Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Girt big thanks to WDTYTYA mag & to you!

A girt big thanks to BBC Who Do You Think You Are magazine (it's based in Bristol, where I used to work, so they'll know what I mean!), which has over the last two months said some very nice things about this blog!

In its Christmas edition (Christmas 2010, 42), it was the only blog to be included in the 25 websites not to miss in 2011 cover feature. The reviewer described it as "one of the best on the net" and said that "while the focus is obviously on Scots research, there's lots here to interest UK wide readers". Going slightly beetroot here...

Now I've just picked up this month's edition (Feb 2011, 44) after a tip off it was there again, this time as the Expert's Choice in the Best Websites: Genealogical Blogs article. The site is reviewed by gene genie Alan Stewart (see his own excellent blog at, who as well as describing it as "one of my favourite blogs" also says "As well as being a good read, Scottish GENES contains information about new websites, news of the latest events in Scottish archives and family history societies, and much about general genealogical goings on in Scotland". Going beetroot again...! A huge thanks.

One thing I've not done in a while is to give an equally huge thanks to all those who regularly contact me to share items of news, whether genealogists, vendors, family history societies, or otherwise. When this blog first started three years ago, it was actually designed as a way to force me to keep on top of many rapid developments for my work as a genealogist here in Ayrshire, and has since taken on something of a life of its own! The overall response to it has been absolutely superb, and at the moment it is difficult for me to say how many people actually read it, with almost 700 daily subscribers (RSS feeds and others), 450 followers on the Facebook version, 400 followers on Twitter, and many who just have the site bookmarked, not to mention reposts etc. My background was in the BBC, and I strongly believed in its public service remit. As such, the blog has always been designed to be free to view (and will remain so), and is completely independent with no agenda other than to tell the public of developments happening genealogically which will help with their ancestral pursuits.

I recently floated the idea of expanding the blog into a British GENES type news list, and received a number of emails from people imploring me not to - so OK, Scottish focussed it will remain! I have a few ideas on some further developments down the line to try to develop things a bit further, though without tramping on other people's toes or replicating other offerings elsewhere! In particular I would like to carry more news on Scottish developments abroad, so if you're in an overseas society, do let me know what's happening, more than happy to give it a plug! I'm also keen on more guest posts (one person I know has ended up having a book commissioned on the back of one last year!), and there'll hopefully be more audio visual content - I'm taking my camera to WDYTYA Live next month, where I hope to ambush some more people if I can get a chance. If you're a reader, do say hello - I'll be at the Family and Local History Handbook stall (number 811) and happy to answer any Scottish queries you might have, if I can! :) Incidentally, this month's WDYTYA magazine has a free show guide to help you locate everyone at the event.

So three years on, where else to go but to keep sallying forth. Alba gu Bragh, cuimhnich air na daoine o'n d'thainig thu, and above all else - keep digging! :)

UPDATE: Thanks to Audrey Collins for her kind comments on her The Family Recorder blog, and to John Reid at Anglo-Celtic Connections for his comments also - John's blog was voted in the magazine as best overall for British research.

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JDR said...

Your recognition is well deserved Chris. I hope to meet you at Olympia.

Chris Paton said...

Likewise John, be good to meet up!