Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review - Social Networking for Genealogists

Due to my recent injury I am posting a book review first published in June 2010 in the Bulletin, the quarterly of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.
Drew Smith, Social Networking for Genealogists, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 2009, 129 pages. ISBN: 9780806317953

Audience: This book is important for genealogists who utilize the Internet in their research, as well as other individuals who desire to learn about current applications to computer tools for general use.
Purpose: Drew wrote the book to assist fellow genealogical researchers more fully use current computer applications in their research, collaboration, and social networking.
Author’s qualifications: Drew Smith earned a Masters in Library Science and is an academic librarian with the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is an expert in digital genealogy and has a lifelong interest in family history research. Drew is a Director of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and President of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa. He is also a regular contributor to Digital Genealogist magazine and is co-host of the weekly Genealogy Guys Podcast.
Organization: This book describes the wide array of social networking services that are now available online and highlights how these services can be used by genealogists to share information, photos, and videos with family, friends, and other researchers. Each chapter guides you through a unique category of social networking services using genealogy-related examples. From blogs and wikis to Facebook and Second Life, author Drew Smith shows you how to incorporate these powerful new tools into your family history research.
Accuracy: This book is a carefully compiled work, with a focus on detail and presentation.
Content: Chapters are devoted to the following social networking services: Blogs, Collaborative editing, Genealogy-specific social networks, General social networking (Facebook), Message boards & mailing lists, Photos & video sharing, Podcasts, RSS feeds, Sharing personal libraries, Social bookmarking, Tags, Virtual worlds, and Wikis.
            Conclusion: This book is a very useful tool in learning about online computer applications. It is about the type of social networking that has been made possible by the development of international computer networks, the availability of network access to most homes (especially broadband access), the creation of websites dedicated to particular kinds of networking (posting photos, viewing and commenting on videos, seeing what books friends have in their libraries, etc.), and the ease of participating in these sites without having to be a computer expert. More to the point, this book is intended to identify those kinds of social networking sites and services that will be of the most interest to genealogists.

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