Apparently this is NaBloPoMo, or in English, “National Blog Post Month,” so I’m going to not quite participate, but encourage others to at least post some.
My current favorite blogging platform is WordPress.com, a hosted version of the WordPress.org blogging platform. A whole lot of genealogy blogs are there and I spent the other day looking at a couple hundred of them. A couple hundred? Yup! It was fun, and I now follow most of them. I’ve also added them to my del.icio.us list under the keywords “genealogy” and “blogs.”
One, “Stanczyk – Internet Muse,” has recent, and interesting, op-ed piece about Ancestry.com. The Stanczyk blog I read pretty much weekly because the writer has interesting materials and things to say way outside of my own research interests. Another, “Potato Roots,” has such an interesting name that I shared a comment with it’s owner.
WordPress.com encourages responsible and reasonably accurate blogging. It also enforces a good no-ads policy. A couple of tools I especially like on WordPress.com are the Zemanta content suggestion feature and the After-the-Deadline spelling and grammar checking feature.
The Zemanta feature is a huge collection of material from your own and others’ blogs and websites that can be re-used without fear of copyright infringement. It can suggest images from a bunch of popular sites, including Flickr, Picasa, Wikipedia, and other Creative Commons-oriented repositories.
The After-the-Deadline tool takes your text and runs it through a well-maintained dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar checking tool and offers up corrections and improvements to better match online reading habits and writing styles. While the A-t-D extension doesn’t work on the scale of the tools in a regular word processor like OpenOffice.org Writer, it is a good final check to help you look better online.
These two tools, Zemanta, and A-t-D, are also available as Chrome and Firefox extensions, so they are useful even if you don’t use the best integrated blogging platform. The A-t-D extension even works on regular websites and social media spots like Google Plus.
Another feature I really like on WordPress is it’s media library. No more flipping about in Google Docs for links and sharing permissions and posting those links into your Blogger blog. Yuck! In the WP dashboard, a well-designed cockpit, you can upload and manage materials sharable by the blog as a whole or on a post-by-post basis. Each entry for the media items shows which part of the blog it is attached to, so you can find things easily.
While WordPress blogging won’t make you a better genealogist, it will make what genealogy stuff you post look better.
Hoping to see more genealogy blogs on WP, soon.
© 2011 N. P. Maling – Sea Genes Family History & Genealogy Research