The ubiquity of social networking sites for the younger set – who hasn’t heard of MySpace and Facebook? – has inspired a rash of genealogical takeoffs that let you create a profile with the names and places you’re researching, then link to other users who share those interests. Some of the largest sites include:
• World Vital Records’ FamilyLink <www.familylink.com> was in beta testing with 5,000 members at press time. It has partnered with Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK), an online network of 4,000 volunteers who perform genealogy-related good deeds for faraway researchers. RAOGK gets a members’ area on FamilyLink; volunteers can add a special graphic to their profile pages
• Another wiki, SharedTree <www.sharedtree.com>, functions as an online family tree program multiple researchers can use. Its open source and open content policy means no one owns the site’s code or the information on it.
• The founders of such esteemed sites as eBay and Yahoo! Groups lauched Geni <www.geni.com> in January. By July 2007, it contained 5 million profiles of users and their relatives.
• WeRelate <www.werelate.org>, a genealogy Web search engine and wiki, lets registered users create pages about ancestors and build online family trees.