The Oprah Effect on Genealogy?

Who Do You Think You Are?

On Tuesday, 9 March 2010, the Oprah Winfrey Show focused on genealogy with Lisa Krudrow, a producer of Who Do You Think You Are?, and Emmit Smith, a subject of the show, appearing to discuss not only WDYTYA but the importance of tracing one’s family history.

Since the premiere of the show last Friday, 5 March 2010, I’ve been following the web traffic at Ancestry.  According to the Wolfram-Alpha semantic search engine (working with Alexa data), daily page views have increased from around 23 million per day to 28 million and about 1.1 million daily visitors to 1.3 million daily visitors.

Oprah Effect on Genealogy

Most of the traffic increase started on Saturday, 6 March 2010 with steady increases over the weekend.  It remains to be seen what effect the Oprah show will have on genealogy and traffic at sites like Ancestry.  And if there are large increases, if those increases can be sustained over a longer period of time.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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29 thoughts on “The Oprah Effect on Genealogy?

  1. I’m so glad that Oprah did a show with this topic. For some reason, whatever Oprah touches turns to gold and brings in LOTS of money for the company/topic/product that she promotes. Maybe Lisa Kudrow can become god friends with Oprah and get on the show more often with newer spins. (Okay….can you tell I’m dreaming?)

  2. Heads up, I have been sorta watching TV lately since this big spin on Genealogy out there. There are other programs that are doing it without any hype.
    I have seen some on History Channel, Discovery Channel, KPBS, you just got to start looking,

    I shared this with society but decided it’s being missed by us so watch.

    The one the National Parks did on Yellowstone was about the men who developed it and founded it.
    All genealogical in nature for names and whos’ etc.

    That one came close to home since I was born in Greybull, WYO. and my gf Grandfather was one of the main people talked about in the show. Weird coincidence.

    I used to like if WALLS COULD TALK but I am not a
    big tv watcher., so was amazed as husband would come tell me about another one mentioning my hobby/ passion.

    R U catching the Generation Project on Monday’s?
    http://byutv.org/thegenerationsproject/

  3. The million dollar question is to be able to sustain the momentum the series will create. I very strongly believe that this is a great opportunity for the genealogy community to capatalize on this initiative and promote genealogy in the long run so that it will have a long lasting legacy attached to it.

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  6. I’m so glad you posted the stats for us to see, Thomas! That’s awesome! I’m thinking that this next show next week will be bigger yet because of word of mouth among the ‘new recruits’ to genealogy! I told a friend in Colorado who is just now getting into genealogy and I had a lady come up to me all excited at church tell me about it to make sure that I knew. So cool!

    THANKS, Thomas!

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