April 2017

Blossoming trees

Welcoming the 1% (who aren’t trying to hack this site)

Reviewing the traffic stats for this site is like taking a trip around the world.  From Iran to Russia, and all over Asia, visitors flow in from around the globe.  What are they looking for?  A review of security logs indicates roughly 99% are looking for holes to hack and take control of my humble little site.

And lately they’ve succeeded.  Much to my irritation, a hacker recently wrested control, took down the site, and replaced it with a shopping site for Japanese sportswear and industrial goods.  Actually, it was more a vehicle for some black hat SEO to try and build link juice for Rakuten.  Having regained control and restored the old pages, I’ve been sensitized to the modern reality that every site is worth hacking, and every site will be hacked, or at least be attacked.  Basic security tools have given way to more elaborate protections, which only seem to increase the frequency and aggressiveness of attacks.

The world of online genealogy has changed quite a bit in the 11 years this site has been live.  Ancestry has led the way in bringing personal histories and family trees online for others to see and reference, but I find their approach to content ownership and privacy problematic.  More so even than Facebook or LinkedIn, Ancestry takes the work and content created by others, claims it as their own, and aggressively monetizes it.  This may be a good business model, but I choose not to support that beyond a basic level of participation.

What’s next on the technology horizon?  The deeper integration of DNA data and research is accelerating the disruption of traditional research tools, and it’s only a matter of time before a platform emerges that effectively merges modern and classic genealogical data.

I’m keeping my eyes open for a new vehicle for cataloging and displaying genealogical data and biographical content.  But until then, I’ll continue to welcome traffic from around the globe, particularly the 1% comprised distant relations and family researchers.