Archive for the ‘Company News’ Category

FamilyLink.com, Inc. Announces New Lead Developer

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Founder of GenForum, GenCircles, and Family Tree Legends to help connect families on FamilyLink.com
PROVO, UT, March 2, 2009 – Cliff Shaw, founder and developer of numerous genealogy companies and products, recently joined FamilyLink.com, Inc. as its new lead developer.

“FamilyLink is charting new territory in family social networking and it’s exciting to be on the leading edge of this. The growth the company is experiencing, even in a down market, is truly remarkable,” said Cliff Shaw, lead developer, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “It’s great to work with such an unbelievably well-rounded team.  Paul Allen and I have done great things in the industry working apart. I can’t wait to see what our merged teams can do together.”

“One of my major goals at FamilyLink.com is to assemble the right people to build a great company,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “Cliff Shaw is a talented addition to our team who definitely knows the ins and outs of how to best connect families.”

As lead developer, Shaw will work toward helping the company become the global leader in family social networking on all social networks and mobile platforms. The FamilyLink.com, Inc. network of sites became one of the Top 500 Web companies in the world in December 2008, based on Quantcast statistics. Currently the network ranks No. 165 based on total monthly unique visitors, making the company one of the fastest growing Web properties in the world.

“Families are connecting in new ways thanks to social networks. With the increasing distance between family members, online and mobile communication has become a vital way for many families to stay connected. FamilyLink is on the leading edge of this trend and will help families stay closer,” Shaw said.

Shaw is an entrepreneur who has founded a number of companies in the past 13 years, both in and out of genealogy. At 18, he started GenForum and quickly grew it into the largest family history community on the Internet. GenForum was a top 200 site with more than 75 million monthly page views and remains a popular destination. GenForum was sold to the Learning Company in 1998. In 2000, Shaw founded GenCircles, a user-contributed family tree site that introduced SmartMatching, the first technology that automatically linked users’ family trees. GenCircles grew to become the No. 2 family tree contribution site on the Internet with hundreds of millions of names in trees. In 2001, Shaw founded Pearl Street Software and led the development of Family Tree Legends, the No. 2 family tree software package in worldwide sales. Family Tree Legends received consistent critical acclaim and sold at most major retail outlets in the United States and UK. MyHeritage.com acquired Pearl Street Software in 2006 and makes significant use of the SmartMatching technology to this day.

Shaw lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and is an avid environmentalist and world traveler.

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is the leading social networking company for families globally.
It was formed in 2006 by original founding executives of Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com.
The company operates several genealogy web sites and has popular applications on
Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, and Friendster. The company’s We’re Related application
is currently the third most popular application on Facebook and has helped users
define nearly 200 million family relationships. FamilyLink.com, Inc. also operates
the AdMazing ad network that represents more than 200 million monthly impressions
on high traffic family history and heritage sites. Genealogy partners include Everton,
brightsolid, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Genealogical Publishing
Company, FindAGrave.com, Godfrey Memorial Library, and FamilySearch.

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom McGowan
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.

http://corporate.familylink.com

whitney@familylink.com
(801) 377-0588

FamilyLink.com, Inc. Raises $2.85 Million in Series B Funding Round

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

PROVO, Utah, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ – FamilyLink.com recently raised $2.85 million in Series B funding as social networking services continue to grow even during difficult economic times. FamilyLink.com raised its initial round of funding of $1.25 million in August 2007.

Several Series A investors joined the Series B funding round, including vSpring Capital and TTP Capital Advisors of Japan. Several other angel investors joined in the B round.

FamilyLink.com is the developer of “We’re Related,” one of the most popular applications on Facebook. We’re Related is used by nearly a million people every day. The company’s flagship social networking site will launch later this quarter at FamilyLink.com.

Social networking with family and friends is growing faster than any other online activity,” said CEO Paul B. Allen. “Research shows that protecting the family is the top human value in most nations. Technology enables families to keep in touch despite distance, and we think this desire to stay in touch will only deepen in hard economic times.”

FamilyLink.com became profitable in late 2008 as it was finalizing its fund-raising efforts. The company employs 30 people in the United States, including in Seattle, WA, Boulder, CO, and its headquarters in Provo, Utah, and has development offices in India and the Philippines.

