Family Tree DNA recently launched a company blog, the final major DNA testing company to do so. According to its first post, Family Tree DNA will use the blog to keep customers up-to-date and help them “share in the growth of the company.”
While a blog may seem like yet another way for major genealogy companies to market themselves to their customers, your research benefits when you bookmark the blog of your DNA testing company, family tree-building site, and other genealogy companies. Here’s a few reasons why.
1. Get explanations of updates.
As we all know, technology evolves at a fast rate, especially relevant to DNA testing and online genealogy. A constant stream of updates and refinements affects your DNA test results, as well as the addition of more people’s DNA profiles to the testing company’s database. Companies will often blog about recent updates and provide further explanations which can help answer questions you may have when your data changes.
“One advantage to reading DNA companies’ blogs is that they explain the technology and algorithm updates that can change what your test results look like (so, you used to have Greek and Italian, and now you have “Europe South,” or maybe your distant matches suddenly dropped off your list).”
– Diane Haddad, Family Tree Magazine Editor
2. Learn more ways to use your test results.
Another advantage to following industry blogs is learning new ways to use or interpret your DNA test results. Companies are constantly updating their websites’ appearance and adding new tools to help customers explore their genetic genealogy. These posts provide quick tutorials of new features that save you the trouble of clicking around and trying to figure it out for yourself. For example, MyHeritage posted a tour of its Ethnicities Around the World feature, which allows you to explore the ethnic makeup of different countries.
Company blog posts can help inform you of ways to use your DNA that you might not otherwise know about, helping you dig deeper into the information available.
3. Discover sales and genealogy record offers.
Of course, companies will use their blogs to promote their services and products, but this can give genealogists a way to stay on top of new record releases, special sales and discounts. Fold3, the military records site Ancestry runs, is particularly good about blogging when they are offering free access to records and having subscription sales. If you’ve got service members in your family tree, this blog would be a good way to stay updated on money-saving research opportunities.
4. Read great stories.
Finally, genealogy industry blogs can be a great place to find inspiring and uplifting stories about researchers who make family connections. This appears to be the direction that Family Tree DNA is taking with its blog so far, featuring stories about customers who were reunited with long-lost family members or who made unexpected discoveries when researching their family trees. This results in a curated feed of happy, inspirational genealogy stories for when you need a little good news. However, the greatest benefit of these stories isn’t the feel-good part, but the example of tried-and-true tips and strategies that you can apply to your own research.
So what are you waiting for? Join your favorite industries on the blogosphere and don’t forget to include us!
Family Tree Blogs
Genealogy Company Blogs