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popular online destinations, with key genealogy sites numbering among the top 50 sites in
page views.The usage of the sites' various services is enormous. For example:
Genealogy.com, launched in November 1999, as early as January 2000 it had announced
that its GenForum message board had surpassed a total of three million messages posted.
(Sources: <http://www.genealogy.com/press-051600.html> and <.../press-012700.html>)
A market study conducted by Maritz Marketing Research Inc.
(<http://www.maritzresearch.com>), a survey that also included a poll to look into the
popularity of genealogy, found that "120 million adult Americans have an interest in
genealogy (33% more than five years earlier). Genealogy continues to gain in popularity --
in fact, it's the number two hobby in the United States. Books and software programs
abound -- and the Internet has made digging up family roots even more accessible."
Beyond that, the market study highlighted that about 35 million people have used the
Internet more or less extensive for family history research.These were, of course, results that
really hit the news on the genealogy web sites.
(Sources: <http://www.genealogy.com/press-051600 and /press-071701>)
Added to this should be, that genealogy is a demand-driven market. Genealogists explore
the Internet for new sources, and these are not only databases that might contain some
information on ancestors.They want to create a family history, unfold it, tell and illustrate it
in an imaginative way (e.g. a richly illustrated family history album).Therefore many other
historical sources (manuscripts, local periodicals, images, maps, etc.) are relevant. As a
Scottish participant in the DigiCULT-study stated:"When we [SCRAN] started out our
web site, the majority of clients we received were genealogical or family history clients."
(DigiCULT ERT, Edinburgh, July 24, 2001) There are about 60 million people world wide
who can claim Scottish ancestry.
Genealogy Top Sites & Lists
<http://worldwide-top100.net/gen/>
<http://www.genealogy.org/genseite/>
<http://www.cyndislist.com>
Articles & Press information
ContentBiz (2001): Resource Review: Selling Subscriptions to Internet Content,
May 24, 2001. <http://www.contentbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=1690>
Recent Maritz Poll Shows Explosion in Popularity of Genealogy.
<http://www.genealogy.com/press-051600.html>
Genealogy.com Reaches Major Milestones as Popularity of Online Family History
Research Grows. <http://www.genealogy.com/press-012700.html>
Genealogy.com Plants the Seeds for Your Family Tree. <http://www.genealogy.com/press--
071701.html>
American companies clearly are in the lead, and expanding
Providing genealogy related information and making a business out of it is clearly a
domain of American companies. As a matter of fact, we could not find any genealogy
service provider in Europe, that could compare in someway to the leading American family
history web sites (e.g. with regard to appeal, range of services and products, marketing).
This might be first of all due to the huge investments needed to develop such a business,
starting from digitising archival records up to developing a highly integrated system, not
only in terms of technology, but also with regard to partnerships, development of additional
products, marketing channels, etc. A second important factor is of course the potential
VIII EXPLOITATION
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