Internet Genealogy – 5 Ways to Engage Social Media in Your Genealogy Search

There’s so much talk about Social Media that it may seem like a fad. Don’t be fooled, it’s the fastest growing area of the Internet. If you’re looking for a way to embrace this new medium for your genealogy search, you will find Social Media sites are easy to use, and mostly free. You can start now with these five ways to to engage Social Media in your family history search.

1. Start a Blog. You don’t have to hold a master’s degree in technology or have a trust fund to start blogging. Sites like (a Google company) and are both free and have online support forums for the novice. Posting stories about your ancestors and articles about records you find in your search will draw in other who are also interested in tracing the same surname or family line.

2. Create a Facebook Fan Page. If you aren’t on Facebook you’re missing the wave. With more than 400 million users you’re bound to find someone you know! A Facebook page dedicated to a specific surname, time frame or event (like the Civil War), or a region can help you connect with others with a similar interest in the same genealogy subject. Any of the millions of Facebook users can find the Fan Page through a search and when they click the “like” button they will be connected and receive any new information you post on the page. These connections will increase the exchange of information with other researchers.

3. Subscribe to a Feed. I find in my internet marketing business that many people just aren’t taking advantage of the connectivity that happens when you subscribe to a RSS feed. You’ll know there is a feed available by the square, orange RSS icon. My favorite feed is on the Message Board: “Subscribe to RSS” and you’ll always know when there’s a new message on a topic you follow.

4. Why Not Tweet From Your Family Tree? If you think Twitter is for kids and movie stars, it may also be the right social media site for your genealogy quest. It doesn’t take a lot of time or writing skills to Tweet on Twitter, in fact the shorter the better. It’s also easy to find and follow users with the surname or location that’s the core of your interest. Post interesting Tweets about what you find, where your research takes you, and who you’ve shared information with.

5. Leave a Comment. You may have been leaving comments for years and haven’t realized it. When you post an answer on any of the genealogy bulletin boards, you’re in a sense leaving a comment. When you visit a blog you can leave a comment on an article. Even writing a Google Books review or posting information in Add Alternate Info on are forms of leaving comments. The trail of comments that add to genealogy research helps others and may lead a researcher to you to solve a branch of your tree where you’ve hit a “brick wall”.

Copyright © 2010, Vanessa Wood

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vanessa Wood launched the Tennessee Pryor website in 2002. She is the owner of Design to Spec LLC and the technology partner in Mac and Cheese Web Marketing – where she creates customized WordPress blogs, ecommerce websites.  Vanessa is a platinum author for Ezine Articles and is an avid blogger on social media topics and the best practices for the web.