Expert Connect at


This article in an opinion piece.

For a few years, Ancestry had advertised a service called "Expert Connect".  They are now in the process of shutting it down, and all I can say is good riddance.  A service in my opinion planned, created, and run by people who didn't understand the marketplace and were not willing to listen to their customers and vendors.

I tried to sign up to be an Expert a few times through this service.  It was in my opinion, an absolute mess.  Convoluted, bizarre and extremely difficult to understand and use.  And I'm a computer programmer!

In addition to which, Ancestry apparently never learned the lesson that the marketplace wants to decide what the marketplace wants.  The idea of credentialed and vetted experts, went out when Ebay, Amazon and Wikipedia changed the landscape.    Ancestry provided only a few ways to establish that you were an "Expert" in their view, limiting the number of experts who could join, to a vanishingly small handful.

The problem with a small handful of experts, is that customers exist all over the US, but their recognized experts were only in a few areas.  Thus Ancestry was never truly able to cover any significant territory and most customers had no choices whatsoever.

What should have done, in my opinion, is give a much broader definition to who was considered an approved Expert.  For example I've published books on the local area of my interest, but that's not a criteria that they recognize.  Bizarre.

In my last searches in the internal search engine, I still saw the notice pop up to hire someone near the local records, or something like that.  So I sent a message to the help desk asking when they are going to shut this off.  I got a reply 18 Mar 2011, that the service would be shut down in one or two weeks.