In yet another acquisition, MyFamily.com, Inc., (owners of Ancestry.com) has acquired another company to help expand their services. They’ve acquired Encounter Technologies, which came out of the Georgia Institute of Technology Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).
According to the Georgia Institute of Technology, Encounter Technologies designs, develops and deploys innovative communications applications that help people stay in touch on the web. Unique solutions include SnapGenie multimedia photo albums and visual phone conferencing services.
From the Press Release:
The acquisition of Encounter Technologies is another strategic step MyFamily is making to grow their team and develop technology that will give families innovative ways to connect and share on the Web.
Other strategic steps include a new generation of executive talent that Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of MyFamily.com, Inc. has attracted to pioneer the next wave of the company’s growth and innovation. Michael Graff, a former Microsoft executive, is chief among them and recently joined MyFamily as a Senior Vice President and General Manager of the MyFamily business unit. With the acquisition of Encounter Technologies, MyFamily appoints Encounter Technologies’ founder Hoyt Prisock to Vice President of Strategy and Business Development of the MyFamily web service.
Some of it sounds like they are trying to apply the Web 2.0 stuff to genealogy. I’ve heard lots of rumblings about new “portal” sites for families that have genealogy services built into them, but as far as I’m concerned, all you need is something like Drupal, or phpBB.com combined with PhpGedView or The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding.
Out of the four applications I listed above, Drupal is a content management system (CMS) – basically you could have discussion forums, a recipes area (those seem to be popular with family websites), a photo gallery, etc., email/mailing lists, all out of one system, phpBB is a discussion forum, and PhpGedView and TNG are actually full-blown online genealogy applications. Out of those four, only TNG charges (and it’s well worth the money as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been happy over the past few years, as have many others).
You could literally host your own family site, completly under your control, and with the amount of privacy you want (with all of the concerns about identity theft, children, etc.), for a very cheap price – $5 or so a month for hosting, plus another $10 every year for a domain name.
That’s just me.