[I am working my way backward through Amy Coffin’s 52 weeks of Abundant Genealogy because I wasn’t paying attention at the beginning of the year. This is my entry for week #20…Social Media]
When I first joined Facebook a few years ago, I would have never dreamed that social media would become so important to genealogy research. Of all the social networks Facebook and Google+ are most important to me.
Google+ is the newest kid on the block. It allows me to have circles of friends and post only to the circles I so choose. In this way, I can target things directly to genealogy friends and bloggers. My other friends don’t have to be bored with my latest discovery.
Google+ attracts people who want to connect on interests they share. In this way, it differs from Facebook. Usually through Facebook I connect with folks I already know in some form or fashion. On Google+, I connect more with people who have similar interests. There is a burgeoning group of genealogy bloggers networking on Google+.
I like Facebook for different reasons than I like Google+. I have my friends on Facebook. But, I am also taking advantage of the group and fan page features.
I have a Facebook group for my Pacheco and de Braga cousins. This group is private and all new members must belong to some branch of the tree. I use this group to interact with my cousins and let them interact with each other. I share some of my research finds and enjoy the tales they have to tell. It’s an easy way to share photos and documents without sharing them with the whole world.
I also am the administrator for the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy Group on Facebook. This is an open group for those who share an interest in Portuguese Hawaiian genealogy. The group now boasts 458 members and I’m now related to a couple of them. It’s a great place for people to share information and get research help.
People who are interested in keeping up with my website and blog can become a fan (such a strange concept!) and like my Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage page on Facebook. Here you’ll keep up to date on my latest postings and find some interesting news tidbits.
As you can see, I am using social media in a variety of ways. I use it to keep up with cousins, to connect with other genealogists and bloggers, to promote my blog and website, and to assist the Portuguese Hawaiian genealogy community. Although there are forums and private websites that do much of the same, social networks make it more accessible. People are comfortable with Facebook and Google+ which makes it easy to get people together.