Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday's Tip-#genchat

 Azile Juanita Daughrity (1921-2009), on right with friends abt 1939
©Cheri Hudson Passey

    I absolutely love talking with other genealogists. Sharing tips and tricks, as well as the love of the hunt, helps me to sharpen my research skills and brings a sense of community.
  One way that lets me join in the conversation and collaborate with genealogists from all over the world is #genchat.

     What is #genchat? A Twitter-based community that meets every other Friday to discuss a pre-determined genealogy topic.
 For some, the thought of using Twitter can be a daunting concept. Once you get the hang of it, you will find it a fun way to connect and share with others from around the world.

 The first thing you need to do is sign up for a Twitter Account. Choose a name that you want to be known by. Each twitter name starts with the @ sign. Mine is @carolinagirlgen. The sign plus my name sends tweets to my inbox.
  Fill in a description of yourself and your interests. Make sure you add genealogy, or family history so that like-minded Twitter users can follow you and see your tweets. A picture of yourself is helpful in encouraging others to follow you. You can search for others and follow them as well. 
   It is easy to be a part of #genchat. When it's time for the chat to begin, check your Twitter stream for tweets with the hashtag genchat. A # is the way tweets are grouped together by topic. You can read what others are saying and then answer back by including #genchat in your tweets. To learn more about setting up your Twitter account and joining #genchat, check out the #genchat How It Works page.

    Since tweets from others can also be in your stream, it is a good idea to use a Twitter Chat Platform like Nurph, TweetChat or Twubs when joining in the Friday night #genchats.These sites let you sign in with your Twitter account and pull all the tweets from the hashtag you are following. You can also use Tweetdeck, which allows you to add columns for different hashtags, but you will have to remember to add #genchat to your tweet to have participants see your comments. 

 For example.When I sign into Nurph with my twitter account there is a search bar to type in the hashtag for the chat I want to follow. Typing in #genchat allows me only to see those tweets.That makes it so much easier to follow the conversation.

 Typing into the tweet bar automatically adds #genchat into the message that I send when using Twitter Chat Platforms. One less thing to have to worry about.

  #Genchat is hosted by Jen Baldwin every other Friday at 10:00 pm ET. Many start to come into the chat room about 30 minutes early to socialize.  Questions are asked by Jen, using the @_genchat twitter name. Her questions are numbered. For instance, she will begin with Q1, and then responses will begin with A1 so that everyone will know what question number you are responding to.   
  An example of a recent #genchat using TweetDeck:

       These answers were in response to the Q5 about using SEO in blog posts. The topic this night was: Making Cousin Bait Work.

   Now, you need to know that while #genchat has a topic, it can also lead to other discussions. Sometimes serious, but often silly and fun. We are a community who have love and respect for each other no matter what the skill level. Another thing you need to know is that it's fast, really fast! The tweets can come in very quickly and sometimes it's hard to keep up. Don't let that stop you! Each of the Tweet Chat Platforms has a pause button so that you can stop the feed, read what you missed and get caught up. Before you know it, you'll get the hang of it and be learning and contributing your opinions and expertise.

   Please come join the #genchat family! Everyone is welcomed into this positive learning environment. Our next #genchat is coming up. You can find the schedule here.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our kin.
Thanks so much for stopping by!



  1. Excellent tip. I hope I can join you this week!

    1. I hope you can too, Anna! You will find a very welcoming group of people. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. Looking forward to "seeing" you on Friday!