I write this with some frustration, ok, with alot of frustration at Ancestry today, and here is why:
Today I get 2 emails from Ancestry, one to inform me that Family Tree Maker 2011 is now available for me to pre-order, and the second was to inform me that Ancestry.com is now the proud parents of another organization, ProGenealogist, Inc. (I apologize for not including the links about both, but my linking skills must be frustrated as well because I couldn't get my linking to work).
Now I do understand that many of you reading this will find no problem with either event, but it just comes at the wrong time for me. Per the Ancestry.com store Family Tree Maker 2011 comes with "more than 100 new enhancemets" including Smart Stories, improvements to their charting and reporting, additions to their timelines, and a way to rate your citation sources. Those all sound great and being a user of the 2010 software I see places where improvements would benefit my research, but it was the statement that Family Tree Maker 2011 is going to be even more integrated with Ancestry.com that hit my gut a little hard.
I cannot imagine how much more they can be connected. I already get the infamous "shaky leaf" on my family members whenever I open FTM 2010 and when I want to look for some records I have the choice between connecting into Ancestry since I have a subscription, and going onto the internet. Now the description tells me that I will be even more connected to Ancestry and other members.
I have been trying to decide lately whether I want to stay with Family Tree Maker or go to one of the other programs, such as RootsMagic and Legacy, but I just can't decide. I am pleased that FTM is improving their product and I am sure I am going to like most of them if I decide to purchase the software.
I just wish that Ancestry would surprise me and send an email that says something like this:
"Great news!!! You have been a great customer for the past several years, and since we have taken so much of your money, we thought we would send you some upgrades to your Family Tree Maker program.....just because. By the way, we, Ancestry.com, will keep our evergrowing domination of the internet world off your program in the process, allowing you to decide when you need our help."
Now---for the other issue, acquiring ProGenealogists, Inc. For those of you who do not know, Ancestry has a service known as ExpertConnect which allows researchers around the country to provide client work ranging from answering questions, picking up records at repositories, to very intensive research of multiple generations of the clients family. ExpertConnect has been up and running for over a year and I like the process overall, but now I question what role acquiring this company and the researchers that have worked for them is going to have on those who are providing services on ExpertConnect.
I know that not every single record that exists for my ancestors is connected into Ancestry. There are courthouses, libraries, relatives with photos and Bibles, and friends that can tell all kinds of stories about their relationships with my relatives.
I am just wondering when we can expext the announcement that Ancestry has taken over the Family History Library, or the National Archives.