The Importance of Daily Blogging Prompts

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Daily Blogging Prompts are a series of “prompts” which bring the community of genealogy bloggers together.  Basically a theme is set – such as Tombstone Tuesday, one of the most popular – and bloggers who want to participate can do so by posting about the subject at their own blogs.

By way of history, when GeneaBloggers started as a website, there were only two blogging themes – Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday.  Over time, members made proposals for other topics such as Black Sheep Sunday, Madness Monday and Treasure Chest Thursday which have also been successful. Keep in mind that it takes time for a new blogging theme to gain traction which is the case with some of the newer ones.  Still, these prompts have added value to the genealogy blogging community and bloggers are creating excellent content using them.

A Way Of Involving New Genealogy Bloggers

New comers to the world of genealogy blogging love blogging prompts.  Here’s why:

  • It isn’t always easy to come up with ideas for blog posts when first starting out.  Using Daily Blogging Prompts are a big help – that’s what newcomers say.
  • An instant sense of community and belonging is experienced by the new blogger.  They can find a commonality with other genealogy bloggers.  The roll-up widget posted here at GeneaBloggers for each theme allows bloggers to easily see the other posts around the same theme.
  • Regular posting and a certain rhythm to posting  develops over time.  Bloggers like to get in a groove and a routine just like with any other task or process.

Not Just For Newbies

Participation in Daily Blogging Prompts has never been mandatory nor does not posting mean you aren’t a “good geneablogger.”  Most of our members know that GeneaBloggers doesn’t have a lot of rules and restrictions – we leave that to real life.  We’ve built a unique community where participation is welcome in these activities and all other ones for that matter.

There is a wide range of bloggers who use the Daily Blogging Prompts – some long-time bloggers, some new, some who participate consistently and some who don’t.  It’s all good.

Can’t I Create My Own Blogging Themes?

Recently, footnote Maven made some very good points in her post Set Up A Blogging Editorial Calendar related to daily blogging themes.  In the section Self-Motivation for Bloggers, she states that while the Daily Blogging Prompt prompts are great for bloggers, folks should also feel free to create their own prompts.  I whole-heartedly agree!

I think that as bloggers we evolve over time.  As a new blogger, we are uncertain of the terrain, so we use the same prompts, memes and carnivals that other genealogy bloggers do.  Over time these prompts help build our “voice” and our writing style.  We gain confidence as we get feedback in our post comments and we feel comfortable making comments on the posts of others.

It is only natural that a genealogy blogger would set out on her or his own and develop their own series of prompts.  These are series of posts on a regular basis to which readers can look forward.  Look around and you’ll see Amanuensis MondayTuesday’s Child, Tombstone Thursday, and more.

New Blogging Themes

With that said, several members have asked for the creation of two new blogging themes. So here they are:

  • Follow Friday – this theme has been suggested by Earline Bradt of Ancestral Notes and it is a take off on the popluar #FollowFriday meme on Twitter.  The concept: recommend another blogger, a specific blog post or a genealogy resource to the genealogy community.  If you’ve found something or someone helpful, post about it/them and tell others why they should be followed.
  • Surname Saturday – this too started out as a Twitter meme as a way to get surname out so others on Twitter could see them.  For this new blogging theme, the concept is: Post about one or more of your surnames – talk about the origins, talk about their geographic locations, etc.  Anything that would help you bring more attention to the surname, especially if you have hit a brick wall or need assistance with research.

Starting tomorrow, Friday, October 23, 2009, we’ll have summary pages with roll-up widgets of posts for Follow Friday here at GeneaBloggers.  Then look for Surname Saturday and it looks like our week will be filled! You’ll never have a shortage of blogging topics, right?

Conclusion

Consider joining your genealogy blogging colleagues on any of the Daily Blogging Prompts if you haven’t done so already.  They’re fun, they can make us think about our memories, our ancestors and our research as well as help us interact with other bloggers.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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