Monday, October 25, 2010

Creative Gene, 5 Years of Making My Way in the Genealogy Blogging Community

5!  ~

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of my Creative Gene blog. It's time for some reflection I suppose.

Let's start off on a high note. Yippee! I'm happy to be here! Five years is a respectably long time to keep a blog going. I'm proud to have done it. It feels like a real accomplishment. I feel like something of a veteran blogger now, not so much old as experienced. I've found my "voice" and become comfortable with the ever-changing pace of my blog postings. I've come to realize and accept (without need for apology to others) that when you're committed to something such as blogging which has no end in sight you will have periods of high productivity and lack thereof, enthusiasm and burnout, pure genius as well as mediocrity in writing, and sometimes just plain lack of inspiration too. I have been there, done that (and felt that, done that, felt that too). And I'm still writing.

I've seen a lot of changes in the past 5 years, on my own blogs and on other's. I've seen the genealogy blogging community grow and grow and grow. I liken it to a community that once only had a handful of mom and pop shops, specialty boutiques, and galleries... and then Walmart came to town. That is NOT intended as a criticism, by the way. Walmart is very good at what they do, selling the same goods in many locations. Sometimes having Walmart in town makes it challenging for the boutiques and galleries to stay in business but there will always be some customers who prefer to shop for something unique. That's where I'm comfortable, in being unique. At times I thought I should become a part of Walmart but I've let go of that and found peace.

A 5 year anniversary is a milestone of sorts. I had another one that went unmentioned last month... my 1,000th blog post. And I have another one coming up soon (December 4th), the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. All of these milestones serve as a measure of my dedication to my blog. But before anyone pats me on the back I need to say that I wouldn't have kept this up without you, my loyal readers. Dedicated as I am to Creative Gene, I'm sure I wouldn't have kept it going all this time if no one was reading it or commenting on it. I write for myself, yes, but I write for you too. And it's very affirming to find comments in my email box. :-) I don't always thank my commentators, shame on me I know, but I read and appreciate all of your comments... even in the rare instances when someone disagrees with me ;-)

So what's up next at Creative Gene? Well, as of a couple days ago, I have a fresh new look to my blog. If you're reading this on an RSS feed reader you should stop by and have a look. I've taken my blog back to its roots. When I first started this blog I was using it for a number of my hobbies, including photography. Later it evolved to just genealogy. Now I'm reintroducing my photography and will use it as a backdrop. I'll change it periodically but you won't know when so stop by often. ;-)

And then... The 99th edition of the COG will be published in a couple weeks and with it will be the call for submissions for the 100th edition. I'm not going to divulge the topic for the 100th edition just yet but I am going to tell you this much... the 100th edition of the COG is going to be a FAMILY REUNION! I'm asking all of you who have ever written for the COG to please participate in the 100th edition. After all, if you've written for the COG you are part of the COG family. It's your responsibility as a member of this family to attend the FAMILY REUNION. OK, so maybe it's not your responsibility but I'm asking you nicely. Maybe I'm begging you. Or am I groveling at your feet? No, no. I draw the line at groveling. I'll beg but not grovel. Please don't make me grovel. I hate to grovel. Here's the thing... I want 100 (or more) submissions to celebrate the 100th edition!

I know there are well over 100 authors who have written for the COG over the past 99 editions, probably over 200. I promise the topic will be a universal one that everyone can write a colorful, engaging article for. So there will not be the usual ceiling of 30 submissions, instead there will be a floor of 100! You're not going to let me down on this, are you? Because if I don't get at least 100 terrific articles from my COG family I'll be really, really sad. (Here comes the heavy guilt trip. No, I'm not above pulling out all the stops!) I've been there for you guys over the years, introducing you when you were unknowns, complimenting your writing and encouraging people to visit your blogs. The COG has been the launching pad for your carnivals and in some cases your careers. Won't you please do this one little thing for me??? (Am I good, or what? It's the Catholic in me. We specialize in guilt ;-)

Write on, brothers and sisters!


  1. Congratulations Jasia! You SHOULD be proud of yourself, five years IS a REAL accomplishment.

    I've said it before, but it is worth repeating again - if it weren't for YOU and the COG being there "in the beginning" I (and I'm sure of several others) might not have taken the steps and joined the genealogy blogging world, which really was in its infancy five years ago. I lurked for many, many months before finally getting the nerve to join in - and I'm so very glad that I did! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  2. Congratulations on 5! I think that's an amazing accomplishment, not just the doing of it, but also keeping the interest and enthusiasm for it. And you do it so well! Thanks for all you do for the genealogy blogging community.

  3. I'm awed, Jasia. Not sure I have 5 years in me, though as I look at your body of work I can see how it's changed and adapted. A flexible format you've used magnificently.
    Applause, applause.

    As for the guilt - you're good. Maybe it was the little sniff I heard in the background. I'll toss something into the ring for the 100th.

    And I love the look.

