Sunday, October 25, 2009

Creative Gene's 4 Yr Anniversary

I've been blogging now for four years. It's become so much a part of my life that it's hard to remember what I used to do with my free time before blogging. I've made some great friends in the process and learned so much about their personal histories that I sometimes forget that I've never actually met most of them in person. "Rich" is a word that comes to mind. My life is so much richer these days and it's all thanks to the Creative Gene blog.

I'd like to take you back, if I may, to the posts I wrote on previous CG blog anniversaries. In my 1st yr anniversary post I wrote about the lessons learned in my first year of blogging. If anyone reading this now is a newbie blogger or contemplating starting a blog, I encourage you to read that post. When I went back to read it I realized it is the very same advice I would give to anyone today with the exception of my regret for not choosing WordPress instead of Blogger. The frustrating things about Blogger I was referring to have been corrected and are no longer a concern of mine. I'm happy enough with using Blogger now. Go ahead... go read about my struggle to "find my voice".

In my 2nd yr anniversary post I wrote about the many achievements I realized in my second year of blogging and what I tried and failed at. It was quite a good year for CG, even if it was a difficult year for me personally. I felt a great deal of pride when I went back and reread that post. I'd like to have that many accomplishments to point to every year I spend blogging!

My 3rd yr anniversary post was dedicated to all the many friends I'd made in the time I'd been blogging. I created a scrapbook page with many of the faces I'd come to know and love. I didn't write much besides my thanks but do check out the comments. I was blown away by the number of people who took the time to stop by and leave a comment. I am truly blessed.

So that brings us to this post marking my 4th year of authoring the Creative Gene blog. What great insights do I have to share this time around? Let's start with the highlights, shall we?

I had the opportunity to meet two blogging friends face-to-face this year, Kathryn and Becky, and one last year, Apple. These are great women who I would never have met if not for my Creative Gene blog.

I received the Proximidade Award and the Kreativ Blogger award and CG came in #4 in the ProGenealogists' 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs for 2009 List. Just call me proud :-) . Along the same lines, the Creative Gene blog has been nominated for Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs contest (don't forget to vote for your favorite blog!). I'm pleased as punch to be a nominee along with the other very talented bloggers.

Other things to note in this last year of blogging... Creative Gene blog had fewer posts in my 4th year of blogging than it did in the three previous years. I reached 500 blog posts on my 2nd year anniversary (1st yr=166, 2nd yr=333). And I wrote 279 posts in my 3rd year. My 4th year of blogging saw only 141 posts added to CG for a couple of reasons. 1) I had less "hobby time" for blogging (deaths of 2 family members in Dec. 2008, purchasing a fixer-upper condo in January 2009, and Facebook/Twitter... all of which were big distractions for me). 2) Like many other bloggers, I now do my "socializing" on Facebook. In my first 3 years of blogging I often included "off topic" blog posts on CG where I shared something I found interesting or funny but not necessarily genealogy related (personal memes, etc). That's all been moved to Facebook now. So CG had less posts but is more genealogy focused than ever.

Another change in Creative Gene over the last year was the Carnival of Genealogy. Roughly half of the past year's COG editions were hosted on CG while the other half were hosted by guest bloggers. The format of the COG changed somewhat too. I stopped writing intros and comments for each blog post which saved me a lot of time but hasn't gone over too well with the readers or participants. And the COG has a lot of competition these days for well written articles. The COG more or less moved in a direction I'm not happy with.

According to Google Analytics, my web site traffic was down some 24% in the last year over the previous year. I attribute that to only hosting the COG half the time, over all posting less than I used to, and putting full posts in my feeds (so now people don't have to visit my site to read my posts).

I want to be a better writer. I want what appears on the Creative Gene blog to be better quality. I want to strive for excellence! With that in mind, there will be changes coming to the COG in the near future. I'm not going to go into those changes right now because I haven't worked all the details out yet. But they will all be for the better.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the readers of my blog. I appreciate you "tuning in" and I especially appreciate you leaving comments! I always enjoy hearing from my readers!!!

And a big huge thank you goes out to all who have contributed to the Carnival of Genealogy and those who have guest hosted the COG! You guys are the best!!!

I've had a great 4 years of blogging :-D (This is post #919)

22 comments:

  1. Happy 4th Blogiversary! It's hard to get my mind around four years - that's such a long time in the blog-sphere. On the other hand it feels like I've been reading Creative Gene forever! You have much to be proud of and I'm looking forward to year #5 :-)

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  2. Wow! Another anniversary and another great article. I look forward to many more years or good reading and good friendship. You go girl!

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  3. Happy Blogiversary, Jasia!
    You've enriched the lives of all the
    geneabloggers who read and write for the CoG. You are one of the reasons
    the geneablogging community exists!
    Thank you!

    Bill

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  4. Jasia,

    I can't believe you've been doing this for four years! I "found" you, and genealogy blogs in general, about two years ago. And I'm so glad I did. I enjoy everything you write, I enjoy your creativity, and most of all I enjoy your friendship. We've never met in person, but I still consider you a good, dear friend. Thanks for blogging, for without it we would have never "met"! Sto Lat - here's to another 100 years of Creative Gene.

    Donna

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  5. Congratulations on 4 wonderful years! Yours was one of the first genealogy blogs I found, and I continue to enjoy it so much. Here's to many more years of blogging!

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  6. Happy Anniversary, Jasia! Your writing & great posts gave me the motivation to start All My Branches - and I'm pleased to count you as one of my first genealogy friends! Here's to many more years!

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  7. Congratulations Jasia on your 4th blogiversary. Thank you for your interesting postings and creative scrapbook pages.

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  8. Happy Blogoversary! I have learned so much from reading Creative Gene. Mnohaya lita!

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  9. As you know Jasia you were one of the first contacts I had in the world of genealogy blogging, a little over two years ago. Yours was the first genealogy blog I read and the first one I followed.

    I know that I would not be where I am from a blogging perspective or genealogy without your support, advice and feedback. You and Creative Gene are a true gift to the genealogy community.

    Happy blogiversary!

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  10. Congratulations, Jasia. Four years blogging. Wow! So many good things have come from it. You even got to meet me in person - LOL. The COG was a stroke of genius and was the beginning of what would become a community of genea-bloggers. For that we are all indebted to you. Thanks.

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  11. I would have to disagree that those great years have been yours, my friend.

    The great years have been ours, your faithful band of readers. Great for having known you, read you, laughed with you and cried with you.

    I would not be blogging today were it not for the COG and your encouragement.

    Congratulations and thank you!

    -fM

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  12. Happy 4th blogiversary, my dear Jasia - so mysterious still!

    Thank you for all of the creative posts and the many wonderful Carnivals of Genealogy over the years. The pleasure has been all ours (well, mine, in particular).

    But most of all, thank you for the support you've constantly given to the rest of us. We have built this genealogy blogging community into something pretty wonderful and we need to keep it alive.

    All the best - and many more years of blogging whatever you want to write about - it's all good!

    Cheers -- Randy

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  13. Happy 4th Anniversary. I love having your feed.
    Frances

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  14. Congratulations on your 4th Year, Jasia. You've encouraged many new bloggers along the way and made new friends and faithful readers too.
    Wishing you many more happy blogging years!

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  15. Happy fourth anniversary,
    I am new to this community of genealogy bloggers, and your CG blog was one of the first I read --- and I was hooked. Thanks,

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  16. Congratulations on four years! I have been reading your blog for nearly a year and found you because of your Polish ancestry postings. Your posts have inspired me to tackle my husband's Polish ancestry. I look forward to reading your blog for many years to come.

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  17. Four years of blogging - WOW! It has also been over three years since we discovered that we were separated at birth. ;)

    All my warmest wishes for the coming year, Jasia. We will meet someday. I just discovered that I have cousins in Michigan!

    Steve

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  18. Congratulations Jasia! Your blog was one of the biggest reasons why I started blogging about my Polish ancestry. Thanks for all your research and posts!

    Best Regards,
    Al

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  19. Congratulations, Jasia!

    Your achievement, along with your always helpful advice - for many of my silly newbie blogging questions) - was very important to me when making decisions about Tracing the Tribe.

    Looking forward to year 5.

    with best wishes
    Schelly

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  20. Jasia,
    Congratulations to my blog-guru on your 4th blogiversary! I credit you for so many of the good changes we have made at CGS. I know I sound like a broken record but EVERY society out there needs to make Declining Membership in Genealogical Societies required reading for its board. You drew me a map and I am still following it and meeting in Marshall was the high point! Keep on inspiring us. Gratulacje!

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  21. Wow! Four years already! You really have made such a difference in so many lives with Creative Gene and wish you many more years of success. Sto Lat!
    Waleria

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  22. Thank you all for your very kind and thoughtful comments. Each and every one of them put a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I am truly blessed to have so many friends!

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