Saturday, 3 November 2012

British GENES - a few milestones!

I discovered from an email earlier that the Genealogy in Time newsletter has a list of the top 100 most useful genealogy websites from around the world, and that this blog fits in nice and snugly at number 87! The article then breaks down the results into various categories, and notes that "British GENES is the top British genealogy blog".

Crikey! The full article is available at and may provide some useful pointers for resources worldwide. The article itself was first published in January 2012 (which the site still shows), but has actually just been updated.

This seems a good opportunity to note a few recent milestones! If you notice the counter at the bottom of the blog page, you'll see it recently passed 300,000 page views, though that's only an indicator of direct hits, and does not take into account those who read each day's coverage via email or through some form of blog reader - but neverthless a nice number to get past, and not bad for a year's effort! If you wish to subscribe, just look for the options on the left side of the page which will allow you to get a handy dandy daily email feed.

It is actually hard to gauge just who reads the site and how many subscribe - the Google Feedburner tool allows me to note how many readers it picks up as subscribers (currently at 575), but various other measures tell me different things. I noticed recently that various site traffic sites actually generate different statistics depending on the web address ending! For example, in the US, this site's web address is - whereas in Canada it ends with ".ca", in Ireland it ends with ".ie", in Australia "", etc. This is something that started with Google just a few months ago, when this site suddenly changed to "" after many happy months and years for it and its predecessor with ".com"!

British GENES was launched last year in September, and eventually replaced its predecessor Scottish GENES, which was initially started in December 2006 and ended in December 2011 (I was simply duplicating the Scottish based posts on both blogs at this stage). To some extent I can gauge relative popularity between the two sites, via another stat, in the form of the number of people who link in via Google Friend Connect (again, it is on the left of the page). When Scottish GENES closed it had 165 "followers" after 5 years of blogging - British GENES on the other hand currently has 126 followers after just a year. If you have a Google account you can connect up and add the blog to your blog list etc - and your face might pop up as a wee icon on the left of the blog page!

The five years of blog posts from Scottish GENES are available as an archive via a link at the top right of the British GENES page. When Scottish GENES closed I think a few people thought the world had ended and I had sold out to the English(!), but in fact Scottish GENES regularly carried news from across the British Isles, so it can really be considered a British GENES archive covering many genealogical developments since 2006. The major difference between the two was that the intention of the first blog was to alert those doing Scottish genealogy to developments in the British Isles concerning the hobby - the focus has simply shifted to help those across the British Isles instead. It still has a slight bias on Scotland and Ireland (I live in one and come from the other!), but I'll carry anything of interest for anyone who wants me to share it, or that I can find!

Thanks to all who have been reading my ramblings so far. And if you are wondering if I talk too much, I'll leave you with two final statistics. The first is that this is the 1415th post this year on the blog - and on the accompanying twitter feed for the blog at @chrismpaton I've just passed 20,000 tweets...! :)

(With thanks to both Genealogy in Time and Eileen Munnelly)


Scotland 1750-1850 - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 2 NOV 2012 - see
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

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