  4. I wanted to add another congrats on your five-year anniversary. I've enjoyed reading your blog posts for about 18 months, so I guess I'm a newcomer. You are inspiring me. Soon I'll have to jump into the mix and start my genealogy blog to put my research out there. And because you all seem to have so much fun sharing in the genea community. Thanks,

  5. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary, your COG is what got me interested in blogging also, thanks for all you have done over the last five years.

  6. Five years is...a homestead! You're like those pioneers who worked and worked and worked and actually MADE IT and got to keep their claims. Lots of people gave up...but not you.

    So congratulations!

  7. Happy 5th, Jasia! Wow - that's a long time. You are a model for the rest of us, and I wish you "Sto Lat" for many more years of blogging. As for me, well, being Catholic too I can't NOT submit after getting that kind of guilt trip put on me, so I look forward to hearing about the topic (I'm working on my submission for COG 99 too!). And I LOVE the new look! Congrats, Donna

  8. Gorgeous! I've thoroughly enjoyed the church series and look forward to seeing more of your photos.

    I am with you 100% that blogging is a personal thing and while family history is a high priority, it isn't my only interest either. And, one of the best parts of blogging - from the reader perspective - is that you get to know that person because they are writing for themselves as much as the rest of us.

    Even though we've never "met", I feel I know you and can call you a friend - all because of blogging. Ain't it great!

    Can't wait for COG100!

  9. Congratulations, Jasia! Even though I had already started blogging before I became a reader of your blog, like many others, I became a part of the genealogy blogging community through the COG. I am excited to see you reach these milestones, and look forward to many more years of great reading, my friend!

  10. Wow, five years! Congratulations! You were one of the first people to leave an encouraging comment on my new blog. You surely don't remember, but I do. I look forward to enjoying your blog for many more years.

  11. Five, as in 5, is my favorite number! No, really, tis true! Doubt it, ask Man! He'll tell ya, cause it is his fav too!

    Many congrats.

  12. Jasia Love -

    Were it not for you, your selfless encouragement, and the COG, I would not be blogging today.

    You are the heart and soul of the genealogy community.

    All that you have accomplished is truly amazing. I promise you I will be there for the 100th COG and I'll bring the champagne.

    Many, many more my BBF!


  13. Jasia -

    WOW! 5 Years is AMAZING! Congratulations and I hope there are many, many more years to come.

  14. Congratulations on 5 fantastic years Jasia! Here are to many more!!!

  15. Jasia, Happy Blogiversary to the person who I credit as one of the foundations of the geneablogging community.

    And I'm catholic, so you've got me for
    CoG100 and #99 too if I get it written


    PS I really like your new look!

  16. HUGE congratulations on this accomplishment. Yours was the very first blog (of any sort) that I ever commented on, and from the connections on your blog I found other genea-bloggers ... and then ... I started one! You'll probably never know how many people you have inspired. And I truly am in awe of your talents. Can't wait to see more of your photographs!

  17. Congrats on the "big 5" and here's to many more!


  18. Amazing! In the genealogy blogging timeline that's almost like being around for creation itself!

    I can say that without COG I would be a very different blogger today. It has been key in developing blogging relationships and learning how to write better by reading what other bloggers write.

    I love photography too and I think it's great how you've incorporated that interest in your background. You can bet I'll be checking back often.


  19. Congratulations, Jasia, on your blog's new look and on your fifth anniversary! Like so many others who have commented, your blog was also an inspiration to me when I began blogging over two years ago...and I thank you. And since I love both photography and genealogy, I can guarantee you I will continue reading your posts.

  20. Congrats, Jasia, on your five years and your 1000 posts! I do like your new look too and look forward to seeing more of your photography.
    See you at the next COG,

  21. I wanted to join the others in congratulating you on 5 years of blogging. The COG has stimulated us to be creative and to think about different ways of telling our family stories.

    I like the new look of your site.

  22. Congratulations! And may your blog continue many - many years longer!

  23. Congratulations! I am proud to know you as another woman of vision who inspires others to blog,research family history and think out of the box. Great idea to combine photography with your blog, too.

  24. My how the time has flown! I was thrilled when I discovered your blog and learned that others were also writing about family history. The community has changed greatly over the years as have our individual blogs but the COG remains a constant that we all can count on and look forward to.

    Congratulations on 5 great years and thank you for all of the inspiration that you have provided!

  25. I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm really feeling the love! I am truley blessed to have so many friends.

  26. I am late to the party. As usual. I want to thank you Jasia for welcoming me when I started blogging 2 years ago. You were (and still are) an inspiration to me.

    Since you are a good Catholic girl like me (Motha Superior), Sista Donner (Donna P.), Sista Mary Sista (fM) and Sista Mary Kitty (Kathryn Doyle) you need to belong to the Jaysus, Mary & Joseph Convent. When you have selected an appropriate Sista-name, please let us know!

    And now I shall sing:


  27. Hope I'm remembering correctly . . . 'cause I am thinking you made a comment last year about the 3rd of November being your birthday . . . on something I posted about multiple birthdays on this date in my family line . . . so, Happy Birthday??? . . . and a belated Happy 6th Blogiversary, too!

  28. Thank you for the birthday and blogoversary wishes! What a great memory you have!!!