Social Media for Family Historians

Social Media for Family HistoriansMy first book, Social Media for Family Historians, was published in late 2010 by Unlock The Past. It explains what social media is; what use it is; and introduces you to more than 25 social media sites that can help family historians to communicate, share and collaborate with other family historians and with their own families.

It covers new ways to communicate such as Sykpe and SecondLife; social networking sites such as Facebook and GenealogyWise; blogs and microblogs such as Twitter; sites for sharing family trees such as Ancestry and MyHeritage; sites for sharing photos and videos such as Flickr and YouTube; and community information sites such as wikis and social bookmarking.It explains in some detail how to get started with Facebook and blogging.

Contents:
Preface
1. Introduction
2. What is Social Media?
– The Internet
– Self-publishing
– Social media
3. Why use it?
– Advantages
– Disadvantages
4. Communication
– Chat
– Mailing Lists and Forums
– Social Networking
– Blogs
– Microblogging
– Virtual Worlds
5. Sharing
– Family Trees
– Photographs
– Videos
– Social Cataloguing
6. Collaboration
– Wikis
– Social Bookmarking
– Documents
– Questions and Answers
7. Dangers
– Risks
– Some Simple Rules
8. What Are You Waiting For?
Appendix 1. How to Get Started with Facebook
– Sign Up For Faebook
– Using Facebook
Appendix 2. How to Get Started with Blogging
– Find a Host
– Create an Account
– Name Your Blog
– Set Security
– Create your Profile
– Select a Design
– Start Writing!
– More Advanced Blogging
Glossary
Index

You can buy it from Gould Genealogy, and I hope you do!

Facebook Privacy

Last week I gave a workshop at the Society of Australian Genealogists Research Library for new Facebook users. There is a lot of interest in Facebook and how it can be used to connect with family and friends, but there is also a lot of concern about privacy.

The biggest issue is the default privacy settings that new users are automatically given. Facebook was designed by college students for college students, and the fact is that this age group are not as concerned with privacy as most of us have learned to be. Facebook has been much in the news lately because users can be too trusting with people they meet on Facebook, and .

To address these concerns Facebook has recently simplified the presentation of the privacy settings. What you see when you go in to the privacy settings [under Account in the top right corner] looks like this if you haven’t changed any of the settings:

Facebook default privacy settingsThis is a summary. When you click on Customize settings you can change all of these settings, in much more detail thank you can see here.

This is what my own settings look like:

Updated privacy settingsThere is some information that Everyone can see, and that’s that. Your name, your photo, your gender and your networks (which are optional) is always visible so that people can find you. Everything else is customisable, from Everyone to Only Me:

  • Everyone
  • Friends of Friends
  • Just Friends
  • Customizable – allows you to choose individual people, lists of people, or Only Me

Of course, there is a balance between what you don’t want people to know about you and what people need to be able to see so they know it’s you. I suspect this balance is different for everyone, depending on what you want from Facebook. If you want to get in contact with people you went to school with all those years ago then it helps them to find you if you put your high school and year of graduation in and make it visible to Everyone. If the very thought fills you with horror, then don’t enter it, or make access more restricted. Professional networking needs employment details, connecting with classmates needs your current school or university, and so on.

I think the problem some of us have with Facebook is that we don’t know enough about how to control it. Once you learn how to make the changes you want it can become an indispensable part of how you communicate with friends and family. I’m pleased to say that some of the students in my class last week have gone on to become confident, active members of Facebook.

Don’t be afraid of Facebook, take control!

FaceBook advertising debrief

FaceBookThe ad ran for 4 days in total, resulting in a credit card charge of US$20 and a doubling of the number of fans for the Society of Australian Genealogists page on Facebook.

Now all I need to do is to give them something to look at every few days! Volunteers gratefully accepted.