Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-01 > 1264432274

From: Mary Douglass <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] An Ethical Question
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 07:11:14 -0800 (PST)
References: <><>
In-Reply-To: <>

In my opinion and take that for what's its worth, this company is trying to ride the coat tails of successful, professional genealogists to boost their own credibility.

I've experienced this type of action with other organizations trying to attach themselves to the credibility of the Christian Motorcyclists Association ministry to bikers.

In both instances, the reply was *No, thank you.* However, as an independent business person, you are free to make your own decision.
Mary Clement Douglass
Your Kansas research specialist

From: Karen Rhodes <>
Sent: Mon, January 25, 2010 12:26:26 AM
Subject: [TGF] An Ethical Question

The other day I received an e-mail, which I have reproduced, redacted, here:

> First and foremost, please accept my compliments on your beautiful blog.
> My name is ________ and I work as ________________ for _____________
> (a genealogy website: URL redacted). With over ____ million
> users worldwide and is one of the most popular free Genealogy sites in
> the world.
> I would like to know if you would be interested in writing a post
> about [the said genealogy website]. Here are some of the many free features offered:
> [there followed a list of three features, with URLs]
> If time is an issue for you, I could provide you with a text written
> by me, and if it finds your approval, feel free to post it.
> In any case, we at __________ would truly like to hear your feedback
> on our site and free services. By receiving the feedback from expert
> genealogist like you, we can continue our on-going improvements.
> Looking forward to hearing from you.

Being awfully busy, I responded that it won't be til next weekend that I
can even give this any consideration, but also said that I would be
honest in my evaluation, let the chips fall where they may, and that I
would also put up a disclaimer that I was asked by them to do this --
albeit they made no offer of, nor would I accept, any remuneration or
inducement from a particular company to write a review of their product
(though if a third-party, recognized publisher wants to pay me to write
independent reviews, I'm happy to do that, too).

I'm not terribly swayed by the flatery in the first line, nor by that in
the last paragraph.  My blog isn't particularly beautiful, though I try
to have interesting content (knowing full well that the population that
will be interested in said content will be rather tiny).  I also, any
time I hear the word "expert," think of my father-in-law's definition of
that word:  "Ex" is a has-been, and a "spurt" is a drip under pressure! 
By no stretch of the imagination do I consider myself anywhere near
being an "expert genealogist."

My question is -- especially to the more experienced in the group --
would you do this?  What other conditions would you put on it (other
than speaking your mind, and posting a disclaimer making it perfectly
clear that the company had asked for the review and had made no offer of

It's frankly a website I had never heard of before, and I will probably
go visit it and do a lot of poking around, anyway, just out of
curiosity.  How can I find out if it is legit or a fly-by-night?  I am
not going to be in the habit of publishing someone else's canned content
on my blog, either.  All my content on my blog is my own, period.

Karen Rhodes
Middleburg, Clay County, Florida

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