30 July 2014

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...]

Social Media for Family Historians

My first book, Social Media for Family Historians, was published in late 2010 by Unlock The Past. It explains what social media is; what use it is; and introduces you to more than 25 social media sites that can help family historians to communicate, share and collaborate with other family historians and with their own families. It covers new ways to communicate such as Sykpe and SecondLife; social networking sites such as Facebook and GenealogyWise; blogs and microblogs such as Twitter; sites … [Read more...]

A good reason to write a blog

Blog posts are a snapshot in time. Just as a photograph can tell you a lot about someone, so can a blog post, even when they talk about seemingly trivial things. Even memes, those things that seem to go around like a craze in primary school, can be meaningful. I have been sorting through old drafts that were never published, and I found this one from October 2008: Ten years ago I was: Working on the implementation of a new computer system to prepare for Y2K Sharing our new house with my … [Read more...]

My own mini-scanfests

When you come back home after a productive research trip to an archive or library do you often end up with a stack of photocopies? Yes, me too. I use my digital camera whenever I can but sometimes it just isn't possible to take photos. Sometimes the repository doesn't allow it, and other times the documents are folded up so well that it is just easier to get the experts to photocopy them. When I get home I tend to leave them for a while in the 'filing' pile, and the longer they stay there … [Read more...]

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