I’m looking forward to hearing keynotes from Dave Morin, Senior Platform Manager at Facebook and Jim Benedetto, VP Technology at MySpace, as well as from 20 or so panelists who are succeeding with their social networking applications and investments. My last major dose of social networking content from industry insiders came at CES in January where I attended (and then bought mp3 recordings) of virtually every session on widgets and social networking. When I went to order my mp3 recordings, they just copied all the ones I wanted onto a thumb drive and gave them to me. It was the first conference where I have purchased the audio that way–very cool.
I am starting to see more and more how social networking will completely change the world of genealogy. Very few genealogists use social networks today, but that will change. One interesting fact that you can discover using Facebook Ads (www.facebook.com/ads) is that there are more people over 50 in Canada using Facebook than there are people over 50 in the U.S. using Facebook. Since genealogists tend to be older, the power of social networks won’t become evident to the 15+ million genealogists in the U.S. until more and more of them embrace social networks. But what they really need is a social network designed for genealogy.
FamilyLink.com is a close to launching our first feature that could make this social network essential for all serious genealogists. It’s a feature that has never been tried before on a massive scale. We are excited to roll it out.
What is interesting to me is that ever since last week when I blogged about 10% time, and as I have been contacting relatives and gathering information about my own ancestors, I now view everything that we are doing at FamilyLink and WorldVitalRecords through the lens of "how will this help me and my family with our genealogy?"
Just this morning, as the sun is rising on "my city by the bay", I had two breakthrough ideas that I think could be implemented quite easily that would make my life so much easier. I want to find my ancestors and connect with my relatives who have already gathered so much information about them. A social networking concept that is becoming more popular but has not been applied to genealogy would really help me out.