Are there a number of members in your society blogging their genealogy and family history? If so, you may want to consider a blog network.
A blog network is a blog that spotlights other blogs. Each post in the network blog – the mother ship – contains the title and excerpt from posts on each member’s blog with a link back to the original article. The advantage is it gives your blogging members more visibility while your network blog serves as a sort of table of contents to the collective works of the network. It’s a winning situation for both.
Although creating and maintaining a network blog does take time and effort, that effort can be reduced significantly by using Posterous as your network blog. Posterous not only makes it easy to post your excerpts, it can be set up to automatically announce each new post to Facebook, Twitter and any number of other social networks. Once the Posterous space is set up and each member of your blog network has been added as a contributing member, all they need to do is email their post excerpt and link to the space’s email address with the post’s title as the subject line. Posterous will take care of the rest.
So, using Posterous, this article posted to a member’s personal blog . . .
. . . gets a quick email blurb . . .
. . . and is sent off to become this post on the network blog.
Of course you’ll need to develop some parameters on what kinds of posts should be sent to the network and how to organize the content. As you can see in this example, Posterous uses tags. Check the email message again and you’ll see how you include your tags in the subject line of your message. You might want everyone to include tags for surnames and localities mentioned in the post so readers can find all the posts related to a family group as well as topics.
Nothing says you’re limited to just member posts. Network managers can choose to include external content too – things like an historical family history found on Gutenberg or interesting photos found at the National Archives can get a spotlight on the network. You might add an occasional bit of entertainment for network members – say something like a scavenger hunt to find new online research resources.
A blog network can be a real asset – both for the society and its members. And, by using Posterous as the hub, it’s easy to manage too. Oh, and readers can choose to receive your network posts via email – also making things easy for them.