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Monday, May 25, 2009

Puckerbrushed by Randy


I was gobsmacked to learn that Randy Seaver included the CGSL blog in his Genea-Musings: My Puckerbrush Blog Awards of Excellence and bestowed The Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence. Randy writes Genea-Musings and is the most prolific genealogy blogger, just ask anyone. He's been tremendously kind and supportive and his Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe was a model when I got started in the society blogging business. Thank you, Randy, for the honor.

The award was created in honor of genealogy blogger Janice Brown by Terry Thornton, author of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi, who explained that "Janice told us all about the word 'puckerbrush' in an article she posted August 27, 2007, at Cow Hampshire. Terry elaborated a bit further in a comment:

On any land allowed to go fallow and left untended, a wild assortment of wild plants grow – in some areas, this wild growth results in such a thicket of plants that it is almost impossible to push your way through the growth.

So it is with the growth of blogs --- so many that it is impossible to read them all. But in the puckerbrush eventually a few plants/trees become dominant and influence all who view them through the thick surrounding puckerbrush.

And it is those outstanding blogs whose influence spreads beyond just the surrounding rabble of puckerbrush that I'm honoring.
Terry issued this challenge:
Henceforth these awards will be called the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence. All blog authors are hereby challenged to name the ten blogs which have influenced their writing the most and list them as a tribute to Janice --- the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Awards for Excellence.

I see this award as a way to acknowledge the blog authors who paved the way and inspired us to take our own blogging baby steps and to those who continue to influence our work. Here are my ten recipients for the Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence:

1.) Steve Danko: Steve's Genealogy Blog was the first blog I ever read. Early in 2007 I stumbled upon his New Year's Resolution list where he pledged to renew his California Genealogical Society membership and help with a society project. Since then he has become a wonderful supporter of CGS and a noted lecturer (he'll be our guest speaker at the July membership meeting.) Steve's blog is the model for what a research blog should be.

2.) Jasia of Creative Gene is my blog mentor and she is the reason I started the blog for the society. Her series Declining Membership in Genealogical Societies should be required reading for every genealogical society board member. As a matter of fact, it's been awhile since I've done a re-read so I'm adding it to my Google Task List. (She always has great ideas.)

3.) Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family is the king of the GeneaBloggers and one of the most supportive and generous people I know. I am thrilled that we will finally meet at Jamboree. (Summit 2 Son of Blogger is going to be a kick.)

4.) Denise Olson of Family Matters: Tech Support for the Family Historian is my "go-to" person for anything technical and everything macintosh. She is all about helping genealogists into the digital age.

5.) Miriam Robbins Midkiff of Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors and the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Blog has become another blogger buddy. She introduced Scanfest - a monthly online scanning party so genealogists can chat while they digitize photos. Hers was one of the few society blogs out there when I got started.

6.) Linda, the Footnote Maven, and author of the beautiful Shades of the Departed, creates blogs that are as beautiful to look at as they are a pleasure to read. The fact that I ever actually started this blog is a testament to fortitude – hers is a tough act to follow.

7.) Maureen Taylor is an incredibly talented speaker and author who fused her expertise in history, photography and genealogy to become The Photo Detective.

8.) Schelly Talalay Dardashti is the author of Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog – a superlative example of what I now know is a niche blog. Whenever I get tempted to go beyond the scope of what the CGSL blog should be I think about Schelly's good example.

9.) Ben Sayer of Mac Genealogist.com is one of my new favorites. He is re-introducing me to my mac genealogy software – Reunion®. I love his QuickTime videos.

10.) Julie Cahill Tarr of GenBlog makes my top ten because I thank her almost everyday. Her post Managing Your Blog(s) is where I learned to create a blog editorial calendar. It's the organizational tool you MUST use if you are writing a society blog. I've just recommended that we create a similar calendar to coordinate our marketing efforts.

There you have it - my top ten, in no particular order. I hope many other gen-bloggers will come forward with their own list of ten influential blog authors.

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