Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#92 Facebook-We Don’t Need No Stinking Facebook!

Using social networking and Google to find cousins

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Myspace, genealogist are not immune to the changes that Internet has brought. So what is a genealogist to do to help with the changes? This is another brainstorming session on how to use each of these mediums.


A ton of people have joined Facebook. Through the many years I since I have joined Facebook, I have discovered a lot of cousins. In fact a lot of my friends are my cousins. There are also plenty of genealogy groups that cover a variety of topics out there you can join, like Genea-bloggers, International Genealogy, British Genealogy, etc.

Individual families also have their genealogy groups so that people that have the same surnames or the descendants of those surnames. I run two genealogy groups for the Breese Family and the Cutter Family. So far the Breese Genealogy Group is much bigger than the Cutter Genealogy Group. I joined the Pierce Group, Hoffman Club, Pierson Family, Jackson Family, and the Engelmann Family genealogy groups.

Also on Facebook you can post photos and videos of your family to share with only your friends. I have a tribute to my grandparents on the site that only my friends can see.


With Picasa or Windows Photo Story, you can put together slick slide shows with your family photos. Both are slideshow programs. You can create your slide show through Power Point and save the show as a .GIF file and import the slides into Picassa or Windows Photo Story to create a movie.

There is a warning with Picasa though, if you operate with Windows XP, you need to open the files with Windows Media and not any other program otherwise you get a serious error and have to restart your computer. After the fifth attempt of trying to watch the video, I figured that out and will pass along that advice.


On Twitter, you can update what you’re researching for the day and let people know of your latest discoveries. You can also check out when other people post their latest blogs. The beauty of Twitter you can blog your Tweets from everyone so only people you approve of can follow you.


MySpace, I haven’t been on my MySpace page in a while, but you can blog on MySpace and create photo albums of your family. Like Twitter you can also set it up so where only people you approve of can see your Myspace page.

This is a short post, hopefully giving my readers ideas on what to do with the social networking sites. If not, oh well, but I hope that you will consider hooking up with a social networking site to spread the word about your family. Maybe one day, a relative will see you on Facebook and contact you. A genealogist needs to use all avenues in order to make the connections and social networking is one of them!

Tags: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube