Hi there. Come on in, have a seat. Comfy? Can I get you something to drink? Now, let’s get social for a few minutes.
We may not have been properly introduced, but I feel like I know a bit about you anyway. You’re interested in family history or genealogy, right? Of course, you are. That’s why you’re here.
You may be an accomplished genealogist with carefully researched and verified lines dating back centuries. Or you may be more interested in uncovering the stories behind those names that populate your family tree. On the other hand, you might just be curious or new to family history, which is now the No. 1 global hobby.
You obviously use computers and have entered the sometimes scary world of weblogs. What about the other social media, like Facebook and Twitter? Many of you have drawn the line there for your own reasons. I understand that. I was drawn into both by others in recent months and have been evaluating them ever since. Here are my early conclusions:
For awhile I was posting the same information on Facebook and Twitter but have recently separated the two. For now, Facebook is for my “Facebook friends.” Facebook friends are not the same as my real friends but are people I have met and want to keep in contact with. We both have to agree to that premise, therefore they get more personal treatment.
On Twitter, though, anyone can choose to “follow” you. This is much more impersonal to me but has a viral quality Facebook doesn’t have. This is where I post links to interesting family history or genealogical sites I run across. You don’t need to be my “friend” to get this, but you do have to “follow” me. I’m still looking for the real value to me.
Some people treat Facebook and Twitter as a numbers game, accumulating as many friends or followers as they can. I don’t, although I would love to have thousands of people following me on Twitter. But there’s no way I would follow more than a few dozen folks on Twitter. It would be just too hard to manage it all without adding another program to sort it all out.
Then there’s the privacy issue. My marketing friend Drew McLellan – one of the savviest and most generous social media folks around – had a recent post with some great tips on preserving some of your privacy on Facebook.
What do you think? I’d be curious to hear about your experience with Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media sites out there. Please share in the comments section.