Why join Heritage Forensics instead of just using Facebook?
First. It’s freely accessible and searchable by everyone. The genealogy community needs a website that is dedicated to genealogy and the community. Heritage Forensics is no longer my business website, it is now a community website.
Why is it now a community website? To answer that question, one clue could be gleaned from reading Be A Part From The Start.
We need Forums.
To hit on a few more points, the only forums we have available are those at the Ancestry.com’s website. Unfortunately, many of our other popular forums, aka message boards, were purchased and archived by the owners of the Ancestry.com website, and there was no suitable replacement. We need forums and preferably ones not controlled by a corporate entity.
Back in the day, rather, in the early days of the internet, there were chatrooms. Members will have private chats and there will be an optional chatrooms too.
Facebook Groups are Problematic!
As it is now, Facebook does not work for genealogy with its group functions because
- You have to join the group, but only if the person in charge logs in, sees it, and accepts you.
- Many groups are closed. Some groups are secret. Neither of these are publicly searchable on Facebook.
- You have to search the groups one by one, which most people don’t even know how to do this.
- Groups are not publicly searchable, going back to the first two points, and that’s if you can find a group for what you’re looking for.
- Group “rules” are not uniform. What you can post in one group will get you kicked, banned, and blocked in another (so I found out).
- Group admins can power-trip (I’ve been a victim of that one several times) and/or be inconsistent per their mood. This is genealogy, not ‘how you feel day’. There should be a structure in place similar to how all forums (aka message boards) and groups function, something I’m well familiar with since the late 90’s and have run several of my own message boards over the years with a few dozen to a few thousand members, so this is nothing new to me.
- There is no big-corporation / big-brother here. When I delete something, it’s gone.
- I don’t monitor, track, or otherwise follow you secretly around the internet outside of this website. Google will. Facebook will. I won’t.
This is just a brief list of the problems with trying to use Facebook for genealogy. We, of the genealogy community, deserve to have a uniform set of rules and guidelines in place with watchful eyes to encourage and further develop our pursuits into this love affair–or obsession–with family history and connections.
This is only the beginning of what Heritage Forensics | A Genealogy Community will become.
No big corporate entity who could be solving these issues are actually doing it. So me, (just one guy here), is building something that we all can use, and actually works in favor of genealogy. I do need help to make this happen. I can’t write every page in the Wiki. I can start Forums, but I can’t make all the posts. I can create the Directory, but I can’t contribute everything to it. I can’t teach all the classes, do all the videos, write all the lessons, but what I can do is create the space for genealogists, from hobbyists to professionals, to work within. Even with using Google you need to be search savy. This website is to help simplify what we do and how we do it within a common creative space.