Social networking (media) ought to be a useful adjunct to genealogy research. Or more complexly stated, genealogy and genealogists should benefit greatly through improved interpersonal, Internet communications technology (better known as social networking). Of late, I have been trying to employ a number of web oriented ‘social’ technologies in an effort to up ManyRoads site readership and traffic.
It probably bears stating, the reason I (and most genealogy bloggers) seek higher traffic is because I both appreciate and need the contact/ interaction in my genealogy searches/ efforts. By that I mean, you (our reader) have knowledge and information that might help me in my search(es), just as I have information that might help you in yours. Yes in addition to my personal efforts I, also, do genealogy work for fee; but as anyone who has been on ManyRoads very often knows, I provide a lot of information, images and documents for free and without strings. And, much of that information has been sourced through your good communications to me.
To place the success of my efforts, thus far, in a tangible context, I would share the following. Out of the 160,000 +/- page reads, 65,000 visitors we have had during the past year I have made contact with approximately:
- 10 new “to me” cousins
- a few new clients
- 10 GB of new information (all stored here on ManyRoads for everyones’ use)
- numerous valuable and detailed assists in the editing my genealogy work
- dozens of photos of family members that I did not know existed
- numerous unbelievable and useful links to previously lost aspects of my family’s past
Well you get the idea. It takes a lot of traffic to keep and create a good information flow; and, such is the context within which the communication technologies I am about to discuss operate. Each medium attempts, in one way or another, to reach out into areas and places in the hope/ desire of triggering mutual information sharing and communication. The most significant aspect of this ‘reaching out’ is that it is almost blind. It’s a bit like putting your arm under a rug and reaching, rummaging, searching for a lost pebble. You do not know the shape, the location, texture, or size of the pebble, nor can you see it. You simply know it might be there and you want to find it. So, you reach.
In subsequent articles (posts) I will discuss my efforts with the following social technologies:
- yahoo groups
- rss feeds
By the way, I doubt there will be single, dedicated posts for each item on the above list.
If there are technologies you want to hear about, but they are not on my little list, please let me know. I may have tried them and would be happy to share what I have learned; if not, perhaps I should try them and then share what I learn. More to come…