Thursday, March 11, 2010

Are FB & Twitter more useful than blogging?

During periods of confinement, using one's physical resources wisely is important. Actually the same is true for all of us, regardless of health. Many things vie for one's attention in this busy 21st century world in which we live. Recent personal concerns have precluded my blogging, but somehow short, quick Facebook (FB)and Twitter postings last week seemed appropriate.

Does this mean FB/Twitter have replaced blogging in Ol' Myrt's eyes?

Case in Point
Last Friday night's NBC broadcast of Who Do You Think You Are was enough to get me excited to promote it with online friends. One commented that Facebooking and Twittering, at will, while viewing the show, made it feel like we were all in the same room together. Here are about 90% of my FB postings and tweets on the topic. Note: Neither responses nor original on-topic posts from others have been included.

@NBCWDYTYA - denotes who the post was written for or to, in this case NBC's Who Do You Think You Are

#genealogy - is like a key phrase; easy for Twitter to categorize by topic when the word doesn't fall within the basic text of the tweet.

  • Poised to FB, Tweet & post to the Who Do You Think You Are message board at the premier starts in 15 minutes!
  • WDYTYA on Sarah is doing her own research, consulting professional, not just having it handed to her on a silver platter!#genealogy -- Census records are a great starting point
  • Natalie and Josh have been wonderful -- showing reference to docs created at the time the ancestor lived.
  • @nbcwdtyta MIGRATION and placing one's ancestor into historical context.
  • @nbcwdytya AWESOME show -- got so excited to see sound research principles employed (use old docs for evidence of ancestry)
  • @nbcwdytya Only 1 add thus far? #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya Professionals Natalie and Josh have been wonderful -- showing reference to docs created at the time the ancestor lived #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya original 300 year old complaint against Sarah's Salem ancestor at the library. KEWL! #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya Good thing they had a commercial break, so I can catch up on my Tweets!
  • @nbcwdytya is that Josh's voice as narrator? #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya GREAT they aren't skipping around among among celebrities like they do on Faces, we're sticking with Sarah's roots #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya Walking where an ancestor once walked - awesome! #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya Sarah: "I have belonging" sums it up! #genealogy
  • @nbcwdytya Sharing ancestral gleanings with living family is the BEST part #genealogy

YES and NO
While I don't intend to give up on blogging, the immediacy of communicating with 600+ of my closest friends via FB and Twitter has its appeal. These two forms of social media are how Ol' Myrt discovered:

  • One friend's uploading of iPhone photos included a priceless one of my sweetheart.
  • Another friend is beginning to recover from back surgery.
  • One friend's father died.
  • Another friend's mother died.
  • Tributes to now deceased family members appear on their FB pages. (Apparently virtual reality ensures our Facebook account will outlive each of us.)
  • Several friends had research breakthroughs.
  • Many bloggers use the "Networked Blogs" Facebook application to have their blogs automatically cross-post to their Facebook page.
You will see that Ol' Myrt doesn't play "Farmland" or drop Easter Eggs, though I am actively engaged in a series of "Wordscraper" games with a friend from back East.

There is something to be said for sending a private note to someone on Facebook, since by default a copy is also sent to that person's email address of record. Sort of "2 birds with one stone approach", eh? I'm sure to get through either via email or FB with such a post.

Relying on short tweets (limit 140 characters, not 140 words!) makes it hard for wordy people like Ol' Myrt to get the point across.

One limits one's audience if posting only on Facebook, since posts are only viewable by friends, unless one opens everything up and avoids the default privacy settings.

Google pickps up on every word in a blog entry and sends me an alert within 5-7 minutes of posting.

One cannot add graphics to FB/Tweets per se, as proves useful when discussing a document mentioning an ancestor.

Blogging is free and easy.

Blogging remains the communication format of choice until something more interesting comes down the pike. If you want to get started on blogging, Ol' Myrt here heartily recommends:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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