Thursday, July 16, 2009

One more day on the Generation Maps Social Networking contest.

Well, it has been an interesting week in the Genealogy Social Networking Scene.

As you know, we have been running a contest. 1 $25 gift certificate for a person drawn from our Facebook group, and 1 $25 gift certificate drawn from our Genealogywise group. And tomorrow at 5pm we'll draw a winner from the people who have joined both groups for a $100 gift certificate.

GenealogyWise has been an interesting experiment. It is amazing how fast something viral can grow, but it still has to prove worthwhile in order to maintain its viability. This new social network has had some serious hiccups--lots of bugs, having problems with their domain this morning, backpedaling their contests, and now censorship/policy discussions this afternoon. Great explosions of users can move both ways. We have been pleased at how we've been able to network with our users on GenealogyWise this week. But it looks to me like "Facebook is still Facebook for Genealogists." (Tamura Jones).

I think we've learned two things so far:
  1. You have to have a really good product. I think we at Generation Maps are ok there.
  2. We have the best users/friends in the world. I just love the genealogy community
So I think we'll take a cue from GenealogyWise and tweak our contest. We have had a great summer and we are feeling generous. We are going to award 4 $25 gift certificates to anyone in our Generation Maps facebook group. And we are still going to award 1 $25 gift certificate to one person in our Generation Maps genealogywise group. And we'll still award the $100 gift certificate to one person who is in both groups. Not that big of a difference. Just make sure you are in our facebook group. And you can tell your friends, because there are plenty of prizes to go around.

I'm not so sure I would really recommend GenealogyWise yet but we have yet to see what happens there. But I know I would recommend Facebook to anyone and I'll probably stay there more because it has all of my friends, not just the genealogists--that way we can convert more people to genealogy :-). I love getting to know people by the newsfeed there. Facebook is great for spreading your family history to the 20 something generation (although that demographic on FB is rapidly changing), AND anyone who wants to talk to genealogists. I actually heard a story this week about a grandfather who, after much prodding, got on to facebook only to find his grandaughter who had run away a couple of years ago. Facebook is a wonderful way to connect with people. Period. Go sign up so that you can talk to your living family members more. And then come play with us genealogists and we'll help you find out about your past family members.


A. Spence said...

I agree with you. Facebook is a great place to network and connect with family. I joined GW but saw those hiccups this am.

Thomas MacEntee said...

Great post Janet and kudos for ramping up your contest!

I still think that GenealogyWise may prove valuable but it is too soon to tell - really is half-baked right now.

Like anything there are lessons to be learned from here.