A milestone

Late within the day on Wednesday, Vita Brevis marked an necessary milestone: 3,000,000 web page views because it launched in January 2014. In that interval, 151 bloggers have printed 1,774 posts on a variety of topics of curiosity to genealogists.

Wanting again on the high ten hottest posts for the interval 2014-2022, I’m struck by the highest three: Jean Maguire’s announcement that the legendary Boston Transcript genealogical column (1911-41) was now obtainable online, and Penny Stratton’s twin posts on parts of fashion: how not to make words plural, and feature dates in genealogical works. These three posts, from 2015 and 2016, account for about 77,000 web page views, and little question they’ve pushed visitors to different posts through the years.

Two posts by Chris Youngster come subsequent, centered on names within the information: the maternal household of Meghan Markle, as she was about to marry Prince Harry (in 2018), and the ancestry of Robin Williams following his dying in 2014. These posts account for about 30,000 web page views.

The weblog’s position in giving genealogists steerage – already glimpsed in Jean and Penny’s posts – recurs in Lindsay Fulton’s 2014 submit on naming conventions for youngsters born out of wedlock. Ann Lawthers’ 2016 submit on her great-grandfather’s dying (“Death by hiccups”) marries trendy analysis and historic newspapers and letters, and the record wraps up with the first blog post, from 2014, outlining the goals and aspirations for the brand new publication; Katrina Fahy’s 2015 submit on the makes use of of surname distribution maps in genealogical analysis; and Chris Youngster’s 2017 submit on multiple gravestones for a single individual. These 5 posts have been learn roughly 49,000 instances.

So the highest ten posts have reached 150,000 or so readers through the years, leaving one other 2,850,000 distributed between 1,764 posts. How can we measure the worth of these posts within the center or on the tail finish of the queue, reached, maybe, by a Google search or a random outcome on Fb?

Whereas breaking information has not been as paramount as appeared possible when the weblog launched, notes on outcomes – and accounts of methods and intuitions that failed as typically as they succeeded – have given readers hints and strategies on deal with intractable analysis issues. Persistence is a frequent mantra, however so, too, is a cautious marshaling of details readily available when contemplating a brand new on-line database, or – as presently appears unique – an in-person go to to a brand new repository!

Which Vita Brevis posts – particular person ones, or unfolding collection – have you ever discovered helpful?

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