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Sunday, 1 January 2012

A Blogging Review 2011

If you are the start of your blogging journey,  take my word - it is a great fulfilling expererience.  I soon got hooked from my first posting in late August 2010 and have far exceeded my original target of one posting per week - now up to 218.  So here is a review of 2011 activity.

My blogging stats show I have had 9744 pageviews (no idea how this compares with anything), with 64% from UK and USA, followed  by Australia and Canada, and surprisingsly Russia, Germany, Ukraine, India and Japan.  I have 43 followers which I reasonbly happy with, but always delighted to see this figure go up.

The most popular postings I am sure have a lot to do with the prompts from http://www.geneablogger.com/   such as Wedding Wednesday and Black Sheep Sunday.   Some postings are for my own pleasure, notably my "Stop Press" series of items in old newspapers that appeal and also a November series on  "Lest We Forget" on war memorials.   My postings on WDYTYA (UK) singularly failed to attract aattention!  
Overall, comments from fellow bloggers remain all important and motivational.

  • The highlight of the 2011 blogging year must be finding  my third cousin Stuart who discovered my blog.  We share the same great great grandparents Henry Danson  and Elizabeth Calvert.  Amazingly since we had both moved away from our home town of Blackpool, Lancashire, we now live only 50 miles apart and have met and exchanged photographs and  memories - we even went to the same primary school.

    Stuart has given my blog a real boost, as he is happy for me to feature stories and photographs, notably the wedding pictures which are always popular with readers (what magnificent hats!),  and my favourite an advertising blotter of his mother,  Elsie Oldham.  who was a hairdresser in the 1920's - see  Bobbing and Shingling.

  • Another blog boost as regards content and presentaion  has come from taking part in  blogger tutorial and advice, notably Tonia at http://www.toniasroots.net/ and Amy at http://wetree.blogspot.com
  • I was delighted that one of my suggested themes was chosen by http://www.geneabloggers.com/ as a new daily prompt - Travel Thursday to tell stories of our ancestors who have travelled by various means and across countries and continents.
  • Participating in the special  themes from http://www.geneabloggers.com/  is a stimulating, enjoyable and satisfying task, so thank you to Fearless Females, 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History and the Advent Calendar - I look forward to more such themes.
  • Reseach wise I feel I have come close to a halt (back to 1736 on my Danson side),  unless more distant cousins emerge, but new material online is always of interest e.g. British Post Office Appointment Books on http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ which list two of my great uncles.  My brick wall remains with tracing the birth and parentage of my grandmother Alice English  - still my major research target.
  • Another achievement to look back on is the completion of Part 2 of my family history "Danson Ancestors"  purely for family, but It is amazing how different your work can look once is is typed, printed and sprial bound. 
  • I have recently entered the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS)  competition  to write a 1000 word profile of ancestor  (my great grandmother Maria Rawcliffe: 1859-1919).  I am sure my experience of writng for the blog has helped here. For Christmas  I made presentation copies for Maria's three surviving granddaughters.  
  • Sharing my enthusiasm for family history has meant a lot to me and I presented two workshops on "An Introduction to Family History" at my local Heritage Centre, plus gave a talk on "The Census is the Key" (to mark the release  of Scotlands's 1911 census in April - see http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/). I like to get across that  family history is so much more than names and dates and it is journey of discovery to trace the stories connected with our ancestors, whatever their status in life. 
 So a great blogging year to look back on, and I look forward to 2012 both as a reader and writer.


  1. You had a wonderful 2011, congrats! Happy New Year, may 2012 be even better!!

  2. Thank you for the mention, Susan! Have a great 2012.

  3. Well done, Susan - I started my blog in Aug 2010 too (7949 page views to date, so a bit behind you!) and I really enjoy it as well. Much more so than my business blog, which is being sadly neglected. Happy New Year and look forward to your 2011 posts - well done :-) Jo (imagespast - wordpress won't let me leave a comment under that name for some reason)


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