The company’s goal is to become the global leader in family social networking on all social networks and mobile platforms. The FamilyLink.com, Inc. network of sites became one of the top 500 Web companies in the world in December 2008, based on Quantcast statistics. Currently the network ranks No. 164 based on total monthly unique visitors, making the company one of the fastest growing Web properties in the world.

View Quantcast ranking and traffic estimates for FamilyLink.com.

Unlike other social networks, FamilyLink uses family
trees and genealogy
as a key ingredient in creating engagement in its social networking experience for families. The company owns WorldVitalRecords.com, a popular genealogy subscription site, and later this year will introduce its flagship genealogy website, GenSeek.com.

“We think GenSeek will become the world’s largest gateway to family history content,” explained Steve Nickle, President. “Combined with our family social networks, it will make it easier than ever before for family members to explore and share their heritage with all of their relatives. Our historic partnership with FamilySearch Catalog will enable us to launch GenSeek.com with links to millions of the world’s most valuable genealogy sources.”

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. is the leading global social
networking company
for families. It was formed in 2006 by original founding executives of Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com. The company operates several genealogy websites and has popular applications on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, and Friendster. The company’s We’re Related application is currently the third most popular application on Facebook and has helped users define more than 150 million family relationships. FamilyLink.com, Inc. also operates the AdMazing ad network that represents more than 200 million monthly impressions on high traffic family history and heritage sites. Genealogy partners include Everton, brightsolid, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Genealogical Publishing Company, FindAGrave.com, Godfrey Memorial Library, and FamilySearch.

xxx

Media Contact

Whitney Ransom McGowan
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.
http://corporate.familylink.com
whitney@familylink.com

(801) 377-0588

MyFamily Application Finalist at Bebo B.E.S.T. Awards Ceremony & Developer Meet Up

Friday, February 20th, 2009

On Wednesday, MyFamily application on Bebo received a finalist award (in the top 17 out of more than 2,000 applications) at the Bebo B.E.S.T. (Bebo Engage to Succeed Today) Awards Ceremony & Developer Meet Up in San Francisco, California. The purpose of the meeting was to find and reward the most engaging new applications on Bebo.

The Bebo version of the MyFamily application was added to oBebo in February 2008. It allows individuals to create stick figure representations of their families for display on their profiles. To download the MyFamily application on Bebo, click here or go to: http://apps.bebo.com/myfamily/selectfam1.php

MyFamily application is also available on Facebook.com. To download this application on Facebook, go to: http://www.facebook.com/applications/#/apps/application.php?id=6224046065&b=&ref=pd_r

About Bebo

Bebo is the next generation social networking service where members can stay in touch with their College friends, connect with friends, share photos, discover new interests and just hang out.

Using The Genealogy Blog Finder

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Blogs, blogs, blogs! It seems like everyone has a blog these days. In fact, based on 2008 statistics there are 133 million blogs on the Internet (as tracked by Technorati), and approximately 900,000 new blog posts are added each day. Among this proliferation of blogs are thousands on the topic of genealogy and family history. How does one keep track of all of them? Better question…how does one sift through all of the blogs to find the genealogy blogs?

Renee Zamora recently drew my attention to a website called Genealogy Blog Finder, a site that helps you do just that—find blogs about genealogy. The site is sponsored by Genelaogue.com, a site by Chris Dunham who has been documenting blogs since May 2005. Chris’s genealogy blog covers genealogy news, reviews, notes and humorous nonsense (which explains why the subtitle of his blog is: Genealogy News You Can’t Possible Use).

The Genealogy Blog Finder currently tracks more than 1,200 blogs. Once you arrive at the Genealogy Blog Finder (http://blogfinder.genealogue.com/) you can find blogs that have been recently updated. You can see the blogs that have just been added to the directory, and you can also discover the locations from where people are blogging. And that’s just the beginning of the types of searches you can perform!

Using the Genealogy Blog Finder, you can also search by genealogy news, personal research, photography, cemeteries, conferences, podcasts, famous folks, corporate, humor, community, and much more.

