Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Using Social Media

Why do you use social media? (you are here, so you do - whether you realise it or not!)  People use social media for all sorts of different reasons.

Some use it to converse and interact with people that they know very well. Either professionally or socially.

Some people use it to network with mere acquaintances. Some with people they do not know at all. Sometimes peoples motives for using social media aren't apparent.

The reasons I use social media are wide and varied. I use my personal Facebook account to converse and share with family and friends. I also use it to create Groups pages for my personal family history interests. I've had quite a few previously unknown family members and/or fellow researchers contact me as a result.

I manage a professional Facebook account (Auckland Research Centre) I use to promote my specialist subject and collection (family history) and my library.

My personal Facebook account has strict security controls, so that I can control who sees what exactly. The professional account has very few security controls - I want as many people to find and interact with us as possible.

I use my Twitter account (@genebrarian) for the widest reasons: to converse with friends and colleagues, network with professionals, to promote my library and collection and for my learning. There's an amazing amount to be learned by clicking on someone's link. I also follow people "for the hell of it". Their "Tweets" interest and inspire me.

I manage and write for the Kintalk blog for work, and I've just started this blog.

LinkedIn is still relatively new for me, I'm dabbling to see what I can get out of it.
I suspect I can learn alot from it, as well as network.

My personal and professional interests are not just family history and libraries,
they are also graphic design and print (my old career), marketing, digital preservation/digitisation, internet and the web, and yes social media. So I hook up with as many contacts on there as I can.

I also use delicious to store the many hundreds of useful bookmarks I find when trawling the internet. They are portable, I can access them from any computer any time, and I can share them with people - I can "follow" others with similar interests as me, so I can share their bookmarks too.

Its great how you can link with people from one Social Media account to another. Someone you follow on Twitter, you feel you get to know them, so you then feel you can follow them on LinkedIn etc.

I think the Social Media explosion is definitely a boon for us family historians - as evidenced by the amount of blogging (and microblogging) being done out there!


  1. As another Social media tragic I am making valuable connections through Twitter and Blogs. I feel that I know more about you from your blog posts than from Twitter.

    I need to find you on Linkedin and Delicious.
    What are your user names on those services??
    Are you on Quora yet??

  2. Hiya, and thanks for your comments!

    I am Seonaid Harvey Lewis and genebrarian

    No, not on Quora yet. Only found out about it recently, and haven't had a chance to evaluate it. My Social Media products are spiralling out of control (had a Flickr account for a while, but only just recently became very active - actually forgot to mention it on my blog LOL! - am genebrarian on Flickr too)

    Thanks heaps SEONAID

  3. There was discussion in the US over the holidays that delicious may be shut down. I don't know what was rumor and what was fact, but it's best to have a back-up plan in regard to that service.


  4. How are you finding LinkedIn? I have a profile but don't do much there. Not sure how much value it has in such a small library community here in New Zealand but I thought I'd make one anyway :)

  5. Yeah, Amy I heard the rumour about delicious. However, I also heard that other peeps were wanting to rescue it. All my bookmarks are backed up offline. I will need to find an alternative if the unthinkable happens.

    Penny, just dabbling with LinkedIn so far. Have joined a couple of genealogy and history interest discussion groups. Not looking for a job, but imagine it might be useful if you were. I am not in it just for the Library community, I am also a family historian, so my network is international too. Still evaluating it though.

  6. whats a library community? AND A LIBRARY COLLECTION, BOOKS? It sounds like you have a lot of fun.

  7. Hi rootdigger: A library community is a community of library enthusiasts, which may or may not include library professionals (i.e. librarians).

    A library collection is not just books, a whole host of resources, both borrowable and also reference:- CDa, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, microfilm, microfiche etc etc.

    And yes, I have fun. My job is the best fun that you can have as a job!