29 March 2012

Genealogy Activity Survey: books, webinars and websites

Between March 19 and 25 responses from 150 people to a survey on genealogy activity were received.

This survey covers a highly selective group of engaged enthusiasts. To put them (us) in perspective, Ancestry claims 1.7 million subscribers; a typical episode of the present US series of Who Do You Think You Are? gets 5.8 million viewers. If an activity does not rate highly with this group, and the activity is aimed at the enthusiast market, it's missing the boat.

There were 133 responses from America (twice as many from Canada as the US), 14 from Europe (13 from the UK), 2 from Australia and 1 from Japan.

Respondents were asked to "indicate the most recent time period in which you've been involved in the following genealogy activities.

                                             Week   Month   Year   Decade  Never
Read a genealogy book           28%      30%      34%       6%      1%

Read a book for
historical context                    31%       28%     35%       7%      2%

The percentages appear much the same for these two questions. Geographically a larger fraction of people in the UK had read one of these types of books in the past week than in Canada and the US, but remember the UK sample is small.

                                              Week   Month   Year   Decade  Never
Listened to a genealogy
webinar or podcast                18%      35%      23%       3%      20%

The percent who had listened in the past month (53%) was within two percentage points in Canada, the UK and US. That's 20% more than attended a one day event such as a society meeting in the same one month period.

Genealogy Society Website

                                              Week   Month   Year   Decade  Never
Used a genealogy
society website                       59%      30%       8%       2%       1%

89% of respondents had used a society website during the month, exceeded only (just) by the percent that had used a commercial database and read a society magazine or newsletter. Does this mean that societies could drop printed magazines without impacting many people?

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