TweepML – Genealogy Companies and People on Twitter

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If you are a user of Twitter as well as interested in genealogy and family history, you may know that GeneaBloggers maintains a list of Genealogy Companies and People on Twitter over at gene@pedia.

I just did a major update of that list and please, if I missed you or your company accept my apologies and send me an email so I can add you!  It was rather time consuming and I keep looking for better ways to generate these types of lists.  Well thanks to a new web-based application called TweepML anyone can create lists of Twitter users and then allow others to follow everyone in that list.

TweepML

Billing itself as “an easy way to create, manage, share and find lists of interesting Twitter users to follow,” TweepML is free and easy-to-use.  In fact, TweepML will let you enter the URL of a website which lists the Twitter IDs and it will extract the IDs and build the list for you!  In fact, that’s how I built these lists:

In addition to producing links, TweepML also provides some neat icons, buttons and badges to trick out your blog or website.  Later today I’ll add them here at GeneaBloggers.

So far my only complaint has been the limitation of 100 tweeps per list.  This is why I’ve had to create two different genealogy people lists: one for those with last names A through L and the other for M through Z.

Other Genealogy-Related TweepML Lists

Check out TweepML if you are a dedicated Twitter user and think about creating lists of tweeps for yourself.  Some ideas:

  • lists for ethnic genealogy such as African-American genealogy or Polish genealogy
  • lists for genealogy libraries and archives
  • lists for genealogists from a specific geographic region such as England or Massachusetts

I would love to set these up but right now it would take quite a bit of research to assign genealogy tweeps to each list.  If someone is willing to create any genealogy-related lists at TweepML, I will gladly feature them here at GeneaBloggers!

Share Groups of Twitter Users in One Click with TweepML (via Mashable)

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Twitter and Genealogy Conferences

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A valuable discussion is taking place both over at the Association of Professional Genealogists mailing list (APG-L) as well as among several genealogy bloggers as to whether using Twitter during a presentation at a genealogy conference could constitute a copyright violation – or does it fall within the Fair Use doctrine?

Perhaps what really is needed is a “best practices” for the use of Twitter during genealogy presentations which is in the best interest of all parties – presenters, genealogical conferences, Twitter uses and the genealogy community at large.

We’ve gathered up all the posts so far and even if you don’t use Twitter, you are encouraged to weigh in with your opinion – either by posting at your own genealogy and family history blog or in the comments on this post.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Historic Huguenot Street Now On Facebook

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We’ve just received an e-mail from a historical society – the Huguenot Historical Society in New Paltz, NY – informing us that it now has a fan page on Facebook:

Social media is changing the way we communicate and Historic Huguenot Street is part of the wave. You can now find and follow HHS on Facebook. In just a few short weeks, and without any public announcement, HHS already has over 275 fans on Facebook — so many that we now have our own Facebook URL, which makes us easy to find. Check us out and join us as a fan at http://www.facebook.com/huguenotstreet.

It’s great to see genealogical and historical societies embracing social media such as Facebook, Twitter and, of course, blogging.  One of the planned initiatives at GeneaBloggers is to introduce the various components of social media networking to genealogical and historical societies.

Many of us support and/or belong to one or more of these groups – some of us even do so from afar and interact with the society virtually, never having stepped foot on their premises!  And while so many libraries and archives seem to have embraced Facebook, blogs and especially Twitter very quickly, genealogical and historical societies: not so much.

Besides trying to identify someone among the membership with the skills to not only set up these account but to also administer them, there is a big hurdle to overcome: perception of board members as to what social media is and what it can (and can’t) do.

All too often, because these societies are staffed and administered by older genealogists  who also may have a lack of technical skills,  the information they hear, read and see about applications like Facebook is often pejorative and slanted towards the negative.

Keep in mind that there is a duty of board members of these societies to protect the reputation of the society – and they are often adverse to their group being associated with Facebook, Twitter or any method of marketing which is often in the news.

Remember when you first started using “The Internets” or as my older relatives say, “The Google?” Didn’t you encounter one or more persons who would shake their head and voiced concerned that you were on the path of damnation and no return by using AOL or Yahoo (or Lycos,  or GeoCities)? That you would have your identity stolen? That your reputation could be ruined?

And so it seems there is a peception hurdle to deal with before genealogical and historical societies are even ready to set up something as simple as a blog.

How does one go about change perceptions of  technology and specifically social media networking in the genealogy field and more pointedly, changing those perceptions held by genealogical and historical societies?

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee