APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-09 > 1221541268
From: Ray Beere Johnson II <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Genealogyfreelancers.com
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 22:01:08 -0700 (PDT)
--- On Mon, 9/15/08, Jackie King <> wrote:
> A little further tracing and you can trace this back to a
> company at http://www.innovateit.com/.
> They have such *noted* sites as getafreelancer.com and
> I was not impressed. Your mileage may vary.
Actually, this is a very basic emerging concept on the Web, one of the most simple and direct ways to connect buyer and seller. Among other things, I track certain trends on the Net, and this is a model that has a lot of strength and appeal. If this site fails to become the "go to" site for genealogy, one like it will almost certainly do so, unless a newer, better model emerges. I don't see much application of social principles to rank researchers, which is a reasonably effective control on quality, but that will no doubt be added as the site grows.
I haven't seen any genealogical organisation making any efforts as well adapted to what the average Net user expects and is comfortable with. And if any of you have thoughts of setting up a competing site, I think you'll find others with far deeper pockets than yours, including InnovateIt, are already there. The APG's "umbrella" was a flashy, expensive, but utterly outdated effort to keep up with trends very few of you know exist, much less understand.
I have no doubt many of you will scream, stick your heads in the sand, and insist such a site cannot satisfy consumers. Yet, in many other niches, such "e-lance" sites are already succeeding quite nicely at that, offering similar sites that incorporate client/buyer feedback. It seems even a simple feedback mechanism is remarkably effective at weeding out the bad apples. "Self-policing", the APG's answer, is actually far less effective.
Many professions are horrified at the development of such sites, or other models that apply similar principles, and when you strip away the fancy arguments, they boil down to two things. One, such a site allows the consumer to find the lowest possible price easily for professional services. Two, it allows the consumer to provide feedback so that professionals who satisfy their clients are rewarded, while those who leave them unhappy go out of business. In other words, the very things you may not like about it are the things that make such sites popular among the public - because they allow them to look out for their own interests. Argue all you want over whether the public is capable of judging the quality of research, etc. - this is the way things are likely to work in the future. Most people know when they're happy - and that's what matters to them, not whether someone else approves.
Welcome it or hate it, that is how things tend to work on the Net. Few battles have ever been won when opposing the interest of the general public on a matter they've already made up their minds about. Businesses use this model - successfully - to outsource all kinds of professional work to freelancers, or e-lancers as they are often called now. Enough people have seen such an arrangement work, in their office or for a friend's business, you aren't likely to convince many of them it is a bad idea.
Ray Beere Johnson II