Surprisingly, Twitter has become an essential communication vehicle for me. And, no one is more surprised than I am. I never thought that I would become a Twitter user, much less become one of those people who rely on Twitter.
Initially,I thought that Twitter was both frivolous and oriented towards the younger folks. I guess that probably says something more about me becoming stodgy and old then it says anything useful about Twitter; but nonetheless one fine day, I gave it a whirl. The rest is history. Now, I use Twitter everyday I use the computer, which is to say almost everyday.
With Twitter’s 140 measly ‘allowable’ characters, I am able to announce what I am doing and discovering to the world, or at least to that little part of the world interested in, ahnenforschung, history etc. And amazingly enough, you the ManyRoads reader who also uses Twitter comes by for a look-see. People I never knew, or knew might be interested in mywork, stop by, share information or simply become stealth readers; by the way, that is approximately 99.98% of you (Yes, I am one of those guys who tracks statistics…).
Additionally, Twitter has provided me with avenues for sharing what I find, or more precisely what other ‘Twitterers’ find, as you can see on our News! page. I am able to filter the news streams, build lists of people (other Twitterers) with whom I share common interests (see My ManyRoads List). I use (meaning read) their/your feeds then either for myself alone or for further sharing and aggregation.
I am able find new information from people and places around the globe covering topics such as:
In Twitter speak, words prefaced with # are called hash-tags (hastags). Truly they are nothing more than keywords, if you will, for sorting through the piles of streaming Tweets/ information, in order to see those topics in which I, and you if you use them, are interested. I personally find the above hash-tags to be very good for finding meaningful genealogy information and articles. Additionally, I am able to use those very same hash-tags for generating information feeds to various software systems like paper.li and Gwibber, the social feed reader I use.
As you well know, both genealogy and genealogical research are reliant on finding hidden, not easy to locate, information. A communication tool like Twitter has become, in this arena, a real asset in finding information… previouly hidden and obscure, to me. It is also a useful communication vehicle which facilitates meeting, talking, and connecting with like minded individuals- those people searching for information similar to that which I seek.
More to come…