This is a somewhat belated birthday congratulations to Dick Eastman on the 19th birthday of his e-newsletter: Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN), which is available at http://blog.eogn.com/.
Here is a quote from Dick’s first newsletter published on January 15, 1996:
Well, it’s started. This newsletter is something that I have been considering for a long time, but I finally decided to “take the plunge.” I’ve subscribed to several other electronic newsletters for some time now and have found them to be valuable. On many occasions I have said to myself, “Someone ought to do a weekly newsletter for genealogy news.” One day the light bulb went on, and I decided that perhaps I was that someone.
I hope to collect various bits of information that cross my desk and appear on my screen every week. Some of these items may be considered “news items” concerning events and happenings of interest to computer-owning genealogists. Some other items will be mini press releases about new genealogy software or other products and services that have just become available. I may write a few articles about things that are not genealogy-related but still seem to be of interest to me and probably to the readers. This may include articles about online systems, operating systems or other things that affect many of us.
You will also find editorials and my personal opinions weaving in and out of this newsletter. Hopefully I will be able to clearly identify the information that is a personal opinion.
The expected audience of this newsletter includes anyone in the genealogy business, any genealogy society officers and anyone with an interest in applying computers to help in the research of one’s ancestors.
I chose to distribute in electronic format for two reasons: (1.) it’s easy, and (2.) it’s cheap. In years past I have been an editor of other newsletters that were printed on paper and mailed in the normal manner. The “overhead” associated with that effort was excessive; I spent more time dealing with printers, maintaining addresses of subscribers, handling finances, stuffing envelopes and running to the post office than I did in the actual writing. Today’s technology allows for a much faster distribution, and it is done at almost no expense to either the producer or the subscribers. I want to spend my time writing, not running a “newsletter business.”
Dick states that he has followed the original plan “rather closely” during its publication run.
There is one big difference. With the expansion in interest in genealogy and family history, Dick found it necessary to convert the frequency of EOGN from weekly to daily more than ten years ago. He still sends weekly “collections” of all the articles by e-mail to all Plus Edition subscribers as well as shorter, daily e-mails to Standard Edition subscribers.
Dick also includes the following comments about how EOGN is put together and distributed:
I was amused a while ago when someone sent a message to me that started with the words, “I hope someone on your staff will forward this message to you.” After eighteen years, my staff remains almost the same as when I started: myself plus one very talented lady who edits this newsletter every week. I do the up-front work; she then converts my written words into real English. She also functions as a business adviser, confidante, and good friend. She has done this for nearly every newsletter since the very first edition.
Pam has edited nearly every newsletter article despite the travel schedules of both of us; sometimes we both have been in hotel rooms but in different countries. I well remember one week several years ago when I was writing newsletter articles from a hotel room in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Pam was editing the articles from her hotel room in California. (We both lived in Massachusetts at the time.)
As a computer professional, her travel schedule used to be at least as hectic as mine although she travels less these days. She and I have passed the proposed newsletter articles back and forth by e-mail time and again.
Thanks, Pam. I couldn’t do it without you.
In addition to Pam’s magnificent editing efforts, I was also fortunate when Bobbi King (her Association of Professional Genealogists page is at https://www.apgen.org/directory/search_detail.html?mbr_id=1476) joined the newsletter staff almost two years ago. Bobbi writes most of the book reviews published in the newsletter and she, too, has contributed much to the success of this publication.
If you are interested in keeping up with developments of all kinds in genealogical and family history research, you should subscribe to EOGN. You can subscribe to the free edition here: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=948986 simply by providing your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time if you don’t find it useful. To learn more about the Plus Edition, with its special offerings, go here: http://blog.eogn.com/subscribe-to-the-plus-edition/.