Tuesday 9 January 2018

Genealogy Holiday Sales Announcements and New Year’s Resolutions

If you read as many blogs as I do, you will no doubt have been amazed (and somewhat annoyed) with the many sites that, over and before the holidays, going back to the American Thanksgiving period, passed on advertising and promotions to readers – informing them how they could acquire all manner of genealogy-related products and services. We are used to being bombarded with commercial ads from local department stores and electronic outlets. I was not quite prepared for the barrage of entreaties from bloggers and commercial genealogy suppliers doing the same thing.

If there was any doubt that genealogy has become a business, then the emails of the past couple of months has dispelled that notion.

There are/were some good deals out there but was there really the need to send out daily messages (actually multiple messages daily by some people) to remind us of our good fortune? And why does everyone have to wait until a special occasion to offer people a deal. I found a few promotions pretty much the same as what I receive on a regular basis, with free days to search certain databases of commercial sites or special prices on publications. Which begs the question, how is it then a Special Deal?

What annoyed me was the profusion of messages from serious bloggers, whose ideas and comments I generally enjoy and learn from, strongly oriented to sales pitches. I suspect they make a few dollars if readers click on their links and buy something – and that’s ok, I’ve looked at the idea myself – but – People – enough is enough already!

Now, seemingly, everyone lately wants to get on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon to stimulate researchers to (re)organize their files and renew their resolve to work in more orderly or effective ways. I think that message gets out regularly. At least, I often see it come up in blog posts throughout the year. It’s why I read so many genealogy blogs. January is just another month. The idea of doing good (or better) research never gets old. We don’t need to have a special day (January 1st) to finally take the bull by the horns and improve our ways.

If you need to make a resolution to lose weight or stop smoking then it likely won’t be very effective. The same applies to genealogy research. Helpful ideas about research methods – normally provided in abundance by most bloggers – are the most effective ways to help people. And those are appreciated on a continuing basis, not through being incentivized to purchase the latest software or book or scanning tool.