I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write this post. I was hoping that I was imagining things, but I know that I’m not.
You might have noticed two things here on No Story Too Small. First, I haven’t been posting anything except the weekly 52 Ancestors recap. (And in the last several weeks that I was posting something other than the recap, the only topic was my ancestor for that week.) Second, I’ve been routinely “late” with posting that recap. My self-imposed goal of posting it on Wednesday morning slipped into Wednesday evening and then Thursday… Well, here it is Thursday night and, to be honest, I haven’t even started the recap.
I hate the idea of not doing the weekly recap. A lot of you have told me that you look forward to it every week and that you enjoy reading all of the stories that people post. I do, too! Several of you have even made connections with cousins you didn’t know you had before. (Me, too!)
But I also know that the recap takes several hours each week. I have a full-time job and several volunteer projects that I have obligations to. I have enjoyed putting together the first 26 recaps (well, 24 if you don’t count the two weeks I was on vacation and had people leave links in the comments). But as much as I’ve enjoyed it, it has absolutely consumed my available blogging time.
I hate the decision that I think I’m going to have to make.
I’m posting this not to elicit sympathy, but to be honest with all of you — my readers and the contributors to the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge — and to let you know that there may not be any more weekly recaps as they have been.
Hi, Amy –
I think you’ve done a wonderful job with this Challenge and sharing everyone’s blogs and I certainly can see how this would become overwhelming.
Could I maybe make a suggestion? Instead of actually doing a Recap, why not just each week post a list of links to all the sites currently participating in the Challenge. In other words, don’t bother with the family names, post titles or author names. Just put in the name of the Blog with a hyperlink to the main page.
That way, if someone want to visit the blog and see the new post, they will have a handy reference of currently participating blog links to click on. And then you have a one central list of links you can just copy and re-post each week; the only work you will have to do is add new blogs that join in to the list or delete those that contact you and let you know they’ve dropped out.
It’s just a suggestion, of course, but I think it would make things a lot easier for you and still let everyone know how to reach the participating blogs.
Whatever you decide to do, this Challenge is really neat and I appreciate your starting it.
Totally agree with Tess’ suggestion, if you have time to do it!
There are some (like me and others I know, particularly over here in the UK) that have only just found out about your blog and started to join in. If you could just use this blog as a way to keep everyone else updated on each others new posts, that would be amazing.
Mine this week:
Heavens knows I have enough with a full time job, quilting projects and classes, and well just a life! Perhaps the best thing would be for you just to post the weekly recap with the same message each time – please leave a link to your post in the comments. Short and Simple. It worked while you were gone and I don’t see why it just wouldn’t work for the next 26 posts – it gives all of us a place to go look for all the posts and that is all the is really necessary. I certainly sympathize with your busy schedule. You could probably schedule them all at one time to post each week one after another (you can do that where I blog) – that way it would be done all at once and you wouldn’t have to think about it.
I think that is a great idea, Maeve! Amy, I hope you will consider this. It worked before, and it if they can be scheduled in advance, it would be even easier for you.
Here here Maeve xx
Thanks Amy for all you have done to the community and your open words.
I completely agree with Meave!
Amy you are the godmother of my blog [and most likely several others] as your challenge got me started in the blogging world.
I respect you for having the courage to say “enough” and admit it to everyone.
Maeve’s idea to schedule a short & simple post for all 52ers to add their weekly link via a comment sounds good. When you did this while on vacation I tried to follow your “standard”: SURNAME – “Title of post” by Author of Blog and then the link.
If you decide to go this route it would be really helpful if all persons commenting add their surname in all caps.
Thanks for the kind words, Cathy. I’m sure I’ve never been called a godmother of anyone’s blog before
I couldn’t think of another term right off. Starting a blog is a lot like giving birth to a child. From the decision to conceive to the birth to the feedings to make it grow.
How much work is it to set up a Mr. Linky or other thingee? OR do like the A to Z April Challenge where it is one page and whoever participates is listed ONE time. Now in that system, links take you to the blog, not to the specific post, so everyone would have to figure out how to find the ancestor of the week. Thanks for all you have done — no apologies necessary.
