A few readers have taken us to task for not writing here about Geneanet, the largest and most successful of the French genealogy subscription websites. It has gone through a slight remodel, with a couple of new screens and a different colour to the logo. By many, it is considered to be equal to or better than the US version of Ancestry.com. It is multi-lingual, has its own blog, a newsletter, and different levels of search capacity for different prices.
The truth is, it maddens us. We are maddened -- and insulted -- by the way the screen is full of flashing sushi ads, under which is the plug to pay the subscription and have "ad-free browsing". We are maddened by the "alert" programme which sends names from every search we ever made to our e-mail address, every time someone adds the name to their personal tree. We are maddened by the mess of the site, the mixed quality of the resources, the innumerable dead ends of so many of the "results" of a search. Why, when just about every Departmental archive has a beautifully organised website for free, is this subscription site such mayhem?
We do not mind so much the points system that is an alternative to a year's subscription (ten points to a euro). This actually seems rather a good idea. We like that it has a link to the collections of Geneaservice, saving us on at least one subscription. There is no doubt that we use Geneanet, and often, especially for the books in its "library", but we would love to see it tidied up and the quality of the information improved.
Feel free, Dear Readers, to post your defenses of Geneanet; perhaps we can be convinced it has some greater value than is apparent.
©2010 Anne Morddel