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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So What Do We Think About The Expert Connect Hoopla You Ask - Hmmm?

If you’re in the genealogy community you would have had to be on the moon or stranded in the rain forest not to have heard the news about Expert Connect’s closing their doors. Since that time we’ve been asked consistently how we feel about it and our answer has been consistent as well – we sympathize for all those impacted by the act. The why’s and what for’s of Ancestry’s decision just couldn’t compare to our immediate question of what can we do right at this minute to help those many who have chosen to join us now at Genealogy Freelancers.

I have no problem admitting that when Expert Connect opened their doors we were at first shocked and then deflated, but we picked ourselves up and got off the pity pot. Our reasons for having started GF had nothing to do with who wears the bigger shoes. It was and still is about genealogy. It was and is about presenting a platform for both client and specialist to connect. That didn’t change when EC opened nor will it change now that they have decided to end that aspect of their services. We are who we are and those who offer services on a similar platform are who they are. I commend them all for their uniqueness. It makes no sense to alienate and better sense to recognize them for a job well done.

So back to the what can we do question. Well to be honest, we’ve never been a massive entity. We never had or claimed to have the deep pockets of a mega-company. Our idea had been to grow and throw all proceeds back into the premise, but then, well you all know who came into the picture. A setback sure, but we made a decision then and there that we would stay put and continue to provide what we believed in. What we still have is tenacity and now with this sudden situation at hand we have been networking around the clock to try and help all of you in some way to continue with what you love and do best. We promise not to promise a miracle, but we do promise to continue to try all we can to find a way to make you and we a team that we can all be proud of.

If tomorrow our boards were filled to the brim with project requests could we handle it? Yes, the site is already setup for full service. We’re set for simple searches to custom projects along with a host of other specialties. We have specialists in almost every country so the international capability is there as well. We have been evolving from the start, but soon you’ll be seeing big changes to the site design and function based on yours and some other recent suggestions. We realize there can always be room for improvement, but we’re at a place now where the changes can be made through a seamless transition. Would it be scary if tomorrow our project board was filled to the brim? Oh yes, shaking knees scary, but it would be absolutely wonderful to make it happen for you and so incredible to be even a tiny part of your process … just awesome! If tomorrow we stand as we have been then we again will give it all we can. We'll continue to respond to enquiries with the same customer care we pride ourselves on and we'll continue to find a way to grow and improve. We’re all genealogists here on staff so being dogged is something we know you all understand.

We want to thank those who have been tirelessly spreading the word about us. That was such an unexpected and incredible joy to wake up to. For those who have made a transition to our site after the recent news, we appreciate the support more than you know. To our long-time members we say thanks for sticking with us and for believing in what we would like to do. Hopefully we can soon make it all worth your while. Our hearts are most definitely in this for the long haul.

Whatever happens out of this hoopla we want you to know that we're on your side. Keep your heads held high and ALWAYS keep the faith that the profession you've chosen is one of the most beautiful there is. We’re in this together so keep on spreading the word.