The Oprah Effect on Genealogy?

Who Do You Think You Are?

On Tuesday, 9 March 2010, the Oprah Winfrey Show focused on genealogy with Lisa Krudrow, a producer of Who Do You Think You Are?, and Emmit Smith, a subject of the show, appearing to discuss not only WDYTYA but the importance of tracing one’s family history.

Since the premiere of the show last Friday, 5 March 2010, I’ve been following the web traffic at Ancestry.  According to the Wolfram-Alpha semantic search engine (working with Alexa data), daily page views have increased from around 23 million per day to 28 million and about 1.1 million daily visitors to 1.3 million daily visitors.

Oprah Effect on Genealogy

Most of the traffic increase started on Saturday, 6 March 2010 with steady increases over the weekend.  It remains to be seen what effect the Oprah show will have on genealogy and traffic at sites like Ancestry.  And if there are large increases, if those increases can be sustained over a longer period of time.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.


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