I love Twitter and have been on it since 2008. I primarily use it for marketing my organizing business and reading interesting things posted by the people I follow. But recently, I’ve been searching on the #genealogy hashtag and it’s been a revelation!
I find keeping up with genealogy blogs a bit overwhelming. (I tried using Feedly, but found I just wasn’t reading blogs with regularity.) What’s great about the #genealogy hashtag is that I see tweets about individual posts, resources, news bites or lectures in progress–all of them genealogy related–and I can click on the link and go directly to the post or resource. Tweets are only 140 characters long, so I can get a teeny bite-sized synopsis of the link. I can dip in when I’m looking for inspiration. It’s a really interesting way to go about finding current genealogy-related things to read about.
If you’re not on Twitter, you could join today (at no cost) and immediately start searching the #genealogy hashtag. You could also start tweeting and build relationships with people and grow your followers. I hear from a lot of people that they just don’t “get” Twitter, which is fine. For the genealogist, using it as a gateway to genealogy information is reason enough to join Twitter, in my opinion. Follow a few a few genealogy luminaries and you’ll have a timeline full of interesting stuff. (But again, if you search on #genealogy you don’t even need to worry about following anyone or reading your timeline.)
Here’s a brief primer on joining Twitter and using it for genealogy:
- Go to www.twitter.com and create an account. You’ll need to choose a username, which will be your handle. It’s smart to keep it as short as possible, because of the 140-character limit in Twitter. (For example, I’m @janinea.)
- Upload a picture of yourself into your profile (otherwise, Twitter will use an egg for your picture, which tells the world you’re a newbie)
- Enter #genealogy in the Search Twitter box and see what’s going on at that moment in the world of genealogy
- If you want, follow some genealogy folks. To get you started, here are some that I follow:
- @geneabloggers (Thomas MacEntee)
- @legalgen (Judy Russell)
- @genealogyisfun (Jana Last)
- @ancestry (Ancestry.com)
- @amyjohnsoncrow (Amy Johnson Crow)
- @megansmolenyak (Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak)
- @familytreemagazine (Family Tree Magazine)
- @vhughesauthor (Valerie Hughes)
- @familysearch (Family Search)
- @crestleaf (Crestleaf)
- Feel free to create a Tweet, but don’t feel like you have to.
- If you have your own genealogy blog, tweet your posts. If you don’t have your own blog, feel free to tweet links to great genealogy posts you read. (Most blogs have a Share on Twitter icon.)
If you’re already on Twitter, how do you use it for genealogy?