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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Tech Tuesday: Back to School and Time for Roll Call

    The day after Labor Day is traditionally the first day of school in many parts of the country, but as a former high school teacher, the only homework for The Family Curator today is to welcome readers and take attendance!

    In recent months, I’ve noticed a marked decrease in comment interaction throughout the genealogy blogging community. Is it that posts are less stimulating? Did the blog feed get lost in updates and moves? Or has Twitter replaced the old comment box as the preferred way to respond?

    Several bloggers have noted the decrease in comments in proportion to the increase in Twitter activity. And as much as I enjoy the immediate action of Twitter conversations, I miss the longevity of a blog comment. Sometimes I learn as much from comments as I do from articles.

    Today’s Homework

    What do you think? Do you Tweet? Has Twitter impacted your commenting activity? We are taking Roll Call at The Family Curator and asking for your input – are you out there Reader? Please, leave a comment and let’s tally the results.

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    Reader Comments (15)

    I agree with you Denise - I do think that Twitter has had an impact on genealogy blog commenting - I too am guilty of this. Many feel that re-tweeting a link to a blog post is the same as commenting but it really is not.

    The essence of blogging is the interaction with your reading audience. What is helpful too is what you've done at the end of this post: ask questions, give prompts for discussion. This will motivate readers to leave a comment.

    Thomas MacEntee

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThomas MacEntee

    The problem for me has simply been a lack of time. Volunteer groups, back injuries, raising a 3 y/o, etc., have really cut into my blog reading, writing, and commenting time. It's unfortunate, but that's just life sometimes.

    If I have time to read a blog post, I will usually comment on it... unless I'm extremely pressed for time. I try not to substitute a Tweet (or even a Facebook repost) for a comment. Blog comments are of so much value, even if only to let the blogger know that someone "out there" is reading his/her stuff.

    (a former 1st grade teacher, now homeschooling a preschooler)

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth O'Neal

    My comment participation will increase now that school is back in session. Twitter has not replaced commenting for me. Of course, I never follow the trends.

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Coffin

    I agree with "all of the above." I find that I have subscribed to more blogs than I could possibly ever read. I am more likely to read a blog in a timely manner if the blog author is advertising it on Twitter. If I have time to be on Twitter, then I have time to read a blog post [or two, or three]. For example, I just realized that I wasn't "following" your blog [I don't know how that happened], but because I read your tweet & I have the time, I came to read. [Now I'm a follower.] I'll usually leave a short comment if the subject matter "moves" me to do so. Then, I go back on twitter, RT your "advertisement" there, and if there isn't enough room for a brief comment on the RT, then I make a separate comment on twitter after the RT. I also make sure that my "facebook" button on tweetdeck is "on" so that it's advertised there as well. I do my best to further the viral marketing, if you will. I wish I had more comments on my blog posts, but I'm happy with the comments on twitter & facebook. Also, overall I want more readers and a comment on my blog post isn't really going to "market" my blog to more & diverse readers, but twitter & facebook will. This means that I am happy with just a plain RT on twitter too, but I do enjoy personal comments. I do understand, though, that people might not have time to give me a comment. Also, I analyze my feedburner & Google Analytics stats to try to get a sense who is reading over a time period. Does that make any sense?!?

    Caroline Pointer
    Family Stories

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline Pointer

    I try and comment on blogs that I read if I feel that I have something to add to the conversation. Occasionally, though, I've found some blogs where the comment box doesn't work properly. Being somewhat new to my genealogy blog and Twitter, I haven't noticed a difference in my commenting habits but do find myself reading more blogs as they're tweeted.

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Wait Myers

    Lack of time. Once I had the time again, I was off on an adventure (research) and I am just now getting back into the fray! I enjoy some of twitter and still haven't made up my mind about just how useful it is in genealogy. I follow so many blogs that I cannot possibly get to them all every week. There are so many now, and many are so interesting. Very hard to make those choices of which to read.
    Blogging is useful, enjoyable and really a learning and communication tool. I enjoy those comments every time I get one. I have made some contacts and learn a lot. It's been invaluable to me.
    Twitter, on the other hand, seems to be a lot of 'noise'. Can't say much in 140 characters. At least I can't. LOL


    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheri (Twigs)

    I am on vacation! I always have to get away when school starts. I really don't spend much time commenting on the blogs I read and I am still surprised that anyone reads my blog. I never thought anyone would!

