Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ancestry.com Bloggers Day: Content (Part 2)

Last year I intended to do stupendously rich articles about Ancestry.com Bloggers Day presentations. Since I never got around to it, this year you’re getting my stupidously poor notes.

Today I’ll finish Gary Gibbs’s content presentation.

Ancestry.com ran a survey at the end of November to learn customers’ content requests for 2010. There were 30,000 responses to the survey, which is an incredibly high participation rate. That’s even more amazing when one learns that the survey contained 110 questions about content. This survey was for U.S. content acquisition, only. Here are the results of the survey:

  • Most request record type:
    1. Birth, Marriage, Death (BMD) (29%)
    2. Census (21%)
    3. Immigration (11%)
    4. Family and local histories (9%)
    5. Court, land… (8%)
    6. Directories (4%)
    7. [Sorry, I didn’t get the percentages or the ranking for Newspapers and Military.]
  • Order in which customers desired these records:
    1. BMD 1861-1914
    2. Funeral home records
    3. State census
    4. BMD pre 1861
    5. Land ownership maps 1860-1920
    6. … [I didn’t get the remaining dozen or more items.]
  • State (region) ranking:
    1. Mid-Atlantic
    2. Eastern Midwest
    3. Southeast
    4. … [I didn’t get the rest.]
  • Time Period ranking:
    1. 1861-1914 (64%)
    2. 1816-1860 (57%)
    3. 1776-1815 [I got the order but not the percentages for the rest.]
    4. 1915-1945
    5. 1620-1775
    6. 1945-present
  • Ancestry/ethnicity is (mark all that apply):
    1. English (78%)
    2. German (68%)
    3. Irish (63%)
    4. Scottish (50%)
    5. French (32%)
    6. Welsh (21%)
    7. Native American (21% [Really? Did I write that one down correctly?] )

Q. When are you going to do a Mac version of your keying tool?
A. (Andrew) We aren’t currently working on it. However, we currently have one very large Mac project under development. I can’t say what it is, but it is a product for which you wonder, “Why has it taken them 15 years to produce a Mac version?”

Q. Will NARA allow you to index the 1940 census ahead of time?
A. No. However, NARA is pre-scanning the images.

Next time: If Ancestry.com comes through for me, we’ll have a virtual tour of the Ancestry.com scanning facility in the District of Columbia.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I participated in this survey, so it's very interesting to see the responses.

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