Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Am I Doing with Social Media?

This is going to be one of those honest posts.  Don't worry it's not going to be as shockingly honest as that last honest post.

I have a lot of friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and now Google Plusers (still not sure if I like that term).  Sometimes people will be friended or circled by someone like me with a lot of connections and want to steer clear because they think I am up to some nefarious endeavor. Hence this post.

So what am I really doing with social media? What is my goal?  You'll be surprised and you might not believe me.  Some of you won't trust me and still think I'm up to something mischievous.  The rest of you will know it's just my honest, goofy self.

At heart I am a teacher.  For years now I have been a genealogical instructor and speaker.  I like to help people expand their knowledge so that they can better track down their family history.  Years ago before I was into genealogy, I was a volunteer as an English as a Second Language instructor for adults.  The idea of learning and education has been in my core right from the start.

I am also a connector.  I like to meet people.  I also like to connect people who don't know each other.  When two people who have common interests and would benefit from making a connection, I like to help make that happen. 

I like to grow things and have fun.  When I was in high school I belonged to a club called AFS (American Field Service) which sponsored exchanges with foreign students.  When I joined the club as a freshman it was small and dwindling.  By the time I graduated it was a large thriving club.  What did the club do? We had fun! And we got to know students from other countries which is another thing I really loved.  There was no purpose to it except to build a fun club with people of like interests who we wanted to spend time with.

So back to social media.  Wrap all that stuff up together and add a little internet and social media and there you have me now.  My sinister goal is to find people on the fringe/working solo who are interested in genealogy and bring them into a greater community so that they can learn more, become better genealogists and find companionship with people who have similar interests. 

Am I selling something? No, not yet. Though some day I would like to write some books and hopefully someone will buy those. But don't hold your breath because I've been saying that for a long time.  No wait, I am selling something! You can buy my last webinar on CD from Legacy Family Tree! I forgot about that.  Feel free to buy lots of copies and give them to all your family members! :)

Am I being secretly sponsored or paid to promote content? Yeah, I wish!  Thank you for thinking that I am a big fish in a small pond but corporate sponsors don't agree that I am.  Besides, I've determined that nothing is going to alter my voice or opinion.  I want to write or say whatever comes into my head and having total autonomy over that works best for me.

So there you have it. That's what I'm all about with social media.  So let's connect, learn, have great discussions, have fun and get on with it!

Photo Credit: Photo by isforinsects and used under the creative commons license.


  1. Marian
    I love the post! But, it is no secret that you are a friendly, sharing and giving person. I will take the witness stand on that - and we met through social media!

    Keep it up, the world needs more of you!

  2. Don't apologize for having something to sell, you can have an opinion and sell something, as long as your honest, and I've never known you to be anything but..

  3. I circled you on Google+ and follow your blog because I feel I can learn from you,and you're giving me food for thought, genealogy wise. Others I've circled because I feel I can mean something to them. Maybe not today, but certainly at some point. Maybe one day, this connection might be useful to you, too.

  4. Taco, I'm surprised you don't think I've benefited from your connection. Or perhaps you are being modest. You were the one, after all, who inspired a blog post of mine that lead to a very active internet discussion with responses on several other blogs. I would say I find you very thought provoking (in a good way!).

  5. Nice one, Marion! Thanks for friending me!

  6. You are merely doing what social media are engineered to allow you to do quite effectively. I found your posts and comments interesting, and have enjoyed seeing what you have to say.

  7. I'm actually rather disappointed you're not up to something sinister and nefarious...HA! Okay, seriously, I'm glad to have connected with you via twitter, and am honored you followed my blog, and secured yet another genealogist blog follower for me. Though I'm not a genealogist, I find your writings about it quite fascinating, so am glad to have connected with you and your work, and for my introduction to this field. So keep on doing what you're's all great stuff!

  8. I don't remember how I heard of you, but I am very glad you "circled" me and I love to read your blog. Keep doing what you're doing.

  9. I wasn't trying to be modest (my 'About me' on blogger reads "I am not certified for anything, but I do think I know what I am doing."), but I'm aware that, at this point in time, there's infinitely more that I can learn from you than you could from me. In that light, looking forward to your seminar tomorrow (evening for me)!

  10. Marian, this is a great mission statement! I love how you've figured out what is so satisfying to you in genealogy. I wish you great success. I'm happy to be your +1, twitter and facebook friend.

  11. Great goals for social media. I, too, want to find people who are interested in the same things I am (family history and writing) and share what I learn and learn from them. I also do want people to visit my blog as I have so much fun creating it and write it to be a)easy to read and easy on the eyes; b) lots of vintage photos to immerse readers in the past I'm writing about, and c) connect with readers on a human level. That whatever I'm writing about will hopefully resonate with another -- not just as my family story -- but as a human story. I appreciate what you've written here.

  12. Hi Marian, thank you for the circle, love your post and activity in this field.

    My company is trying to better understand our role and service to the genealogical interest of our product buyers (it was not our original goal). We are positioning ourselves to be a good student, I hope, of this topic by asking our customers how they are making the connection between emerging physical monument technology and traditional genealogy tools.

    What we have learned is that this relationship and topic is nearly unknown to most, even experts in the field, and is generally undefined and in need of some structure that is at least partly outside of our own expertise.

    It is from this position that I hope to connect with one or more genealogically or historically oriented individuals that might have some interest in participating in the seed stage creation (and definition) of what I suspect will ultimately be a foundational tool for future genealogical research.

    This effort is being approached as a not-for-profit endeavor where my company would do a bit of a hand off of know-how, contribute foundational tools and technical support - hoping we can get other companies to contribute as well (we are very small).

    If you think you might be interested in learning more about this and what assistance is needed, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Kind regards,
    John Bottorff
    GM - Objecs® | RosettaStone Microchip™