I got a great email two days ago regarding the content of my other blog (http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com ) and my Family History project. The email was from a person I mentored many years ago. They were curious about starting their own Family History project but were scared/worried that people would leave nasty comments or worse on their blog in reference to the project.
First off, trolls are out there. If you live your life afraid of trolls then you will never look under bridges. Leave your blog in moderated mode and don’t approve troll comments. That also reduces the number of SPAM comments on your blog as well (how many SEO posts can one blog have anyway). So don’t worry about people that are going to post nasty comments. They will never appear on your blog if you so choose. You can also post home if you choose it is wholly your choice, your blog.
The next question focused more on how do you choose the stories you tell. My family history project started because my father died. I wish I had started the project before he died so I could have shared with him the memories he built for me. I am in fact now remembering my mother (with her reading it) on the family history blog for that very reason. There is something to be said for sharing what you remember of the people around you. the discussions, arguments and memories are things you can both share with them, and discuss with them. But it is also something that the future can enjoy. Once out there it is available for consumption.
The last question was one of post production consumption. In other words once you have the blog started what do you do with it? Personally I am a huge fan of Blog2print. They offer a great service (consuming your blog and turning it into a physical book, or a PDF file). The service they offer is amazing and you end up with either a physical book, or PDF files that encompass your entire blog. Some blogs are good, some are average and some are horrible. I write quite a few stinkers but the goal is write the blog and post it. Let others decide if the message has value for them.
How do I get started on a Family History project? That one is one I’ve answered before, and was the question that started my friends conversation. Not the last question but the first question. But handled last, because sometimes the first is last. Like this case, the first is last. Anyway how do I get started? Don’t wait for a moment you can’t go before. By that I mean don’t wait like I did for a moment that creates a need. Start earlier and share what you know. Play the Carpenters song “Sing, Sing a song” everyday for a week before you start. It will inspire you to get something out there.
It doesn’t matter what trolls say to you. It only matters that you get the stories out, that you share. Now the other part of our family history project was scanning all the old pictures we had. Pictures from many years ago (some 40 and 50 years old). I’ve added those pictures to the project recently and it makes the project that much more fun. Remembering who is in the pictures, many pictures I don’t even remember who is there. But other people do, and you can begin to share more and more.
You don’t have to do pictures. You don’t have to do a family history project. But if you do, start now. Start before you miss telling a family member how much they meant to you.