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market size and its composition - with America being the classical immigration country.
What has to be highlighted is that genealogy is not only a market led and dominated by
enterprises based in America, they also expand, i.e. integrate into their stock of information
European databases.With about seventy percent of North-Americans who can trace their
family history back to the United Kingdom or Ireland, this is first of all about archival data
from there.
The expansion of large US family history providers towards Europe is not insignificant.
As David Thomas from the Public Record Office, UK, puts it:"There are two very large
American companies, Genealogy.com and Ancestry.com.They have both enormous
amounts of money, $35 million in the case of Ancestry.com and probably a similar amount
for Genealogy.com.They dominate the US market, and you know, they are fast and efficient
and prevent other people from getting into the market by getting there first, and they are
interested in moving into Europe." (DigiCULT ERT, Edinburgh, July 24, 2001)
Ancestry.com actually offers subscribers to search in a new UK/Ireland Collection,
which includes over 50 million names, for $24.95/quarterly, $69.95/year. It seems, Euro-
pean genealogy service providers will have to invest heavily if they want to prevent the large
US companies from conquering the European virtual origins space.
Family historians: What do they want, and who are they?
Family historians want much more than data
Finding information on their ancestors in online databases is an important line of interest
for family historians.They look for key data as for example birth, marriage, residence,
immigration, etc. Having new sources and research methods at hand, gathering additional
information, to come to a more complete picture, is clearly one of the things they want.
Because without information no genealogical family tree can be built and no long family
history told.
But, from searching through the major web sites, one can definitely conclude that true
family historians want much more than just a family tree, built with one of the many
software packages that are on the market.They also want to share their findings and tips
with other searchers, make their own web sites, and develop a rich and well structured
representation of the family history, including pictures of ancestors, images, official docu-
ments, etc., as well as bring in historic, geographic, social and cultural contexts. Finally,
driving this demanding hobby, they want to create a historical identity for themselves and
their family, within a broader community.
Family historians: Who are they - typically?
One thing is sure: Family historians and genealogists are not kids and teens. According to
a Media Metrix/Jupiter Communications survey, based on a sample of more than 55,000
Internet users in U.S. homes and businesses, it can be assumed that the typical genealogist is
most likely a person above 55, and female.
The survey found that females account for 50.4 percent of U.S. Internet users in May
2000 (1999: 45,5 percent), with some other interesting results as for example: Girls aged
between 12 to 17 increased their presence 126% from 1999 to 2000, and women older than
55 showed an increase of 110%. (Weise, 2000) It also illustrates that different Web sites
appeal to women, as they get older."Among those aged between 24 to 34, when many
women are starting families, the most popular Web sites are Babygear.com, Pampers.com
and Ibaby.com. (...) Among the 55 and up set, genealogy is all the rage", as Washington Post
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VIII EXPLOITATION