Genealogy & Social Networking Technologies #3- facebook

Probably one of the biggest social networking disappointments for me, thus far, has been facebook. I have tried three differing facebook approaches/ venues, none seems to have worked very effectively.

Firstly, I tried the plain vanilla regular facebook friending protocol. Basically by that I mean, I joined facebook, made lots of friends and almost none of them visit my genealogy site (or other sites for that matter). I had hoped that family and friends would been interested enough to follow along and communicate or use ManyRoads, but I have been largely disappointed. My single notable success has been finding and re-meeting a long lost cousin. She ultimately had a neighbor friend of hers translate my German Oma’s (grandmother’s) Soviet post-WW2 bills of indictment and incarceration in a Stalinist Gulag. Truly that was a significant accomplishment, but given I have been ‘active’ on facebook for more than two years, this experience has been largely disappointing.

The next major foray, I had into the facebook world, involved the creation of a ManyRoads facebook group. Aside from one member, one time, I believe I have been the entire compliment of writing and discussion. In the main, the experience feels a lot like being in an empty auditorium shouting to myself. The group looks nice but yields nothing. So goes my second sad facebook effort.

Lastly, I have tried syndicating, publicizing ManyRoads via Networked Blogs on facebook. Aide from using an unacceptable amount of website CPU cycles, that turned out to be a complete nothing. Setting things up took a fair bit of work and produced so little I was unable to measure its “minusculeness”. At one point, I even tweeted begging for any of my Twitter followers to ‘like’ my blog. I received one whole response. Granted this site is of limited interest and excitement but… there we have yet another facebook disappointment.

I guess I would conclude this brief discourse by summarizing my facebook experiences as having been a lot of effort producing very little in the way of tangible, traceable results. If facebook were to disappear today, I doubt either my genealogy efforts or the ManyRoads’ site traffic would suffer very much; they certainly don’t seem to have benefited excepting in the one instance.

I certainly hope you have had much better success.