Once again I find myself blogging about the most recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are? The reviews of last night's programme seem to unanimously be amazed about the tragic story of Brendan O'Carroll's grandfather was and how fantastic the programme was all in all.
And I quite agree. Marvellous all round. Plus I watched the programme with my husband. A record as it is the second full episode that he has probably watched! Not his thing at all usually. I thought the quality of the research that had been undertaken in order to take Brendan O'Carroll on his journey of discovery was completely outstanding. To have reached a point where he was able to see the face of the presumed murderer of his grandfather was really incredible. Just awful to find no justice at the end of the process.
An aspect which I found extremely interesting after the show was the reaction on Twitter. Now, I do have a small number of friends on Facebook but I use it mainly to keep in touch with old friends more easily. Twitter, on the other hand, I have been trying to use more for genealogy and history work. I have been able to follow all sorts of (hopefully!) like-minded people and Twitter is great for picking up hints and tips. [If you are on Twitter, the best way to find them is to search #genealogy or #family history or #family tree. Too many on my list to put them all down here.]
For example, the other day, I stumbled across a tweet from someone in New York, offering advice on using the notetaking app Evernote for genealogical research. I had downloaded Evernote but had not really done much about making proper use of it. The short Tweet reminded me about the possibilities. Other Tweets have helped with unusual sources, special offers for services and interesting facts and figures.
Last night, some of the genealogists whom I follow had done the kind of running commentary tweets as WDYTYA was broadcast (I only looked afterwards, I'm afraid, can't follow as I go along yet, not got the hang of that). I also noticed that the "main providers" (for want of a better description) such as Find My Past and Ancestry were tweeting as the programme went on, advertising their services! Only to be expected, I suppose. There are not exactly many mass marketing opportunities for their services, are there?
I am not particularly techy, never have been. My son is a typical 2014 kid - loves his tablet, Minecraft, Skype, etc. However, although I am obviously coming late to Twitter - and I expect the in-crowd is completely onto something else by now - I do like how easy it is to make contacts on it. I used to get sent to networking events as part of my various parliamentary and City jobs and I always hated it. I am a fairly outgoing and confident person, I think, but I never found it easy to strike up conversations for work contacts reasons. Maybe though, if I can manage to work up some interesting Tweets of my own - rather than following and/or re-Tweeting - I might make contact with some people who I might eventually meet face to face. What a thought in this day and age! Face to face meetings! Whatever next.
[By the way, to follow me on Twitter and see how I get on, you can find me @debcyork.]