APG-L Archives

Archiver > APG > 2007-11 > 1196400882

From: "Richard A. Pence" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Ancestry/Google/Wayback Cacheing
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 00:34:42 -0500
References: <677301180711291752o309302dp966250c7267e3f35@mail.gmail.com>

I have already granted that Ancestry did is usual bad PR job. I speak with
some authority on this, for I traveled the U.S. for 15 years providing
guidance to small businesses whose lack of PR savvy put them in deep trouble
with their customers. The most common reason for these PR problems was a
failure to tell the customers what they were doing and why.

That said, I repeat my contention that most of the complaints about
Ancestry's search process were wrong-headed and without merit.

I will give you a perfect example of a wrong-headed complaint. It is lifted
from your message below.

>>>Most of the complaints against Ancestry came early in the day when
> there were more serious concerns, such as charging for other people's
> content<<<

That statement is simply not true and I find that it incredible that anyone
would repeat it in this list. As any professional here can tell you, are
not paying for "other people's work" - what you are paying for is the use of
Ancestry's search process. Anyone at any time was free to find "other
people's work" in any way they choose. In any event, Ancestry buckled to
these complaints and almost immediately

Ancestry already has another search engine available only to subscribers and
this finds a whole lot of "other people's work."

Suppose I hired an APG pro to do some looking for me, both at the free sites
on the Internet or at a Family History Center where all information is
"free." Would that pro be charging me for "other people's work"? Nope. As I
said in a previous message, what I would be paying for is the work in
FINDING other people's work.

Richard P.
Fairfax, Virginia

----- Original Message -----
From: "John" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 8:52 PM
Subject: [APG] Ancestry/Google/Wayback Cacheing

>> It could be argued that what Ancestry did is a bit different from
>> Google's
>> cached pages in that Google updates the cache regularly which seems to be
>> one
>> of the legal saving graces for Google. BUT...I still don't see how the
>> caching by Ancestry was any different from the Wayback Machine which
>> permanently
>> archives old pages...many that are under copyright and many that have
>> been
>> changed or removed completely.
> Neither Google nor Wayback will cache/archive a page if there is
> specific code on the page that tells their 'bots' not to cache/archive
> it.
> Ancestry claimed that they didn't cache any page thusly coded.
> However, there were also claims that some no-archive coded pages were
> cached.
> Most of the complaints against Ancestry came early in the day when
> there were more serious concerns, such as charging for other people's
> content, and lack of attribution. If they had stuck it out after
> correcting the majority of their blunders, I think most of the
> community could have accepted it.
> You can praise them all you want for their 'quickness' in answering
> the complaints, but it still means that they released the database
> without noticing these 'bugs'. Lack of clear attribution is more than
> a 'whoopsie'! They're not an amateur single-person site, which I
> might give some leeway in making mistakes. They're a major industry
> player, a corporation with annual revenues of over $150 million
> according to Wikipedia. They need to have some system in place to
> catch these errors before they are made. And if they had such a
> system, it should have been good enough to catch them.
> "Anger may be foolish and absurd, and one may be wrongly irritated,
> but a man never feels outraged unless in some respect he is
> fundamentally right." -- Victor Hugo
> There was more than anger on several genealogy blogs that morning.
> There was outrage. And in my opinion, someone at Ancestry should have
> seen it coming.
> John Newmark
> St. Louis, MO
> .
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