Who is Lorelle VanFossen?

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

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3 Responses to Who is Lorelle VanFossen?

  1. Hey Steve. It was nice to meet you. Thanks so much for the article above. I have been clicking around your site, and it is amazing. You have created an amazing gift for everyone in your family. It was amazing to see the far corners that your family has come from. I guess if we trace back far enough, we all get connected back there somewhere :)

    I am so glad you enjoyed the pictures and cartoons.

    Dr. David Klein

  2. Lorelle says:

    Wow! Thanks for the bio post.

    And I’m almost ready to announce that my two main sites, Taking Your Camera on the Road and Lorelle’s Family History blog, are almost back online and reactivating again. After over a year of dealing with the web host from hell, I’m on a new server and ready to get these moving again. On the old host, I’d save one blog post and the database with shut down. I’d have to wait an hour, and then try again, so it would sometimes take two or three hours to publish one blog post. It wasn’t my blog’s problem but the server – so good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Thank you for your kind words about my blogs. I’ve been doing this since 1994, so I have a little expertise and know what works and doesn’t, and my blogs represent those lessons.

    Thank you again. WordCamp was so wonderful. I’ve already got it on my schedule for next year – blocking all of July out in anticipation. 😀

    And thanks, Dr. David, for the great cartoon renditions. I just love them!

  3. Barbara Poole says:

    I just realized that nobody has mentioned that the above magazine, Internet Genealogy, has two articles in which each writer mentioned Steve Danko’s blog. They were: Genealogy Blogs by Donna Pointkouski and Getting the Most Out of Google’s Tools by George G. Morgan. As of Sunday, August 6th, Steve still hasn’t received his issue. When I told him of the articles last Wednesday, he has been patiently (I think) waiting for his copy. Hope it comes today.

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