem (i.e. not having to visit 50 different blogs), it doesn't add any editorial value because it simply combines the blogs and doesn't filter out the most interesting items.

On our web site, we blog about items that we find in newspapers and sent to us as press releases, but we've not mentioned items from other genealogy bloggers. Are blog posts less credible because they aren't reviewed by editors and published in print?

With syndication technology (i.e. RSS aggregators) being adopted so rapidly, perhaps the traditional value added by publishers was overlooked. The news industry has the Associated Press, who pump out hundreds of stories everyday, and most (if not all) news organizations subscribe to their feed. BUT, the various news organizations pick up and use a subset of the articles that they feel would appeal most to their readers. The Internet doesn't have anything comparable for genealogy blogging.

So would it be considered "reporting", if Genealogy Today began highlighting the most interesting blog posts of the week?


  1. I think the problem is "blog overload".

    Of all the genealogy news to report on in one specific month, there may be only one item of any general interest. The rest of it is hyper-specific and won't generate much page views for you.

    Then, add to that the 50 genealogy blogs out there, and you've got a lot of repetition and over-analysis.

    You might be like Eastman, who can gobble up the minutiae and squeak out an existence building himself up as "Mr. Genealogy News" guy, and earn a living from the reputation. But you have to live and breathe that kind of career to make it work.

  2. You would be surprised to find how much good information the genealogy bloggers have. Here's a list of bloggers with some interesting ideas on research, preservation and technology.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.