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Genetic Genealogy, Motivation, and Perspective

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  • Genetic Genealogy, Motivation, and Perspective

    To my detractors, you have won. Your complaints to FTDNA have been heard and I have made my last anticipated post to this forum that will include any specifics on the strengths or weaknesses regarding any product of FTDNA or it's competitors, or their respective pricing or sale pricing. However, I do have some additional commentary and closing thoughts that some may want to ponder.

    Among the criticism, some have questioned my intent, motivation, goal, and "agenda", to which I have been clear in responding that with all my posts, not just those this week, I have intended to enlighten others with what I have learned in many years of research which may help some people better utilize all the tools that are available which might help them solve their genealogical mystery, break down their brick wall, or validate their documented genealogy. Included in this, I have attempted to dispel the "myth" with regard to microarray autosomal SNP testing that just because Family Finder (FF) can only be used for genealogy (not health) does NOT mean only Family Finder can be used for genealogy. That is simply untrue and illogical. Regardless of the pros/cons of either vendor's product or an individuals personal preference, both are great tools. And given the completely different nature of these tools that have come to the market in the past couple years as compared to the patrilineal Y and matrilineal mtDNA testing that have been available commercially for over a decade, the nature of recombination makes it most advantageous to test as many close relatives and compare with as many individuals as possible, the later of which can be best accomplished by "fishing" in every pond available. I'm still advocating this and would recommend as many people take advantage of FF's 23andMe upload option when it becomes available in the price range disclosed. Prior to this I was advising people to test with both companies if they were in a position to do so.

    For those offended by my referring to my critics as wearing blinders, cheerleading, or sipping the kool aide, I apologize for offending, but descriptions like these or something similar like having their heads in the sand like as ostrich, or being brainwashed, are just descriptors attempting to point out that the perspectives and comments made are clearly one sided and absent of any "fair and balanced" review of the options available. And the fact that many have nothing substantive to add to the discussion just further fuel my resolve. Sorry, but I have to call it like I see it.

    This might then lead one to question the motivations of my detractors to which I can only speculate and will refrain from doing so. However, I have encountered similar situations which warrant some comparison.

    Several years ago, I had a conversation with the head of the Scottish Clan Maitland association with regard to Y DNA testing. I had asked him if his organization was part of any Y DNA studies like many other Scottish Clans or ever referred to recommended any of it's members to test. The answer to both was no and the reason given was two fold. While cost was one consideration, he told me the primary reason was that his organization decided that testing would only confirm what they already "knew" to be true, or tell them something they didn't want to know. I was sad and disappointed by this perspective.

    More recently I was part of a multiparty discussion with regard to "best" number of YSTR markers to test. One of the parties stated that they only recommended their project's participants to test to 37 markers and did not ordinarily recommend or encourage (nor discourage) their members to test to Y67, although several had, (with Y111 just coming to market about the time of the discussion) out of cost/benefit considerations relative to the members and the project. Another party of the discussion took great exception to this with their perspective being that a project administrator should encourage all participants to test as many markers as possible, regardless of cost or benefit to the participant, as the additional data would be of benefit to the administrator's project. Sorry, but I strongly disagree with the later party's perspective.

    While I can't say my current detractors have any of the same motivations as either of these examples, I simply share them to show that there are others who are not proponents to a "fair and balanced" approach that considers all perspectives, weighs all pros/cons and costs/benefits, and attempts to be as objective as possible when dealing with a very subjective matter with intent to enlighten as many as possible.

    For those who think they're doing anyone else a favor by sharing news of FTDNA's end of year sale with them, you may also want to let them of about some of their other options or forthcoming options (with regard to the FF upload option) and also let them know that if they have any concerns or doubts, it will not hurt them to wait until later in this sale, or even for the next FTDNA sale as they will be offering the same sale pricing next April, June, and November, as well as whenever else they decide to run a Facebook only sale that they don't convey directly to any of their existing customers. And in the case of FF and the upload, the potential for future pricing pressure created by both the upload pricing and competition.
    Last edited by Geneadict; 18 November 2011, 09:15 AM.

  • #2

    I for one would be sorry to see Gene go silent.

    As far as the brouhaha that has been going on..........FTDNA should not even concern themselves with people speaking pro or con about competitors in the forum, if you put out a good product at a fair price and offer the best customer service than why worry. From a genealogical standpoint I think very few only are tied to one test generation that is more of a Medical thing. Size of Data base is a genealogical thing. Forums are built by the users BUT they can benefit the provider so FTDNA should encourage them and does. Acting as a censor works against them more than for so I think the vocal controllers are not actually working in FTDNA's best interest. The company can learn alot about changes needed from the forums if they choose.

    I have considered testing with the other people but only because i am tired of waiting for triangulation in my matches. I have worked with matches and made connections and have had to wait months for them to figure out how to make it a confirmed match. Going to another place for a test will at least give me an expanded database even if a lot of them don't respond.

    A week ago I sent the COMPETITOR and email with a few questions about their pricing, etc. I was particularly interested in the rumored family discount as i am thinking of paying for family to test. No response. Anytime I have asked FTDNA a question I have always gotten a response in a Day at most, who thinks that won't play in a buying decision?

    The two companies are not really competitors in the major sense they have completely different focuses. FTDNA needs to grow the data base and encourage discovery if their focus in genealogy. Tree tools, triangulation, project support etc., this is what will not give them a competitive advantage because the other guys are not focus on genealogy , they just stumbled on it accidentally.

    So lets just all Calm down and Carry on.

    Don't go Gene.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dumbldorf View Post
      I for one would be sorry to see Gene go silent.


      Don't go Gene.
      I don't think he's leaving, just agreeing to stop beating a dead horse. At least that's how I read this statement [emphasis added]:
      Originally posted by Geneadict View Post
      Your complaints to FTDNA have been heard and I have made my last anticipated post to this forum that will include any specifics on the strengths or weaknesses regarding any product of FTDNA or it's competitors, or their respective pricing or sale pricing.
      Geneadict, tell me if I'm interpreting it correctly. Although I got annoyed by the repetitive posts, I still value your input on other issues. Your post yesterday in the Y-DNA topic, on the thread "MRCA within 7 gens with a different surname?," was very helpful. This whole brouhaha was also repeated over at DNA Forums, with similar reactions. I've been guilty myself sometimes of dragging out debates much longer than anyone else cared.
      Originally posted by Dumbldorf View Post
      So lets just all Calm down and Carry on.
      That's advice we should all heed.