Today's Topic: Posts, aka Queries
Types of Posts and Queries
- About an individual
- About a family group
- About research in a specific locality
- About research with a specific record type
- About research for a specific topic
- About research for an ethnic group
- About research for a religion
- About research methodology
- About help with technology for genealogy
- About help with photos, letters, diaries, Bibles, and other mementos
- And many more
Common Rules for Posts and Queries:
- Limit each post to one query. Asking multiple questions within a post can make it hard for others to answer you. It can also mean that you may receive answers for some of the questions, but not all of them. One question per post fixes that.
- Choose the appropriate Facebook group or fan page on which to post your query. There are many different groups for many different genealogical topics. Posting on the correct group can get you the help you need. See Katherine R. Willson's "Genealogy on Facebook" list here: http://socialmediagenealogy.com/genealogy-on-facebook-list/
- Posting a vague query with few details won't get you the answers you need. Be sure to include as many pieces of information as you can in order to help direct those who might be taking the time to reply to you.
- Include a person's full name, including given, middle, nickname, and surname(s).
- Include a person's birth, marriage, and death information including dates and places.
- Include the names of a person's parents, siblings, and/or spouses.
- Include all the details you already know.
- Include details that indicate what you have already done.
- Don't assume that the reader will know what you know. Explain thoroughly.
- If your query involves a document or a photo, include a scanned copy for others to see.
- If your query involves a web site, include the URL (address) for the web site and/or the web page that you are referencing.
- To separate blocks of text within one post use the Shift+Enter keys at the same time to insert a soft return that won't trigger the post function before you're done writing your query.
- Don't type in all UPPERCASE letters. Online this is considered shouting. And it is very difficult to read. The exception is when typing surnames. They should be in uppercase letters to help them stand out from the rest of the text.
- Don't use any abbreviations in your post. Remember that the Internet is global and you might receive answers from people elsewhere in the world that aren't familiar with abbreviations used in your area.
- Be sure to proofread your query before you post it. Check it for accuracy, spelling, and clarity.
- Make a log of where you posted your query, including the date and the name of the group. That way it is easier to remember where and when to check back later.
- If you have taken the time to post a query, stick around a while to participate in the resulting discussion in order to answer questions, make clarifications, or just follow along as the conversation grows.
- When someone takes the time to reply to your query be sure to carefully read their reply. Follow up with replies to their questions and with more questions of your own if you aren't clear about their answer(s).
- Thank people for helping you. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is often overlooked.
- Check back over the next few days to see if anyone has replied or added to the conversation for your query.
- Keep a copy of your query and the entire thread of conversation that took place after that. Put it in your research notes to help you down the road. Note the date and the Facebook group on which you asked your questions.
See also: Facebook for Genealogy: Threads