Tuesday, 8 April 2014
FindmyPast answers critics
Who Do You Think You Are magazine has published an exclusive interview by Jon Bauckham with FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) on its website - the subject, of course, is the disastrous replacement of the company's records platform with a new system, which err, doesn't seem to work very well - not just my judgement, but that of hundreds of complaints I've been reading online in the last few days. The answers to the magazine's questions have been 'put together by staff across the findmypast team'. Discussed are the reasons for the new site, various problems now occurring, how it was tested, how it was rolled out, the new look (including the seriously irritating display of results for pages that take ages to scroll through), and more.
I thought this statement stood out:
Our new site is not unfit for purpose. A number of features may now look very different and may not be instantly recognisable to all our users, but all of the essential functions of the old search are still there. We acknowledge that there have been some technical issues that have affected some areas of the search and we apologise for any inconvenience these may have caused, although the ability to search for records has remained functional throughout.
The company has promised to make many changes, but is not budging on calls for it to reinstate the old site (at least temporarily). You can read the full interview at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/news/exclusive-findmypast-responds-website-redesign-criticism.
If you have been experiencing problems with FindmyPast it is worth noting that the company has been offering two month subscription extensions to many who have been complaining. It's feedback thread is at http://feedback.findmypast.co.uk/forums/222583-ideas-and-improvements/suggestions/5649598-improve-features-to-bring-in-line-with-the-old-sit. That's not to guarantee that you will get the same though...!
As a PR disaster though, I think this may well be the one of the worst that I have seen in many years from a genealogy vendor. Here's hoping it gets itself sorted very soon.
What do you think of the company's response?
(With thanks to Who Do You Think You Are magazine)
Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.