Since the publication of the August-September 2007 issue of Internet GENEALOGY, several genealogy bloggers have commented on Donna Pointkouski’s article “Genealogy Blogs”. The article has been very well received, but one comment has appeared on several blogs: Who is Lorelle VanFossen?
I haven’t met Lorelle, although I saw her recently at WordCamp 2007. Lorelle was one of the speakers there, discussing writing and connecting to your blog’s audience. A summary of her talk, including a slideshow of her presentation, is available on The WordCamp Report.
Lorelle writes a number of blogs, including Lorelle on WordPress and Family History. Despite the fact that so few genealogy bloggers seem to know who she is, she certainly does know something about blogging – her various blogs generate a large amount of traffic and she has recently published a book entitled Blogging Tips: What bloggers won’t tell you about blogging.
Lorelle’s Family History blog is a bit different than many genealogy blogs. Rather than providing a bewildering number of categories in the sidebar (as I do), Lorelle very simply lists her surname categories just below the blog header. This strategy makes it easy for those interested in a particular surname to find the articles related to that surname without the need to wade through a bunch of stuff in which they’re not interested.
That doesn’t mean that Lorelle doesn’t place her posts in categories other than surnames. Indeed, she placed a recent article on The Genealogy Guys Podcast into the categories Genealogy News and Genealogy Resources, although you won’t find those categories listed in the header or sidebar. If you find an article in which you’re interested, just click on the categories listed under the article title to find other posts in a similar vein. Quite an interesting and unusual approach to categorizing articles in a genealogy blog.
And what does Lorelle look like? There’s a small photograph of her in The Word Camp Report, but Dr. David Klein took photographs of WordCamp 2007 attendees and provided those photos to artist Orie Roberts, who drew caricatures of the participants. You can see photos of many of the WordCamp 2007 participants on David’s BodyABCs blog, including Lorelle, David Klein, and me! The links will bring you to the pages with our photographs. Click on our photographs to see the caricatures Orie Roberts prepared! And, if you’re interested in viewing all the caricatures from WordCamp, you can visit David’s WordCamp Photo Gallery.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko