Can Social Media further your research?

Its a reasonable question to ask as the serious genealogist or family historian will probably look askance at you. After all, if you are doing your research properly, what useful, correctly resourced and referenced material would come through social media

Social Media platforms are about making connections.  Its what you do with those connections that counts.

So far in my forays into social media, I have avoided using photo sharing sites such as Flckr, youtube, Instagram, RedButton and the like as I have concerns with abuse of copyright particularly when the work posted is original and an income source for its creator.

The recent Social Media workshops, of which I have been a co-presenter, have highlighted the current popularity of Pinterest, especially amongst women. Sent a link to an image by one of my colleagues, I followed through and yes, I joined.

Firstly, I thought I would make a search for pins relating to my current research project (and subject of one of my other Blogs) just to see whether anything would turn up.  Interestingly there were five images of my relative amongst the millions of Pinterest contributions.  Four of the shots I was already familiar with however the fifth caught my eye immediately as it was a studio shot I hadn’t seen before.

Imagine my surprise when the comment indicated that the pinner was a relative of the photo’s subject! Who was this person? There was no familiarity in her name.  I commented back, that I too was a relative.

Within 24 hours and from the other side of the world, I had a response, an email introduction, a quick exchange of basic information and offers of photos and stories about her family’s history. The most recent email contained more information, three wonderful family photographs and a promise of more to come. Of course, there will be relevant information heading to my correspondent shortly!

Social media connects people – its up to the people to make the best use of the connections!

© R Stockfeld 2103


Image from Pinterest


Author: Robbie

There's a whole new direction to the creative pursuits undertaken by Robbie - writing, photography, genealogy, gardening and, just because she can, a return to study at university. Still dabbling in textiles, volunteering, tutoring and solving the design dilemmas of her students.

3 thoughts on “Can Social Media further your research?”

  1. I think the use of social media is a vast resource not to be overlooked. After all a blog is a social media. Enjoyed your post.

  2. Blogging certainly does fit into the Social Media envelope – principally because it allows for interaction between the writer and the reader and even between the readers themselves.
    Over the years, blog platforms have become more collaborative spaces in themselves as they allow for multiple authors and contributors of primary content.

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