Heads-up to all our readers about a new site (well new to me at least) called TopTenREVIEWS™ which has done a comparison of 10 different genealogy software programs. For those who are new to the field of genealogy there is even a helpful buying guide video which explains how genealogy software works.
Check out the list and you will see some familiar vendors as well as some with which you may not be acquainted. The programs are rated based on feature set, ease of use, reporting & publishing, and help/documentation.
In addition, there are links to vendors who seem to have the lowest on-line price for each software program – and there is even a 20% discount coupon for one vendor, Legacy Family Tree.
I wanted to know more about TopTenREVIEWS™, its review process, how it acquires copies of the software, etc. so I could understand whether or not its site might be of value to the genealogy community. In my e-mails with Brent Ropelato at TopTenREVIEWS™, I was able to get some answers to my inquiries:
- “Once we determine a site category we attempt to find as many products related to that category as possible at which point we then contact the manufacture and request a complimentary copy for our review purposes.”
- “We use each program and then that’s where it gets a little interesting – no 2 sites are alike as far as the types of software and the type of person that will be using the software, so we have to take many things into consideration when we rank the products. One of which is the ease of use of the program and the targeted consumer . . . There are several issues we try to factor in when we determine which program we feel is the best overall for the targeted audience. “
- “After we have determined the ranking order of the products this list is then sent to the marketing department who then contacts the manufactures and sets up an affiliate program with them. As you might guess the manufactures of the higher ranked products love us and the lower ranked manufactures are quite as happy with us. Contrary to what most people think we don’t sell the highest ranking positions – we try to be as non-biased as possible and present what we feel to be a true and accurate review of the products and then let the chips fall where they should.”
- “Our company generates it revenue from advertising and also from the affiliate programs.”
- “. . . not everyone always agrees with us. That’s okay because at worst our site is a great place for people to get a lot of information and a large list of potential products for them to choose from.”
I have to agree with Brent’s last point – at the very least TopTenREVIEWS™ is a good place to start if you are considering the purchase of genealogy software. You can gather some information and links and then make your own decisions as to purchase or whether your own further research is needed.
© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee