12 February 2013

Decline of the Rootsweb Mailing List

Back in April 2007 I blogged on the rise and fall of the Rootsweb mailing list. With ever increasing social media options Rootsweb's share continues to slide.
Posts which peaked at over 4.1 million in 2002 fell below 3 million in 2004, below 2 million in 2008, and below 1 million in 2011. Total posts in 2012 were 868,552 and posts for the four months ending January 2013 were down 17% year over year.
In April 2007 I wrote that "postings with DNA in the message body, shows healthy growth as interest in this area continues to develop." It turns out 2007 was the peak year even for DNA with 90,135 posts. In 2011 and 2012 there were less than 39,000 DNA posts. As you might expect the share of posts mentioning DNA did increase, from 3.3% in 2006 to 4.5% in 2012.


Debbie Kennett said...

A lot of the discussions that used to take place on Rootsweb have now moved to different platforms. Many of the DNA lists in particular are hosted on Yahoo which offers a superior service and in particular the ability to store files on the list website. Forums also seem to be very popular. There are some very active discussion groups on Facebook too.

There is a full list of DNA discussion groups in the ISOGG Wiki:


John said...

Remember MAISER? That was short for mail server. It died as a result of spam posted to (I think) the University Indiana or Illinois) mail server. It evolved into Rootsweb. I was a founding contributing member of Rootsweb just as the web was beginning to play a major role in genealogical research.

Alison said...

I still like the mailing lists and also their Yahoo equivalent. Both seem to have a small group of people both knowledgeable and helpful in each list and a manageable number of users. But the it may just be familiarity!