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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday Sharing - Using Facebook for Genealogy

This month’s Share Session at the Genealogy Library talked about how to use Facebook for Genealogy. A lot of members had stated that they don’t use Facebook and they don’t need to know what someone has for their lunch or breakfast. Other’s had mention that they can’t believe the stuff that family members post on Facebook.

My suggestion is to use Facebook just for Genealogy. I explained if they already have a Facebook account for family and friends; create another account just for Genealogy. I explained they will need a separate email account to create this Facebook account. Since I usually have a dedicated email for my genealogy stuff, I decided to use that email for my Genealogy Facebook account.

I then showed everyone the importance of privacy settings. I explained that I try to pick the most secure sounding option, especially for those options that I don’t understand. Therefore, if you have the following options: public, friend of friends, friends or only me. I will choose only me because that is the most secure. If that is not an option, then I choose friends.

I explained that for my Genealogy Facebook account, I don’t have any friends, I don’t plan on choosing any friends, plus I won’t be accepting any friend request either because I don’t want to have to scroll through all my friends, “frivolous” post to get to my genealogy post, this is why I don’t use my everyday Facebook Account for my genealogy stuff.

To check your privacy setting, you click on the “gear” icon located near your name in the upper right-hand side of your home page.

Once your privacy settings are good, then you can use the Facebook Search bar (not your browser’s URL spot) to find genealogy groups. Type in search words like: Genealogy, Irish Genealogy, Ancestry.com or FamilySearch… Then you just have to “Like” their page. Some might be private groups that you will need to be accepted to. This is why I don’t privatize everything, I allow my city and state to show, I also share the fact that I am Married, I list that I volunteer at the local library and I might share my genealogy society website too.

However, my profile picture is not of me but a generic picture that I found on the web that reflects my genealogy interest. I do not want my friends sending me request to the wrong account. However, if they do, I can always send them a request with my “real” Facebook account and explain that the other account I use only for my genealogy interest.

So you might want to know what the difference between a page and a group. Pages are usually for businesses or organizations. All you have to do is “Like” the page and you get post to your news feed as they are posted to the pages. Groups are a just that, a group of people who might share an interest. Usually they are controlled by someone, might require approval to join and if so, you will see a “request” button to join. Some groups want to make sure you are a real person, again, this is why I make sure I have some public information.

Basically, my Genealogy Facebook account because a “share” session where I can learn from others who are in my groups or what is happening on Facebook Pages such as my society page.

I am really liking my Genealogy Facebook account because I am not being side tracked by all my friends and family posts. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but my time that I use for genealogy is rare and precious plus I won't get distracted by seeing that someone has passed me on Candy Crush and won't be tempted to try to pass them!