Friday, January 27, 2012

Questions for Ancestry.com at RootsTech 2012 - Updated

I am compiling questions that I want to ask of the developers whom I hope to meet at the RootsTech 2012 conference. 

Here's my list so far for Ancestry.com developers (for Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, Genealogy.com, Fold3, Family Tree Maker.  I will probably update it before and during the conference as I think of more questions.  I will try to post a summary of the answers, probably after the conference):


*  When will you drop the Old Search capability in Ancestry.com?


*  What happened to the Article Archive on the Learning Center?  Will it disappear?  


*  Why doesn't the Search field on the Learning Center work better?


*  Will the source citations created by attaching an historical record to a Member Tree ever comply with Chicago Manual Of Style or Evidence Explained style standards?


*  Which states will be indexed first in the 1940 U.S. Census?


*  Why don't you include Fold3.com matches in Ancestry.com search results?  And vice versa?  Especially the FREE collections.


*  Have you considered a "package deal" for an Ancestry.com subscription and a Fold3 subscription?


*  Why do you charge customers every year for a Family Tree Maker upgrade which has marginal changes from the previous version?  


*  Are you working with the BetterGEDCOM group or the GEDCOM X group on GEDCOM-like standards?


*  Are there any historical record collections on Genealogy.com that are not on Ancestry.com?


*  Is www.Mundia.com still a beta website under development?  What are the plans for Mundia?


*  Alice asked in Comments:  Can you add a "private" or "public" options on media for private tree owners? Some people don't mind sharing media but don't want the whole world looking at your tree! 


*  Shirley asked in Comments:  Why is Ancestry pushing those things [Family Data Collections Series, U.S. and International Marriage Series, Millenium File, One World Tree] to beginners as "RECORDS"? They have all kinds of nonsense like some passengers on the Mayflower were born in Plymouth in 1580, the usual children born before their parents, etc. Beginners are not being taught to click on and read censuses. They're being taught to copy from others. What about starting your beginners off on basics instead of directing them to trees that are often wrong?


*  letzelfarm asked in Comments:  Does Ancestry plan to allow its members to merge separate trees that are posted?


*  Leaves of Heritage Genealogy noted in comments:  What I want to see on Ancestry is better tools. I want to be able to make a note when I save something to my shoebox so that I can remember why I saved it in the first place. Also, I would like better search options and results. I would like to be able to search all but X, Y, or Z, etc. 

Lastly, I wish they had a check mark box or some other way of marking a record that I've already reviewed. You know, maybe offer a red X for those that are not what you're looking for (negative searches), or a green for positive searches. Then when they continue to show up in my future searches, I won't waste my time revisiting the same darn records over and over!

What other questions should be asked of the Ancestry.com website developers?  Please add them to comments to this post, or on Facebook or on Google Plus so that every reader can see them.  I will add them to the list above as they come in.

If Ancestry.com personnel wish to answer the questions, I hope that they will comment also, and I will highlight their responses.

I hope to do this type of Question post for several other developers of genealogy databases, software and services.  If readers have suggestions for other websites, please forward them to me as comments on this blog, or on Facebook or Google Plus.  I will give credit to those who provide questions.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/01/questions-for-ancestrycom-at-rootstech.html


copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012.

Updated: 30 January, 9 a.m.

12 comments:

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Some excellent questions here, Randy. I look forward to seeing the answers. I for one hope that Old Search doesn't go away, I prefer it to New Search (I'm all for change, but not this one!). And I like your idea about a package deal for both an Ancestry and Fold3 membership...maybe your question will spark a discussion between the big-wigs who make these types of decisions.

See you soon!

Jenny Lanctot said...

Old search, new search ... whichever. I just want my searches to stop giving me stuff that clearly should have been weeded out by my search parameters! (Like records from the 1930s for a person who died in 1874). I'd like to know when will they fix issues like this.

I also like the question about packaging Ancestry and Fold3 ... might actually entice me to renew my Fold3 membership.

Just Pam said...

I agree with Julie--these are great questions and I hope the Old Search NEVER, EVER goes away.
Have a great time and I look forward to the answers to your questions.

Andy Hatchett said...

Great Questions Randy! They should have been asked long ago - and the end users and in particular the bloggers of the genealogical community should not request answers to them... they should *DEMAND* them.

They need to be asked of every software developer and eery content provider; at every conference, in every blog, and on every message board until satisfactory answers are forthcoming.

Only by holding their feet to the fire will the genealogy community get what it wants and not what they decide to give us.

Grab the pitchforks, torches, tar, and feathers- To The Barricades!!

:)

Merryann said...

Randy - One of the search 'problems' that is the most annoying to us is that when we search for specific names and/or places, the results list includes everything! My poor husband (he has ADHD) just cannot process so many unrelated results to locate what he is actually looking for. Perhaps they could add a 'button' to remove the extra results and show only what was actually searched for?

Alice said...

Ancestry.com ====> allow "private" or "public" options on media for private tree owners. Some people don't mind sharing media but don't want the whole world looking at your tree! :)

David Newton said...

"Why do you charge customers every year for a Family Tree Maker upgrade which has marginal changes from the previous version?"

Because they can? Because there are an awful lot of people gullible enough to buy the program each year?

Shirley said...

I like Old Search.

The entire Family Data Collections Series (individual, births, marriages, deaths), U.S. and International Marriage Records, OneWorldTree, and the Millennium File are databases, NOT historical records. The databases/collections were "extracted" or "gathered" (grabbed) by computer sweeps from various submittals and trees made by people who often didn't know what they were doing. Why is Ancestry pushing those things to beginners as "RECORDS"? They have all kinds of nonsense like some passengers on the Mayflower were born in Plymouth in 1580, the usual children born before their parents, etc.

Beginners are not being taught to click on and read censuses. They're being taught to copy from others. What about starting your beginners off on basics instead of directing them to trees that are often wrong?

letzelfarm said...

Does Ancestry plan to allow its members to merge seperate trees that are posted?

Leaves of Heritage Genealogy said...

Hey, Randy,

What I want to see on Ancestry is better tools. I want to be able to make a note when I save something to my shoebox so that I can remember why I saved it in the first place. Also, I would like better search options and results. I would like to be able to search all but X, Y, or Z, etc.

Lastly, I wish they had a check mark box or some other way of marking a record that I've already reviewed. You know, maybe offer a red X for those that are not what you're looking for (negative searches), or a green for positive searches. Then when they continue to show up in my future searches, I won't waste my time revisiting the same darn records over and over!

I know it's asking a lot, but when we pay over $300 a year, we deserve to have our needs met!

Good questions! Thanks for the sounding board.

MidwestAncesTree said...

Randy, if you call Fold3 they give you 1/2 off their subscription if you have an ancestry.com membership.

Geolover said...

Please ask Ancestry.com why they ~just~ changed their automatic citations for 1930 US Census. They replaced the citations bearing the NARA microfilm roll numbers with those *instead* bearing the useless FHL "Digital Folder Number" (keeping the FHL Film Number).

The FHL Catalog and citations do not give the specific NARA Microfilm Roll Numbers.

Help!