I really don’t want to keep beating a dead horse but sometimes you just have to write a follow-up. On Friday, May 14th, I posted “Is An Award Always An Award?” regarding my take on being named to MyHeritige’s list of Top 100 Genealogy Sites. Yesterday, Sebastien from MyHeritage made a comment to that post. The following is the text of his statement (you can also read his statement in the comments section of that post):
Thanks for the lively debate on the Blog Awards.
As you may realize there is no such thing as a perfect list. Are intention was to bring so much deserved attention to many of the genealogy outside of the limelight.
Any situation can be manipulated to see a corporate guise, but an overarching goal of MyHeritage is democratize genealogy. Take a look at the list and one can find a very broad document outlining some great avenues to information available online. There are many more out there, and we’ll continue to cover these and others that are doing outstanding work to the best of our ability.
If you have any direct questions concerning the award campaign please feel free to contact me : email@example.com
Again, we truly appreciate your feedback and your insights, so keep it up so we can get better at our selections and dialogue in the future!
So now not only is their list of Top 100 Genealogy Sites not really the TOP sites but the “overarching goal of MyHeritage is democratize genealogy”. Does anyone even know what that means? I thought the blogosphere was already open to anyone with a computer and an opinion. As someone with less than six months of blogging experience, I can attest to the welcoming atmosphere of the genealogy blogging community.
Sebastien did not actually address my issue with their award in his comment to me but he did ask that any questions concerning the award campaign be e-mailed to him. Below is my response.
I have published your comments below to my blog post “Is An Award Always An Award?” but since you ask for an e-mail regarding any direct questions about the award campaign I’m also responding to you by e-mail (although I will probably post this information to my blog as well). I thought my post explained my issue with your award but, since you did not address that in your response to me, I’ll try to explain my problem with the award again
When you gave your award the title “Top 100 Genealogy Sites” and then defined the criteria for choosing who received the award to actually say that these aren’t really the TOP genealogy sites, but instead are some nice lesser known sites then your motives seemed questionable to me (and at least a few others based on some of the comments floating around). I have yet to read that your company understands that the “award” was, at best, poorly named but instead you continue to promote it (like with your response to me). You now say your goal is to “democratize genealogy”. I’m sorry but I have no idea what that even means but again, that doesn’t sound like criteria for determining the top sites.
When I received your company’s e-mail on 1/24/2010 offering to send me text to post on my blog regarding your site, I was offended. The text of that e-mail is included below in red in case you aren’t aware of that mailing. Any blogger who would accept an offer like this would lose all credibility with me and I would hope with many others.
First and foremost, please accept my compliments on your beautiful blog.
My name is Silvio and I work as content editor for My Heritage (www.myheritage.com). With over 30 million users worldwide and is one of the most popular free Genealogy sites in the world.
I would like to know if you would be interested in writing a post about My Heritage. Here are some of the many free features offered:
1 – Free Family Tree Builder: http://www.myheritage.com/genealogy
2 – Genealogy Research Center: http://www.myheritage.com/research
3 – Family Sites: http://www.myheritage.com/site-center
If time is an issue for you, I could provide you with a text written by me, and if it finds your approval, feel free to post it.
In any case, we at My Heritage would truly like to hear your feedback on our site and free services. By receiving the feedback from expert genealogist like you, we can continue our on-going improvements.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Below in blue is my response which was sent on 1/25.
“I have no interest in promoting your site – most especially with your own words. This is beyond belief! Please do not contact me again.
Documenting The Details”
Your award just doesn’t pass the smell test for me so I won’t be displaying your lovely icon.
Documenting the Details
In my opinion, MyHeritage would have looked better if they had just admitted they messed up with this award because the more they try to explain it, the deeper the hole gets.