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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Week 20 of Abundant Genealogy

Week 20: Social Media: Which social media tool do you appreciate the most? Has it increased your circle of friends? How has it benefited your family tree?

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you may have realized that I can be a luddite at times.  It takes a long time for me to warm up to, try, and then grudgingly accept a new piece of technology.  If it aint broke why fix it?   Drives my husband, the IT consultant, crazy at times.  When I saw the topic for this weeks post I said "ruh-roh" in my best Scooby impression.  I really don't think I do social media as much as many of you in the genablogosphere do.  Or at least I don't think I do...

I do have a Facebook page, but I only use it to keep close to my friends and family who live all over the place.  As for the other types of popular social media (twitter and Google+) I don't have accounts and I am not sure I really want them right now.  Frankly, I don't know what they are all for.

However, I have discovered that social networking is not the only outlet for social media.  This blog can be considered social media, as well as flikr, wikipedia, YouTube, and so much more.  So it is not just all the friend connection sites? Um, okay.  Look at this diagram I found online:

There are quite a few logos on here that I use on a daily basis.  Which lead me to ask myself "what the heck is social media?"  I wasn't sure.  Are you?

I found an interesting article on WebPro News titled "The Definition of Social Media."  In it the author quotes the wikipedia definition for social media:

"Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives.Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs to allow users to interact. A few prominent examples of social media applications are Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), (social networking),YouTube (video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Digg (news sharing), Flickr (photo sharing) and Miniclip (game sharing)."

They further go on to describe social media with all its nuances.  I encourage you to go read it, as I found it very enlightening.  The take away message: social media is a platform for people to share ideas, thoughts, images, news, or make connections in an online setting.

Now that I have an expanded definition of social media I can say that I use it on a daily basis.  It helps my genealogy research by giving me ways to learn more and get great leads to follow.  My circle of friends have increased as I have made contacts with cousins and fellow researchers who have the goals as I do.  With social media I have broken down walls, found documents, taken classes, listened to experts, and had a ton of fun!

Who knew?!

*Image: HubSpot via photo pin cc
*Diagram Image: fredcavazza via photo pin cc

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