Today’s Tip is one of my favorites:  Make your family tree your own Family Social Network!
When I was growing up, our entire family lived wthin blocks of each other in Ohio.  I was blessed with a grandmother in my home almost my whole life.  My favorite Aunt and Uncle lived two houses away.  My other grandparents just blocks away.  All my other Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. within walking distance …. or if not walking then a bike ride!  
Now we are cast to the winds of the world.  My sisters are in differnent towns and different states than me.  My Mother is in yet another State, Cousins are in twelve different States that I can think of off the top of my head.  Plus with my genealogy work, I have found previously unknown cousins (many as close as second cousins) around the globe on differing continents.  Cornwall, Czech Republic, South Africa, Canada, and more.  But we all still have the same longing to be together!  Blood is indeed thicker than water!  Plus the more genealogy I do, the more they pull together to learn more and participate!  It is a wonderful thing!
So I have worked over the past years to turn our family tree and my genealogy work into our own Family Social Network.  I have chosen to do this with the aid of what I consider a truly exceptional product, Myheritage.com.  By the way …. I am not employed by MyHeritage.  I do not get paid by MyHeritage.  I don’t own their stock.  My site is not supported by MyHeritage.  Just the opposite.  I pay to use their service (they do have a free option, but I have moved up to Premium Plus offering for many reasons.  Chief among them the unlimited space available.
I have built our tree on their site and I have utilized the power and assets of this product to build our site into our own Family Social Network.  MyHeritage is our Family Living Room!  It is where we visit, talk, plan, chat, and update each other. 
We now have over 200 family members on our site, over 3,000 photos and documents, and thousands of additional freehand notes on our ancestors (I love the freehand note section a lot).  
I use a terrific feature of the site to send a weekly Family Update that I write each weekend and all it takes is my typing the letter and about two clicks and off it goes to the whole family!  
We used the event section for my mother’s 90th birthday party and family history tour.  We did our planning, announcments, invitations, and updates on the site, and then posted photos of the event afterwards for everyone to see.  
I will admit it took some time to get everyone to see the site as our Family Social Network, but now folks go to it out of habit, to update each other and their doings, make notes, correct me when I am wrong (oh yes, quite often I might add on that one), and to stay in touch, post their own photos, and more.
It won’t take the place of Facebook, but then that is not its’ purpose.  This is a private site.  Family only!  Like I said, our Living Room!  As a matter of fact when I was doing my ‘due diligence’ and reviewing dozens of products and sites before I started, it was the wonderful security aspects of MyHeritage that sold me on using it.  
It has been a wonderful thing to see this aspect of my genealogy work blossom!  Granted, as I said, it took some time and effort, but now folks love it, use it, and visit regularly!  
So, if you haven’t considered it, perhaps you want to make your tree/website your Family Social Network too!
Now ….. if I can only figure out how to get a fireplace on the site …..
Thanks for reading!
Onward To Our Past!

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