Friday, February 20, 2015

Needed: More Time

Why is it that the more I give up in obligations—so I can devote the proper amount of time to the rest of the to-do list—the more challenged I feel when it comes to getting things done?

This is the kind of moment that puts me in mind of the old Lewis Carroll classic: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”

The gift of Time would probably be my most cherished birthday gift. I am reminded of the Ben Franklin admonition: “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”

How to make the most of that time? I find some of the things that mean the most to me end up taking up the most of my time.

Take reading. Now that I’m deeply into the blogging world, I like to go visiting other bloggers’ sites. Yet, to read just one post…and then another…and another…suddenly we’re talking about a lot of time gone by.

How to redeem the time? Yes, I know the stock answer is to read faster. And everyone has their favorite speed-reading class to recommend. But I don’t want to read faster. I read to savor the essence of what the writer is getting at. You may as well tell the ladies at tea time to steep faster. It simply isn’t appropriate.

So, I look for pockets of time that can be exchanged—like using time doubly when I’m a captive audience anyhow. For instance, how about listening to blog posts while I’m driving? It takes me at least twenty minutes, just to drive to town. Obviously, I can’t read while I’m driving—I haven’t got a chauffeur (although I’ve caught drivers on the road, making that attempt). But I can listen while I drive. Why bother trying to find just what I want on the currently-available radio stations, when I could be listening to something I want to know, but for the lack of someone to produce the material for me to listen to?

I’ve toyed with the idea of podcasts before. Remember, I have a broadcast background in radio. We have the technology for stuff like that—even us bloggers of low degree. What if my blog reading list could be turned into my podcast play list? I could go for that.

Yes, I’m aware that there is already a supply side for the genealogical podcast market (which, at this point, may only be me). But I don’t want to only listen to Lisa Louise Cooke—even if she does have a million downloads of her one hundred eighty episodes. It’s kinda rough on the ol’ driver, trying to take notes on research techniques while in the middle of traffic, ya know?

And I’m not sure I’d want to be captive audience to only Marian Pierre-Louis. Though I’m sure she delivers a valuable production, her podcasts are focused on the needs of the genealogy professional. Though I may be an avid researcher, I’m not a professional—nor do I play one on TV.

What about all the rest of us bloggers? What will it take for us to find our voice and start podcasting?

I’d love to tune in to a spoken version of the many blogs I follow. Just think of it: a series to rival any radio station’s morning show—and totally devoted to genealogy. You reading your blog aloud, I reading mine—all part of a collection anyone could tap into during the forty minutes of downtime in the day, next time she headed into town.

A dream. But it could be a possibility. After all, we do have the technology.

Above: "The Red Queen's Race," illustration by Sir John Tenniel for the Lewis Carroll book, Through the Looking-Glass; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain. 


  1. Somebody's gonna find this and get it going. My blog is often photo-driven, so what shall we do about that? I guess I can think about that tomorrow. Like you, I'm trying to figure out how to use my time. While the rest of the blogging world is busy with the Genealogy Do-Over, I'm busy with a Genealogy ROOM Do-Over, not just painting but reorganizing my research. That's a full-time job that is getting in the way of blogging and reading blogs. Some days it is like swimming against the tide. I am envious of your ability to blog daily no matter what.

    1. Talk about a massive do-over! Wendy, it will be worth it when it is all done. Just hold out. Of course, we all want pics when you finish putting those finishing touches on your new genealogy room!

  2. What a great idea - blogcasts. I'm in! And I can't even imagine blogging daily - I have enough trouble doing it weekly.

    1. I love how you put that, Debi: blogcasts. That's exactly it! Would it be great to hear each blogger say their story, exactly as they intended it to be told?

  3. I think will do what you want (read sites from an rss feed)

    Lots of text to speech tools now, many are free.

    1. Thanks, Iggy. I'll have to check that one out. What I'm looking for is not simply a computer voice converting my text, though. I want a simple way to read my own work aloud, then post it in a way it can be easily downloaded and listened to--while driving, for instance. But I do know of some blogs that are using text to speech tools, too. It certainly helps to reach a different segment of the potential audience.

      Face it, though...I just want to talk to everybody!


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