Google+ is a great asset if you’re interested in technology with a steady stream of posts day or night, but what if you’re interested in genealogy? Not so much.
What is Google + (or Google Plus)? – Well, its everything! Its like a blog, its like Twitter, it’s like Facebook, its like Google Buzz, its like a photo gallery, its like Instant Messaging, its like video messaging; Its all of those things rolled into one fantastic gathering place. It’s a tool to use to connect to your “circle of friends” and share posts to those in specific “circles” about specific topics. You add your friends into circles and then choose what to share with that circle. Sound intriguing? If you need an invite, just let me know and I’ll send you one.
Without much work at all, I’ve added some great people to my circles. I’ve named my circles: Business Contacts, Family, Following (bloggers who I follow), Humor (people who always make me laugh), Mensans, Friends and Genealogists. You can name your circles anything that you find most helpful.
Every morning, when I startup my browser & Let me rephrase that because In truth I never turn off my browser. So, every morning with I click on my open-all-at-once button that I’ve labeled “DAILY” in my browser bar, the first site to pop up is my Google+ Stream. That way, while I’m waiting for the coffee to brew, I can see what people are up to, read some news, and maybe get a laugh or two.
But yesterday morning, my stream was a little too long to read through it quickly, so I clicked on my circles one at a time until I clicked on my genealogy circle and hit a wall. There was just one post. It was by Marian Pierre-Louis, who writes two of my favorite blogs: Marian’s Roots and The New England House Historian.
I said to my self, “Self? Where are all the posts from all the genealogy blogs you follow?” Popping up to my genealogy circle, I realized that I hadn’t added those bloggers to my circles yet. Thus began my quest. I went to each of the genealogy blogs that I follow so that I could add the authors to my genealogy circle.
I was very disappointed when i found very few of them, exactly two, had any link to their Google profiles. See, they have to have a profile or you can’t add them to your circle. If you’re a fan of genealogy, you know there are thousands of genealogy bloggers on the internet. Genealogists do take their time incorporating newer technologies into their toolbox for some reason or another, but once they find out how the tool will benefit them, watch out. I’ve learned so many research tricks thanks to a genealogist. Take, for example, Twitter, a year or so ago it was difficult to find genealogists actively using the site, but like all bloggers they’ve come to appreciate Twitter for its ability to attract more followers and broadcast their content to a much larger audience.
Here are some of the ways I have found using Google+ beneficial as a genealogist:
- Get news of a new blog post immediately (No more missing your favorite genealogist’s words of wisdom)
- Let blog followers know about new posts
- Get more readers and along with that get more interraction
- Ask a research question and get a lot of viewpoints. Most of the time responses are very quick
- Share family research news
- Coordinate reunions (or research trips)
- Private video chatrooms to work on a specific project
Perhaps these bloggers don’t know yet how easy it is to add a Google+ button to their blogs. Whether you’re using blogger, WordPress or any of the other blogging software, it’s very, very easy.
- Head on over to your Google+ profile. In the URL bar there’s a number, that’s your profile ID.
- Copy that number.
- Then, go to WidgetPlus and paste that number in the Google Profile ID box.
- Fiddle with any appearance settings you’d like to change and then click “Get Code.”
- Copy the code in the text box that appears.
- Go to your blog’s design area to add a new widget, paste the widget code and save.
Don’t get me wrong. There are genealogists on Google+, it just takes a little elbow grease to find them. I’ve created a list of the ones who I consider worth adding to your circles. The criteria I used was very simplistic:
Are they actively using Google+?
That knocked off a few immediately including the author of the very popular genealogy blog Dear Myrtle. Although she has a Google profile, none of her posts on Google+ are public so I assumed she was not using it to communicate with her readers.
I made no judgements about the quality of their posts. If your favorite Genealogical blogger isn’t there, you’ll have to find them. Two ways to find people on Google + are to search for their names in the search bar at the top of your Google+ page or go to the Google + directory where you can search for people by tags (keywords).
If you find any genealogists who are actively using Google+, please let me know so I can add them to this list:
Put These Genealogists In Your Circle
|Genealogical Lecturer and Writer, was a contributing editor for the Everton’s Genealogical Helper.
|Author of Modern Software Experience
|Forensic genealogist and guest speaker
|Author of the Genealojournal and Old Stones Undeciphered
|Author of Luxegen Genealogy and Family History
|Author of Scottish Genes Blog and Scotland’s Greatest Story
|Genealogy Instructor, Historian and Educational Assistant, Genealogical Research and Educational Chairperson CVGS Conejo Valley Genealogy Society.
|Author of Marian’s Roots and The New England House Historian
|Professional Genealogist & In2Genealogy Columnist for Shades of the Departed, & Texas Aggie. She also writes 4YourFamilyStory.com
|Author of Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
|Author of Genamusins, South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit and Geneaholic
|Author of the book Social Networking for Genealogists
|Author of Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History, companion guide to the NBC series. She also
writes Smolenyak’s Roots World
|Author of The Professional Descendant
|April Heath Pastis|
|You are also very welcome to add me to your genealogy circles. I am the founder of the Heycuz genealogical newsgroup.|