Out on a Limb: A Myspace Odyssey

Out on a Limb: A Myspace Odyssey

Have you ever had a Rip Van Winkle experience? One of those times when you realize the world has changed, but you somehow missed it — and you think, "Where the heck have I been? In a 20-year coma?" That's how I feel about social networking. Sure, I'd...

Have you ever had a Rip Van Winkle experience? One of those times when you realize the world has changed, but you somehow missed it — and you think, “Where the heck have I been? In a 20-year coma?”

That’s how I feel about social networking. Sure, I’d heard the buzz about MySpace <www.myspace.com> and Facebook <www.facebook.com>, but thought of them mostly as havens for teeny-boppers and college kids. So I filed the trend away into my subconscious.

Then social networking and I finally came face to face this fall, when our staff launched a Family Tree Magazine MySpace page <www.myspace.com/familytreemagazine>. My hibernation was over.

It didn’t take me long to wake up and see what all the fuss was about. Once you get involved, you discover what great tools these sites are for connecting with friends, old acquaintances and people passionate about the same things as you.

That’s a real plus for our editors, since we don’t get to personally communicate with all of you. In just a few minutes perusing the profiles of our MySpace “friends,” I got to “meet” Nana, a 63-year-old great-grandmother from Maine; Teri, a 31-year-old researching Pennsylvania and Indiana ancestry, Twigs, a 53-year-old enthusiast of genealogy, old photos and quilts; and Amanda, a 25-year-old Tennessean who’s proud of her German and Civil War roots. (Yes, young people do genealogy, too!)

By reading the magazine and blogs <www.familytreemagazine.com/blogs>, you may come to feel as though you know us. Now social networking gives us a means to get to know you. Have you awakened to the possibilities? Stop by our MySpace page and let’s be friends.

 
From the January 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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