Another thought — create a Facebook group for the rest of the year. We did that with A to Z April Challenge as well. Everybody can post their link when they’re ready.
great idea wendy. i was just considering that. all the particiapants could post a link to their post as its done. count me in. also could include posts from earlier in the year then too.
Excellent idea Wendy. I just need a little weekly reminder, otherwise I know I am going to fall behind. A separate facebook page would do the trick.
dont give up hope. you can set up a recap that is automatic at http://www.paper.li and then everyone can just subscribe to it by email. you can set it up to automatically publish tweets containing certain hashtags for example. Then you have more time to write and everyone gets their weekly update. I see a lot of entries on my paper from the 52 ancestors challenge at http://paper.li/f-1389198681. check it out and see if you cant make it work. you can set up a paper that will tell you when it is published and publish every day and it can scan twitter, google plus and facebook for you. also you can make a lit at twitter that will publish tweets from every tweeter in the challenge.
52 Ancestors Weekly.
Here you go. A 52 ancestors weekly recap set to publish every monday at 3 am.
you have done so much for us. here is one for you. it will scan twitter and fb and google plus for the hashtag #52ancestors and publish every week. or i can make it a daily paper if you like.
I don’t tweet ancestors. Google + will connect?
Yes, Charity. It checks Google +
I appreciate you setting that up. It was very kind of you. It won’t be quite the same as the weekly recap, though, as a large number of the participants don’t post links on Twitter, G+, or Facebook. (And those who do usually don’t include the hashtag other than on Twitter.)
That sounds great.
I just checked this out – looks really cool. But I can’t find how to add mine? LOL
Nooooo! This is my motivation! The weekly recap is the best part. Maybe one of us can do it for you and then all you’ll have to write is the blurb at the top? I’m raising my hand. I’d just need a little tutorial in how you collect the list. Or we could post it in a common list somewhere for you each week. The recap is awesome!
Believe me, I understand your disappointment! Right now, I’m leaning toward doing what I did while I was on vacation: standard post, then people can post their own links in the comments. It’s not quite as easy to scan through, but the info is still there.
I can certainly understand your dilemma! I think the best solution would be for you to leave a weekly post that participants can reply to with their latest link, as you did when you were on vacation. No offense to grandsonofsam, but I don’t use twitter, facebook, google+, or anything similar, so that automated recap wouldn’t work for me.
Thank you for all the work you have done on this challenge — it has done wonders for motivating me, as well as many others, it seems.
Thanks, Kathy. It’s so encouraging to me to hear that others have been motivated by the 52 Ancestors Challenge.
The idea of a weekly post where bloggers who are participating simply leave a comment on your site including the surname they’re featuring that week, the title of their blog post, and a link to their blog. That way, you’d have a “wiki-recap” put together by the other participants but still all in one place so everyone could benefit. I’m very grateful that you issued this challenge — and I certainly understand that putting together the recap yourself is a lot of work — but one of the important outcomes of a project like this is to provide access to it. If you can figure out a way to let others help you keep the recap going, that would be tremendous. I’d even host it on my brand-new blog (if I can figure out how to get the darned comments thing working in WordPress :-)).
Can you do joint blogs on WordPress? I know you can on Blogger. A whole staff could do the project.
Yes, you can have multiple contributors on a WordPress blog. But having gone through a few projects like that, I’m really leaning toward the “leave your link in the comments below” solution, at least for now.
Dear cousin Amy,
Would not be the first (or last :D) time a great initiative began to be the sled halfway down the long hill. Do not feel guilty about having to set time priorities.
I have enjoyed scanning your weekly list of participants, as part of my weekly icing — with gratitude.
Others have made some great suggestions that might lighten your load. I hope you will find one of them appealing.
Cheers and many thanks.
Thanks, Cousin Jade I appreciate it.
Thank you for starting the 52 Ancestors challenge! And thanks for all you’ve done over these past months. A lot of great ideas have been left in the previous comments. The way you had us leave a link to our blog posts while you were on vacation worked well. But, you need to do whatever works best for you.