Another neat feature available on Genealogy Blog Finder is the ability to suggest a blog, or update a listing. If you have a genealogy blog that you think the world needs to know about, go to http://blogfinder.genealogue.com/suggest_blog.asp and add it to the site.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. Announces New CTO

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Allan Carroll to bring new expertise, talent, and skill to FamilyLink.com, Inc. 

PROVO, UT, January 21, 2009 — FamilyLink.com, Inc. recently named Allan Carroll as its new chief technology officer bringing much expertise, talent, and skill to the Company.

“We are thrilled to have Allan on our team. He is very gifted and will bring much needed experience and skill,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “In this new role, Allan will help streamline our processes, and will also be instrumental in building the stable architecture we need for long-term growth.”

As CTO, Carroll plans to scale software to support all of the users while continuing to make FamilyLink.com a stable platform for people to connect with their families.

“Allan is ideal for this position. He knows how to work in any organization from  organizations such as Microsoft to small startups,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “Not only is Allan fluent in coding languages such as PHP, C++, PERL, and PYTHON, he also knows how to scale our developer organization and bring it to the next level as FamilyLink.com continues to explode in user growth.”

Carroll recently received his master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Washington. Prior to working at FamilyLink.com, Inc. Allan worked at Microsoft on its performance team.

“This job was appealing to me because I really wanted to be able to work on something that will change the world for families,” Carroll said.  “I am excited because the company is doing so well, and I will be part of an excellent team.”

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom McGowan
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com
whitney@familylink.com

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyHistoryLink.com, WebTree.com, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to bring families closer through innovative online services. A combined global audience of 11.5 million unique individuals visits the Web properties owned and operated by FamilyLink.com, Inc. each month to generate 28 million monthly page views. We’re Related is one of the fastest-growing social networks for genealogists as well as other family members with more than 16.5 million users. The application helps individuals find relatives on Facebook, keep in touch with family members through news and status updates, build family trees, and share photos. Those who use We’re Related actively participate in guiding the product roadmap through an online forum and direct feedback.

FamilyLink Application on Facebook Becomes Fifth Most Popular Application

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Connecting with family outpaces playing poker, writing bumper stickers, or posting videos.

PROVO, UT, January 6, 2009 — We’re Related, a service developed by FamilyLink.com, Inc. to connect Facebook users to other family members, just became the fifth most popular application on Facebook Platform. The We’re Related application surpassed Texas HoldEm Poker, Bumper Sticker, and Video by Facebook as well as more than 52,000 other Facebook applications in terms of active monthly users. “We are thrilled with the momentum of We’re Related and are looking forward to future growth and the new functionality we will offer our loyal users,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “As the number of We’re Related users increases, so does the number of connections people are making to their families.”We’re Related was launched in October 2007 and is currently the most popular Facebook application for families with more than 16.5 million users. FamilyLink.com, Inc. also recently became one of the Top 500 Web companies in the world, based on Quantcast statistics.

“I’m just excited to see that families really want to connect with each other on the Internet. Our next goal is to grow to 50 million users by the end of this year to help even more individuals stay connected to their loved ones,” said Jason McGowan, VP Product, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Connecting families is also important to the top three family sites on the Internet, which include Geni.com, MyHeritage.com, and MyFamily.com. In addition to the 5.8 million monthly visitors using We’re Related on Facebook, these three websites attract an additional 2.6 million monthly visitors  who connect with their families online, according to statistics published by Quantcast, a service that measures online audiences.

Those who use the We’re Related application also share their excitement through online comments and reviews:

“It’s good to get all of my family in one place. I’m slowly adding people who I didn’t even no I was related to and finding people that I haven’t seen or heard from in years. We even found a cousin we had never spoken to,” said Neka Towers. ”So far so good! It’s great to connect with relatives I don’t get to see more often!” said Kathie Smith, a Facebook user from Massachusetts.

 ”Awesome app…Makes keeping up with the fam easier,” said Junius Simon from Texas.

“Just joined and it has helped me find family I never knew existed. 5 stars!” said Tom Davies, new user on We’re Related.

