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Slides of Bifhsgo presentation, March 12, 2011

Slides of Bifhsgo presentation, March 12, 2011

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  • 1. Social Networking and Genealogy
    Marian Press
    BIFHSGO March 12, 2011
  • 2. What is Social Networking?
    “Interaction between a group of people who share a common interest.” (Wictionary)
    Different kinds of social networking online, some using new web technologies
    some non-genealogical but used by genealogists
    some developed specifically with genealogists in mind
  • 3. Why Social Network?
    Anything that helps build more family history contacts good
    Genealogists “do” collaboration well
    Social networking isn’t new
    Earlier form – mailing lists and message boards
    Rootsweb mailing lists; Ancestry message boards
    Still active, still useful
    Have been enhanced by modern technology: e.g., Google searches posts on message boards
  • 4. What Will Be Discussed Today
    Blogs and wikis
    Social networking sites genealogists can take advantage of
    Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious
    Traditional genealogy sites that have added social networking features
    Ancestry, Footnote, Genes Reunited, Lost Cousins,,
    Social Networking Sites Designed for Genealogists
    GenealogyWise,, WikiTree
  • 5. The Technology Around Social Networking
    Web 2.0: Second generation of the web
    Collaborative, dynamic, open, social, content created by users
    Tags - keyword(s) describing photos, etc.
    RSS - lets you know when a web page is updated
  • 6. Flickr – Photo Sharing
    Photosharing - just what it sounds like
    Individuals and organizations share photos
    e.g, National Library of Scotland
    Photos can be made public or private
    Can add “tags” to help others find your content and contact you
    Find pictures of ancestral villages, churches, etc.
    Very effective photo back-up system
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9. Social Bookmarking
    Delicious (
    store & share your favourite web bookmarks
    find others bookmarking similar sites (
    share blog posts, articles and news
    genealogy and family history specific
  • 10. Blogs
    Probably the most well known and most used by genealogists
    Chronologically-arranged web pages
    Genealogists use for news/updates and sharing family research
    Easy to read: Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines
    Easy to build: Blogger
    Easy to find: Genealogy Blog Finder
  • 11. Building Your Own Family Blog
    Very easy to do using a site like Blogger
    Think of a blog as possible substitute for web site
    Don’t have to wait till your family research is complete to build it
    Very useful way to keep family up-to-date on what you are doing
  • 12. Twitter:
    A free social networking and micro-blogging service
    Exchange quick, frequent messages called “tweets”
    140 characters maximum
    “Tweet” can be used to advertise and lead to a blog posting, archives’ activities, etc.
    Can search for a word being tweeted –use a hash tag (#) for real relevance
    Genealogists, archives, and libraries are here
    Recently much tweeting from Rootstech 2011
  • 13. Wikis
    A web site that allows users to add and edit content collectively
    Wiki is the Hawaiian word for “fast”
    Can create you own wiki or contribute to an established wiki
    If you don’t like anyone changing/editing your work, maybe not for you!
  • 14. Types of Wikis
    Informational wikis
    general subject wikis – like Wikipedia:
    general genealogical wikis
    subject/society wikis
    GEDCOM wikis
    Personal family wikis
  • 15. Genealogy Wikis
  • 16.
    Sponsored by Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. and Allen County Public Library
    Uses wiki technology to build collaborative family trees
    Can build a page for each ancestor
    Can create profile, upload GEDCOMs
    A wiki page built for each family member and a family page for each family
    Need an account to Edit pages
  • 17. Wikitree:
    Begun in 2008 by Chris Whitten (creator of WikiAnswers)
    Very similar to WeRelate
    Wiki page created for each person
    Need to get permission from “profile manager” for each person to make changes
    Theory is to have one wiki profile page for each ancestor in the world
  • 18. “Hard-Core” Social Networking
    Facebook (
    new specialized genealogy social networking site, recently purchased by National Institute for Genealogical Studies
  • 19. Facebookwww.
    A social networking site – 585 million users
    High rate of Canadian participation
    U.K. second highest users after U.S.
    Genealogy really taking off in Facebook
    family tree applications
    genealogy society and interest groups
    library groups and catalogue applications
    can look for unusual surnames
  • 20. Social/Collaborative Tree Building
    Allow groups to build trees together
    Searchable so others can find you
    Some emphasize tree building; some collaboration and networking
    Have privacy controls
    Numbers of different sites growing fast
    Advertise huge numbers of trees/individuals
    Most still in “beta” – many have shut down
    Very U.S. centric to date
  • 21. Collaborative Tree Sites
  • 22. Traditional Genealogy Sites with Social Networking Features
    Most successful so far are the “hubs” or “magnets” for genealogists
    Databases and other records provide added value
    Are rapidly adding networking features for family trees and for records
    Ancestry, Footnote, GenesReunited, etc.
  • 23. Finding Out More