Anybody who uses the Internet cannot fail to notice the massive presence of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. These two alone can count their users in the millions. Social media has become so popular because it is multi-functional. Not only does it allow people to connect on a social level, but also on a professional one. It is well suited to a huge variety of businesses, interests, and hobbies, and genealogy is no different.
A quick look on Twitter using "genealogy" as the search term will bring up a huge number of people to follow. I did just that, and I have now started a Family History Finder Twitter account. (You can follow me by clicking on the button to the right) It's very early days, but I'm already excited about the amount of information that is available. For example, I follow Scotland's People, who tweet regularly about genealogy courses that are taking place. They also send out very interesting "this day in history" tweets.
Genealogy websites tweet about new records that they have available. This is obviously extremely valuable when trying to keep up with your family history research. They have also been known to tweet about special offers that they are running on subscriptions. This is also true for the official accounts of genealogy magazines, so following these types of accounts might even allow you to save some money.
Of course, the whole point of social media is that it's social. It allows people with a shared interest - genealogy - to connect and converse, often in real time. This makes it an ideal platform for sharing information, advice, and resources. I know that I will get a lot of benefit from reading the tweets and posts of people who know a lot more about genealogy than I do. My plan is to share the most interesting and useful info on this blog.
Social media websites, forums, and blogs can all be extremely valuable for developing genealogical skills and expanding family trees. As a bonus, they can also be enjoyable to read, and a way to make new online friends.