A bona fide bombshell reverberated among genealogy bloggers as Ancestry.com announced it was discontinuing the Expert Connect referral network.
No reason given, although the announcement said Expert Connect was a “positive experience.” I was neither a provider nor a user, but as a news consumer I had to wonder about the backstory.
This service paired professional researchers with potential clients, with Ancestry taking a portion of the proceeds. Leland Meitzler says the shutdown was to be expected in the light of Ancestry’s acquisition of ProGenealogists, but to judge from many comments sections, a lot of Expert Connect providers were caught on the hop.
Thomas McEntee posts additional information from Ancestry. No more new project posts after February 3. And providers with ongoing projects that are likely to extend beyond March 18 (the date Ancestry pulls the final plug) are advised to work with (and bill) clients directly, using Ancestry’s message boards to keep in touch. Ancestry encourages researchers to “continue relationships with the clients you have made connections with along the way.” [Ed. Note: Well, duh.]
Kerry Scott at Clue Wagon wonders aloud: Is Ancestry Dumb? [Shorter Kerry: Probably not, but only probably.]
Randy Seaver considers ProGenealogist’s redesign, which ties the appearance more closely to the look of Ancestry.com.
And Marian Pierre-Louis at Roots and Rambles has practical suggestions for researchers pondering life after the dis-Connect.
James Tanner discusses, in a more general way, the ways tough economic times are reflected in genealogy-related businesses.