I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/07/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-july-11-2014.html
Have a great weekend!
Thanks, Jana, both for your kind words and including this in your Fab Finds post… I think! There’s something vaguely weird about having a post about having to give something up making it onto the Fab Finds list… 😉
I don’t mind posting links like we did the weeks you were gone. I normally skimmed through the lists to see if I recognized any surnames so if people just included their link and their ancestors name I think that would be a good solution.
Thanks, Jessica. That’s the way I’m leaning right now. More details soon…
I know how it feels, Amy! Lots of ideas here but the best put some onus on us, the contributors. We are part of this Challenge too so I think we should help out! Hope you find some solutions amongst all these words!
Thanks. Right now, I’m leaning toward the “leave your link in the comments below” solution, at least as a temporary measure.
Amy, first thank you for the challenge. It’s made me a better, more regular blogger. And I’ve discovered so many wonderful blogs as a result of the weekly challenge, and a couple of cousins!
I would be willing to take over the weekly recap in the format you began for a month or two and send the pst text to you to post. Perhaps, someone would then volunteer after me?
Just a thought for you to consider since so many of us looked forward to your weekly recaps.
If you’re interested, please message me on Facebook.
Thanks, Schalene. I think the simplest solution is the best, and set it up like I did while I was on vacation.
I am glad that you are leaning toward the comments option, as that would be easiest for me as well. I was disappointed when I first read your post, but completely understood your reasoning. It seems that your challenge has taken on a life of it’s own and outgrew it’s original structure. I enjoy reading entries from the other bloggers and I find it inspiring that so many have taken on the challenge as well. I know that I will continue with it, whatever your decision, as it has been so helpful to me.
Thank you so much for creating the challenge, and for sharing your thoughts with us. Perhaps by taking some time to regroup, the perfect solution will present itself?
On of the reasons that I did not participate in this challenge was because I knew that there would be business, family, and social obligations that would prevent me from completing the task some weeks. To me, it is always a disappointment when a professional starts a project and then abandons it in mid-stream.
Believe me, I hate to abandon projects! That’s why I’m working on a solution that will still allow the recap to continue. (And, in my defense, the recap was never an original part of this Challenge.) As for not doing a post on some weeks, the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is intended to be a way to get blogging more regularly without a lot of pressure. More importantly, it is intended to be a way to get more written about our ancestors. If you make it to all 52, great! If not, that’s fine, too. As I’ve said from the beginning, anything you write is something more than what you had when you started.
Amy I mentioned below of why don’t we set up a Facebook Group called 52 Ancestors 52 Week Blog – I’d be happy to set it up on FB – and maybe we could Adm it and others if needed. We could all individually post our weekly stories there and chat? You prob have everyone’s email to send them out an email to see if interested and we could send a link to come join. I understand time frames but this would keep us all connected, if and when we want. LMK by email or here what you think. I’m just happy that I got back into my writing, thanks to you.
Perfect solution Jeanne for those who use facebook, which I guess is most.
Out of interest, mine this week:
I here I thought I had deleted the challenge some how or maybe I have. I too have been having time crunch issues and my blog has fallen to the bottom of my to do list the last couple of weeks. I really hate it because I learn so much more when I put together another blog and for that I thank you. And I have used my blog to introduce others to my family. What ever we do is okay with me in the mean while here is my blog, http:putnamsisters.wordpress.com
Again thanks for doing this.
Yes I truly understand how things take up time. I’ve been struggling with keeping up and finally caught up myself this week. I am so glad that I found your site and started this, although I did have many stories written in my own books, this forced me to put some others in story form and even though it burdens me at times, I’m enjoying this. What about if we started a Facebook Group called 52 Ancestor 52 Week Group – I’d be happy to start it and everyone could join and you could post your new stories there and we could chat. If any interest – let me know here and how we could get the message out to everyone.
Here is my #1 even if it is Week 36! It’s OK to a little out of sync, right? 😉 Can it also be stories about family and stories about them here? or just finding folks stories? Here is link to my #1.