Recently there has been quite a bit of writing that I have read from genealogists of all shapes and experiences expressing dissatisfaction with a number of websites that either have been changed recently, or continue to change.
What do all of these websites have in common?
They are FREE! That is - they do not cost the user a dime - only their time.
Following is my discussion of the issues and why I think these folks are missing the point.
Oh, by the way - did I mention that these websites are FREE?
The most recent example is the new rollout of the interface for FamilySearch. There were several well known genealogists who complained about having to perform 4 clicks of a mouse rather than 2, as they had done previous to the website modifications. Good for them I guess, because their complaining led FamilySearch to make a few changes. Of course they could have bookmarked the page that they were interested in, but that apparently was not desired for some reason, or too difficult (that generally requires one click).
Now I have to disclose that I am quite fond of FamilySearch and because of its rather sizable FREE database search capabilities, I was able to find my great grandparents marriage certificate, which by naming the maiden name of my great great grandmother, has led to an entire branch of my family tree that has been awesome and life changing for me.
So here's the deal - I love FamilySearch. If you don't, either don't use it, or at least tone down your complaints or take them up privately with FamilySearch directly.
Facebook is everyone's "whipping boy." It changes all the time, and has had complicated privacy settings in the past and - "oh my God" - it has ads. So does television - but at least with television we get to pay an outrageous amount to get to see these ads (Yes - that is sarcasm).
Facebook is FREE. So to me, ads are not a big deal.
And Facebook has been extremely useful to me in connecting with previously unknown "cousins." On several occasions.
But people love to complain about it - all the time.
Hey - it's FREE - if you don't like it - cancel your subscription.
Google is amazing. There are so many FREE capabilities with Google, that it boggles the mind. Besides searching for ancestors and relatives, I use it for searching books, scholarly articles, newspapers, patents - all FREE. I also use Picasa for online photo albums of my ancestors that my relatives and "unfound" cousins can view - for FREE. I have two Blogger blogs - both FREE. Oh yes - Google Drive provides 5 GB of FREE storage and several very useful applications. And then there is Google PLUS - also FREE.
And yet people like to bash Google because it is perceived as a huge controlling mega monolith that has too much of your private information. Not to mention that they pull the rug away from users by discarding popular features such as Google Reader.
Message to Google - please bring Google Fiber to my town. I will gladly pay for it!
Here's the deal, readers - whether it is FamilySearch, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. (ALL FREE), nobody likes to listen to or read stuff from a WHINER.
You are FREE to whine, bitch, moan, complain, etc. Those rights are guaranteed by our Constitution.
But there are lots of people who are tired of hearing you.