Friday, July 25, 2008

The Week in Facebook - 7/25/2008

I am thinking of making this a weekly or at least periodic feature which will document some of the genea-blogger happenings as they relate to facebook®.

- The Genea-Bloggers group has seen some fantastic growth this past week. There are now 48 members, most of whom already have their blogs posted at Blog Networks in facebook®.

- Also posted to the Genea-Bloggers group are upcoming events including Scanfest, Carnival of Genealogy - 53rd Edition, The Geneablogger's Picnic, and more.

- As well the Genea-Bloggers group includes posts such as Are Your Children or Grandchildren Embarassed About You Having A Facebook® Page?, and many tutorials on how to use facebook® including Blog Networks, Rating Articles as well as Posting and Sharing.

- There has been much discussion as to how useful facebook® will really be to genealogists and family historians. While that remains to be seen, several people like Schelly Talalay Dardashti have actually been able to connect with new cousins and other family members.

Meeting new cousins is how I actually got started on facebook® back in December 2007. A first cousin from Post Falls, Idaho contacted me via email asking me to join facebook® so we could communicate. I was very hesitant at first and we played an email game of "feeling each other out" by asking questions about how we were related, who they knew within the family etc. Since I was not using facebook®, I too was wary about social networking, what information to reveal etc.

As the months progressed, I got more comfortable with facebook®. Here is what I've learned and how I manage my facebook® experience:

- I only make my Profile available to those who I've made as my Friend or with whom I've exhanged emails. I do not have an open Profile.

- I do not list my birth year on my Profile.

- If I get a Friend request from someone with whom I am not familiar, I first see if we have Mutual Friends. And if not, I email the person and ask why they want to be my friend.

- I usually ignore any requests such as Circle of Trust, Lil Plants, etc. While these are entertaining and are a good way of spending time with Friends, they can easily take me off course in terms of using facebook® for genealogy and keeping in touch with other genea-bloggers.

If anyone has a question as to how to use facebook®, I'd be happy to help. You can always email me directly but if you post your question as a Discussion Topic at the Genea-Bloggers group, you might find that other members also have the same questions.

Next time: how to create a facebook® Badge (like the one on this blog), how to create an easy-to-remember hyperlink address to get to your profile (mine is and more!


Miriam said...

Great idea for a weekly feature, Thomas! And if I haven't said it before, we genea-bloggers greatly appreciate all you do for us on Facebook!



Three big thank you's are in order:

1. for dragging all of us - some kicking and screaming - into this new arena;

2. much appreciation for the virtual "hand-holding" of some traumatized genea-bloggers; and

3. for mentioning in your post my connection with two cousins who moved from St. Petersburg, Russia to Germany. WOW!

Ruth said...

Do keep up this info about Facebook! I need all the help I can get!