Identify Organizations to Follow – it’s time for a list!

This is 6th in a series of articles on genealogy news blogging. Click here to read the 5th part in the series, Getting Organized.

to-do- listAnd finally, we get to the fun stuff, research! Next in the process of setting yourself up as a genealogy news blogger is to make a list of those organizations who publish records online or share other types of news and how-to information for your locality. There are sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry, who publish records from all over the world, as well as smaller county- and even city-level organizations to follow.

As you identify these sites, you will learn how to follow them and add links to their “updates pages” to the folders created in Getting Organized.

 

Follow the “Big” online records providers

I’ve written a couple of blog posts about how to follow the larger websites that publish records online. Follow any of them who could publish records for your locality. You can find the instructions here:

 

Find additional organizations to follow

After you have a system to follow them, you’ll expand your list and find organizations that focus in local records. There are many ways to discover these organizations. Likely, you already know about most of them through your own research. Here are a few ideas to expand your list:

  1. List the genealogical/archival organizations in your area.
    Start with those in the larger population centers, and just take them one-by-one. This can come to grow quickly when you look at genealogy societies (and more here), historical societies, archives, genealogy libraries, and universities in your area. So start with those that will be valuable for the majority of your readers.
     
  2. Check the FamilySearch Research Wiki, Online Genealogy Records links.
    These pages have been curated by expert genealogists and share popular online databases for many regions. Here is an example for Kansas.
     
  3. Set up Google Alerts for your keywords.
    Google provides a service that will do a regular search for keywords and send you the results of that search. You can set up dozens of alerts for the counties and cities in your state so that you know when blog posts and news articles are published about genealogy for that area. Set them up here.
    (Important: News articles about specific US county records do not always include the state name in the article, that’s why it’s good to set it up for both counties and cities. Additionally, the word genealogy may not always be mentioned, “history” is another good word to use.)

 

The Process is Coming Together

This is finally where everything in the previous steps begins coming together. Now, you have:

  • a set time in your schedule to check what’s going on with these websites and organizations,
  • a list of websites to check,
  • and an efficient way to check them.

You are ready to go!

 

Let me know if you’ve been considering adding this to your blog (or starting a new one), or you know someone else who is already doing this. A few of us are creating an online group and would love your thoughts.

 

Coming Next: Tips and Tricks for Following the Websites (no matter how they keep you updated)


Photo courtesy of Rory Finneren, To-Do List

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