Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wake up! Genealogy on Facebook?

By the way, waking up at 7:00 am is sleeping in for me. I used to get up regularly with the roosters starting at 4:30 am.

I have been writing for some time now about the decline in the popularity of blogging and the decisive movement to other social networking channels. In the past year, several of the "old time" genealogy bloggers have either stopped blogging altogether or moved to Facebook as a primary outlet. By the way, Google Trends shows a steady decline. Here is an example of the long-term search trend.

What turns out to be the case is that there has been a literal explosion in the number of genealogy-related Facebook pages as shown by my recent post entitled, "Remarkable Lists of Genealogy Pages on Facebook." I have begun to realize that we now need to include Facebook as one of the most valuable single resources for genealogical research. This certainly reorients the list of resources in a major way. I certainly need to thank Katherine R. Willson for her wake up call.

I certainly do not want to depreciate the importance of blogging as a way to communicate information in depth. Despite the numbers of individuals and organizations on Facebook, the content is still overwhelmingly superficial. I still resent the fact that I have to wade through a pile of garbage to get any valuable content out of Facebook.

 For now, I think you will see me mentioning Facebook more in the future.


  1. I have been so reluctant to use Facebook and I truly enjoy blogs. Maybe it's time.

  2. James, I hate the stuff you have to wade through too. I now take the approach that it is like a magazine at the doctors surgery. You scan read one of the magazines and then when called by the doctor put the magazine down. You may have missed many articles in that and other magazines but it is not life threatening. Also if people contact me via Facebook I do not worry if I miss them. IF it is important they will try to connect another way. With this in mind I am relaxed that it is impossible to read it all. To help our older society members get used to Facebook I coordinate our Facebook Page at Caloundra Family History. I always teach them that it is impossible to read it all. Fran

  3. James,
    Yes, I find that Facebook has many useful groups for Genealogy. If you were previously a usenet user, however, you may find it frustrating - so many "newbie" posts ("OK, I did my DNA, now what do I do next?"), and threads that can run into the hundreds of posts, so many repetitive and off-topic. without some discipline one can also waste a lot of time digging through such groups.

  4. While blogging (and not necessarily genealogy blogging) might be trending downward, I would suggest that the blogs that are out there today are taking a deeper dive than they did a few years ago. Gone are the days when people feel that they need to blog every day for it to be "successful" (defining "success" however one wants). Instead, people are focusing on fewer posts, but having higher quality.

    1. Are you suggesting that I cut down on the frequency of my blog posts? :-)

    2. Hardly! You're one of the few who do a great job posting nearly every day! It's something that most people can't do.