Staying Relevant in the Online World


[Fish market, Bergen, Norway] (LOC)

[Fish market, Bergen, Norway] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Note: This piece is opinion and you may or may not agree with the points raised.


Several genealogists have questioned the value of social media as a means of getting business for themselves. Does it work? Is it worthwhile to do constant social marketing? I answer, no, not really. Social marketing only turns us into social butterflies flitting from one thing to the next, searching for relevance. That doesn’t mean that with a little focus, we can’t be more effective in our own patches.


We all have our own niches where we are relevant and effective. Where are we most useful in the largest scheme of things? At home in our own patches. Where is your patch? It might be New England, the Pacific Northwest, the Deep South, or elsewhere. This answers the question of using social media effectively in one respect: locality.


Do we have always to go outside of our own patch to find clients and customers? No. The thing is, we need to focus on what we know and keep it up at a level and longevity that makes sense for us. The simple answer is that clients will come to us, looking for us; we don’t have to go to them anymore. That’s the value of the Internet. Push marketing is outdated. Pull marketing is the way things are now.


What attracts clients in the first place? Pull marketing. Pull marketing is the goodwill we generate in our own niche markets. Do you have an effective website? Do you focus on what you know in your area? Are these items present in your marketing online? Speaking of which, this is what social marketers (all of us, really) need to focus on, not plugging something from someone else; that’s giving away your time for no or little gain. Focus on your own gain, in your own market niche and you’ll be fine.


Does that mean that you can’t market outside of your niche market? No, but does the effectiveness of such marketing show? Not really; especially if there’s no response at all most of the time, which is what you’ll find when you do venture in that direction. It’s just less effective in the long-term and in the short-term a waste of time.


The majority of social marketing we do, plugging, liking, and linking to products is all that we can do. It’s socializing with others, seeking their approval and approving things we like. As far as I’m concerned, this sort of marketing is not business marketing, but marketing others’ products for them. It’s a time-consuming effort to constantly do such things and because of the low return on investment of your time, worthless.


Just focus on the who, what, where, when, and how of what you specialize in and you will be more effective in getting clients.




© 2012 N. P. Maling – Sea Genes Family History & Genealogy Research




English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In case you were wondering . . .

I’ve restarted my book selling business and will be focusing on that for the time being. I’ve kept the Seattle Book Scouts’ Blog for a while, here on, but haven’t maintained it for a while. I might open up that again in the future.

In the meantime, feel free to browse the archives here and there, and look for the very occasional post here.



Series Introduction: 1940 Obituaries

Over the next three months, I plan to post obituaries from the Pacific Northwest states. These posts will ostensibly be part of the Geneabloggers “Sunday’s Obituary” prompt. The overall theme, though, is that they all come from Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, and the months of January, February, and March in 1940.

Washington and Oregon have the best coverage of the four states that I focus on, so I’ve decided to focus on these two. Instead of my current location, Seattle, Spokane’s Spokesman-Review will provide the post content. Oregon’s Oregonian, out of Portland, will provide obituaries from there.

One interesting thing is that the two Alaska newspapers I’ve looked at for source materials, from Anchorage and Fairbanks, have no obituaries in them. My tentative workaround for this issue is to find articles about deaths through accident, murder, or other event, including of course, old age.

For Idaho, the University of Washington’s Suzzallo & Allen Library’s Microfilm and News department doesn’t have anything for the right time period. The closest interesting newspaper microfilm from that place and time period is at the Washington State University library in Pullman. Thus, Idaho will not be covered in the series, even though it is a Pacific Northwest state.

It will be an interesting series to read and I’m having fun putting it together. Enjoy.


© 2012 N. P. Maling

GeneaBlog Award – “Best Reanimated Genealogy Blog”

Thanks are due, once again, to that erudite scholar of genealogy, Tamura Jones, for recognizing this blogger’s efforts. He has given me the honor of, ummm, rising from the dead?

Thank you to everyone for making this award worthwhile.

Michael Hait’s recent piece on the genealogy blogosphere, and Thomas MacEntee’s, also, highlight the higher significance of our contributions to the community.

These two writers have inspired me over the past five-odd months to continue blogging into the next year. I’ve got plans for 2012, with some reconsideration of set-aside items, to start with.

Right now, though, I’m trying to get a book to press. Look for it by the end of the month, or, at worst, in January.

Happy holidays, everyone.


Wordless Wednesday – Views of Moscow, Russia

Booklet of views of Moscow, Russia. Produced by the Foreign Languages Publishing House.

Mockba Views, Cover

Cover of the Mockba Views booklet

Front Cover: Soviet of Workers’ Deputies

Back Cover: “Dvorets Sovietov” Underground Station

Captions on backs of pictures in six languages, including English, which follow:

  • Kremlin. General View
  • Kremlin. Blagoveshchensky Cathedral / 1484–1489 / (left), and Arkangelsky Cathedral / 1505–1509 / (right)
  • Kremlin. Uspensky Cathedral / 1475–1479 /, architect Aristotle Fioravante
  • Kremlin. Belfry of Ivan the Great / 1505–1508 /
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral / 1555–1560 /, architects Barma and Postnik
  • Red Square
  • Lenin Museum
  • Sverdlov Square and the Bolshoi Theatre
  • Gorky Street
  • Monument to A. S. Pushkin / 1880 / sculptor Opekushin
  • Chaikovsky Conservatoire
  • Lenin Library / 1784–1786 /, architect Bazhenov
  • Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
  • Tretyakov Gallery. Founded in 1856
  • Krymsky Bridge over the Moskva River
  • Frunzenskaya Embankment
  • Moscow University. Built in 1952
  • Lenin Central Stadium
  • In Izmailovo Park
  • Novodevichy Monastery. Founded in 1524
  • Komsomolskaya Square
  • Ostankino Museum: Former Count Sheremetyev’s Palace
  • USSR Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition

Scans of “Lenin Museum” and “Sverdlov Square and the Bolshoi Theatre” scenes are below

Scenes in Mockba Views

Scenes in Mockba Views


Dimensions: 6.5ʺ tall × 4.5ʺ wide × 0.5ʺ thick

Map of Moscow on front and back endpapers.

Damage to lower right corner border: Kremlin. General View

Slight edge damage: Kremlin. Blagoveshchensky Cathedral / 1484–1489 / (left), and Arkangelsky Cathedral / 1505–1509 / (right)

Light general wear otherwise and some darkening of paper