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Historical Blogging

  1. Blogging seems to be the method of choice for my family members scattered across the country to stay in touch. We've gotten used to reading eachothers lives on our blogs.

    Since we're used to the format, and I've become somewhat of the de facto family historian I'd like to use the blogging format to talk about the lives of our ancestors. I'd like to create historical blogs.

    Let's say we were related to John Adams (although we're not). Most of his writings have already been digitized and dated, and are available as public domain on loc.gov and other websites. I would love to compile his writings and post them on a blog that organizes his life by date. Although some readers might find it tedious, it leaves a good, searchable, record in a popular format. Eventually someone will notice.

    There's a bit of a problem. I can't date the blog posts back to the 1700s, 1800s or anything prior to the early 1970s. Is there a way to get wordpress to work around this? If we can trick the software into posting back to historical dates many of the lives of our historical figures could be more readable.

    What if you created a blog for the declaration of independence with each of the signers as a blog author? WOW wouldn't that be neat to read?

    In any case, can someone help me trick the computer? The posts I'm working on are from the mid 1800's and I'd rather not add 150 years to make them somewhat accurate.

  2. What an interesting idea. I bet it would freak people out the first time they came across a blog post from 1856 though.

    I'd contact staff directly. I see no reason they couldn't make this doable for you. Use your Dashboard->Help->Support button

  3. thelifeofmarkwhitecotton
    Member

    A good friend writes his online autobiography that way. Starting with birth to the present, with the dates reflecting the past. But, I guess since he was born after 1970, it hasn't been an issue. Never thought about how far one could go back. It is an interesting idea!

  4. sensuouscurmudgeon
    Member

    A friend does his family history using a wiki format. You might look into that software style to see if it's more congenial to what you're planning. Either a blog or a wiki could work, but one might have advantages. I don't know, but you might think about it before you commit to one format.

  5. Thanks for your comments, I've posted this suggestion here: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/223236?replies=1#post-917381

    We'll see if it gets anywhere.

    -Jacob
    http://jake.roeckerfam.com

  6. We have attempted to support this in the past, and I think it actually worked for a while. The trouble is there are many external and peripheral services and features that tend to break with very old dates (prior to 1970).

    It's a cool idea and we'll take a look at it again once the new dashboard is all sorted out.

    In the meantime the obvious way to do it is just to write the appropriate date within the body of your posts.

  7. I've been adding the date to the post title--so it's not too confusing, but it becomes a bit difficult to sort out days of the week.

    To keep some of the context I've added 150 years to the journal entries. So an entry from 1837 appears to be from 1987.

    In any case, I think this is marvelous that it's getting some attention. There could be some great historical projects that would benefit from this. I hope wordpress is the platform that makes it work. It's already my platform of choice.

    -Jacob

  8. You can choose how you set the date to display under Settings - General. If you chose not to display the year then this would help with creating the illusion.

  9. thelifeofmarkwhitecotton
    Member

    Another thing that I saw another blogger do, which may work until something better comes along:

    I saw someone make the year a category. And then when someone clicked on the year/category, it would show all entries for that year, but the post would only say something like, "Tuesday, August 3rd." But I agree that tracking down the day of the week to actually match the date, would be quite a chore!

  10. How about a day of the week calculator:
    http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/dayofweek.html

    (there are many)

  11. thelifeofmarkwhitecotton
    Member

    Good tip, 1tess!

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