Friday, March 14, 2008

Blog, Website or Both?

Blog, Website or Both?

This is a question that I have been asking myself lately concerning my genealogical and historical research business. I already have a blog and I have a personal website for one of my family lines. One of my goals this year will be to develop a website for my business. I will let you know of progress on this.

My focus today is for our local historical society. It is time, I and others believe to increase our online presence beyond postings on community calendars. A quick Google search shows some historical societies have blogs but not all have kept them up. Some have websites and of course, some have both.

Since starting to blog last summer, I have grown to enjoy this format. One of the key benefits is RSS feeds. You can be alerted when there is new material on a site. The person or organization does not have to do anything to let you know that the site is updated, if you have added the blog to your newsreader.

So I am asking you, what do you suggest? If you are involved with a historical society or a genealogical society or another one of a related nature, I'd appreciate your feedback so that I could share your experiences at a Board of Directors' meeting.

Should we have - a blog, a website or both?

If we were to start with only one, should it be a blog or web site?

Has membership increased because of having either? What other benefits are there?

What type of information is included on the blog or website?

Any tips would be appreciated. I look forward to your comments.


  1. I vote for both. See Itawamba Historical Society and their blog Itawamba History Review. I've heard that both have helped their society gain new members.

  2. Thanks, Lori for the links. I will check them out.

  3. Great post Janet and it is an important point in a person's internet technology progress.

    I have had a website (http:\\ for several years. Last year I moved it from my ISP hosted site to my own domain name.

    I also own for my crafts sideline. I have set that to forward to my blog

    The hosting, by GoDaddy, isn't cheap so I am considering to just do away with the websites when my plan expires.

    I love the blog format and all the bells and whistles and widgets available. Much easier than hand-coding my websites in HTML. However, many internet users don't access blogs. So I am thinking of this setup:

    - reserve the domain names I want and only pay for domain name forwarding to my blogs

    - do not have a host plan (expensive) with the domain name provider - just store items in Google and in Blogger or Flickr etc.

    - continue to post info in blogs

  4. I think Thomas' suggestion that you have your own domain is important. I would start with just a blog but I know nothing about developing or maintaining a website. Something you want to determine upfront is who will be doing the writing and updating. I have a team blog for an organization that I'm a member of. I was supposed to set it up and others would help post the content. Instead I get emails that say please get this on the website asap or "why havn't you put up anything lately" and I end up doing all the writing. (The bus is sleeping for the winter. The site will be updated next month. This is one of the problems we've have - keeping the page fresh.)

    Rss feeds are great for those of us that use them. One thing I really need to add is a subscribe by email option for those that don't know what a feed reader is.

  5. Prompted by Apple's comment, I've thought about this topic a bit more - if you don't mind I'd think I'll post about the same subject and reference your post. There are quite a few issues involved that I think require a long post in which to discuss. See, since I'm a "techno-geek" I find this a lot of fun on a sunny Saturday morning. Go figure.

  6. Thanks Apple and Thomas for your comments. I have checked out your posting Thomas and made a link to it.


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