Getting Involved in the Online Genealogy Community | The Armchair Genealogist
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Getting Involved in the Online Genealogy Community

Just a little over a year ago I wrote a post entitled 8 Ways To Get Involved In The Online Genealogy Community. While the opportunities that I suggested back then to get involved in this online community are still very much valid today, remarkably or not so remarkably the online genealogy community has also changed somewhat in the last year.

Facebook and Twitter have moved to the front of the online genealogy scene. Groups such as Technology for Genealogy and Social Media for Genealogy have provided a gathering place for ideas and conversations in our online community. Webinars and podcasts are still very much popular and will continue to be a solid part of this community moving forward.

But recently another online gathering place is proving to show great promise. Google+ must be added to our list. While Google+ got a slow start, I believe the addition of communities in recent weeks has just propelled it to a new level.

What is a Google+ Community?
Google+ communities provide you with a unique opportunity to gather together a group of individuals based on a shared passion. So while you can join a community for genealogy, we can drill down even deeper to the specifics areas you are looking to explore in your genealogical journey. That’s why I started The Family History Writer’s Community.

Why do we need a Google+ community?
Some might argue we don't need another social media group and I would agreed with you a few months ago. While Google+ can offer us a place to hold a public or private membership based on a shared topic, it also offers the option of adding discussion categories to make it easy for members to find the conversations that mean the most to them. It also gives communities the option to start hangouts, plan events with members and share their community voice across the internet with the +1 button.

What is The Family History Writer’s Community?
The Family History Writer’s Community is an online community for those wishing to or are already engaged in writing in the family history genre. If you wish to write a family history blog, write for genealogy magazines, write a legacy family history book, a commercial family history memoir, a family history how to book or if you have written any of the above, then I extend a heartfelt invitation to join us in this Google+ community.

This community is about sharing our questions and our knowledge in a respectful environment. If you have a question, fire away. If you can help answer a question then jump in. And while we don’t wish to see a lot spammy type of posting in this community, we welcome links to great articles that can help a family history writer. We welcome publishers and editors and authors who can extend their experience to this community. We look forward to hearing about your family history book, yes we endorse self-promotion of your own book, we just ask that in exchange you stick around and not post and run but offer your writing and publishing journey experience to the greater community.

Here’s list of some of the categories we have begun to explore in the community. Feel free to speak up if you have another category to add to the list.

Family History Blogging
Memoir writing
Genealogy Magazines
Online Article Writing
The Writing Process
Writing Tools
Inspiration and Motivation
Writer’s Block
Social History
Author Platform/Marketing
Print to Digital
Traditional Publishing

Like any community, it doesn't work unless you get involved. Ask your questions, add your point of view and or experience to the conversations. No two family history writers are a like. Everyone has their own journey to take, and no one way is correct. That’s why a community like this can be so beneficial. It can extend your learning beyond your own experience. It can help you to look at your writing ideas through different eyes. It’s not meant as a means to show anyone the right way or the wrong  way, because there is no such thing in writing. There are certainly skills you can learn, but the process of writing is unique to everyone, the choices of publishing are many, the kind of writing you wish to pursue is extensive. The gathering of voices who can bring their own perspective to this group is invaluable. I hope you will join us in the community. We are at present a few members shy of 300. That is a lot of experience gathered in one place and I hope that community experience can help you to achieve your writing goals in 2013. 

I hope the family history writer’s community will be that place where you can ask your favorite family history author a question, where the wall between published authors and struggling writers is torn down and we can have free flowing conversation. At the end of the day the mission is to help everyone get their ancestor’s stories told.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye