RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mocavo makes a bid in database race

Mocavo.com has made bid to enter the world of the large online genealogical databases. A few days ago, they had a blog post by Cliff Shaw where he explained, in part, what they intended to do. Here is a quote from that blog post:
When I founded Mocavo several years ago, I had been dreaming of building this company for over a decade. I wanted to bring all of the world’s existing genealogy information under one roof – and then start hosting even more content online for free. We just needed a business model to support those goals and sustain the costs associated with hosting billions of records and images. We’ve finally figured out how to do it, and it’s with unbelievable excitement that I can finally say: When Mocavo brings content online, it becomes free forever. Let me be clear – I didn’t just say free for now, I said free forever. We’re making a radical departure from the status quo of how content is controlled in the genealogy industry.
This is an interesting comment on the genealogical community. I guess it goes without saying that there is a lot of source content on the Web that is and always has been free. Additionally, FamilySearch.org has always been free and will continue to be free in the future. I do not say this critically, I am thrilled that anyone, especially an online service provider would commit to providing free content.

In following up, a subsequent blog post from Mocavo.com indicates the following, again from Cliff Shaw:
I’m happy to report that we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to our announcement last week – it really struck a chord with the community. They’re excited that when content goes online at Mocavo, it’s free forever. I also told you last week that we would release more than 1,000 databases every day – and we’ve kept our promise. In just the past five days, we’ve brought online more than 5,000 databases, all of them free forever, including family and local histories, vital records, city directories, newspapers, yearbooks, and more.
As of the date of this post, Mocavo.com had listed a total of 111,401 items or collections. I might note that their definition of a "collection" is consistent with both Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and MyHeritage.com.  Is there a catch in the offer made by Mocavo.com? Not exactly a catch but there are much more useful search alternatives available to the "Mocavo Gold" members. Currently the price of the Gold Membership is $60 a year with discounts for a longer enrollment and with other special offers. This is certainly very reasonable, assuming that there are records containing information about your ancestors. There is also a 7 day free trial offer, so you could try out searches and see if having a subscription is worthwhile.

I did a search on the Tanner surname and got almost a half a million results. There are multiple ways of filtering these results, but ultimately, you need a Mocavo.gold membership to make this practically possible. Notwithstanding this limitation, I am very impressed with the effort being made and the dedication to providing free access to records.

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