“This application is amazing… I love being able to show who I am related to. Keep up the excellent work,” said Willow Bigelow from Colorado.We’re Related was created to help individuals stay in touch with their families through photo sharing, a news feed, birthday reminders, etc. Individuals can also build their family tree using We’re Related.  For example, more than 100 million relationships (of living people) have been defined on We’re Related. The most common relationship, by far, is cousin. This relationship is often defined in We’re Related using the terms cuz, first cousin, or my cousin.

We’re Related is a free application on Facebook. It can be downloaded through Facebook at: http://apps.facebook.com/we_r_relatedhttp://apps.facebook.com/we_r_related.

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom McGowan
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com
whitney@familylink.com

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyHistoryLink.com, WebTree.com, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to bring families closer through innovative online services. A combined global audience of 11.5 million unique individuals visits the Web properties owned and operated by FamilyLink.com, Inc. each month to generate 28 million monthly page views. We’re Related is one of the fastest-growing social networks for genealogists as well as other family members. The application helps individuals find relatives on Facebook, keep in touch with family members through news and status updates, build family trees, and share photos. Those who use We’re Related actively participate in guiding the product roadmap through an online forum and direct feedback.

Finding Free Genealogy Records Online & WorldVitalRecords.com

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Personal Life Media recently published Episode 8 of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy featuring WorldVitalRecords.com. The title of the interview is Finding Free Genealogy Records Online & World Vital Records featuring, former Director of Content Partnership, Yvette Arts. During the pod cast, learn about some of the exciting news at WorldVitalRecords.com, as well as a sneak preview into 2009. Click here to view the podcast.

How Do I Get The Most Out of My WorldVitalRecords.com Subscription?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

First of all, we are thrilled that you are a member of WorldVitalRecords.com, and if you aren’t, we hope you will consider subscribing soon! At WorldVitalRecords.com, we want you to get the most out of your subscription. To help you with this endeavor, here are a few tips and facts to assist you along the way…

  1. Read the weekly newsletter. The newsletter provides you with information on upcoming databases, the major collection, company and industry news, and genealogical tips. The newsletter is free and is sent out every Thursday evening.
  2. If you know the location of the ancestor you are searching, try researching using the Places button on the main toolbar on the top left hand corner of the homepage. The Places button allows you to search by country and also by state.
  3. We add content every business day. If you cannot find the content you are searching for today, try again in the future.
  4. If you are looking for a certain collection on our site, try our Browse Popular Collections button When you click on this button, you will be directed to a page containing more than 26 of our most popular collections, including SmallTownPapers, Find My Past, Genealogical Publishing Company, and many more.
  5. On WorldVitalRecords.com, our data is separated into World Collection and US Collection. Any content from the World Collection (any content outside of the US) is represented by the following symbol: Any content from the US collection is represented by the following symbol: Any content that is free, is represented by the following symbol: WorldVitalRecords.com offers a US Collection annual membership for $3.33 per month, and a World Collection annual membership for only $9.95 per month. (Note, you must purchase a subscription for a year to receive that low month-per-month rate.)
  6. If you perform a search at WorldVitalRecords.com and do not find the results you need, try putting just the first name and surname into the Search Box. Sometimes when you perform an advanced search with content in every box, the results you need to do not show up because one of the pieces of information in the box is not documented in the database. Simple is good sometimes!
  7. If you need assistance, please contact our Customer Support Team. Simply call our toll-free number 888-377-0588 to speak with a representative. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. -5 p.m (MST).
  8. Share your research findings with your family. They may be able to provide tips and additional information you need to assist with your searching.
  9. The WorldVitalRecords.com site map has been designed to help you quickly find the specific place you want to visit on the site. Here is the link: http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/site-map.aspx.
  10. WorldVitalRecords.com provides 3 types of surname searching. The “Matching Type” option lets you select what type of search you would like to do. The three options are “Exact“, “Soundex“, and “Double Metaphone.” To access these options, you must perform an advanced search. Here is the link to begin an advanced search: http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/search.aspx

EveryDay Genealogy Value

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

With the current state of the economy money is tight for most of us. In an effort to help, we have strengthened our commitment to provide what we are calling “everyday genealogy value.”

EveryDay Genealogy Value Means:

* We have lowered our subscription price.Our annual subscription is now priced at $119.95 for unlimited access, instead of $149.95 ($30 savings) and our U.S. collection is now only $39.95, instead of $49.95 ($10 savings).

