Friday, October 10, 2008

Live Roots Launched Today!

I've been very actively involved in online genealogy since 1985. I've seen how the practice of genealogy research has radically evolved in a relatively short period of time. At the same time, I've seen how the rapid changes spurned by the widespread adoption of the Internet have made the pursuit of family history more challenging than ever. It has become almost effortless to locate vast amounts of information. Yet, a tremendous effort is required to determine if any of this information is truly relevant to the research in question.

It was just about a year ago when, during a conversation with a peer, I began to realize that this problem is becoming even more of an issue with the entrance of additional data providers (e.g. into the genealogy market. That's when I conceived the idea of Live Roots. What if there was one place you could go to see not only what's new, but what's being called new, but really isn't. Everyone's genealogy budget is tight, so doesn't it make sense to be diligent about your spending and make sure that if you're going to subscribe to another genealogy site that the resources it has aren't already on sites that you are a subscriber (or even worse: available from a free service).

I'm realistic, however, and realize that there's no way to launch a web site with these lofty objectives addressed from the onset. It will take months (possibly even years) to carefully review each item in the catalog to determine the source. And in some cases it will require the cooperation of the data provider to answer my inquiry for source details when they aren't clearly listed on their site.

Please do not expect Live Roots to have all the answers -- it's just not possible to achieve 100% coverage of an industry that continues to grow at a remarkable pace. While many genealogy sites boast about the large numbers of links they've captured, I plan to devote an equal amount of (or perhaps even more) time towards reviewing the quality of the resources cataloged.

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