Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Birth of AncestralSpace

In June 2008 I had a brilliant idea....or at least it seemed a brilliant idea to me. I was frustrated with the lack of "connections" trying to use facebook and myspace for genealogy. I was (am) a member of Renspace.com which is a social network for people interested in all things renn faire, medieval etc and it occured to me there was no such thing for genealogy that I knew of.

I spent 2 days googling like mad trying to find something like that, there wasnt anything coming up. I contacted the owner of Renspace to try to find out how he'd set his up....while waiting for his reply I found out there is a company out there that supplies it!!

One day later the ancestralspace domain is registered in my name (you have NO idea how many names I had to go thru to find one available.. my first choice was of course genspace but it was taken as were every other variation I could think of of that one and using words like "root" and genealogy (and I wasnt about to try ancestryspace).

My husband suggested ancestralspace... which actually kind of matches my genealogy forum ancestrally challenged, but it took a few hours for it to grow on me, but once it did, it was mine.

I spent all of June 13th programming, tweaking, writing custom html, getting my sis's help in graphics etc. By about 11 pm that nite it was ready to go (for the most part.. 3 weeks later I'm still tweaking lol). I set up a "blog and recommendation" page and emailed the blog/page owners letting them know I'd featured them, and one of my recommendations actually took the time to respond (Thank you Stephanie from Southern Graves for acknowledging my email, that meant a lot to me, AND for actually joining up, that was a bonus)

I got family and close friends to join up, I made a new myspace just to announce it, I blogged, added it to my email signatures, posted about it on my message board etc.

Slowly people started coming over and joining..and I'm still nervous, waiting on people to tell me that it was a stupid idea and a waste of time. (I'm used to thinking things are great ideas and having other people think they are pointless lol)

Then an amazing thing happened, what I thought, was being transmitted back to me. I was getting comments from people telling me "great idea" "wish I'd though of it" "I'm jealous it wasnt my idea" "I've been waiting for something like this" "this is SO much better than myspace" "there is no "crap" here to put up with, just genealogist sharing a hobby they love" and... well you get the idea.

Word started spreading, its still spreading slowly. People are posting it on their blogs, message boards, email groups, yahoo groups, and well they were posting it on ancestry message boards until they were told to stop as my site is considered "competion" and posting about me is not allowed lol (wow). I want to give a special thank you, especially to Tammy and Cyndy for all the work I know they have been doing to spread the word, and a thank you to those that have done the same and I dont know who you are!!

At the three week mark (plus a day) we hit 400 members and they are still coming. I can only imagine what membership is going to be like once word REALLY gets out.

And the best part? People are actually using it and having fun with it!!!

This has totally blown me away, I had a vision, I took action, its a hit.

So.. stop by and visit!! Joining is free (just like it is for myspace and facebook) and I'll bet you 2 cents you find something interestesting there to read posted by a member!!

Hope to see you soon at http://www.ancestralspace.com

2 comments:

Kiril said...

RE: A stupid idea and a waste of time.

Even if it eventually fails, and/or something similar eclipses it (Heaven forbid!) don't ever think that it is/was a stupid idea, or is/was a waste of time on your part.

YOU got the ball rolling, and no-one will ever be able to take that from you.

That no-one, before now, seems to have thought this notion a worthy one to pursue is suprising, especially with all the resources spent on Commercial Ventures related to Genealogy the last 20 years.

Good luck!

The Mad Macedonian is honored to be a member. ;-D

reindeergal said...

I for one, am so glad you started Ancestral Space, also thanks to the person who posted it on Ancestry.com on a board that I subscribe to. I'm glad I got in early and am loving it!

I belong to myspace and facebook but that is mainly to communicate with my kids. Ancestral Space is me! I've longed for something like this and had tried to put stories about my family history on our family web page but I like the blogging format so much better.

Thank you so very much!! You did good!!