Do you remember the email you got when we entered public beta? It said:

Tell all your friends, blog about it, tweet about it, and write the URL (http://genealogy.stackexchange.com) in chalk on the sidewalk in front of your neighbor's house. Or paint. No, never mind, better use chalk.

Well, that hasn't been happening. After a few days of public beta, it seems that new people are coming in at a snail's pace. Our statistics are good, except for the number of participants and the traffic, both of which will have to come come up considerably if we want to get out of beta after 90 days.

I think the private beta people have now gained an adequate amount of experience and I think we're treating "newbies" with great kindness which should be continued at least until we are out of beta, if not forever.

After 4 days of public beta, are we ready to open the gates and let the genealogy world come? Shall we start publicizing the site?

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    lkessler, if anyone should be giving people advice on how to promote this site, it should probably be you. I see you've referred 100 people to this site in the committment phase. You should consider a self-answer to your question. ;) – jmort253 Oct 24 '12 at 2:22
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    @jmort253 - Rather than an answer, I've creating this new meta topic: meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/1210/… – lkessler Oct 24 '12 at 4:21

Absolutely! I'm not a blogger -- ahem, I'm not a very good blogger -- but I do know that blogging about the site, tweeting about it, having conversations in Facebook about it are all great ways to promote the site.

One way to get the conversation started could be to share your personal success here with your Facebook followers.

Hey guess what! I just found out I had an uncle on the Mayflower!

If anyone is interested and starts talking to you about this or how you found this out, then that gives you an opportunity to drop a link to an interested party, but without outright spamming anyone.

Beth, didn't you say your Dad was trying to find out more information about his maternal great-grandmother?

This is just an example of how you might lead into these conversations, and I think that sharing the site with family and friends via Facebook conversations is a great way to start.

For anyone new to Stack Exchange, please note that under each post is a "share" icon. If you use the special shortened hyperlink, Stack Exchange will track clicks from unique visitors, so if you do happen to be good at social networking and drive a lot of traffic, there's some badges you can earn. When you look at the Badges page and see lots of holders of the Publicist, Booster, and Announcer, you know that more people are visiting the site and that sharing works.

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    If you had an uncle on the Mayflower, you're as old as dirt. – American Luke Oct 21 '12 at 20:59
  • @Luke - lol, well, I was thinking great great uncle or very distant relative, but yes, if your Dad's brother was on the Mayflower, you are older than dirt indeed. ;) – jmort253 Oct 21 '12 at 21:02
  • Okay. I'm going to start to post things. – lkessler Oct 22 '12 at 3:46
  • @lkessler Remember we faced a lot of skepticism at the start because "we already have a ton of Q&A sites." Any advertising needs to show why this place is better. That's where success stories are key. – user47 Oct 22 '12 at 12:54

There is a very active, very dedicated genealogy blog world out there, as well as a number of online mailing lists at RootsWeb and elsewhere. And of course there are the "dead tree" mediums, like society newsletters and quarterly journals. I think a little outreach could go a long way to getting us more users, if only to see what the fuss is about.

  • You've only touched on a few of them. If everybody did their part and contacted the ones they work with, we'd be off and running. – lkessler Oct 22 '12 at 1:04

We are not yet on the famous Cyndi's List

I imagine the submission should come over the name (and email address) of someone with some standing within the organisation (@justinY as proposer?).

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    Cyndi's doesn't give much traffic. At most a few hits a day. She just has too many links on the site. But yes, we should be submitted there. – lkessler Oct 22 '12 at 4:20
  • What category would we fall under? – American Luke Oct 22 '12 at 17:43
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    @Luke - the closest might be "Queries and message boards" but that's more for "anybody related to xxx?". You could ask her to make a new category for "Question and Answer sites". If this is a new category, it then indicates that it is a resource that the genealogical community is missing and can really use. – lkessler Oct 22 '12 at 18:36

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