Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wordle, etc. (Goals for 2011)

We're on the final countdown for the year 2010.  It's been a mixed bag for the Reeds -- we're still both here (never assumed) and we got to check off one of the items on our Bucket List by taking a trip to Ireland and Scotland this past September.  I was able to continue being employed part-time at Miami University in a job I love and also work with a program that assists teachers in their effort to integrate technology into their classroom.

One of the pieces of software I learned about was a free application that you can find at  You can input a group of words or tie it to a link by supplying the URL.  When I supplied the URL for my blog, it created the graphic displayed above.  You can select "randomize" and click through different renditions of the same words.  The software selects "nouns."  The more often a noun is used in your post, the larger it is in the graphic.  Based on the graphic posted above, "Christmas", "song", and "family" seemed to be recurring themes.  Try it out -- it's great fun!  You can post a comment below on what you think of the software.

The downside is that you can't save the product to your computer.  You can choose to post it for public viewing or use other software you may have (such as "jing") to capture and save the image.  I'm going to copy and paste this post to see what comes up:

We've been encouraged to look ahead to 2011 and plan what we hope to do "genealogically." I do have a couple of goals:

1) I want to continue exploring new software and apply what I learn to my blog posts.

2) Linking to GeneaBloggers has increased the traffic to this blog and enabled me to benefit from others who have a passion for blogging about their family history. I want to try to read as many other blogs as time will allow.

3) I have six ancestors who served in the Civil War. Since 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, I want to tell what I can of their stories and recognize their service.

4) Hopefully, I will collaborate with our local genealogical society and public library to help teach others how to set up a blog and share their own family histories with the rest of us.

5) I want to treat myself to the Ohio Genealogical Society conference to be held the end of March in Columbus, Ohio. The conference coincides with my birthday. I hope to be accepted as a member of their Century Families and Civil War lineage groups based on applications already submitted. I also submitted an article for a Writing Contest they sponsor annually. If I "win" my article will be published in their quarterly journal.

6) I hope to overcome my distaste for formal citations. For Christmas, my husband gave me a a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills book, Evidence Explained. Maybe this will make this task more tolerable.

7) I still have a couple of ancestors I need to flesh out -- Elizabeth Kinley Jones was Pennsylvania Dutch. Her husband, Alexander Jones, was allegedly born in Chillicothe, Ohio -- something I need to prove. I would also like to prove when John Cronin and Lucy Cronin died in Kentucky -- definitely brick walls for me.

8) I hope to go to the Ohio Historical Society as I read that they have put together a substantial amount of information re: Ohio units in the Civil War. This may give me a fuller picture of the service of my ancestors.

9) One of the biggest accomplishments of 2010 was meeting and collaborating with a second and third cousin I met through Ancestry. I hope we can continue collaborating in 2011.

10) Finally, I hope for continued good health, an improving economy for all, and more time devoted to exercise and other priorities. I am thankful for my many blessings and look forward to 2011. Here is wishing all who read this a happy 2011!

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