Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Heritage and World Vital Records

You may have heard by now that My Heritage has bought World Vital Records. That could be important to us on at least two levels. First, as genealogy researchers, our data availability may be impacted. It is difficult to see how this might manifest itself, in reality it would serve no one's interest to restrict data.

But we may see some version of this in perhaps higher access fees (World Vital Records is a pay site). Or perhaps not. Decisions like that are usually made at coporate levels and we just end up holding on for the ride, and ultimately voting with our purchase or lack of purchase.

About all that is clear to me is that the subscription discount the PGS members enjoy is still substantial...and I confirmed that with the folks at World Vital Records just recently after the purchase took place. There is only one level of subscription to WVR now, and it costs about $149 a year. We realize a savings of a bit over 45%.

If you recall, earlier this year Ancestry bought Footnote (now Fold3)--another site for which our members continue realize a discount (about 50%).

This type of corporate buying and selling is not something that should come as a surprise to us. After all, genealogy is an area of great public interest right now and thus a source of consumer dollars, and that translates to market opportunities. It does not matter what the economic area is, if profits are there to be made, then this sort of capitalist posturing is to be expected.

What I do know is that typically it all shakes out for the best (I know, I know, I'm a Pollyanna), and that your society is doing all it can to secure subscription benefits for you.

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