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23 November 2014

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Social Media for Family Historians, 2nd edition

The second edition of my book,¬†Social Media for Family Historians, is now out.¬†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 has been expanded and updated, with some sites removed that I no longer consider useful, and new ones added, such as Google+. The section on getting started with Facebook in … [Read more...]

A first look at the new Facebook profile

I've bitten the bullet and had a play with the new profile in Facebook. You'll be able to see it on 1st October. I will take you through the process of setting it up (once you've agreed to do so). At the moment it's only open to developers. When I said yes, I accepted the option to take the tour. First up you can select the cover (the large photo). It selected the most recent photo that had been tagged with my name. As you can see, this isn't me - it's my beautiful great-grand-nephew: When … [Read more...]

Games in Social Networks

I don't really understand all the hostility towards games in social networking sites. Aside from the annoyance of being told about all the gaming achievements of each person who plays games, which can be turned off even in Facebook, what is the problem with other people playing games? Games have always been a part of social interaction, and not just for children. Games are fun, and we all need some fun. We play cards, bridge, mah jong, chess, checkers and so on; not to mention sports like … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Facebook Privacy

Last week I gave a workshop at the Society of Australian Genealogists Research Library for new Facebook users. There is a lot of interest in Facebook and how it can be used to connect with family and friends, but thereis also a lot of concern about privacy. The biggest issue is the default privacy settings that new users are automatically given. Facebook was designed by college students for college students, and the fact is that this age group are not as concerned with privacy as most of us … [Read more...]