International Genealogy and Search Engine Rankings

For many years I have wanted Ancestry.com to go international, since the world population is more than 20 times larger than the U.S. population. I felt that a Rootsweb-type model could be done in virtually every country of the world, followed at sime time, by an Ancestry-type subscription model. The one (a user generated content model) would lead to the other (a premium database model.) Note: I left the company in February 2002 and have no inside information about the company or its plans.

Ancestry Ups Affiliate Commissions

I just got an email from Ancestry announcing new affiliate commission and better support for affiliates starting on August 1st. The new commissions include 5 tiers and get top affiliates up to 50% commissions. Plus, the call center now has a way to track phone calls and credit affiliates for generating the calls.

Shutterfly Files for IPO

A few highlights from the Shutterfly S-1:
  • $83.9 million in revenue last year with net income of $28.9 million (But $24 million was from a one-time tax benefit recognized in Q4 2005. The revenue growth is strong year over year.
  • They have stored more than 900 million customer photos in their archives.
  • They have sold 300 million prints in 11 million customer orders.
  • 84% of their customers are female.
  • This is a bit surprising to me.

What Motivates Me To Be Foolish

No company likes anyone to break news for them. Companies like to control their own news and get their own press coverage. The blogosphere is upsetting to corporate executives everywhere. Many bloggers have lost their jobs over what they have written. It's an interesting time. Against that backdrop, I felt compelled the other day to mention that MyFamily had layoffs and no media (and only 1 blogger) had reported it.

Google Alerts

One of my favorite free web services is Google Alerts. I have more than 200 keywords that I track now. I find more value in this than in RSS feeds, which subscribe me to lots of content that I don't really want. Almost all of my Google Alerts give me content that I really do want.