This morning at a very small press conference in Kansas City at the National Genealogical Society annual conference we made a very large announcement.
In fact, we announced something that I have personally hoped for and dreamed of for more than a decade.
Today we announced a partnership between FamilySearch and FamilyLink.com to publish the Family History Library Catalog — the largest single database of genealogy sources in the world — in Web 2.0 fashion.
This means that individual genealogists, librarians, archivists, and others from around the world will be able, when the Catalog 2.0 comes online in the coming months, to enhance and extend the value of the catalog. Users will be able to add new sources that are currently in the library catalog, and thus extend its scope of coverage. They will be able to improve the source descriptions, and even rate and review sources as to their usefulness.
Yesterday we set two traffic records. WorldVitalRecords.com had more than 36,000 unique visitors–6,000 higher than our two previous best days, earlier in April. And We\’re Related on Facebook had more than 105,000 daily active users.
One of the best parts about being an internet entrepreneur is how immediately your actions translate into measureable results. Our team members are working hard on search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing campaigns, and improving our affiliate marketing program. As each channel improves, the overall cumulative results are exciting.
The worldwide reach of the internet never ceases to amaze me. Earlier this week, after the announcement of our World Collection, containing genealogical data from more than 30 countries, I received an internal company email that said:
We now have subscribers from 48 countries. We increased our country count by 5 in January.
The bolded countries are new in January.
World Vital Records President David Lifferth keeps the company well informed about our key metrics. I got this information from him yesterday in an email:
I missed the Stanford Summit (AlwaysOn) this July, but I am registered for the Venture Summit West coming up next week. I look forward to catching up with some friends on the VC side of things and comparing notes with some friends who are CEOs who will be at this conference. I usually attend the AlwaysOn Summit in July at Stanford, but I missed it this year, being in the intense startup mode still at WorldVitalRecords.com.
I spoke today at the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. The meeting was held in the Family History Center.
I started by asking how many wanted me to talk about the history of Ancestry.com, (after all, these people spend all their time researching the past) and how many wanted me to talk about our vision for the future of genealogy at World Vital Records.
We use Qualtrics survey software (which we really like) and have a panel of customers who have agreed to answer survey questions every month. We appreciate the customers who are willing to take time to give us their opinions. We pay a great deal of attention to the feedback. We adjust our work and investment priorities based on what our customers tell us.
Our last survey had 15 questions. We received answers from 1,041 customers. Here are some interesting facts:
The Generations Network, formerly MyFamily.com, announced today a $300 million acquisition by Spectrum Equity, a $4 billion private equity fund with offices in Menlo Park and Boston. It is expected that the current management team will continue to lead the company, which is headquartered in Provo, Utah.
World Vital Records is running more smoothly, and is closer to achieving our near-term financial goals, with sales 136% higher in September than in our best previous month.
Last week I sent an email to the investors in World Vital Records with a bunch of good news. We had a record sales week. We are signing more partnerships. Our marketing programs are gaining momentum. Our content collection is growing fast. One of them emailed back with a question: how are our Facebook apps doing?