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As noted above, beside Ancestry.com there are the two community web sites that are
linked with this commercial arm of the MyFamily.com, Inc. family history network:
MyFamily.com (<http://www.myfamily.com>) is a community platform for families, provides
free web space and supports the building of private web sites. Families can post news, create
family albums, hold live voice and text chats and maintain a calendar of events in a secure,
password-protected environment.
RootsWeb.com (<http://www.rootsweb.com>) is a free online community for family
historians.The site contains interactive guides and research tools for tracing family histories.
RootsWeb also "boasts" approximately 22,000 mailing lists and 175,000 message boards.
Providers of subscription site management technologies
<http://www.emeta.com>
<http://www.membergate.com>
<http://www.webonthefly.com>
Affiliate programs: The search box out on as many sites as possible
Observing the practices of a leading online information provider that really accumulates
subscribers, one thing seems clear: Ancestry.com obviously knows how to get visitors to its
web sites, turn them into users and subscribers, and keep them.There is no miracle behind
this, it is a set of well combined methods, of which one online method merits a closer look.
It is not only used by Ancestry.com, because it suits online information providers very well.
Rather than being "aggressive", it is highly intelligent.
An affiliate program establishes partnerships whereby other web sites can generate
revenue by offering access to content of the program provider, which is in genealogy of
course a searchable database.The advantage is that the user does not leave the affiliate's web
site, because the search box is placed there. (For examples of such boxes from different
genealogy content providers see: <http://worldwide-top100.net/gen/index.html>)
The principle is excellently described by Origins.net, which also has an affiliate program:
"We have developed unique interactive search boxes that allow your users to search our
databases without ever leaving your site. Only when your users have found something of
interest will they be directed to Origins.net.This means that you don't lose your own users
until they are ready to spend money at Origins - which makes you money!"
(<http://www.origins.net/affiliate.html>) Origins.net offers 10 to 15% commission of
everything users pay for its services, and promises a check each month a partner earns $25
or more.
In comparison Ancestry.com is and describes itself as a giant. It promotes its affiliate
program, saying that "We pay more than $100,000 per month in commissions; we have
hundreds of successful affiliates - including six who earn more than $5,000 per month and
dozens more who earn more than $1,000 per quarter."
(<http://www.ancestry.com/home/partner/affiliate.asp>) It also offers to partners
assistance in creating genealogy pages, get more visitors and of course successfully promote
Ancestry on the site (which can bring both partners revenues); the best web site with an
Ancestry search box is said to have a 17% click rate. Ancestry.com affiliate partners can earn
up to $40 for every one who becomes a subscriber.
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VIII EXPLOITATION
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