Thursday, May 17, 2007

WorldVitalRecords accessible for free at FHCs

WorldVitalRecords.com has joined Footnote and Godfrey, rushing in to "fill the void left by Ancestry in the FamilySearch operated Family History Centers," according to David Lifferth, President of WorldVitalRecords. This is more great news from a week already replete with great announcements.

It also raises numerous questions to be explored in this blog in the days and weeks ahead. Ancestry.com cut back its free offering in FamilySearch Family History Centers (FHCs) to just titles for which FamilySearch (formerly the Genealogical Association of Utah) had provided assistance. This matches the formula I mentioned in a previous blog.

  • Is Ancestry the poster child for FamilySearch's new model of cooperation or the prodigal?
  • Was Ancestry not seeing any benefit offering all its titles free to FHCs?
  • What, if anything, is FamilySearch providing to these 3 organizations in exchange for these free records?
  • Ancestry leads this segment and seems to know what they're doing. OK, I admit, they continue to alienate their customers with astounding regularity. But they seem to know how to pump new record collections out, and all indications are that they know how to run a successful business. This begs the questions, do they know something these other fine folk are about to learn?
  • Was it a big mistake for Ancestry to curtail its free offering?
  • Did FamilySearch solicit these businesses or did they solicit FamilySearch?
  • Was FamilySearch's pursuit of these relationships the cause of or caused by Ancestry's pull back?

Curious minds want to know! Keep your anonymous tips coming to the AncestryInsider@gmail.com.

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