I have been on Twitter a long time, but only this spring I started really using it. It is a great source for news and tips about genealogy.
Twitter is an online news and social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, or the mobile device app (Wikipedia).
This blog is a labor of love (the ads will hopefully one day cover server rent, domain fee etc.) My only true reward is that people read and are helped by my writings so I realized that I needed to look for ways to get my message out.
Since I started to look into the workings of Twitter I have gathered about 2300 followers. I actively search for genealogists and people with Norwegian connections. My policy is to follow back those who choose to follow me. That is, there are some young girls that occasionally follow me. They seems to be very poor as they can not afford to buy much clothing. I don’t follow them back. Also there are some that writes in languages that I don’t command or shows pictures that I really don’t care about. I don’t follow them either.
Not all my 2300 followers are obsessively interested in Norwegian genealogy. Many of them I have connected with through other interests. There are also a considerable number of business profiles who are collecting potential customers. I believe I am followed by, and follows back a coffebar in Houston and a pizza joint in Seattle. I will probably never be able to take advantage of the great offers they sends me. I choose to follow these in order to keep them as my followers. As my number of followers rise, so does my “social authority”. This brings me further up on the list of results you receive when you search for followers.
Fortunately Twitter give us the opportunity to assign the profiles we follow to “lists”. I have lists for all my main interests. The one with the most members and that I spend the most time with is the “Genealogy” list. If you follow me on Twitter and it is easy to make out that you are a fellow genealogist, I will follow you back and you will soon see a message stating that “@MEidhammer has included you in the Genealogy list”.
Sometimes you find yourself following back profiles that are totally uninteresting to you. If you don’t want to unfollow and possible loose a follower, you can “mute” these profiles. This means that you still follow eachother, but you don’t see their tweets. You also have the option to “block” a profile. This breaks the connection between your profiles and the person you blocked will not be able to follow you or see your tweets. This is to a certain degree like telling the person to “go to h…..”, so you should put in some consideration before you do this.
The website WIRED has an interesting article on How to use Twitter: Critical tips for New Users
This is how I appear on Twitter My handle is @MEidhammer. If you follow me, I will follow back if you present yourself in a way that gives me reason to believe that the profile is legit. I only tweet about genealogy.
You find genealogist on Twitter by using the hashtag #genealogy You put the hashtag in front of any word you want to search for e.g. #Norwegian #recipes #travel etc.
From these accounts I get news about what goes on in the genealogy world. Here are offers for classes or links to blogs that gives interesting tips on how to search and organize your genealogy (like mine 🙂 ). Many tweets about new sources that are made available. As you see Twitter can be used in a number of different ways. One way is the so-called #genchat. #genchat is a genealogy based Twitter chat where genealogy meets social collaboration. I have not participated myself, but it is something I will look into. You can read about it on this website.
If you have a message you want to share with the world Twitter is a great tool. Here is an article about how to get more followers.