Take Your SIGs Virtual With MeWe

The MeWe social network is focused on protecting the privacy of its members yet it still offers an impressive range of features that today’s genealogical societies can put to good use. One of those features is groups.

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At first look, a MeWe group may look like Facebook, but as you start looking around you will find a number of useful things like a files library, group discussions and events. MeWe uses tags to make it easy to find specific content in the group. A tag is a keyword that begins with a hash mark (#). Assign #tags to your group posts and MeWe collects them for you in the sidebar. Click/tap any #tag and MeWe will redraw your screen showing you every post assigned that #tag. In the example above, the #journaling tag has been selected in the tag box. On the left you see a collection of posts about journaling. It doesn’t take long for a group’s timeline to contain dozens of posts so having a quick way to find all the posts related to a specific topic is a very useful feature.

MeWe offers three types of groups – private, selective and open. A private group only has members who have been invited to join by the group administrator. Private groups do not appear in MeWe’s group directory. This is a perfect choice for society SIGS.

To join a selective group you must first request access then answer several questions on why you want to join. Once the group administrator reviews your answers and approves you, you will have access to that group. Open groups are open to all MeWe members.

MeWe groups also support discussions – chats for a larger group of participants. These can be text, voice or video discussions. The comment box attached to each post supports text and voice comments including the ability to add photos from your photo library, photos taken with your mobile device and even GIFs.

Each member has 8GB of storage for photos, videos and files. More can be purchased for a small monthly fee. To save money, your society can share videos from online sources like YouTube and Vimeo instead of saving them to your group.

It may take a bit of practice to fully take advantage of the Events component but it won’t take long to appreciate its capabilities. Share a video in a post and create an event to show the video then follow it with a Q&A session using Group Chat.

Small societies often find it difficult to schedule a place and time to hold special interest group meetings. By going virtual, you don’t need a physical meeting room and even if a member can’t attend the group meeting, they can visit the group site at any time to catch up. The files library and posts in the timeline also give your members a research resouce they have access to from anywhere at any time.

My Storytellers Studio group is a selective group serving as a resource for family historians and genealogists looking for creative ideas to share the stories our genealogy research discovers. You are welcome to join us.

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