I have been a serious user of social networks since joining LinkedIn several years ago--the fourth person in Utah to join, as I recall. My friend Michael Tanne, now CEO of Wink.com, turned me onto it. Of my 858 connections, I think I personally know about 98% of them. I have turned down a ton of connection requests because I really did want to be part of a trusted network.
I spoke today at the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. The meeting was held in the Family History Center. I started by asking how many wanted me to talk about the history of Ancestry.com, (after all, these people spend all their time researching the past) and how many wanted me to talk about our vision for the future of genealogy at World Vital Records.
The Generations Network, formerly MyFamily.com, announced today a $300 million acquisition by Spectrum Equity, a $4 billion private equity fund with offices in Menlo Park and Boston. It is expected that the current management team will continue to lead the company, which is headquartered in Provo, Utah.
I started blogging in November 2003. I think 13 days without a post may be a record for me. (There may have been one time a couple years ago when I was switching blog platforms where I also went this long or longer without a post.) My regular readers know how much I enjoy blogging, how I think every CEO should blog, and how much value you get when you participate in open, online conversations about all kinds of topics. So a 13-day stretch without posting indicates how incredibly busy and focused I have become recently. To make up for the 13 days without a post, today's post may be my longest post ever. And unfortunately it's about my current business--not about internet marketing or entrepreneurship in general. So if you only read my blog for tips for internet entrepreneurs, you may want to skip this post.
The Salt Lake Tribune published this interesting article two days ago:
Utah-based Ancestry.com, with 900,000 subscribers the reigning king of commercial Internet genealogy services, welcomes Geni.com and a spate of other online family history newcomers to its world. "For years, we were the only ones driving growth in this category," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Generations, which owns Ancestry.com, MyFamily.com and related sites. "So when we see Geni or any number of new genealogy upstarts, we're thrilled," Sullivan said.
World Vital Records most popular international search page is our German Genealogy Search page. According to Overture, there were 1045 searches on the Yahoo Network last month for "german genealogy" and 292 for "germany genealogy."
After some wonderful time off with my family, I regretfully went back to work yesterday with one of those feelings of being completely overwhelmed -- there are so many hundreds of things on my to-do list and so many dozens of things to blog about. I know I'll never catch up so I won't even try. One of my main New Year's Resolutions is to not get behind on email. Last year I ended the year with about 1,700 "unread" messages in my inbox. The problem is that I had read many (maybe even most) of them on my Blackberry, but they didn't show up in gmail as having been read. It is frustrating to occasionally use my Desktop email only and to see so many unread messages that you know you can't even make a dent in them. And trying to remember which ones you've already read is also frustrating.