In an earlier post I talked about strategy, breaking it down into ten segments. Today I am going to write a about connecting with others which is essentially segment seven. You can read the strategy series HERE
It is so important to connect with others, sharing the basic fact of your project – your Surname Research, the name of the place, school, house you are interested in.
If you don’t tell others, how will they know you and your project exist? Perhaps they might hear from someone else or perhaps they find a reference to you on the web, or maybe just luck.
Social media can be and often is, powerful. We have so many opportunities to share our projects, connect with others who might be looking to you for answers or hoping you can help them. Even if you cannot help at the first contact, you might be able to going forward. You both know each other exists and that is just as useful as you can engage in dialogue in the future.
Types of Social Media vary and yet in many ways they are identical. They reach the masses and can be found via very search options and even a simple Google search. You could use Twitter – set up an account with your project name, tag other groups into the tweets you send and re-tweet others. Facebook offers both pages and groups. A page is controlled very much by the admin, any posts made by others are not so easily found, nor are they profiled. A Facebook group, in the name of the study or project can simply have a presence online and enable people to join and share information and photos. You can check out Pinterest and perhaps set up a board for your study or project.
Members of the Guild with a registered study have a profile page for their surname. You can search the main website and reach out to the person who has registered the surname. If you are the member then set up a robust and inviting profile page – these are your study shop window. They are also indexed by Google. Some members complain they don’t hear from folk, to which I reply that you need to be where people are. You need to work your study, share it, shout it from the genealogical rooftops! Members with a registered study will be in the annual Guild Register which is published around July.
Members with studies can have a website hosted on the Guild platform for free as part of the Members’ Website Project, again these are indexed by Google and there are a number of options available. I personally have sites using TNG. Blogs are useful platforms to share your material. Some members of the Guild have theirs linked to their TNG site with the Members Website Project. I have mine hosted separately currently and I will write a bit more on that in the future, sharing a dilemma that I have. The point of a Blog is the ability to share information about your study and the individuals in the study. You can use WordPress or Blogger to host it, both a free of charge, but you can upgrade your WordPress account. There us also Typepad, which is a payable hosting service. We will come back to blogs and articles as part of day nine.
I view my website and study profile page as my shop. It remains fairly static although there are tweaks and additions to the site, in much the same way as a shop might rearrange the store. My blog is my shop window, it changes often, well as often as you write it, but it is a transient space.
You can connect with libraries, archives, small geographical history groups and advise them of your project. Write articles for local history societies, genealogical groups and magazines. Writes a newsletter making it available via a website, blog. Register it with the British Library (or equivalent if you are overseas) and finally you can add to the Guild library. I subscribe to the newsletter of Paul Howes for the Howes One-Name Study in which he shares interesting snippets he has come across during the previous month. Paul has impressively written since 2008. I only wish I could manage to write my Orlando newsletter as frequently!
Be creative in spreading the word of your study and tomorrow I shall be back with how you can bring your research all together as we discuss segment eight and we discuss more in the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course