Ancestry.com has joined the list of genealogy bloggers. The company's new 24/7 Family History Circle appeared online on Monday and appears to be off to a good start with a number of articles already online.
The new e-publication replaces the previous Ancestry Daily News that was sent by e-mail and also available on the web site. The good news is that the editor hasn't changed: Juliana Smith remains in charge. She promises to include articles from family history columnists George G. Morgan, Michael Neill, Megan Smolenyak, Maureen Taylor, Paula Warren, and Sherry Irvine, as well as the occasional guest columnist.
This online forum opens up possibilities for things that just weren't possible with just the newsletter. Not only can we feature the same types of articles, tips and quotes that our readers have become accustomed to, but we can also include pictures and images of records. For example, the image in the section titled, The Year Was 1847, allows us to give you a peek into the Historical Maps collection at Ancestry.com.
As I gain proficiency with the tools, you will see more records and images from Ancestry.com databases. I'll even be sharing images of my own, like this one taken on one of my flower boxes last summer and the one featured in the Weekly Planner section.
The new publication appears to be in standard blog format. I peeked "under the hood" by looking at the source code of some of the pages and found that the blog is using WordPress blog publishing software. That's a good choice, in my opinion.
I suppose the new blog is a competitor to my own newsletter, but I must admit that I am delighted to have this new "competitor." I am especially glad to see it published in blog format, loosely similar to my newsletter. Those using RSS newsreaders will find it to be especially convenient to use.
To view the new 24/7 Family History Circle in a standard web browser, go to http://blogs.ancestry.com/circle
If you use an RSS newsreader, you can use the following addresses:
http://blogs.ancestry.com/circle/?feed=rss (RSS 0.92)
If the words blog, RSS, and Atom are not familiar to you, I'd suggest that you read my introduction to RSS at http://www.eogn.com/rss-newsfeeds.html and the article "RSS Explained" at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2005/12/rss_explained.html
By using an RSS newsreader, you can receive automatic notification whenever something is posted to the blog through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. That is easier and quicker than using a web browser to manually visit web sites.
The only thing complicated about blogs and RSS is the new buzzwords. The underlying technology is actually simpler to use than a standard web browser.