Friday, October 9, 2009

Year Two: It's My 2nd Blogiversary!



Two years ago today, I published my first article in this blog. As you might guess from that stinker, I had no real idea what direction the blog would take. I was just going to type, and hope to be struck with inspiration. After all, no one was going to read my blog, anyway.

In the beginning, I think I assumed that I would be a "mommy-blogger." I was (and still am, to some extent) an isolated, stay-at-home mom. I was looking for a way to express myself and communicate with others who shared my interests. You moms out there know what I mean: sometimes we just need to talk with others without using the words "num num" and "poopy" for an entire conversation.

But despite the fact that I love my kid, and I love talking about and showing off my kid, I wasn't sure that all I wanted to write about was my kid. Blogging wasn't going to be much of a "break" for me if I was still being a mommy while I was doing it. Besides, I still had other interests, didn't I? Like, say… genealogy. And wine (although not necessarily together).

What I didn't know at that time was that there was this amazing group of people out there who shared my passion (read: obsession) for genealogy, who were already blogging about it and sharing their knowledge. I accidentally stumbled across this group one day when I Googled my way onto Bill West's blog, West in New England. Bill had just posted "49 GENEALOGY USES FOR A FLUTAPHONE ON PARADE!" and had issued a challenge to his fellow genealogy bloggers to design a virtual float for the "Genealogist's Parade."

I'd had a frustrating few days (years) of researching my Delaneys, so I decided that - what the heck - I could design a float for Bill's parade... even though I was a newbie blogger and had never met (virtually, or otherwise) any of the genealogy bloggers out there.

Kind of brave of me, when I think of it now.

My float was The Mother Ship. Yep, I'm pretty sure my people really were beamed here by aliens and then mysteriously removed, leaving absolutely no trace.

Be honest: you've thought the same thing about your own family at one time or another, right?

So I left a comment on Bill's blog pointing him to my article. Sure, he'd probably think I was nuts, but since nobody was actually going to read my blog, I didn't care.

Before I knew it, people were leaving comments on my post – which meant they were actually READING it – wow! They were supportive and encouraging. In particular, an amazing, wonderful blogger named Apple had taken the time to look up - and find! - information that I had overlooked dozens of times in Ancestry.com.

I was stunned. And hooked.

I'd found my genea-soulmates.

***

Much has changed in the past two years. Genealogy bloggers have adopted the moniker "geneabloggers," and the online community has virtually exploded. Genealogists - from newbies to seasoned researchers - are creating new blogs every day, as is evidenced by the 719 members (!) of the Geneabloggers group on Facebook.

"Geneablogging" is being taken seriously at conferences, with how-to workshops and classes being offered at local and national events.

But what hasn't changed is the people. They’re still the most wonderful, caring, helpful folks you could hope to find anywhere... not just on the world wide web. And they're, FUN (especially in person)!

So my point – and I do have one – is this: if you've been thinking about starting a blog, and haven't had the courage to do it yet, be brave. Do it! You'll meet some incredible people, and you'll be amazed at the rewards. I know I was.

Who knows: you might even meet a new cousin!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

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10 comments:

Herstoryan said...

Happy Blogiversary! I am a stay-at-home mom too, and a newbie blogger. You are an inspiration! :) I love how you said, "I'd found my genea-soulmates." I can completely relate. Anyway, happy, happy, day to you!

Bill West said...

Hey Elizabeth,
I'm glad you were brave yourself back then. Your
"Mothership "float still makes me grin thinking
about it.

Happy Happy Blogiversary, and here's to many
more!

Bill

Sheri said...

It seems just like yesterday I was wishing you a happy one year anniversary. You are a huge part of this wonderful community. I am so glad we met at something other than a DAR function. DAR just wouldn't understand about the Pussycat Dolls.

HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY TO YOU, HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY TO YOU, HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY DEAR EEEEELIZZZABETH, HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY TO YOU!

Apple said...

Happy Blogiversary Elizabeth! I'm happy you decided to join Bill's parade so that I found you that much sooner. Your blog has actually inspired me to pursue DAR membership.

Randy Seaver said...

Excellent post - thank you for sharing.

I second your emotion about geneabloggers - we are a wonderful supportive group, and fun too!

Copngrats on two years, and I hope that there are many more. My fave LBoL posts were the Jamboree reviews, by the way. Funny and good!

Cheers -- Randy

Tapgenie said...

Happy Blogiversary!

I agree about genealogy being a good break from the kids (however adorable). I could live with the talk about poopy if only I didn't have any other involvement with it!

I'm a stay at home mum too, but only for six more weeks. I hope I will still find time for genealogy when I have to fit work in my life as well!

Thomas MacEntee said...

Hey Elizabeth

Happy blogoversary - and I am so sorry that I didn't have it listed on the GeneaBloggers calendar (well it is there now!).

I agree with you about the genealogy blogging community - they exhibit all the characteristics of genealogists in terms of being helpful to others and giving back to the community then add the technology experience and you've got something special.

I look forward to another great year of posts on Little Bytes of Life!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much for the blogiversary greetings, everyone!

Herstoryan - Welcome to the geneablogging community! I look forward to reading your blog posts. I know it's hard to keep up with posting when you've got busy little ones at home. :-)

Bill - Thank YOU for being my inspiration!

Sheri - I'm glad we got together at a non-DAR, kid-free, function, too! I hope we'll get to do it again soon!

Apple - I'm so happy you've decided to join DAR! I hope you'll let me know how it goes. Don't forget, your kids (up to age 22) are eligible for membership in the C.A.R.!

Randy - Thanks for the comments! I enjoyed writing the Jamboree articles; not sure how I'll follow them up next year, though!

Tapgenie - I hear ya on the "poopy." We're still potty training, although it's going much better these days (fewer accidents). Best of luck with your new job! I don't know how working moms do it all, so you have my deepest respect!

Thomas - Don't worry about the calendar! It's MY fault because I didn't realize I was supposed to send the date to you. I would seriously lose my head if it wasn't attached. Thanks for being such a supportive, encouraging geneablogger and FRIEND, and for bringing us all together as a community!

kinfolknews said...

Elizabeth,
Happy (belated) Blogiversary! I love your blog and hope one day soon to meet you in person.

Blessings,
Regina

Elizabeth said...

Regina - Thanks so much for the (belated) wishes. I love your blog, too, and am enjoying reading of your successes! Perhaps we'll get to meet at next year's SCGS Jamboree (hint, hint)?