Google+ for Genealogists
Have you joined us?
On Google+ that is? Genealogists are flocking there.
What is Google+ (Google Plus)?
Google+ is a combination of several services we already use and is sort of like Facebook and Twitter combined with some interesting twists. It is still in the testing phrase and one needs an invite to join. Getting an invite isn’t to difficult. More on that in a minute.
There are different components to Google+.
1. Circles – create groupings of your friends and interests.
2. Sparks are your interests – for example I have a spark that picks up all mentions of “genealogy” in the google+ stream
3. Hangouts are virtual chat rooms where you can chat with friends and acquaintances and even complete strangers with similar interests.
4. Huddles is group messaging for within your circles.
5. Photos – you can upload photos directly from your computer or phone to Google+
6. Apps – There are apps (applications) for Google+ for both the Android and iPhone. I use the iPhone version and find it works well.
7. “Liking” a post is done by hitting the +1 button.
How does Google+ work?
If you have a gmail account you can easily get started with Google+. Contact a fellow genealogist already on Google Plus and ask them to send you an invite. The next step is to set up your profile then add people you know to your circles. Once you have a a few circles start posting interesting and valuable content to the google+ stream either limited to a certain circle (interest) or to the public at large.
You will receive a notification if someone adds you to their circles or comments on your post. The menu bar for Google + is the along the top of your gmail com webpage. Notifications appear as a red box near your profile icon on the upper right of the page.
How can Google+ help the Genealogy world?
1. Connections, connections, connections! Genealogists like to help each other. One can brainstorm with other genealogists, share good content and resources. And who knows you may find a new cousin.
2. Discovery – Discovery of techniques, services, and people in other niches that can enrich our genealogy world. I think this is an important part of Google+. Personally I’ve found many new “friends” through Google+. One great website to find people to follow is Women of Google+. UPDATE – Other websites creating lists of Google+ people are Recommended Users, Pluserati and GPlusSearch.
If you are a genealogist and would like an invite contact me with your request. Please include your email address in your note so I can send you your invitation. Google+ recently issued every member another 150 invites and I’ll keep adding people until I use the allotted invites up. Once you are set up on Google+, add me to your genealogy circle and I’ll add you too.
Google+ has only been around for a few weeks and is still in a honeymoon phase. There are glitches still being working out and that’s okay. I personally like the format and find it to be a refreshing addition to the social media world.
Dan Lynch has set up a webpage called Google + for Genealogists if you need tips to get started.
Perhaps we can call our gatherings “Genealogy Plus” …..aka Google+ for Genealogists.
Come join the Google+ Genealogy party. See you there!