Twitter is a great way to find out what’s happening in the genealogy world. Twitter allows you to follow other users and when you follow them you can see the messages they post to Twitter on your timeline. By following the right people, you can get great leads on newly released sources in areas you’re researching, flash sales for products you use, or tips from genealogy bloggers.
Visit the OnGenealogy YouTube channel for a video on how to find and follow genealogy-related Twitter accounts or if you don’t want a visual walk-through, just keep reading.
1st- You can follow people by typing their name in the browser URL window (if you know their username). Go to the url: “https://twitter.com” add a forward slash and their user name so “/myheritage” and you’ll pull up MyHeritage’s profile page. From here you can follow them directly. You’ll know this is the official MyHeritage account because Twitter has a verified account badge to authenticate brands on their site. The verified account badge is a little blue icon with a checkmark inside it. The “Follow” button will be white if you’re not currently following this account. When you click on the “Follow” button the color will change to blue and say “Following”. If you decide to unfollow this account, hover over the “Following” button and it will turn red and say “Unfollow”. Select the button again and it will turn back to a white “Follow” button.
2nd- You can follow people by looking for them in the search box. You do this by typing their name into the search box at the top of the page. The results will be a combination of accounts and tweets related to that name. Try typing “Ancestry” in the search window. When you see the “Accounts” heading, look to the right and select “View All”. This allows you to view all Ancestry related accounts. Look for the account with the verified badge. You can also read the short profiles under each account name. You can also type a hashtag in the search box. People use hashtags (the pound or number sign with a keyword) to categorize their tweets so others can find them more easily on Twitter. If you type #genealogy in the Twitter search window you’ll see tweets, photos, and accounts related to genealogy (scroll down until you see all three examples). I’ll go over popular #genealogy hashtags in another video.
3rd-Use the Twitter “Find Friends” link in the “Who to Follow” box. This is found on your home page, your profile page, and many other places including sometimes within your timeline. Select the “Find Friends” button, select your email provider, agree to allow Twitter to access your contacts and Twitter will show you a list of anyone in your contacts with a Twitter account. You can then choose to Follow All, or follow individuals by selecting the Follow button next to their name, or follow none of them. After you’ve chosen people from your contacts you can choose to Remove all contacts from Twitter in your Privacy Settings. Go to your profile pic/avatar, select “Settings”, select “Security and Privacy”, select “Address Book”, select “Manage Your Contacts”, select “Remove accounts”.
4th- Use Twitter’s “Who to Follow” suggestions. These suggestions will appear next to your Home timeline, on your profile page, search results pages, and other places on Twitter. You can refresh this list if you don’t like any of the suggested users. Each time you follow a suggested user, Twitter will replace their profile with a new suggested user or users. If you get tired of seeing these suggestions you can go into your “Settings”, “Security and Privacy”, then “Personalization” and change the defaults Twitter has set up. I’ll go over Settings in another video. You will also receive “People You may know” suggestions in emails from Twitter and you can follow them from there. Again, these suggestions can be turned off in Notifications Settings if they bother you.
5th- You can also follow someone from their website. Go to FindMyPast’s site, www.findmypast.com. Scroll down the page until you see a box with “Connect with Us” buttons. Select the “Follow us on Twitter” button. They make it clear you’re opting to follow them on Twitter with this button. Be aware that on some sites you’ll see a Twitter bird icon and rather than a “Follow us on Twitter” offer it’s a “Tweet this article to your followers” offer. If it’s the latter you’ll be given a second chance to back out because there will be a blue “Tweet” button you have to select in order to finalize the tweet.
Another way I follow genealogy enthusiasts is by using Twitter lists. Feel free to read about that or watch the Twitter lists video. And if you watch, don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel for more tips On Genealogy!