Column: More Problems for RootsWeb Mailing Lists

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: More Problems for RootsWeb Mailing Lists

Snippet: The first RootsWeb genealogy online mailing lists started around 1980. Although some lists are much younger, others are almost forty years old. It’s hard to believe they’ve been around so long. Millions of genealogists have participated in mailing lists, posting queries, answers to questions and specific information on the topic of the list. Often genealogists subscribe to multiple lists, connecting with like-minded researchers on the community, county, provincial and country level.

Given the low number of people with home computers and few of them connected to the Internet in 1980, the early years of the mailing lists were slow with often only one message a month being posted. By 1998, the number of online users had increased, giving genealogists an easy method of connecting with other genealogists. By early 1999, hundreds of messages per month per list were being posted. Although lists seen their popularity rise and fall through the decades, the average peak for activity came in 2003 with more than a thousand messages being sent a month.

Since that time, mailing lists have seen a slow and consistent decline in activity. Although certain lists may still be popular and others are ghost towns, on average, about one hundred messages are posted per month.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

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