* We have improved our site (see the New Site Design article in this newsletter). We made these changes to help you have a better experience using our site, and to make it easier for you to find your ancestors.

* New content. As always, we continue to add new and free content daily (Monday through Friday). Your subscription value increases every business day.

* We listen to your feedback. Your input is important at WorldVitalRecords.com. It’s so important that we have added a section on our site for you to share your thoughts (wvr.uservoice.com). You can also call our toll free number at 1-877-0588 (8-5 p.m. MST) if you ever need any assistance. We’re here to help.

New Site Design Streamlines Search, Brings More Subscribers

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Users benefit from improved search and browsing functionality, expanded collections, user feedback feature, and increased value 

PROVO, UT, November 11, 2008 — Finding ancestors recently became easier at WorldVitalRecords.com. The site has launched a new site design with improved search and browsing functionality, expanded collections, added user feedback feature, and increased value to users.

“Finding an ancestor within a collection that includes 1.2 billion names across more than 11,000 databases can at times feel like finding a needle in a haystack. That’s not the experience WorldVitalRecords.com wants for its guests and customers, which is why we have given WorldVitalRecords.com a facelift,” said Jim Ericson, VP Marketing, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

One of the major changes to the site is a new user interface, which allows individuals to access and navigate the site easier and faster. For example, with the old site, a search for content in Italy would mean searching individually through each Italian database to find results. Now, with one click, users can search all the Italian databases on the site. Another new feature is that individuals can now select the type of record they would like to search, with choices ranging from census records to family trees to marriage, birth, and death records.

The View All Databases link has also been improved. In the past, when users clicked this link, they would get an alphabetical list of the titles of thousands of databases. Users would have to know the title of the database to locate their ancestors. Now, when users click on the View All Databases link, they are able to easily select the record type they would like to view, in the place or location where they believe their ancestors’ records may be located.

These site changes also come as the company is getting ready to launch several new, premier collections to WorldVitalRecords.com, which include the American Genealogical Biographical Index (AGBI), the Brenner Collection of more than 4.5 million German vital records, the largest collection of international newspapers, and other key international collections. Meanwhile WorldVitalRecords.com continues to negotiate contracts for other notable collections from premier publishers, societies, and organizations.

The prices of annual subscriptions to WorldVitalRecords.com have also been reduced by 20 percent to address the increased financial pressures facing many genealogists. An annual subscription to unlimited site access to more than 1.2 billion names now costs an effective monthly rate of only $9.95.

“Tough economic conditions shouldn’t prevent devoted genealogists from tracing their family trees and discovering their roots online,” explained Ericson.

“These major enhancements, along with all the upcoming content additions, have already started to have an impact. The rate of people signing up for the site has doubled, which will benefit our users, as well as our content partners, and affiliates,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com.

WorldVitalRecords.com wants to be as responsive to its customers as possible. To aid in this goal, WorldVitalRecords.com has added several new feedback features. Users can now provide feedback on the site, vote on the features they want the most, and view improvements that are currently in process. If they choose, they can also be notified when errors have been fixed, or when new features have been added to the site. The url to provide this feedback is wvr.uservoice.com.

Users can also communicate to WorldVitalRecords.com the content they want indexed as well. Using new content request features on the site, individuals can specify the type of content they want, and the countries in which they are the most interested. The url to provide this feedback on content is wvrcontent.uservoice.com.

“This is a great tool that allows the community to tell us what they want, rather than us deciding what is most important. Users will now determine the type of content we go after and scan. It’s a very organized system that puts our users in charge,” Allen said.

xxx

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom McGowan
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@familylink.com

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, WebTree.com, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families. FamilyLink.com, Inc. has more than 3.4 million unique global visitors each month and 27.3 million page views per month. WorldVitalRecords.com has more than 1.2 billion names in 11,000 databases. New content is also added every business day. We’re Related is one of the fastest growing social networks for genealogists. We’re Related is a family-based application on Facebook.com that allows individuals to find relatives on Facebook, connect with friends and family members, build family trees, and share news and photos. My Family is a great way for people to express themselves and to share interesting characteristics about their family with those they connect with on social platforms.