1) On Ancestry.com Home Page Changes and Wild Card Search Frustrations (23 April 2013):
* bgwiehle noted: "Not sure how consistently it occurs, but I sometimes get the 'too many results' page if the minimum 3 letters with a wild card includes a letter pair/combo that is a single sound (th, sh, sch, etc). Maybe vowel pairs like 'ea' are being treated similarly."
My comment: I'll look into that. Interesting suggestion.
* Eileen said: "My personal frustration is with exact search. I can put in a full surname and lived in location and restrict both to exact and it comes back with zero results. I can then set the location to default and get thousands of results, many of which are at the location specified and spelled the same. So why did I get zero results. I used to do this all the time to restrict my results to a single state. I wish they would stop 'improving' things."
My comment: Can you provide a specific example that I can check out? "Improving things" is something that every company tries to do on a persistent basis to stay ahead of the competition.
* Anonymous commented: "I've sworn off trying to do anything useful on Ancestry for a couple of months, or at least until they fix all the unintended consequences they have created with all the unwanted changes they've crammed down user's throats recently."
* Unknown offered: "One inconsistency I find is that Ancestry (I use the UK site) throws out variations of a name - but not all matches of those variations.
"For example, I recently did a search for a Golesworthy - often mis-spelled as Goldsworthy. Along with Golesworthy I got a lot of Goldsworthy returns - but not the one I needed. It *had* been entered under the mis-spelling, but Ancestry hadn't listed it, even though the date and place of birth matched. It *had* listed a lot of others, where the dob / place were completely different. This can be really confusing for amateurs like myself!"
My comment: The results are often confusing for professionals also!
My comment: That's why I usually use the "Summarized by Category" view when I do a global search for a specific name. I teach to do the global search, then narrow the search using an estimated birth date and a known birthplace, and then a spouse's first name if appropriate. Then pick and choose the record collections listed.
"In Firefox20, on Win7 running as 32-bit, I tried 'Isa* Sea*' on the purported home-page global search form (not advanced search). I got 20,257,838 results. 'Sorted By Relevance,' the top item was the 1940 US Census enumeration for Abel Cruz De Seatrajo (what happened to the 'Isa*'? Some user had submitted "Isabel" as an alternate).
"The next few results were various 1940 US Census items for various Isabels with Sea* surnames. So your problem with this particular search might be browser-related, but I could not guess why."
My comment: Thanks for trying... interesting results too! I wonder why the alternate name matches always show up at the top of the list. Perhaps it's alphabetical on surname?
2) On Sorting Out Ancestry Global Search Matches (24 April 2013):
* Linda Schrieber said: "I hadn't explored the 'by categories' sort, and this may help a lot!"
* herzogm commented: "I guess I am a real Luddite, but as long as 'old search' is available, I'll stick to it. I can get the results I am looking for with a couple of clicks and don't have to go through all the manipulations that you are talking about."
* Barbara Renick noted: "I believe Ancestry searches max out at less than ten thousand matches viewed so there is not a way to look at 287,224 matches online. FamilySearch Record Search maxes out at 5,000 matches viewed. Database sites do this to limit server time used. And, yes, I'm sure we are missing something we would like to find deeper which is why I teach alternate ways to search to find those layers."
My comment: I refuse to test out what Barbara said...10,001 matches checked would take almost 28 hours at 10 seconds per match. But it's intriguing!
3) On Response from Ancestry.com on my Wild Card Search Frustrations (25 April 2013):
* Jay at 1FamilyTree said: "Randy, I get really frustrated when I hear (or read) comments like 'The logged in home page was one of the slowest pages on the site and was still talking to outdated systems, limiting our ability to make improvements.' SORRY, but companies that cater to the small percentage of persons who are on older systems are not only hampering their own growth, but the growth of all their other users!!!"
My comment: Jay, I'm not sure of she was relating to customers with old computer systems or to old systems within the Ancestry complex. If the former, based on my observations of genealogy computer users in my local societies, it seems to me that the majority of potential Ancestry customers are still using Windows XP and earlier.
* Anonymous noted: "Randy, you're much too easy on them. They're feeding you a pile of BS."
* On Facebook, Janice Brown commented: "Randy, Ancestry.com's response may satisfy you, but it does not satisfy me at all. Ancestry.com still has it wrong. They need to scale their web site for the least sophisticated searcher, and stop trying to pump up the 'hits' one gets in a search and instead make the hits you do get relevant. The OLD search prompts worked wonderfully. The new ones are horrible."
My comment: I am not enough of a computer wizard to know what is BS or not. I didn't say I agreed with or was satisfied with it, only that I appreciated the response, the workaround suggestions, and would use them.
4) On Geni.com adds Record Matches and Smart Matches (24 April 2013):
* Saskey noted: "I, too, have the 'Basic' Geni account. It displays matches, however, if I wish to examine matches including trees, or contacting the associated person, Geni invites me to purchase a subscription. So, I gather that Geni takes the data I uploaded for free, and charges other users to access and use that information; however, if I wish to see what they have done with my information, I have to pay. Do I have that correct?"
My comment: I'm not sure, you'd have to ask Geni.com. You also should read their Terms of Conditions about what they can do with your information.
* Linda Schrieber said: "I tried geni.com, briefly. Luckily, I just added a few deceased people as a test. Then I really explored the site. And, yes, you upload your data 'for free', and they charge other users to access it, and they can't contact you without paying. And if you want to see what the others have done, you have to pay.
"And trying to contact tech support through their own system sends you into an endless loop of 'click here' screens. It literally loops back, after a dozen or so attempts, and you start over.