Genealogy friendly social networking sites offer a wealth of tools for keeping families and genealogists connected, including wikis, RSS, blogs, photo uploads, mapping, and online family tree building. This list highlights many large, popular social networking sites for genealogists, such as Geni.com and MyHeritage, as well as other lesser-known sites from around the world.
There are thousands and thousands of genealogists on Facebook, making it a great place to share your genealogy research finds, ask for help, or just stay in touch with your fellow genis! You can join a host of Facebook genealogy communities, such as Unclaimed Persons (volunteers helping to find living family members of unclaimed persons in morgues across the U.S.) or GeneaBloggers. You might even be able to get your family members interested in genealogy through one of several available family tree Facebook apps such as FamilyLink's We're Related and FamilyBuilder's Family Tree.
While there are many, many genealogists on Facebook, there is also another option out there for anyone who wants something similar to Facebook but without all of the non-genealogy nonsense. Just like Facebook, GenealogyWise (with almost 20,000 members) offers an easy way to connect with fellow members via individual profile pages, blogs, live chats and more.
MyHeritage got off to a rousing start in 2005 due to a buzz over its facial-recognition tool that compares an uploaded photograph of an individual with photos of celebrities. Yet the robust site offers much more than just gimmicks, including a great free family tree building application (Family Tree Builder), family calendars, and Smart Matching technology (thanks to their merger with Pearl Street Software/GenCircles.com), which allows the service to compare family trees for overlap. The Israeli-based site also offers a robust, free genealogy metasearch engine, and supports 37+ languages.
Twitter isn't for everyone, but if you like to keep up with the genealogy world, or want to share short bits of your research with friends and family, it's a great platform. For genealogists, Twitter seems to be the place to meet up during live genealogy events - genealogists often tweet live about television shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? or share tidbits live from genealogy conference presentations.
This free, public service genealogy Wiki (Wikipedia is type of Wiki) allows you to create a profile to tell others about your research interests, to receive and respond to emails from other users without publishing your email address, to create online family trees and personal research pages, and to collaborate with other users. The service is completely free, thanks to the Foundation for Online Genealogy, Inc. and the Allen County Public Library, and very easy to use. But if you're looking for a private family Web site option, WeRelate isn't the place for you. WeRelate is all about collaboration so you need to be prepared to have others add to or edit your work. Think of it as a group project.