Monday, January 29, 2018

Testing Ancestry's "We Remember" Site

Ancestry has a new site in beta, "We Remember." A few days ago, I gave it a try. First I had to log in (using either Ancestry or Facebook user/password combo). After several aborted tries with Firefox, I switched to Chrome as my browser and was able to proceed. The interface was sluggish in both browsers, but presumably this will change over time.

At top, the memorial after I entered the requested info:

- Name of person (Dorothy Helen Schwartz)
- whether MD, Ph.D., etc. (this info doesn't appear on the memorial, not sure why)
- full birth and death dates (NOTE: only birth year and death year appear on the memorial)
- city and state/country of death (doesn't appear on memorial, not sure why)
- 250 words about her (plus an obit, if available)
- indicate whether she was family, friend, etc.

Next, I was asked to submit an obit if desired and write a "memory" of my aunt, including a photo of my choice. Alas, my first "memory" and related photo disappeared. The next memory was successfully saved and appears on Dorothy's public memorial page.

What do I think of "We Remember" so far? This will be my only attempt unless and until the interface is speedier and more reliable. Also, I believe all the requested info should appear in full on memorials. Why not show full birth and death dates rather than simply truncate to year only? Why not show MD or Ph.D. on the page? My aunt was justifiably proud of her Ph.D., and I had to mention it in the memorial text since it doesn't show after her name in the title.

Why the 250-word limit for the bio on the memorial page? This isn't Twitter--it's supposed to be a memorial, and no meaningful bio can be squeezed into so few words. In some views of the memorial, no middle name or initial appears--which can make it tough to locate just the right person. Again, I can't imagine the reason for this limitation.

I'm not sure that setting up "We Remember" memorials will do anything more meaningful genealogically than my Ancestry trees, my Find a Grave memorials, and my blog posts. But I'm willing to be convinced if the interface improves, the presentation of details is expanded, and a chorus of other genealogy enthusiasts find some value in this site.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Your objections sound reasonable to me.

Anna Matthews said...

Yes, me too. Especially, what is the point?

Devon Noel Lee said...

I'd like to know the price point of this site. When my father passed away, so many people told her stories at his funeral but I couldn't process them all and Facebook want around to capture that people shared. When my mother passed away, people flooded my Facebook account with memories. That's great but I had to do a lot of work to assemble them all in one location.

I can see the benefit of this site if a couple things happen

1. The price point is reasonable. I ran out of find to pay for my mother's printed obit and flowers for her service. If this service is one more large expense, I wouldn't do it.

2. If the number of memorials for one person is limited to one profile. I can see fighting relatives setting up multiple profiles and confusing well wishers.

3. Book service... If they offered a way to print out the memorials in a photo book or color print book like Blurb it Blog2print makes. This would allow me to print a book with memories of my relatives at a later date to read offline when I'm missing or celebrating said person.

Being that it's on Beta, I can see where feedback comes into play. So we'll see.