[Editor's Note: since the demise of Ancestry.com's Expert Connect, many groups, organizations and resources have stepped up to fill the void. One such venture is the Directory of Genealogists recently started by our colleague Stephanie Hoover. Here is a recent press release about the Directory of Genealogists.]
Free Directory of Genealogists Debuts This Month
A new web site set to debut this month offers both genealogists and those looking to hire them a valuable free service: a worldwide directory of professional researchers.
The recent closure of Ancestry’s ExpertConnect program prompted Pennsylvania genealogist Stephanie Hoover to create a tool that fills the resulting large void in marketing and networking opportunities. Her answer is a simple concept, but one she hopes will be highly beneficial.
“I know that there are professional organizations for genealogists,” says Hoover, “and even other directories. But this directory will be a little different. For one thing, the scope is quite large. Many former Expert Connect researchers have asked to be included so the directory already represents a number of countries outside the United States. And, basic listings will always be free. A genealogist will never have to pay to have his or her name on DirectoryOfGenealogists.com.”
Hoover is currently absorbing all costs to design and host the site, gather researcher profiles, and database this information. “I have had generous offers from participants,” she says, “but at this point it would be difficult to delegate tasks.” She has also taken on the role of social media coordinator using services like Twitter and LinkedIn to publicize the directory.
“I believe it’s time for genealogists to take control of their own industry,” Hoover says. “Trade groups are in the business of growing the group – and that is certainly reasonable. ExpertConnect was a revenue generator for Ancestry – and here again, that’s to be expected. But this directory benefits no one but the researchers. We are the ones who know what we need to survive in this field. We are the ones who know that clients need direction and education. We are the ones who need one another, to compare notes and share stories of both success and failure. That is my goal for this web site.”
A special discussion board, to be called “The D.o.G. Pound,” will be a researchers-only forum where genealogists can communicate with one another privately. This service will not go live until the directory is posted.
Hoover is honest about possible future premium content on DirectoryOfGenealogists.com. “Once the directory is operational, and if I am confident that premium services or listings benefit researchers, I may eventually charge a nominal annual fee for enhanced directory entries. As I’ve already mentioned, however, basic listings will always be free and I can promise that any future premium fees would be affordable for one-man-shops or part-time genealogists.”
Researchers wishing to be considered for inclusion in the directory can complete a simple form found at: http://tiny.cc/qxgen.
While the web site is still currently under construction, the basic design and framework are clearly visible to visitors who are encouraged to go to DirectoryOfGenealogists.com and offer feedback. Comments or questions about the directory can be emailed to Stephanie Hoover at: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Twitter account has also been established: http://www.twitter.com/DirOfGens.
©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee