Social Media Geneameme

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.

Share your discoveries on your blog.

Jill Ball from Geniaus asked us to respond to her Social Media Geneameme. Here are my comments on the Geneameme:

1.       Tell us about your favourite social media tool and why you like it.

If we can count blogging as social media, which I would, then that would be my favourite. It gives me the chance to express my opinions, tell my family stories, receive comments from others (who often become friends) and respond to their comments. I think the latter is very important if we’re to build links through our social media.

2. How do you use social media to further your genealogy career or business?

I tweet my posts and discoveries I’ve made on other’s blogs. I think the most useful thing I can do is offer comments on other’s blogs, and really appreciate their comments on mine, hence why it’s important to respond. I like Google+ for its ability to differentiate between groups (family history, family, friends). I’m slowly coming to like FB better.

3. What advice would you give the cruiser who said “I must be living under a rock” and is not sure about coming out from under it? (This came from my Social Media presentation)

I can relate to this. Thanks to Shauna Hicks’ presentations in Darwin a few years ago I dabble in twitter and facebook and over time I’ve become more acclimatised to FB than I did when it was just a day-to-day thing.

When I came back from Papua New Guinea it all seemed quite trivial and I wondered why I was bothering.

4. What aspect of Social Media makes you grit your teeth?

I hate feeling like the tail is wagging the dog and that we “must” follow twitter or FB or Google+ slavishly. I think often of the advice from my former professional staff development person and also the Steven Covey’s “7 habits of highly successful people”. We need to decide what works, what doesn’t and use these tools to serve us rather than derail us from our objectives. Twitter/FB/Google+ do not have to be our masters!

 5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?
Using Google Reader enables me to stay in touch with what’s happening in the genealogical world. This can be a great advantage compared to waiting for months for magazines to publish “what’s new”.

6. How do you fit social media time into your busy day?

I respond to blog comments as my highest priority. I now have my “friends and mates” list in Google Reader and get to them as soon as I can within the constraints of real life. Other than that, I do social media when I have time or a lack of firm commitments.

I’m increasingly trying to use social media as my servant not my master. Also to remember that live family are at least as important as dead rellies.

7. Do you have a story of how social media enabled you to connect with a long lost relation or fellow  researcher?

If we call blogging social media, which I do, then it has been invaluable to make connections with others. Perhaps more to help them as much as to help me with specific family research. It’s so enjoyable to know that others get benefit or pleasure from your photos or stories.

8. You have a minute to share a piece of advice about genealogy and social media. Go for it.

 Just like any other “appliance” don’t let it control you! Real life is your own life…make it count. If leaving stories for your descendants is important to you, blogging is a valuable way to do it. Remember others need your encouragement and support too….what goes around, comes around. I feel I’ve made real friends from my blogging and that we know and understand each other, and just like real friends they understand that life sometimes gets in the way, but we can pick up where we left off. I’m eternally grateful to them for helping me to feel part of a community, however far-flung.

Thanks Jill for this thought-provoking geneameme and the opportunity to participate in a discussion which started on the recent Unlock the Past cruise.