Are you looking for the latest information about topics from “experts” in areas you personally find interesting? Your interest could be gardening, hiking, boating, science or any numerous topics, even family history and genealogy work.
What if you could find a public stream of compelling genealogy information from experts and simply follow the conversations in a simple and most powerful way?
I would like to introduce you to a real-time network that will connect you with the latest and best experts covering those topics. This network is called Twitter.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a free service for friends, family, and your circle of influence who share your topics of interest. It is a way to stay connected regarding the topic through the exchange of quick, frequent messages.
At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information or messages called Tweets. Each tweet is 140 characters or fewer in length, small in size, but don’t let the size fool you. Experts can share a lot within a tweet. Tweets are sent to your personal profile or your blog. This blog, or rich detail pane on your home page, provides additional information and deeper contents. Just scroll down and read.
Tweets can also be sent by you to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search. You can think of a tweet as a headline. Follow the headline/story and receive the information. See it in action.
You don’t have to tweet to get value from Twitter
Twitter will connect you to experts in real-time. Family history and genealogy experts are using Twitter to quickly share and receive valuable updates and genealogical information on a daily basis.
Do you need anything special to use it?
All you need to use Twitter is an internet connection or a mobile phone. Once you’re in, type your first update into the web box. To get an idea of what other people are saying or doing in regard to genealogy and family history work on Twitter, check out Twitter search to find them. You can search by keyword. Just type “genealogy” and read the tweets. You’re sure to learn something new and receive the latest updates on the topic.
What does it mean to follow someone on Twitter?
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time they tweet, or post a new message, it will appear on your Twitter home page. New messages are added to your home page as they are posted, so you always get updates in real time. When you log in, you can see the latest updates. The really cool thing is you will only receive messages from experts you choose to follow about topics of interest.
How do You Know Who You’re Following?
When you click the follow button on someone’s profile, you begin following them. The follow button will change to a green check mark next to the word “Following”. Personally, I only follow people that tweet messages regarding family history and genealogy work. This is what makes this such a valuable resource. I only receive tweets from or send tweets to people interested in this specific topic.
How Do You Know Who’s Following You?
Twitter sends you an email when someone new follows you. Set up your email preferences to notify you when you have a follower. This allows me to check them out before approving them to follow me. I don’t want stuff on my home page irrelevant to the topic. The followers link on your profile page or home page’s sidebar will also tell you how many followers you have.
Who reads your updates?
It’s up to you. Your followers read your updates, and anyone else who comes across them in a search. Your Twitter profile is public by default. If you’re hesitant to have strangers read your updates, protect your profile to approve followers and keep your updates out of search. You can even block them if you find out later you don’t like the content of their messages.
In summary, being able to tap into a community of genealogy experts is incredible and illuminating. I’ve simply lost count of the amazingly talented, smart and insightful people I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and exchange information with on Twitter regarding family history and genealogy work. It’s a wonderful resource!
I highly recommend Twitter to everyone interested in learning more or sharing information about this wonderful topic. Isn’t technology truly amazing! And thank you to all my new friends who tweet wonderful bits of information regarding family history and genealogy work. Learn more about ways to use Twitter for genealogy.
This article was written by By Mick Altmyer