When it starts accepting clients in June, Ancestry.com’s ExpertConnect service will be just one option for hiring people to do research tasks, such as photographing a gravestone or photocopying a record. Here are a few others:

* Genlighten: Here, you also can collect bids for research tasks. The focus here is on lookups, record retrieval and similar services.

Nice mention today of Genlighten in Diane Haddad’s Genealogy Insider blog, part of Family Tree Magazine’s online presence.

The golden rule of the ethics of viral spread is: try to only do things on a user’s behalf when they’ve explicitly done something to request that thing, and they know that what they’ve done will result in a communication being sent on their behalf. If you can’t link an invitation directly to the inviter’s action, then you probably shouldn’t send that invitation.

danieltenner.com — How to make your application viral (via hiten)

We need to do this…

Some NGS09 Highlights Today

  • Several potential providers who signed up a year ago or more are still eager for us to finally get launched
  • Nice people from several genealogy magazines stopped by the booth today to offer support and encouragement
  • Bunch more beta signups today not directly related to NGS09
  • Positive mention from kind Twitter follower on Transitional-Genealogist message board
  • Updated Tour pages and homepage screenshots went live
  • First Genlighten corporate blog post in a long while
  • Promising partnership opportunity was suggested by senior exec at prominent site
  • UPS Store sold me bubble wrap for a reasonable price. No more oversize fees to UAL, ever!

NGS2009 — Busy at the Booth

Well, yes, but not necessarily because there’s been tons of traffic. There was first thing Wednesday morning, and at occasional intervals since. But today’s been much quieter.

I’ve been cranking on everything I can do myself to get ready for the Genlighten private beta. Provider tour copy and screenshots. Revised client tour copy and screenshots. Revisions to the Terms of Service and to the Privacy & Security policy. CSS tweaks, text tweaks, wider text input boxes… anything we’ve got listed in Pivotal Tracker that I can do. And I’ve added bunches more stories to Pivotal Tracker for Justin and me.

Being here at NGS adds to the sense of urgency. Genlighten’s competitors are on the move. But our value proposition continues to resonate with booth visitors, and the beta signups continue to trickle in.

Uplifting and inspiring, though I only aim to change a small portion of the world in a modest way.

via Ed Sim, BeyondVC. Created by Jonathan Kay at Grasshopper.

Daily clicks on our AdWords ads have fallen from their peak and are now flat at about 12 per day. We had two new clicks on our provide whitepaper today.

Daily clicks on our AdWords ads have fallen from their peak and are now flat at about 12 per day. We had two new clicks on our provide whitepaper today.

Genlighten AdWords Experiment

This was the week the Kellogg MBA Student Team launched their Google AdWords campaigns for Genlighten.com. So far, only a small trickle of people have clicked on their ads. I suspect we’ve managed to kill our PageRank pretty quickly. But hopefully they will learn from the process, and I’ll learn from their learning. I’ve already had at least one very positive e-mail exchange with someone who clicked through.

They say that when you’re trying to get into shape, the best motivation is seeing the dieting and exercise pay off. That principle applies to genealogy: The best inspiration to do more research is getting results.

So when you keep not finding new information despite your best efforts, you’re in danger of embarking on a downward spiral—lack of motivation to look for records followed by (wonder of wonders) not finding your ancestors.

from Diane Haddad’s Genealogy Insider blog on Family Tree Magazine’s website.

I see Genlighten accelerating positive results in the genealogy research process. As Diane says, “The best inspiration to do more research is getting results”.

If you can’t manage chaos and uncertainty, if you can’t bias yourself for action and if you wait around for someone else to tell you what to do, then your investors and competitors will make your decisions for you and you will run out of money and your company will die.

Preparing for Chaos - the Life of a Startup « Steve Blank (via hiten)

Scary thought… I like to think I “bias myself for action”, but there are days where I feel I’m waiting around, too.

Rails alpha is up!

We took a big step today and pointed the www.genlighten.com domain at the Rails Alpha that Justin’s got running on EngineYard’s Solo service. It’s scary, in that there are public pages on the site that could use lots better styling and content. But it’s a good kind of scary — the kind that should motivate us to improve it quickly.

In the meantime, EV/SSL certificates and PCI compliance are getting close too. And I’m making solid progress on the “Why to become a Genlighten Lookup Provider” white paper.

Nice to celebrate some small victories now and again.