Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Organize Those Blogs

No matter how long you have been searching for your ancestors, how many places you have looked, how many websites you have subscribed to and how much $$$$ you have spent, there is always somewhere new to look and someone with a new perspective. There are tools, resources and plans of attack you haven't even dreamed of yet. Every researcher has their "toolbox" and every one of them uses different tools differently.  

I am curious by nature and have always had an interest in how someone else does the same thing I am doing. They may know something I don't know, have a different approach to the same problem, use resources I don't know about - in short, they may have a nicer toolbox.  And genealogists are always very willing to share their tools.

One way to find new tools (ideas, approaches, websites, apps, software, and gizmos) is the blogosphere.  There are more genealogy blogs out there than there are "stars in the heavens". Really. Some of you might think you barely have time to do all the things you already have on your plate - how in the heck are you going to find time to read a couple of dozen blogs each day. Well, it's actually rather easy.  I follow 38 different blogs and look at them every day. It takes me about 10 minutes. There are many blog organizers out there - and today I am going to share the one I use.

Feedly (www.feedly.com) is a blog organizer that is free, intuitive, easy to sign up for and use.  I have my browser set up so that each time I open it, all my most-used stuff is tabbed across the top.  

So my Feedly is always available for me to browse. Once you have a Feedly account, you can add blogs to your list as you find them. Just add the mini Feedly extension to your browser-of-choice. If you have a blog opened in your browser the little Feedly extension shows up in your browser bar.

To add the blog you are reading to your Feedly list, just click on the extension and Feedly adds it to your list. You can organize your list of blogs by topics - I have my Feedly page organized into sections for blogging, Evernote, Genealogy, Writing, Computer Info and Technology.  

Any time you have a minute or two, you can click on the tab, and Feedly will present you with a list of snippets of unread blogposts from the blogs you have chosen. You can scan the snips, decide what you want to read and/or save, or which one's you want to ignore and delete.  

It is easy to get bogged down trying to keep up with everything the internet can serve up.  There is a lot of useless stuff out there mixed in with the good.  But there are a lot of truly good genealogy bloggers who can serve up stuff you can use.  

Below I have listed some my favorites. Also, websties such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Rootsweb, etc. have their own blogs.  If you use/subscribe to one of these and are building your family tree there, it would be a good idea to subscribe to their blog.  If you are interested in the DNA aspect of your family history search, there are dozens of those you can pick through.  If you would like to take a look at the list of the best 100 genealogy blogs for 2015, click here.  Take a peek and start a Feedly list of your own!

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