This is another in a series of reports about Ancestry.com Bloggers Day 2010.
We had lunch with Ancestry.com CEO, Tim Sullivan and general manager, Andrew Wait. Here’s my brief notes:
Andrew Wait told us that feedback from their My Story ads said the ads didn’t explain enough about what the genealogy experience was like. In fact, the life-changing stories set the bar so high that average people couldn’t identify with the experiences.
As a result, five days earlier Ancestry.com started a new advertizing campaign that goes back to the previous style a bit.
Tim Sullivan asked us if we had any questions for him. When there was a half-second pause, he said if we didn’t have any questions, he had questions for us. Then he asked us… uh… …something. I don’t actually remember what it was. My notes are devoid of anything Sullivan said. Sorry, Tim! I did jot down some comments from my fellow writers:
DearMYRTLE said, “Genealogy is a winter sport.” Does that mean Tim asked if we were seeing an upswing in genealogical interest?
At some point Andrew said, “Try a Twitter search of ‘Ancestry.com.’ You’ll see lots of positive feedback.” I think that means several of us expressed appreciation that Ancestry.com had taken the time to meet with us and said our opinions of Ancestry.com were much improved. I think someone even contrasted the day with the infamous “Internet Biographical Database” fiasco. [To read more on that subject, I recommend the series of articles by fellow attendee, Craig Manson.]
I can’t remember what led to my favorite comment of the day. Thomas MacEntee said, “I’ve always thought of genealogy as CSI without the icky bodies.” Mysteries. Dead people. Detective work. Yup; I think he nailed that one pretty well.
The final note I have on lunch was Andrew’s announcement that Ancestry.com had submitted “Tree to Go,” an iPhone application which would be available soon in the iPhone store. [Ancestry.com announced the application to the public on 19 January 2010.]
Who did Ancestry.com throw at us right after lunch? We were hoping it would be someone who could keep us awake. We were not disappointed. Stay tuned…
Tim Sullivan is the CEO of Ancestry.com, Inc. He was previously CEO of Match.com. Under Tim’s leadership, Match.com expanded globally into 29 local languages and grew paid subscribers from 189,500 to nearly one million while growing revenue more than six-fold. Prior to joining Match.com, Tim was vice president of e-commerce for Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch, Inc. Before that he spent seven years at the Walt Disney Company where he was vice president and managing director for Buena Vista Home Entertainment Asia Pacific. Tim is a graduate of Harvard Business School and was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.