06 August 2008

Tracing the Tribe's second blogiversary!

Tracing the Tribe is celebrating its second anniversary - excuse me, blogiversary - today. The badge (left) was created by footnoteMaven. Thank you, fM! (Oh, and where do I get a pair of legs like that?)

Where do I begin?

Rewind to May 2006 - if someone had told me then that I would be blogging Jewish genealogy in August of that year, I would have laughed. However, the better response would have been, "What's a blog?"

These two years - footnoteMaven says this equals 10 in blogging years! - have been an amazing adventure.

I've met the most wonderful and interesting people among my great readers and blogging colleagues, learned about technology (me do what????), widgets, Skype, Facebook, spoken at conferences, been part of breaking news and worn my fingers to the bone (destroying many a manicure!).

When I got that email and call from then-JTA Digital Editor Andy Neusner, I said , "you do know I'm older than 20?" to which Andy responded "20-year-olds don't know Jewish genealogy."

That's where it began - thanks, Andy.

Tracing the Tribe now offers more than 1,500 posts, has garnered nearly 175,000 page views, attracted some 12,000 readers during July from around the world (including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia and many other more likely countries).

It has weathered the recent Blogger blocking and locking. It has survived my tentative switching from the old Blogger template to the new one (Randy, it really IS easy!) and even survived opening a mirror site on wordpress and copying all posts in case of future problems.

What have I learned?

The most important experience garnered is that my blogging colleagues are great folks, always willing to help, and as nice in person as they are in virtual blogworld. The SCGS Jamboree attracted a great group.

What else?

-That some of us need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century - thanks, Thomas - to use new technology.

- That presenting diverse opinions help all of us understand different issues - thank you, Janet Brown and Craig Manson.

- That participating in group projects such as the Carnivals of Genealogy are as useful for us as for the larger community of readers of all our blogs - thank you, Jasia, Bill, and our other hosts.

-That meeting incognito bloggers in person is the best thing ever - thanks, footnoteMaven - and realizing we share so much, including smoked brisket and that amazing chocolate dessert. What could be better than talking genealogy (brain candy) in all its myriad aspects while enjoying an utterly perfect meal lasting three hours with brilliant companions.

- That Tracing the Tribe would be recognized as a great online resource by Family Tree Magazine, after such a short life and when the others sharing the award have been around for decades. This was a great honor.

- That blogging has provided opportunities to meet interesting people who have become good friends in Jewish genealogical societies, including Rosanne Leeson (JGS of San Francisco Bay Area), Lyn Blyden (JGS of Washington State), Marlene Bishow (JGS of Greater Washingon), Pamela Weisberger (JGS of Los Angeles) and many others, including Kathryn Doyle of the California Genealogical Society. Thank you to everyone!

My husband deserves a major appreciation award. He's the one who puts up with my blogging hours, and is always ready to make his special chicken-and-potato dish for dinner when I've lost all reasonable sense of time.

Regrets? None.

Any wishes?

- That there were than 24 hours in a day and more than seven days in the week and that I could figure out how to be in several places at once.

-That more readers would chime in with comments. I only wish more readers would chime in with visible comments on what they like about the blog or what they would like to read more of, offer topic suggestions or anything else. Feedback from readers is important for all bloggers. I know you are reading Tracing the Tribe, but I'd like to know more about how you feel.

Thank you to everyone, readers and bloggers alike, who have encouraged me along the way.


  1. Congratulations, Schelly! I enjoyed meeting you at the SCGS Jamboree in June and hearing you talk about how you got your start with blogging.


    To many more my friend - Nobody does it better, makes me feel sad for the rest, nobody does half as good as you, Baby - You're the best!


  3. Congratulations Schelly on this milestone, and happy blogiversary! I'm amongst those readers who read your posts but haven't commented before. The beauty of the genea-blog-world is the diversity of the bloggers. I don't always agree with them, but I learn a little something from each one that I read.

  4. Schelly,

    It is an honor to know you and a pleasure to be counted as a friend. Congratulations on your special day. "Thank you" to Andy Neusner for knowing that you should do this and to you for having the courage to try. You are an inspiration to so many of us.

  5. Schelly,

    Congrats on your two-year blogiversary. It went really fast, didn't it?

    I am always amazed by the day-to-day traffic on all the blogs. You seem to keep up with everything-Jewish, plus the meetings and seminars and the like.

    You've averaged about two posts per day on a very specialized topic, one that's historically and socially fascinating to me. That is a wonderful record of work, and you've only just begun!

    I really enjoyed the SCGS Jamboree - I finally got to meet some of the genea-bloggers. I felt that we could have talked for hours more at the summit. It was fun to talk to readers and suppliers too.

    Keep up the great work, and I hope we can meet many more times. The chocolate dessert sounds interesting.

    All the best in year 3 -- Randy

    PS. I agree with you about comments!

  6. WAY TO GO, girl! Love your blog!
    Myrt :)

  7. Schelly,
    And a hearty Happy Anniversary - Ihulim le-yom ha-nesuim - to you.

    Keep up the good work.

    Tom Kemp

  8. Happy Anniversary, Schelly and many more in the
    years to come!

  9. Happy blogiversary!!

    You ask for comments and so here's mine -please carry on doing what you are doing, I love reading your articles whether they are appropriate to my research or not.

    www.genpals.com Cemetery Project

  10. Anonymous5:15 AM

    Am faithful reader of your daily column. Instructive, entertaining, satisfying. On to Chicago! Charles B. Nam - Tallahassee, FL

  11. Tim Agazio6:33 AM


    Congrats on your 2 year blogiversary! You've achieved a lot in that short time...I know I'm a daily reader. Hope there's many more to come!


  12. A truly heartfelt thank you for your kind words!
    Schelly, who is now blushing!

  13. I don't know how I got so far behind in reading the blogs, yeesh! Anyway, just wanted to say congrats on your milestone blogiversary. I enjoy learning from you and am grateful for all that you share with us!