Before I got too involved with items that are scheduled for 2013, I thought that I would tell you what happened here in 2012 at the James County Historical Society.
Even though, I began the process to start the blog in 2011, it did not really begin as an educational tool until the beginning of 2012. I did a presentation to the society explaining the concept of social media and how this blog can keep people informed and educated. Since the beginning, in one year's time, we have had over 2400 hits on this blog. The stats show that almost all of the people that had found our site were actually searching for information about James County. Who Knew! I can only think of a few instances where a search for something unrelated showed up on our site. Those are amazing statistics!
The most popular post was "A Mystery Solved" followed closely by "A Census Listing for 1880-part 1". Right behind were "The Crime of Lewdness" and "None Whatsoever". Three fourths of the searches came from Google. Thank you Google for putting us at the top of the list for James County searches. The remainder of the people found us through Facebook, Geneabloggers or by typing in the name of the blog. Friends, these are amazing stats for the first year of the blog concerning a topic that most people don't even know about.
The Facebook page was then created. This also has drawn alot of traffic. It has been read by alot of people, even though there are not many "likes" on the page. When you "like" a page on Facebook, it automatically puts any posts from that person or entity onto your home page. You do not need to keep looking at it for new content. Every time the page is updated, the new content will be sent to your homepage. As the page gets more "likes", Facebook has special perks for that page. Let's start a campaign to get more "likes" in 2013.
I have begun to scan and archive some of the photos and documents that are in the Historical Society's possession. I also have begun to scan the same items that are in the possession of some of our society members and others that are willing to share their documented histories that are in their homes. I would like to personally thank everyone for sharing and being patient with me as I work on this project. It is a very large undertaking. I am looking forward to sharing some of these items with you in the very near future. If you know of anyone that has photos, documents, books, heirlooms that they would like to share, please let me know and I will contact them and get those items archived before something happens to them. Mother Nature is very unpredictable these days!
I have also been working on a new logo for the society that we can include on the blog, Facebook page, and brochures. The brochures that are almost done will be ready for distribution at the local libraries, workshops and other areas of interest around town. I will be posting a copy of the brochure here on the website shortly for viewing or printing. The hope is that more people will know that there is an active Historical Society and that we do have meetings. This should encourage more people to attend and will increase our membership. This will mean there will be more stories that can be shared and allow for more interaction between members. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
I have also attended 2 national conferences concerning genealogy and societies. I took many classes and learned about how societies are having to make changes in order to accommodate the growth in technology and a demographic change in its membership. You can read all about it here in my blog post. I hope to put many of these ideas into use in the coming year.
The other addition that I have included in this blog is giving you notice of some of the other historical and genealogical events happening around the area. This way, you could be involved in other parts of this genealogical community, as well. I have notified you of workshops, genealogy meetings, festivals, and conferences. I will continue to do this for your benefit.
I have many other pots in the fire and will talk to you about them later. But if you have any other ideas that you would like to see included, please let me know. Also, if you have any questions that maybe I can research, I will be happy to do it. If I can not, I will put the question out on the blog and maybe someone in the this vast community will have the answers that you seek. Let's use this blog as a tool and work together.
Hope everyone had a great 2012 and will have even a better 2013! Help us to spread the word about James County.