    I read my Tweets on my iPod touch which is really too small a screen to read blogs and comment. I think Twitter is still in its infancy. I don't follow too many others and still don't tweet much. I prefer FB over GW.

    Most of my work is about gravestones now and some about technology. I cut back on the Carnivals I participate in. There has to be a gravestone reference in each of my posts.

    I don't remember how to use a microfilm reader, seldom visit archives and almost never go to conferences. My local genealogy groups are filled with folks who don't do current research and hate the Web and computers. It's scary. I don't know why I go to their meetings.

    Midge Frazel

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMidge Frazel

    I don't use Twitter. I try to comment on blogs where I can add something of value or if I want to let the author know that I really appreciated the information provided or the story shared.

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Iles

    The dog ate my homework, um comments I mean! Really, I had them all prepared...

    I don't think that it's Twitter that has impacted my comments, or lack thereof. Mostly it just seems like lack of TIME. Since I started blogging I have been occasionally overwhelmed with everything that is available - new blogs, new things pointed out by some really great bloggers that I need to explore, and just more stuff. Also, I often don't want to leave a comment that just says, "Great post, I agree with everything that's been said" or words to that effect. I probably should do a better job at letting people know how much I enjoy their contributions to my day. Reading some of the great genea-blogs out there is often the high point of my day :-)

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Ritchie

    I am relatively new to Twitter and I don't yet have a blog. I find Twitter to be very engaging -- the push technology behind it gets people's thoughts in front of me faster. I don't always think to visit the number of blogs I'd like to follow on a given day, but Tweets reminding me to do so help immensely. Still, I'd probably be more prone to then comment about that blog via Twitter, as a way to share it with others. I occasionally will leave a comment on the blog too, if it "moves me" as voiced above.

    I think I'm guilty too - of not having had (or made) enough time lately. I have been commenting on some of the new blogs but this summer haven't been commenting enough on the ones I read the most. (Unless I've been really riled!) This isn't good as I love to GET comments, so I should be returning the favours.
    No, I don't think it's Twitter. Although I do tweet it's not so much about individual articles there. 140 characters doesn't seem enough for that!

    September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM. Diane Rogers

    For me, I don't believe that it is so much Twitter that has led to my own decrease in leaving comments. At least not directly. I simply no longer have the time to spend interacting with the blogs I read in any reasonable way, unless the subject matter is one that specifically moves me to action. Twitter and Facebook use - which I used to spend at least 30 min to an hour on each day - have also fallen by the wayside. Between the growth and strengthening of the "GeneaBlogger" community (thanks Thomas & others!) and my awareness of the existence of other great blogs through their advertising on Twitter, I now follow more than twice the number of blogs that I used to, and these bloggers are more prolific. I now have an average of 50 posts to read every morning. I simply have too much "real work" to do to spend more than an hour on social media. (At least, I try not to spend more than an hour.) It was much easier when I only followed 10-15 blogs. But there are just so many more good ones that I am cutting into my research/writing time. ;)

    September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Hait

    This is a real sore spot for me. I believe that both Facebook and Twitter have taken away time previously invested in blogs. Let's face it, there are only so many hours in a day. If you're spending time on FB or TW it's time you likely would have spent on blogging, reading blogs, or doing gen research before you had those accounts. And all the redundancy of seeing the same links to posts you've already read in your feed reader is a colossal time waster.

    I see a lot more comments on FB and TW than I do on blogs. I don't appreciate that. FB is a "closed" environment where you may or not have been accepted as a "friend". That excludes many from enjoying and learning from comments left there. And TW, well, how much can you really say in 140 characters? Only a truncated comment at best.

    I'm on both FB and TW but I resent having to be there to follow conversations going on in the geneablogging community. I'd much preferred to follow conversations on the blog articles I was already reading.

    I prefer to leave comments on blog posts, even if it's just to say "atta girl, great article!".

    September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJasia

    Yes, time is at a premium. In my case it is not facebook or Twitter, rather I attribute it to my blog reader. I read and think "I should say something" and then see the number of blog posts I still have to readand don't do it.

    There are so many great posts, I should be telling them.


    September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterfootnoteMaven

    I try and comment whenever I can, particularly if I like the content and if I have something useful to add!
    I find the drop in comments worrying however because people still judge the quality of a blog on how mnay comments each post receives - and since I've just started a family history blog and have no comments on anything so far, it gives (I think) a false impression that nobody reads it!

    September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPoisonkitty

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