Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Genea-opportunities - we each choose what is right for us

Genea-opportunities  - we each choose what is right for us

Thomas MacEntee, at GeneaBloggers.com, is writing a series of posts this week on the multiple opportunities in the genealogy industry/community - including as a career. As with any blog post, the comments recorded are also very useful to consider. Also, please note the thanks he gives at the end of the posts, and in the posts, to other useful information by others.

This series was prompted by a number of blog posts and Facebook discussions over the past several days. I took a small part in some of those discussions, and feel the need to add some further comments of my own here, as well as to bring attention to the fine series Thomas is presenting. Others are doing the same...

As you know, I am a retired university business school professor emeritus who also has pursued my own family history and genealogy seriously since 1995. I began blogging seriously in September of 2005, as a volunteer (as part of my life as a professor) working in local tourism. I retired at age 70 and am still capable of writing and reading at a high level of my own choosing.

Note the 'of my own choosing' phrase, above. During my first year of retirement, I made a conscious effort to determine what mix of work and leisure was going to work best for me - and my wife. I blogged about it.

As retirement approached, I became familiar with the latest Print-on-Demand book publishing options, and began to publish non-fiction family history books (4 to date). Promoting these books lead to my book blog, which included reviews and other book related activities, begun in March 2009. I am an active member of LibraryThing and their Early Reviewer program. In doing a thorough review of blogging in general, to promote my books, I discovered genealogy blogs. I began my genealogy related blog in September 2009 as a part of that process.

The one specific goal I had set for that first retirement year was to: finish the fiction novel I had begun in 1987 - before the first retirement year was over. Promotion of the work and the novel was tied into the book blog, but, I also created a new blog for the family saga novel series that appeared to be headed for a trilogy. The first novel in the series, "Back to the Homeplace," was completed and published, in Spring 2010. The second in the series, "The Homeplace Revisited," will appear in June 2011, with a little luck. While I make a few dollars from the novels, it does not cover the cost of the others books we are buying and reading every month!

Two additional non-fiction family history books are in the works, and I am anxious to get into them in more depth as soon as the second novel is laid to rest.

In the summer of 2010 I also became affiliated with Examiner.com. This is a commercial news organization of the online era. I assume the closest comparison might be to the Huffington Post... however, the point of Examiner.com is that it focuses on local news written by local writers. It is 'for pay' in the broadest sense of the word - that is, we are paid very little (unless we are read widely and get a "lot" of hits on our articles). Only a few are able to write for the money - most of us write for the love of the writing and the recognition of our work in print. I write on two topics: as Springfield (MO) Genealogy Examiner, and, as Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Note: I appreciated subscribers (free)!

And, I am still the retired Grandpa and husband that I am expected to be - I hope!

So, GeneaBlogger is 'one of my favorite things' - but far from my only thing! Amateur or professional is the least of my concerns, thank you very much. That is my 'two cents' - I hope you will write about yours! 

[As I am writing this, Amy Coffin published her thoughts on The We Tree Genealogy Blog! I'm sure there are others, as well!  ;-) ]

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Thanks for the mention, Bill! As always, I appreciate your valuable insight.

  2. Dr. Bill - I love hearing "how you got here," and I think you strike the right note for so many of us who come to genealogy and family history from an educational background. This pursuit is better than crossword puzzles, which I cannot seem to master, and less expensive than working toward a new degree. Yet, it offers a wonderful challenge and the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people -- without leaving home, if necessary.

    Thanks for sharing this. I am in awe of all you manage to squeeze into your days.