Social Networking has become a new resource for family history researchers to use. In his book, Social Networking for Genealogists, Drew Smith defines Social Networking as “a way of using online resources and services to create and maintain a community of individuals who share a common interest.” While it use to be thought of as a teenager/young adult activity, more adults are learning and using social networks to communicate with friends and family, as well as networking for work and their genealogy.
One of the first “social media” tools I was introduced to was Message Boards. Most genealogy websites such as Ancestry and Gen Forum have a type of Message Board. It is here you can ask questions about your research and look for information on an ancestor or location or read other queries to see If you might can assist someone. There are many ways to communicate with others about genealogy:
- Skype/Windows Live
- Instant Messaging
- Mail Service
- Interactive Webinars (a href=http://blog.geneawebinars.com rel='nofollow'>GeneaWebinars
- Are my family members using this site?
- Can I post and share my pictures and documents?
- Are my friends using this site?
- What privacy settings are available – will my information be secure?
- Are there games or other application on this site I would want to use?
- Can I promote events?
- Does this site offer a Message Board and Chat capabilities?
Some Social Networking sites you might consider are Facebook, Twitter, Genealogy Wise, Google Plus, Blogs (Blogger, Wordpress, GeneaBloggers) and Linked In. There are so many more that I will only list a few. Social Media Today has an article out that lists the 40 Most Popular Social Networking Sites of the World.
Some of the ways that utilizing Social Networks can assist in genealogy are
- Keeping in touch with family and friends
- Sharing pictures and documents
- Collaborating with others researching the same surnames and locations
- Discover new blogs, websites, books and resources
- Promote your genealogical/historical society and other events
- Relax, play some games, chat
- Meet new cousins!