Several members of GeneaBloggers have reported the following: they have received an unsolicited email from a new site called AncestryBlogs.com letting them know that their blog is now listed at the AncestryBlogs.com site. I too have received the email via MailChimp and here are my concerns along with an action plan for members of GeneaBloggers who want to stop receiving the emails and to have their blog removed.
While I welcome any site that thinks they can even replicate the sense of community here at GeneaBloggers, let alone maintain a curated list of genealogy blogs (and yes, I know it is a bit of bravado talking . . .), here are my concerns with the email and the site:
- The email received via MailChimp states “You are receiving this email because your blog is part of AncestryBlogs.com.” I never signed up to be part of AncestryBlogs.com and GeneaBloggers was listed there without my permission.
- Yes AncestryBlogs.com is using the RSS feed for GeneaBloggers and yes they are linking back to the original posts, but still I have the right to control my content, even if you are using just the “first three lines” – you don’t get a Fair Use free pass for that. GeneaBloggers has successfully made this argument before (see our smackdown of Ancestors and Kin here) even when some sites claim to argue that the technology behind RSS allows anyone re-use of content as they see fit.
- I don’t know what AncestryBlogs.com will be doing with the aggregated feeds in the future especially when it comes to inserting advertising etc. and this concerns me.
So I’m not willing to have my blog listed nor will I allow unsolicited emails to be sent to me by AncestryBlogs.com.
Here is what I intend to do and I urge members of GeneaBloggers to do the same if they did not sign up for emails from AncestryBlogs.com or sign up to be listed at the site and they want to have their content removed:
- File an abuse complaint at MailChimp at http://mailchimp.com/contact/abuse/. The MailChimp Campaign ID for the email received is mailchimp465aa3faa368b59f7242a4313.36c28714b1.
- File an abuse complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Then click the Unsubscribe link in the email from AncestryBlogs.com.
- Contact AncestryBlogs.com at http://www.ancestryblogs.com/contact-us.html and ask that your blog be removed from their listing.
Finally, one issue that really perturbs me is that when I posted information about AncestryBlogs.com on social media, many assumed there was an affiliation with Ancestry.com. In my opinion, this is an attempt to confuse consumers and to dilute the Ancestry brand and trademark.
This has been quite the week for the genealogy blogging community in terms of having our content used in a variety of methods, mostly done without permission. Whether it is someone stealing content and posting on Pinterest, or using a WordPress plugin to scrape blog posts, you as a blogger still have the right to control your content that you worked hard to produce.
GeneaBloggers will always fight the good fight to protect genealogy blogger content and the control of that content. Yes there is room at the table for new vendors and players in the genealogy community, but there’s a right way and a wrong way of “playing.”
©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee