Tuesday, March 21, 2017

AncestryDNA Personal Discoveries Project

AncestryDNA Personal DiscoveriesI visited my DNA page last Saturday to see if the new Genetic Communities feature has launched yet. It hasn’t. But I did see something new. Ancestry gave me the opportunity to take a survey. It is part of the “Personal Discoveries Project.”

They posed the question, “Can we discover more from your DNA?” They invited me to take a survey to learn things about me that I might share with my genetic relatives. Participation is optional.

They gave several possible motives. “If we launch a new AncestryDNA project or feature inspired by your responses, you will be the first to know,” they said. They warned that they would combine the data—reasonably hiding your identity—for study and possible sharing on social media or used in advertisements, emails, or promotional offers. The FAQ page states

Learning more about our customers and what you may have in common with your genetic relatives and other AncestryDNA customers will help us provide a better user experience as we develop new products and features. Your feedback can help us identify patterns within groups of people connected by DNA so that we may enhance your AncestryDNA experience.

When I interviewed Kendall Hulet at RootsTech, he talked about Ancestry’s desire to open up the DNA experience more to non-genealogists. My guess is that this is part of that effort.

The survey asked about a dozen questions in each of eight different categories: personality, life story, lifestyle and behavior, travel and culture, traits and characteristics, family details, hobbies and interests, and fun and entertainment. They asked if I was a cat or dog person (dog), if I wore glasses (yes), if I snore (not anymore), what my favorite kind of car is (one that still runs), if I preferred coffee or tea (neither), if my earlobes are attached (no), if I was born in the same country as my grandparents (I lied), if I had ever been to a rodeo (yes), and would I sit it out or dance (dance).

I don’t know if this is a random-sampled survey, but I suspect they want as much data as they can get, to correlate against DNA data. I suspect if you go to your DNA page, you will see the invitation also.

For more information, see the FAQ page at https://support.ancestry.com/s/surveysFAQ.

6 comments:

  1. Why am I suspicious of their motives? Because that's the kind of company they are.

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  2. Here's my personal problem w/ the way Ancestry dNA (doesn't) work: my (adopted) daughter has a second cousin "match" which would be HUGE in assisting her finding her bio family. Problem: he does not have a tree, he apparently does not go in to the site and/or does not know how to view attempts at corresponding, and, to frost the cake, the people who COULD assist, because they have his real email address refuse to forward a request to him, writing that they had no way of doing this, which I know is not true.

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    1. Next time she accesses her DNA page, she can download her raw DNA file to your computer and then upload it to Family Tree DNA. They recently began offering the upload and complete matching for FREE! The only thing that costs is if you want to use the Chromosome browser and MyOrigins. And even that is only about $20. And the best part is that you do NOT pay anything extra to continue access to your DNA matches and their trees like you have to do with Ancestry.com! And if you haven't checked it out, I would suggest using Gedmatch.com as well. It's also FREE and matches you with people from ALL testing companies who have uploaded their DNA results. There is NO need to continue to be paying for something that doesn't do what you want it to do.

      I really would suggest these two free options, especially in an adoption case. It opens up the possibility of more of those 2nd cousin matches than Ancestry alone can offer. And just maybe, someone who will respond to a message.

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    2. AND the people who put their DNA on GEDMatch and FTDNA really want to find living people so they answer their email! I pulled my DNA from ancestry a couple of years ago (yes, I know they kept it) but I've made some fantastic connections using the other two sites. And you sure can't beat the price. Go there.

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  3. My problem is that most of the time when I click on the DNA tab I get "File Not Found". Since early December I have seldom been able to access my DNA pages. It is especially upsetting because I have spent more money than I should on Ancestry. I have a paid membership, have purchased a DNA test, have contributed several trees and quite a few images, documents, etc. and yet I can seldom access my DNA pages. When I do access them, I find that many of my Matches are either "Private" or have no trees at all. I cannot blame the contributors for wishing to keep their information Private. I do blame Ancestry for keeping my DNA pages inaccessible much of the time. I am also very unhappy with the NADs which seem to have no connection at all with me. The NADs are ancestors or kin to people who do have a common ancestor with me but the common ancestor has nothing to do with the NADs. All in all, I have been frustrated and disappointed with Ancestry for some time.

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    Replies
    1. Next time you can access your DNA page, download your raw DNA file to your computer and then upload it to Family Tree DNA. They recently began offering the upload and complete matching for FREE! The only thing that costs is if you want to use the Chromosome browser and MyOrigins. And even that is only about $20. And the best part is that you do NOT pay anything extra to continue access to your DNA matches and their trees like you have to do with Ancestry.com! And if you haven't checked it out, I would suggest using Gedmatch.com as well. It's also FREE and matches you with people from ALL testing companies who have uploaded their DNA results. There is NO need to continue to be paying for something that doesn't do what you want it to do.

      Delete