Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1268558203

From: Jonathan Day <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Are the testing companies being guided to invest inthewrong things for genealogy?.
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 01:16:43 -0800 (PST)

I agree organization is the key but the spreadsheet is already being sorted row-wise and column-wise by some data probably somewhere else in the database. It would not take a person long to add the means to pick how the data is sorted. (Half hour, tops, to write the code. Same again to import mutation rates and other common criteria.)

As for how well a given test sells, the market won t buy what the market doesn t see. The advanced tests are poorly described, poorly promoted and poorly handled by ysearch (and mtsearch for full mtdna results). If nobody knows there is more data to be had, they won t obtain it. FTDNA are ultimately responsible there.

Finally, the results take too long to generate on ftdna and ysearch, often producing error messages and/or truncated tables. This is a product of badly-written database searches on a badly-optimized (or very efficiently pesimized) database, probably running on a Windows server from the stone age. It would take someone of my experience a week or two to bring up to the speed people expect of websites. Ideally, it would even be as fast as a software engineer could produce and still respect themselves in the morning.

On Sat Mar 13th, 2010 4:53 PM PST Alister John Marsh wrote:

>In your blog you suggested various ways of putting the markers tested by
>FTDNA beyond 67 into panels. I would be happy for those solutions, but my
>suggestion would be two panels, approximately equal in size, one of fast
>markers, one of slow.
>If people on limited budgets could select the panel of either fast or slow
>markers, they can focus on markers better suited to their particular time
>frame of interest.
>My estimate is that nearer to the present, the fast makers are very useful,
>but nearer to 1,000 years ago, the slow markers are more reliable. I am
>reluctant to put an exact date in the transition of usefulness between fast
>and slow, as the science is not that exact.
>These ideas have been suggested many times over past years. It would appear
>that this suggested reorganization is a low priority for FTDNA, and I can to
>some extent sympathize. I would probably be the first to appreciate any new
>developments which FTDNA are working on instead of reorganizing markers into
>different groups. ((Thinking/ dreaming out loud... Wouldn't it be great if
>FTDNA were working on using new technologies to offer a ten million base
>slice of Y-DNA served up in a single test with new technologies!))
>I do however believe FTDNA would in the short term sell more tests if they
>rationalized the advanced markers groups into ways better suited to the
>customer's needs, so they in my view would get a pay back even if the
>payback was not in a way which is easily measured.
>I would guess that to an accountant, the current sales of advanced markers,
>perhaps often sold singly rather than in batches, are a less profitable part
>of the business. But if FTDNA marketed the advanced markers in customer
>oriented batches, and included them in FTDNA-TiP calculations, they would
>perhaps become near as profitable as the 38-67 batch.
>I would guess that if they did nothing other than include all of their
>advanced markers in FTDNA-TiP, they would have people ordering them just to
>get a more statistically accurate TMRCA estimate.
>I don't recall FTDNA stating on this list in recent times if they do have
>any short term or long term plans to rationalize the way they market the
>existing markers which they test.
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