21 Oct 2015

Business models: family trees and academic journals

I started to look into my heritage, via DNA. Now I need to reconcile my "genetic" and "official" heritage, so I have signed up for some family tree (genealogy) websites. I've discovered that there's a free version but the "advanced" version -- the one that connects your people to others' MUCH LARGER family trees -- costs more than $100/year.

What's interesting is that these genealogical sites get their data from members who take the time to research and enter names and dates. Then the sites charge for access to the data entered by others.

Academic journals pursue the same business model, charging $$ for subscriptions to journals whose authors and reviewers work for free. What a racket.

I know that data is power, but this is just a little too rich for my taste. I wonder what John Cochtrane thinks about this model?

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