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Social Networking and Genealogy Marian Press BIFHSGO March 12, 2011
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
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
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, FamilyRelatives.com, FamilySearch.org Social Networking Sites Designed for Genealogists GenealogyWise, Geni.com, WikiTree
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
Flickr – Photo Sharinghttp://www.flickr.com/ 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
Social Bookmarking Delicious (www.delicious.com) store & share your favourite web bookmarks find others bookmarking similar sites GenealoGee.com (www.genealogee.com) share blog posts, articles and news genealogy and family history specific
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
Building Your Own Family Blog Very easy to do using a site like Blogger www.blogger.com 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
Twitter: www.twitter.com 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
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!
Types of Wikis Informational wikis general subject wikis – like Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org general genealogical wikis subject/society wikis GEDCOM wikis Personal family wikis
WeRelateWiki:www.werelate.org 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
Wikitree: www.wikitree.com 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
“Hard-Core” Social Networking Facebook (www.facebook.com) Genealogywise(www.genealogywise.com) new specialized genealogy social networking site, recently purchased by National Institute for Genealogical Studies
Facebookwww. facebook.com 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
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
Collaborative Tree Sites www.geni.com www.treex.com www.genetree.com www.arcalife.com
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.