Monthly Archives: September 2016

Visiting our Shores

dsc05018One of the great things about having an overseas visitor stay is showing them around our great city of Sydney and state of New South Wales.

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Having visited several historic churches in Sydney, the convict barracks, the mint, Sydney Hospital and the Mitchell Library, we have just spent the last few days on the road showing our Edenborough cousin from England the fabulous wineries of Orange, the historic villages of Carcoar and Millthorpe, the amazing road circuit of Mt Panorama at Bathurst and the scenic Blue Mountains.

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The coming week will see us visit several more Sydney icons including Cockatoo Island on the Harbour, Taronga Zoo and Manly, as well as day trips down the coast to Bundeena and Kiama before our visitor moves on to another fabulous Australian city, Adelaide.

RootsTech 2017

rootstech-logoWith the announcement of the official opening of registrations for RootsTech 2017, came a bright and colourful new website and publication of sessions and labs available throughout the conference.

The 4-day conference will offer attendees a full line-up of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers with more than 200 Breakout Sessions covering DNA, Tools, Photos, Stories, Organising and Discovery, including hands-on computer labs taught by industry professionals and leaders.

And then there is the interactive activities and exhibitors in the Expo Hall. Along with Innovation Alley, Discovery Zone and the Demo Theatre, RootsTech 2017 will see the introduction of two new events in the Expo Hall:

Coaches’ Corner will provide one-on-one mentoring from an expert genealogist; and

Heirloom Show and Tell where you can bring in any small item or photo of a large item you’ve been wondering about, and they’ll tell you about it.

Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time with 4-day passes at just $159 and $189 for the RootsTech plus Innovator Summit pass. Passes for the Getting Started track start at $49 for a single day and $69 for a limited 3-day pass. All passes include access to the popular expo hall and morning keynote sessions.

Exercises 5, 6 and 7 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Today, I find that I’m able to whizz through the next three exercises for various reasons.

For Exercise 5, I am, in fact, going to skip the exercise completely until I have grown a readership and can return to complete the exercise.

Onward to Exercise 6 where the challenge was “less about ‘doing’ and more about ‘learning’ and increasing your knowledge of blogging”. However, this exercise only required reading through a collection of helpful articles presented by ten successful  bloggers. This turned out to be a great exercise and one where I found some very useful and pertinent ideas that could easily be incorporated into my own blog writing.

And finally, Exercise 7 which was about writing a link post.  While there are many ways to write a link post, doing so should only be undertaken if linking to something of value. In his overview of the exercise, Darren Rowse, offers six types of link posts to consider:

  • Build upon the points of others
  • Take the opposite point of view
  • Build a resource on a topic
  • Speed linking
  • One question interviews
  • Suggest further reading and give examples

I’ve chosen to build a resource on a topic for this exercise and presently there is no better topic for me than RootsTech. I’m keen to read up on blogs relating to past RootsTech events that will prepare me for my upcoming role as an official ambassador at RootsTech 2017.

Among the wonderful assortment of posts returned by Dr Google for previous RootsTech conferences were some great reads by well-known genie bloggers including Thomas MacEntee writing for Geneabloggers, Kirsty Gray from Family Wise and Australia’s very own Jill Ball of GeniAus. However, the crème de la crème had to be Randy Seaver’s RootsTech 2016 Conference Blog Compendium. I know I am going to be very busy over the next few days reading through all of the articles posted by 73 separate bloggers that Randy was able to source.

Exercise 4 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

This exercise involved spending time on a successful blog in my niche so that I might observe the content, reader engagement, design, and monetization.

With genealogy, there are just so many great blogs out there that those I want to read regularly are added to my RSS FeedReader so that I can catch up with them when I have time. Sometimes this is weekly other times it is closer to monthly.

Picking one blog to scrutinise was difficult but I eventually settled on the FamilySearch blog. While not a money-making blog, I felt that it was one that is more than worthy of being a regular read.

The blog covers an inordinate amount of material taking in everything from community projects, new records, how to as well as why, photos and family history stories and, of course, everything to do with RootsTech.

New posts are uploaded every couple of days by either the team at FamilySearch or by guest bloggers and cover all levels of genealogy material for the beginners to the professional.

While the posts I looked at didn’t generate a lot of comment traffic, what comment there was showed that FamilySearch are certainly doing things right.

Tools and mediums used by the site include linking to their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and G+ sites with options to subscribe to their blog via newsletters and RSS feeds.

But probably the best thing about the blog for me is the design – it is clean with plenty of white space and requires minimal interaction to move around.