29 April 2014

Are Social Networks (e.g. FB, Twitter), falling apart? If so, what does that mean for family historians?

The internet has really revolutionized how we do genealogy – whether facilitating our research or putting us in touch with cousins.

On top of that, social media such as Facebook (and Twitter) have expanded the ways in which we can “connect” with possibly cousins!  The more people we can link to as we research our ancestors, the more pieces of the “puzzle” we might have access to.

I mention this as there was an article published on Computerworld, Why the social networks are falling apart, which makes me wonder is this prophecy good or bad for genealogists?  I am kind of leaning toward the latter.

As my husband and I discussed, this phenomenon is good for entrepreneurs as it results in “room to create new social media platforms.  They won’t be absorbed by the borg, except from an advertizing platform perspective.”

On the other hand, for family researchers won’t this create a world where there are “more places for “us” as consumers to have to spread ourselves “thinner” in more place to connect with others?”  It seems that the some centralization, such as via a Facebook platform, has benefited us as a wonderful opportunity to find cousins, those researching the same geographic locale, etc.  If an increasing number of social platforms are created, won’t it be that much harder for us to “connect” to anyone as each platform will represent a possibly shrinking subset of those doing family research?

What do you think?  Assuming that social networks are falling apart, are genealogists winners and losers?

Editor’s Note: If you don’t get the “borg” reference, you probably haven’t watched Star Trek.  The line we always reference in our family is “resistance is futile.”

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