8 Ways to Get Involved in the Online Genealogy Community | The Armchair Genealogist
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8 Ways to Get Involved in the Online Genealogy Community

In recent years the online genealogy community has grown tremendously. For a newcomer it may be an overwhelming task to know how to get involved in this community and stay on top of the news of the day. I know for myself the many avenues to engaging in this community has grown, and staying aware of the latest news of the day has expanded 10 fold since I initially started blogging.

I also know that as a previous newcomer, some  may feel like your on the outside looking in, watching a group that is highly engaged, wishing you too could become a part of the conversation. But how? How do you open the door into a well-established online group?

I can assure you the genealogy blogging community is a very welcoming collection of individuals. However, in order to welcome you, we need to know you are there!

If your new to the community and looking for a few more opportunities to be engaged in the online  community then here is a list of some the ways I would recommend you can get involved. One of the nice things about this list,  there is plenty to choose from, do them all or only a few. Whatever works for you. 

1. Geneabloggers –  you must visit Geneabloggers. Thomas MacEntee has managed to corral most of the genealogy bloggers in one large roll call. He has catalogued more then 2000 genealogy bloggers on his website.  If you have a new blog, submit it to Thomas he will gladly include you in his blog roll, this way the rest of us can find you and engage you in conversation. Check out his list of daily blogging prompts, a great way to see who is blogging on any given day and become part of the conversation. Also take a look at the events calendar where you can fine memes and blog carnivals to participate in.

2. Comment on blogs – once you start following a few blogs you like, please comment. Again we can’t welcome you into the fold, if we don’t know you're there. Don’t worry about what to say, introduce yourself, leave a link to your own blog if you have one, offer up your comments. Really anything will do, consider it like a handshake. We will shake back.

3. Geneabloggers Radio show – also brought to you by the infamous Thomas MacEntee. The Geneablogger's Radio show happens every Friday night at Blog Talk Radio. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage in the genealogy community. Family historians, bloggers, certified genealogists, we all come together on Friday nights for an exchange of ideas. Thomas sets the theme, brings in top-notch guests and the rest of us banter away in the chat room. It can be a lot of fun. Check it out.

4. Social Media - escapes no man, and certainly not a genealogist. We are out there in full force on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ . Sign up for one or all three. Like a genealogist's Facebook page, and join in the conversation of the day. Follow your favourite bloggers in 140 characters or less on Twitter (yes it can be done)  or create a genealogy circle in Google+.  They are all great opportunities to stay in the loop on the latest news and greatest finds and to voice your opinion and comments and engage in conversation.You can find a helpful list of hashtags for the genealogy community in The Top Ten Twitter Hashtags for Genealogists.

5. Genealogywise - self-proclaimed as the genealogy social network. This online forum, is a place where you can absorb yourself in conversation based on your personal research interests, surnames, nationalities etc. Acquired by the National Institute of Genealogical Studies, it remains a wonderful venue to engage in conversations with fellow family historians. Set up your own page, join groups and let the conversation begin.

6. Genea-Press - will keep you abreast on the latest news,  you can feel more confident when engaging in any conversations happening out there online if your on top of the most recent news and events. Add Genea-Press to your Google Reader and be in the know.

7. Google-Reader - subscribe to bloggers in your Google Reader, all the latest daily posts come to your reader in this one stop spot. This keeps your genealogy bloggers together in one easy to use tool, making it more convenient for you to follow the online community and respond in a timely manner.

8. Round-up Posts -Watch for posts on blogging round ups such as Monday Morning Mentions, Best of the Genea-Blogs, Follow Friday Gems, Week in Review.  These weekly posts highlight many of the great genealogy blog posts offered each week. Highlight posts of the week are usually great places to comment, to see and be seen in the online community. You can also reply to any given post in your own blog, drawing some of that traffic and conversation on to your own blog.

How do you stay involved in the online genealogy community? Share your favourites?

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