Monday, September 2, 2013

Genealogy Connections on Facebook

Lately in conversation the amount of contacts with my friends on Facebook has come up. At the current time I have 621 friends, many of whom are genealogists. Every day there are many comments from these friends relating to the work they are doing and situations arising from their contacts with other genealogists. For my family contacts I maintain a separate list so they are my first read of the day. When time allows I like to take a moment to read the comments of others, many of them funny, entertaining and occasionally sharing challenges in their lives.

Back in June of 2011 I wrote a similar post and noted that I had 299 friends. It is not often that I might request a friend contact, but these usually come about in reading a post from someone who we know in common. My young son took me off his friend list for a while, needing to be a free young adult, but recently added me back again.

My Facebook page is connected to my blog "Gopher Genealogy" and some contacts have originated from those readers. Back in August of 2011 my blog began to have over 1,000 views a month. This number has been consistent for the past two years, fluctuating this year from 1,155 to 1,764 per month. As I took some time off this summer it was gratifying to have readers express that they missed the blog posts. The followers have grown from 41 to 68, not a large growth, but consistent support.

Geneabloggers, where this blog is included, has grown from 1,900 blogs to almost 3,000. Genealogists like to write and have much to write about. Many of us are writing to keep a record of the work that we are doing, while others write to share knowledge and skills. Sharing our blogs through Facebook, Geneabloggers and Networked blogs is important in reaching out to potential readers. The comments received from readers are generally positive and understanding.

In the previous post I included the following list of favorite Facebook pages. The list has grown greatly over time, but I am maintaining the original to show the changes of these websites in the past two years.

Networked blogs - 1,538,488 monthly active users, with 91 of my friends; in 2013 654,554 users, with 84 of my friends.
Who Do You Think You Are? – 128,591 likes, with 83 of my friends; in 2013 216,212 likes, with 184 of my friends.
Cyndislist - 13,636 likes, with 87 of my friends; in 2013 23,001 likes with 215 of my friends.
NEHGS - 9,134 likes, with 49 of my friends; in 2013 14,412 likes, with 130 of my friends.
Legacy Family Tree Software – 8,156 likes, with 25 of my friends; in 2013 18,707 likes, with 83 of my friends.
Familysearch - 4,588 likes, with 53 of my friends; in 2013 196,004 likes, with 195 of my friends and 16,540 talking.
RootsMagic Genealogy & Family Tree Software – 4,099 likes, with 30 of my friends; in 2013 10,867 likes, with 110 of my friends.
National Genealogical Society - 2,302 likes, with 58 of my friends; in 2013 6,410 likes, with 153 of my friends.
The Genealogy Gems Podcast – 1,426 likes, with 31 of my friends; in 2013 3,104 likes, with 144 of my friends.
Genealogy Network - 885 likes, with 17 of my friends; in 2013 1,597 likes, with 73 of my friends.
Geneabloggers – 856 likes, with 37 of my friends; in 2013 4,125 likes, with 128 of my friends.
Randy Seaver Geneamusings - 855 likes, with 113 of my friends; in 2013 no noted likes but I am sure it is just not showing, with 284 of my friends.
APG - 624 likes, with 48 of my friends; in 2013 2,585 likes, with 134 of my friends and about 2,000 members.
Southern Genealogical Society and Library - 718 likes, with 42 of my friends; in 2013 no listing was found which might mean they changed the name of the group.
Southern California Genealogical Society - 461 likes, with 25 of my friends; in 2013 2,779 likes, with 100 of my friends.
FGS - 295 likes, with 34 of my friends; in 2013 1,501 likes, with 98 of my friends.
ICAPGen - 206 likes, with 14 of my friends; in 2013 377 likes, with 44 of my friends.
Utah Genealogical Society - 165 likes, with 25 of my friends; in 2013 521 likes, with 94 of my friends.
Genealogical Council of Oregon - 88 likes, with 9 of my friends; in 2013 166 likes, with 18 of my friends.
Genealogical Forum of Oregon - 86 likes, with 10 of my friends; in 2013 222 likes, with 18 of my friends.

BCG - 8 likes, with 1 of my friends; in 2013 117 members, with 20 of my friends.

The most impressive growth is with FamilySearch and is probably due to their increased focus with developing groups on Facebook. Who Do You Think You Are almost doubled its likes. Networked blogs is hard to determine as users is probably not comparable to likes. For my friends, we connect most on Geneamusings being the top and that followed by Cyndislist, FamilySearch, Who Do You Think You Are, and National Genealogical Society in the top five.

 There are those who will not use Facebook, but in doing so they are missing the opportunity to make important genealogy contacts. In our busy world it is wonderful to have a tool where we can ask questions and share knowledge while doing genealogy research. It is also a great contact tool for communicating with our families and friends to share bits of their lives.

How and where do you connect with your friends on Facebook?

P.S. I thought I should add as they have some impressive stats: 652,596 likes, 22,788 talking, 207 of my friends.

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