Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013 Readers Choice Awards in Genealogy

The 2013 Readers Choice Awards for Genealogy have been awarded - see the complete list at

Some of the vote spread in different categories include:

1)  Best Windows genealogy software:

2)  Best Mac Genealogy software:

3)  Best Subscription Genealogy Website:

4)  Best Free Genealogy Website:

5)  Best Online Family Tree Tool:

6)  Best Genealogy Education or Learning Experience:

7)  Best Online Genealogy Tool or Mobile App:

There were several other categories - read the whole list.

Congratulations to all of the winners.  

I am not surprised by any of the choices, but I was surprised by some of the vote spreads.  I do think that there is an anti-Ancestry/Family Tree Maker bias in the genealogy community (although they did vote for Ancestry as best subscription site).  I think that websites like Family ChArtist and Steve Morse should be separated from Mobile Apps.  I think that Conferences and Institutes deserve their own category, and that online learning experiences should have a category (that includes YouTube channels, the FamilySearch Research Wiki, etc.).

I hope that continues to run these Reader Choice contests every year.  I hope that there will be more publicity about nominations for the contest (e.g., why was MyHeritage left off the best subscription site?) and the voting time of the contest.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Unknown said...

If they do it again, I hope they make it easier to vote. The voting process was so clunky and time consuming that I only voted once. I also wish they would have mentioned how many votes were cast. And seriously ... did that voting go on forEVER or what?

I also agree that they should separate some of the categories so you are voting for like Like the example you used about the types of learning experiences: wiki, YouTube/other video/podcast, webinar/hangout on Air, etc.

I also agree that they should publicize the nominating process a little better - I didn't even know there was one.

N P Maling said...

I'm also not surprised that FTM had such a poor showing. The spread is amazing, however, given that people could vote over and over.

You might be right about the bias toward one or another of the high rankers.

Kim said...

Agreed that online education options are very different than conferences and institutes. Also, as a matter of sampling, if someone has only used one of the resources, they'll vote for it alone. So in the case of Mac software, there are a lot of people who've never even bothered trying the programs other than Reunion -- some act like others don't even exist! So of course, Reunion will get the most votes.
In the end, this is less a poll of which is "best" as it is a poll of which is "most popular."

BarbJ said...

I wonder about contests where you can vote more than once. Just how accurate are the results?

Pam Journey said...

I agree with the person who said the voting process was clunky. I tried it and decided it wasn't worth the time. I also agree that more than one vote seems unnecessary. I am glad to see RootsMagic did so well.

Kimberly Powell said...

I agree with everyone else that some of these categories should have been further broken down for more valid results, and the Education category is a great example. However, there is a limit on the number of categories and to include the obvious ones like software, I had to make choices. Genealogy education is my passion, so I was happy to at least be able to include the category. While the winners deserve a huge congratulations, there is a lot to be proud of for being one of the top 5 nominees. The goal was not just "bragging rights," but also to let readers know of opportunities and tools which they might not have otherwise explored. From emails I've received, I do think the contest achieved some of this.

The Readers' Choice Awards are governed site-wide, so I have no input into items such as voting, etc. I do agree the captcha made things clunky, but this was put into place to help limit voting fraud. I know is continuing to refine and improve the process, and it is entirely possible that the recent appointment of Neil Vogel (the man behind the success of the Webby Awards) may help with this. Either way, I was proud that Genealogy was included this year and hope it brought some well-deserved recognition to all of the winners and finalists.