Bloggers Are Archivists Leaving Behind a Massive Digital Footprint of Content


Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.netWhile cleaning up files and getting rid of old papers, I found our family tree. Or at least the family tree from the maternal side of my family and as much information as my Aunt had been able to dig up. I had forgotten all about it having it until I started my cleaning binge.

I don’t think I had ever really looked at it that closely before and I hadn’t realized it was just a couple of generations ago that my ancestors had come to America from England and Scotland. I wished I knew more about my ancestors.

How different the world is today.
All of us who are content creators, bloggers and curators of content are leaving behind digital footprints of our lives: photos, videos and records of our thoughts, feelings and views of the world around us. We all in some way would like to think we are leaving out mark on the world.

Today content is king. Overwhelming amounts are being created every day. Women make up the majority of bloggers and blogs now reach 8 out 10 of all U.S. Internet users. Around the world there are over 181 million blogs. Imagine future anthropologists having to sift through this ever-increasing number.

Nicki Anderson said, “I am the second generation of Portuguese immigrants. When my grandparents came over they wanted to be Americans, period. Therefore, there was no interest in keeping a family tree. However, my Grandmother was a wonderful source by sharing a verbal family tree. Fortunately, I had the foresight to record conversations with her on my portable cassette player back in the day.  I think about how different it would be today. How I could have not only preserved the audio piece of her stories, but I could have preserved her animated storytelling via video. Unfortunately, she was gone before I was able to that.

I dabble in working on a family tree but continue to hit roadblocks as the record keeping at Ellis Island was weak at best.  Names were changed, or shortened to make them more American.  My grown children often ask about their history and more about their ancestors that grew up on the island in the Azores, St. Miguel.

Thanks to modern technology, I continue to put bits and pieces of my family history together. I’m hoping through the great resources on the internet, that I’ll be able to leave behind for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren a family-tree they can pass on to their children.”

“I’m Sephardic and family connections have always been of paramount importance to our family,” said Ruth Sheldon.

Because my ancestors were forced to leave Spain during the Inquisition, it’s hard to go very far back and trace our family history. Both sets of grandparents came from Greece and settled inManhattan in the early 1900s. Instead of a family tree, an ambitious uncle created an “Azaria Family Circle” schematic. It tracks my maternal grandparents and their subsequent offspring.

I think because of the traumatic conditions of the Inquisition along with the difficulties most immigrants faced, our family stayed together. My uncles were in business together, vacationed together, send their kids to the same camp, and told and retold the same embellished stories. Some day, when I have some time, I plan to check out among other ancestry websites and see what my past holds.

I know my son is very curious about our history and loves to hear about family lore. Especially about my dad who paced Olympic swimmers in order to earn money while attending Cooper Union. Like most adults, I regret not asking more questions when my folks were alive. That’s the big take-away for me.”

So what footpath are you leaving for future generations? Have you thought about your blog and the content you are creating from that perspective?

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