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Hypergene MediaBlog » Chris takes a job at MyFamily.com
All about Participatory Journalism - how audiences are changing the future of news and information.
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http://www.hypergene.net/blog/weblog.php?id=P92


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Chris takes a job at MyFamily.com

Shayne and I (Chris) had been working our freelance business for almost two years. Until recently, things were looking good. But this darn economy just doesnít seem ready to get started again. For me, the anxiety level was rising. My monthly health insurance bill was nearly as much as my mortgage (thanks COBRA), and I had two new mouths to feed. It was time to get serious about finding some stability.

So, Iím heading to Utah where Iíll be the director of creative services for the online genealogy company, MyFamily.com.

What do I know about genealogy? Shamefully little. But that clearly wasnít a deal breaker for MyFamily.com, which also runs Ancestry.com and RootsWeb.com. What sold them, in large part, were the ideas on this blog and my other writings.

This made me think: Perhaps Iíve been trying to convince the wrong people about collaborative media. As far as I can tell, itís not the news organizations that are interested in participation - itís everyone else.

MyFamily.com understands collaborative models are essential to its long-term success. (Thatís all I can really say about that.) All of our ranting and raving at conferences, online and in publications generated exactly zero inquiries from news organizations. (Actually, there might have been a guy in Poland whom expressed some interest a few years back.)

So what does that mean for Hypergene MediaBlog? Our passions still reside here, but, for the next week or so, weíre in heavy transition. Plus all of you have a lot of Christmas shopping to doÖ

Happy holidays from Provo,
// Chris

Posted on Dec 17, 2002 | 8:48 pm EST

READER COMMENTS


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Congratulations, Chris!

Posted by: Adrian Holovaty on Dec 17, 02 | 10:01 pm EST

Been there, my friend, and yes, after nearly a decade of beating my head against the mainstream media for all sorts of online innovations, I have to endorse your opinion: You won’t get them up to speed any more than Howard Hughes might have convinced the railroads to endorse his China Clipper air service.  They have a biz model that serves them well, so they’d rather not rock the boat thankyouverymuch.

But upstarts?  “When you ain’t got nuthin’ you got nuthin’ to lose ...”

Posted by: mrG on Dec 17, 02 | 11:43 pm EST

Congrats on the new gig. I’ve recently gotten a renewed genealogy bug myself, Chris. Perhaps your move will inspire me to root my family tree in the Web (or at least in software). ^_^

Posted by: Heath on Dec 18, 02 | 9:11 am EST

Congrats.

Posted by: kpaul on Dec 18, 02 | 12:46 pm EST

Congratulations and please keep the blog going anyway. It’s terrific - and thanks to Adrian Holovaty for pointing me to this Blog. Alas, I fear it’s going to take a huge scare for newspapers to jump on this bandwagon. Failing a Big Scare, they will, very slowly, move in this direction.

Posted by: Gina Setser on Dec 18, 02 | 5:59 pm EST

I agree completely.The newspaper companies have been sitting on 20 to 40% profits for years - or nine times the typical Fortune500 company, which makes about 6%.

I have heard from newspaper execs that they won’t get concerned until readership drops down to about 1.2 readership. Whatever.

P.S. Thank you all for your encouraging comments.

Posted by: chris on Dec 18, 02 | 6:42 pm EST

Good luck Chris! Keep in touch.

Posted by: Jennifer Kronstain on Dec 21, 02 | 4:57 pm EST

Congratulations, and good luck Chris!

Posted by: Seb on Jan 12, 03 | 5:22 am EST

Small world. I just met Josh Penrod yesterday who runs AmishRobot.com and is a usability wonk at MyFamily (and thus ancestry.com). It really seems to me that MyFamily.com has made a serious commitment to good UI and interaction design.

Best of luck on the new gig.

Posted by: Dan on Feb 05, 03 | 3:32 pm EST

Congratulations Chris!

From first-hand experience, there *is* life after journalism.  The innovation started elsewhere and it’s alive and kicking elsewhere.  If you have an experience like me, your new environment will be refreshingly open to concepts that traditional media found frighteningly foreign.

I hope all is well in Provo. And, I hope we don’t let another 10 years go by without catching up… ;-)

Posted by: Bill Skeet on Mar 07, 03 | 12:32 am EST

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