Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Blogs. Flickr. Web 2.0. You’ve probably heard these terms. They describe what have come to be known as “social media.” You may love them; you may hate them. I’m grateful that you at least tolerate my musings in this space, which is, in fact, a blog.
Social media have the advantage of “leveling the playing field,” to use a cliché. Small companies can effectively compete with much larger competitors by effectively using social media. Young 20-somethings who were disadvantaged by skimpy resumes just a few years ago can now step into the workplace as social media experts since they are early adopters who have embraced the concept since its inception.
These types of social media would have been impossible before the Internet. Now they’re practically impossible to ignore. Even when doing family history work. Some examples:
- The Library of Congress, which started contributing historic photos to Flickr last year, will begin sharing content from its vast video and audio collections on the YouTube and Apple iTunes web services within a few weeks.
- Fellow blogger Randy Seaver has posted a list of many (over 150) genealogy-related videos that are available on YouTube.
- Kathy Hansen of A Storied Career has compiled a fascinating list of how people are using Twitter as a storytelling tool. Keep in mind that Twitter limits each post to a maximum of 140 characters (that’s characters, not words).
If you’re one of those people whose eyes glaze over when you hear anything about social media, you might want to reconsider. It’s quite likely that you’ll find some value if you poke around a bit.
Writing prompt of the day: Make a list of all your relatives that you have met. Then write what you remember about those you have met just once. Do you want to know more?
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Flickr photo courtesy of lawtonchiles.