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Home: Regional: U.S. States: California Genealogy Forum

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Re: GENFORUM notification system broken
Posted by: J Christiansen (ID *****5526) Date: October 02, 2013 at 06:37:13
In Reply to: Re: GENFORUM notification system broken by phyl g of 39011

Good - yes, maybe the more of us who complain, the better chance it will be fixed. Maybe.

But the problem has been going on for so long, without any solution, that I suspect it may never be fixed. The resources are there (for finding a solution) so one has to ask why does the problem persist?

I get the impression that Genforum is like an old car with an owner who has decided it's no longer worth making repairs. The owner knows the car needs new tires, but has decided not to buy them.

Ancestry.com owns Genforum, right? And just this week Ancestry.com announced acquisition of Find-a-Grave. Along with the announcement came all kinds of excited pronouncements from both sides (Ancestry and Find-a-Grave) about Ancestry.com's wonderful resources for improving the user interface for Find-a-Grave! The story told is that so many wonderful options can be added to Find-a-Grave now that Find-a-Grave's founder can tap Ancestry's resources including its staff of internet/computer geniuses!

Meanwhile Genforum is left to wither and die. Have you noticed how traffic on the site seems to dwindle. The surname forums are almost dead. The county forums (within each state) are already dead.

The broken notification system is a HUGE problem for people who actually want to use this site. It's very disheartening for volunteer researchers to receive no response to the hours and hours of research time they invest in some of these projects. So often. the information that is discovered and posted just sits there, with no response from the Original Poster.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the lack of a notification system affects the responses from Original Posters, and in turn the lack of responses by Original Posters is going to have a chilling effect on volunteer researchers.

To operate at peak, the forums should work like a live chat room. An Original Poster ought to respond to questions within a few minutes, and replies to the replies should be speedily posted, so on, so that a live discussion can take place. As it is, Original Posters often express dismay that they return much later to their own thread to discover that replies have been awaiting them there for weeks or months.

If Ancestry.com truly does have excellent resources (as the Find-a-Grave news announcement claims), then the withering of Genforum must be a purposeful decision on the part of Ancestry.

Imagine - all Genforum would have to do would be to add a banner stating that Original Posters should check back for responses because the notification system is down. That's all - that would fix the problem. That wouldn't be too complicated. At the moment, Genforum seems to be technologically able to post advertising banners, but cannot alert its users of anything (except alert them of stuff that is for sale).

It is my impression that advertisers are being sold internet space that is not being tended by anyone, and thus is dying, and thus the advertisers have purchased a space that is likely worth less than they think.

I used to have so much respect for Ancestry.com, but the more I've become involved and noticed little things at closer range, the more my respect dwindles.

It's too bad that the conglomeration of Ancestry.com/ Rootsweb/ FamilySearch/ Find-a-Grave/ Genforum has extended its reach to the point that it practically has a monopoly on genealogy resources and family history research.


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