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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Where are we with social networking?

What is happing in the world of blogs? What is happening on Facebook? What about Google+? And what about Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram? Not to mention, what is going on in the hundreds of other social networking websites. Last, of all, what does this have to do with genealogy?

Here is a graphic display of some of the more prominent social networking websites. How many do you recognize?

I am only on about nine of them. What do I know?

I have observed many times in the past few years that genealogical blogs are on the decline both in content and number. I have been going through lists of genealogy blogs online and continually find blogs listed that haven't posted for years. Some have been abandoned altogether. For example, out of ten blogs I checked, only three still had viable and updated posts. Many of these were abandoned as long as three or more years ago. Even though some of them had postings in 2018, the posts were outdated by many months. As I continued to search, I looked at posted "best genealogy blogs" and "genealogy blogs worth reading." Interestingly, my blog was seldom listed but most of the ones recommended hadn't published in years.

My reality is that one of my most popular venues is I get more visits on than I do in almost all my other blogs.

One interesting development is the invitation I received from RootsTech 2019 ( inviting me to apply to be a RootsTech Ambassador. There was no mention of blogs or bloggers in the invitation.

Where have all the bloggers gone? To flowers every one? has a lot of current genealogical activity but it is not immediately evident from a common news stream. Even if you subscribe to a lot of Facebook genealogy posts, you will probably lose them in the stream of viral videos.

What about Pinterest? I have no idea how to focus on genealogy on Pinterest. Everything goes by in huge streams of photos.

Instagram? I limit my friends to my family to keep from seeing everything that goes on everywhere.

I could go on but my impression is that genealogical information of the kind sent out regularly by experienced genealogists is getting harder and harder to find.


  1. Twitter has a number of active genealogy people and "events" like GenChat, GenChatDNA, and AncestryHour. Many of the gen rock stars are represented on Twitter as well, posting "news" plus interesting updates. Worth taking a look, IMHO.

  2. Many of us still blog (I just posted this morning). But I also share my posts on Facebook and Twitter, which tends to get them more visibility.

    1. My posts are also shared on a variety of social networking programs. Unfortunately, there is no metric to measure the extent of your views when you share on different venues.

    2. James, I regularly use Google Analytics which tells me exactly which social media sites refer my blog posts that I share on those sites. It tells me the number of Page Views for each and every one of my blog posts.

  3. Christopher PadgettJuly 15, 2018 at 9:01 AM

    I still have a Facebook account, but haven't posted to it in over a year. I don't trust social media anymore after what came out during the Cambridge Analytica matter. The decrease in activity you've observed may likely be related to what's going on in the world in general. For many, America is a dark place right now -- this impacts how people share and participate. A large portion of America feels the government is being run by Russia. And a lot of people feel hatred/bigotry towards "the other." Americans are increasingly fearful and isolated. This impacts online (and offline) behavior.

    1. Well, I must be an exception. I don't feel that way at all. I see great promise and a lot of really wonderful people. I love the United States of America and feel blessed and thankful to live here. I am privileged to know many very positive and caring people. By the way, genealogists as a rule are great people and I love being around them.

  4. A blog that I recently started following is Family History Daily. I've learned a lot from the website about many resources I didn't know existed.