Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Either Really, Really Good or Really, Really Bad

Leave it to FamilySearch to release a controversial new website design while I’m not available to write about it. I’ve got a couple of minutes, let’s cut to the chase, the new website is either really, really good or really, really bad and we won’t know for months which it is.

Think back to yesterday’s article, “The Chasm.” An organization's failure to recognize the chasm results in a one-size-fits-all approach that simultaneously overly simplifies post-chasm genealogy and overly complicates pre-chasm genealogy. As deficiencies are noticed for genealogists on one side of the chasm, the pendulum swings in their favor at the expense of the other.

One of two things just happened at the FamilySearch.org website. Either,

        1) FamilySearch realizes the chasm exists and we’re seeing the first move in constructing separate experiences for pre- and post-chasm genealogists,

or

        2) FamilySearch doesn’t realize the chasm exists and just swung the pendulum back towards pre-chasm genealogists.

The former would be really, really good if it is followed up with additional moves to create a post-chasm experience, and to make both experiences genealogically sound.

The latter would be really, really bad and serves neither genealogist particularly well.

Only time will tell.

P.S. Congratulations to FamilySearch indexers for hitting one billion records indexed (also while I’m out of town).

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