My feelings were bruised the other day when I read an entry in one of the News-Mess forums. The poster said, “Not to mention I am really disappointed with the blogs so far. Not that many people have an interest in genealogy …” In a later post, the individual went on to say, “… I simply stated that not very many people are interested in those topics. I think we need a wider selection of topics that 'more people' would find interesting. And it isn't just me, I have talked to a lot of people who feel the same way.”
Talk about being dissed! So I did what I normally do in these situations, I sulked. Then I stewed, and if my left upper molar hadn't been bothering me, I would have eaten half a bag of Ballreich's Potato Chips and Toft's French Onion dip with a Pepsi chaser. Lord, do I know how to sulk! And stew.
After a day of ruminating, I told my husband “I think I'm going to blog about this.” And my omniscient husband said, “I know.”
“How do you know? I just decided to blog about it right this second.”
“Because, any time you stew on something this long, I know you well enough to know that you won't let it go.” Lord, what a smart man I married.
So here's what I have to say to you, gentle poster — you're right. You had an opinion and you have every right to express it. (Although I must confess Larry Flynt's quote about opinions did flicker across my temporal lobe. Hey, I said it just flickered.) I say to you, and your “lot of people,” I'm sorry that you don't find my topic of choice interesting. It makes me sad and I'm sure if enough people share your opinion, I'll be disappearing from the blogging scene pretty darn soon.
I will say in defense of my subject that several articles have said that genealogy is the fastest growing hobby second to gardening. Having said that, I haven't found any hard statistic that backs that statement up. It could have been a case of somebody spit-balling the idea, and hey, you know the Internet, once it's out there it keeps being quoted as if it's the gospel truth.
Personally, the things that attract me to genealogy are (in no particular order):
1. I suffer from RCS (Rampant Curiosity Syndrome) and genealogy makes good use of this particular character flaw.
2. My brain, unlike my personality, is organized and logical. It likes all those wonderful statistics — dates, names, places.
3. I'm a sucker for a good mystery — and mysteries abound when you start mucking around your family history. I love all that sleuthing.
4. I meet the most fascinating people from all over the world. I communicated with one very nice German gentleman who didn't speak much English. I only know one German phrase — Das ist gut, ja? We used a Google translator. Now that was fun. Somehow, we managed. It was darn satisfying and entertaining.
5. Finally, it's all about me — well at least in a limited sort of way.
So for all of you who don't find my subject interesting, I say that's cool. Write about what interests you. Do it as a blog, an opinion, or however you want to express yourself.
Life is way too short to worry about whether other people are interested or not. William Zinsser says, “You are writing primarily to please yourself, and if you go about it with enjoyment you will also entertain the readers who are worth writing for.”
If my writing doesn't interest enough people, the plug will be pulled. If I still feel the need to blog (after I am done stewing and eating Ballreich's), I will create my own blog. Maybe I won't restrict myself to just genealogy in a new blog. Maybe I'll call it, “Over the Hill — Ain't Nobody Listenin'” Blog. But that's just me spitballin'.
Until Next Time …
Note this post first published online, September 25, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02
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