Open Thread Thursday – Genealogy Blog Bling


Judy Webster who runs, among other great genealogy blogs, Queensland Genealogy, wrote me from far flung Australia about the following issue: what gadgets, widgets, plugins, etc. do you consider ESSENTIAL for a genealogy blog?

Think of not just your own genealogy blog, but say as a first time user of genealogy blogs, what would be most helpful to these newcomers? The motivation for Judy’s questions comes from the fact that there are still folks using dial-up (rural Australia, and I bet the rural United States as well) and some blogs seem overloaded with bells and whistles which can slow down page loading.

Judy has come up with a “short list” of what she considers “must haves” in a genealogy blog:

  • About me
  • Subscribe option
  • Follow option
  • Labels (as a cloud or list, with or without numbers?)
  • Blog archive
  • Links to other blogs
  • Links to Websites about related topics

This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

* * *

Please either post on today’s topic of Genealogy Blog Bling at your own blog and then post the link here in the comments or simply add your two cents in the comments section:

  • What do you consider essential in terms of widgets, sidebar items, etc. for a genealogy blog?
  • Have you taken steps to minimize or streamline your blog in consideration of dial-up and even mobile users?
  • Where should the “bling” be placed – sidebar, header, footer, other location?
  • What about other blog template items such as font size, background color, etc.?

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.


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