Ancestry.com announced today that it is discontinuing its popular Expert Connect service, which helps members of the Ancestry.com subscription service connect with professional genealogists and researchers who they can hire to retrieve records, conduct in-depth research, or just ask for expert advice. Though Ancestry states in their press announcement that the "service has been a positive experience," they have apparently "decided to focus on other business priorities." New project postings, bidding and awards will be discontinued February 3, 2011 and existing projects will need to be wrapped up by the service end date of March 18, 2011. Experts and members have been notified of this change of service, and members are encouraged to finish out existing projects with experts, and continue relationships for future projects outside of Expert Connect, if needed.
The last date for new project bids, February 3, is the date before the scheduled premiere of the second season of Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC. Is this a coincidence? I also wonder if there is any connection with Ancestry's acquisition of ProGenealogists, Inc. last year?
For those of you out there who have used Expert Connect, or think you may want to use a service like that in the future, the Association of Professional Genealogists and similar professional organizations are a great place to connect with professional researchers.