Can Google+ replace Facebook and Twitter?

I've been playing with Google+ for a few days now, and I've had some time to experiment and to see how others in my circles are reacting to it. Most seem to be using it as a substitute for Facebook - posting to a limited audience in their own circles. Many of them like that you can more easily post about specific subjects to specific people, a capability that Facebook has but hides very well. The more public figures - developers and power-bloggers, for example, are making everything … [Read more...]

First look at Google+

Google+ is Google's new experiment in the world of social networks. I say 'experiment' because it is only in limited release; you have to wait for someone to be able to invite you, and then you have to accept the invitation during one of the brief, unpredictable periods when new members are being accepted. I also call it an 'experiment' because Google have tried something similar before. It was called Google Wave and it didn't catch on. Google Wave was removed from circulation. It is … [Read more...]

Ask Archivists!

Today was Ask Archivists Day. In much of the world it still is, Australia being ahead of most of the rest of the world. It was/is a great opportunity to ask an archivist a question and have it answered. The hashtag to use is #AskArchivists. You don't have to be a member of Twitter to read the conversation; only if you want to ask a question. Questions were varied, from very broad, such as 'what does an archivist do?' to quite specific. I asked the National Archives of Australia (@naagovau) a … [Read more...]

Family history societies using social media

I have written previously about how family history societies can use social media and why I think they should. Social media is a great way to connect with people and let them know what you offer, especially people you may not otherwise reach. I would love to start a list of societies that use social media - Facebook, Twitter, a blog, Flickr, YouTube, and so on - and put it on this site somewhere. Currently the list is so small that it seems almost counter-productive, but I am willing to try … [Read more...]

Twitter for family historians

What is Twitter? Twitter is what is known as a microblog. You can send and receive messages, called tweets. A tweet can be a maximum of 140 characters. Tweets can be seen, and searched, by everyone unless you restrict them only to your friends. You can search for messages by a single person, by a word or phrase, or by a topic or hashtag, which is word, often abbreviated, with a # in the front of it. A tweet you particularly like can be retweeted to your followers. Tweets can include … [Read more...]

How did Facebook get my email address?

Last month I gave a talk to some 'seniors' about social media, particularly Facebook. Many of them are wary of using social media because of privacy concerns, and talking to them made me realise that there are a lot of misconceptions that make people more fearful than they need to be. One that stands out involves requests from other people. Some of them had received friend requests from others, usually relatives, that arrived in the form of an email. These emails come from Facebook and so the … [Read more...]

Blog overload

There are a lot of great blogs out there, and I try to follow as many as I can. I usually learn something new in every one of them - sometimes about genealogy sources or methods, sometimes about the person writing the blog or the family they are writing about. Blogs are a great resource. Sometimes, though, if I haven't been reading them for a while, it's difficult to catch up. The bigger that number of unread posts gets, the less I feel like going in there and tackling them. It becomes … [Read more...]

We have wedding photos, but what about anniversary photos?

Last night my husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. We are expecting very many more anniversaries after this one. We try to do something special for our anniversary every year. Some years we go away for the weekend, and I seem to think they are in the majority. They are probably just more memorable. Most years we just go out somewhere and have a good dinner and drink champagne and eat too much, like last night. What we didn't do is take a picture of ourselves having … [Read more...]

Social Media for Family History Societies

A lot of large companies and organisations are using social media to attract new customers and members, and to keep in touch with the ones they have. Those that don't are learning how to do so. I think small volunteer organisations like family history societies should do the same. It is even more important for societies to use low-cost ways of reaching people that cost little more than the time of a regular volunteer or two. Most family history societies have at least a basic website so … [Read more...]

What time zone is that?

I have finally solved my inability to calculate international time zones. We are increasingly becoming more global. Social media allows us to communicate and collaborate with people from all over the world, in real time. This means that we can chat with people and take part in live video-conferences and video-streams from around the world when they actually happen. An essential requirement is knowing what time something is going to happen. It is no good deciding to watch a video telecast … [Read more...]