AL-AfricaAmer-L Archives

Archiver > AL-AfricaAmer > 1999-05 > 0926388058

From: "Northernwinds" <>
Subject: Fw: Roots web support.
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 22:00:58 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: John & Jan Radford <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, May 10, 1999 7:30 PM
Subject: Roots web support.

> Hi folks. I am sending this message out to you because it is very
> to all of us that use Rootsweb services. We can use them for free, but it
> cost money to provide these free services. If you can send some financial
> support to them, you will yourself and many others just like yourself. I
> have enjoyed working with you and these lists and county home pages for
> several years now. I have made much more progress in my research through
> Rootsweb services than I could have ever done on my own.
> I copied the message below from Rootsweb with the intention of trying to
> help some. Good luck to all of you in your research.
> This is very important and I hope all of you take the time to heed it's
> message:
> When we launched RootsWeb, we assumed that our users would prefer
> to support us as much as they were able, in exchange for a site
> open to all, without banners plastered all over everything and
> without having resources locked up (as is done at other genealogy
> sites), available only for fees on the order of $60 per year.
> Instead, people can support RootsWeb for as little as $12 per
> year. We thus hoped that a reasonable fraction of our users,
> perhaps half of them, would support us in some way. And because
> we expected support from the community, we made promises to
> projects like USGenWeb that we would freely host them for the
> good of the Internet genealogy community.
> We have no intention of reneging on those early promises, but it
> has been difficult, because the community support we anticipated
> has not been there. Although people use the site like crazy,
> fewer than 7% of our users have chipped in to keep things going.
> The other 93%? Perhaps they're busy, or they're broke, or they
> won't pay unless they have to, or they don't think RootsWeb is
> useful. Who knows? But it means that RootsWeb has run at a cash
> flow loss. In simple terms, Karen Isaacson and Brian Leverich
> have donated not only their time as system administrators but a
> substantial part of their personal resources to provide the
> genealogical community with RootsWeb. The rest of RootsWeb's
> staff have also made substantial contributions.
> Because RootsWeb's costs exceed its income, we can't provide all
> the genealogical facilities we'd like to support. These could
> include online searchable databases of pension records, census
> indexes, vital records, or countless other valuable genealogical
> services that we could easily provide -- if only we could afford
> the staff to support them. And, ultimately, RootsWeb can't even
> continue to exist if we don't bring our costs and revenues into
> balance, something we want to have under control before the
> transition to non-profit status (as opposed to losing money
> status) is completed.
> We are doing what we can to remedy the situation. For instance,
> we are selling banner advertisements where we can. However, this
> alone will never provide enough revenue to cover the costs of the
> unbannered volunteer projects which consume most of RootsWeb's
> resources yet by their very nature produce no direct revenue,
> even as they provide invaluable content to the genealogical
> community.
> The new communities, from their inception, will be fully
> supported by advertising. They will be paying their own way. We
> can shift some of the costs of maintaining the Web, mailing list,
> GenConnect, and search engine servers onto the new communities,
> so that the new communities will subsidize a genealogical
> community that hasn't been supporting itself.
> Although we have been disappointed in the amount of financial
> support of the genealogical community, we would like to express
> our deep gratitude to the writer of the letter above and the
> other 7% of our users who have helped make RootsWeb available to
> the whole community. Without their support and encouragement,
> there would be no RootsWeb.
> If you would like to join the folks who are making RootsWeb
> possible and thus help us bring new genealogical data
> online, freely available to all, please visit:
> <>;
> or send e-mail to:
> John and Jan Radford
> Baton Rouge, La

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