Spokt – A Substitute for MyFamily.com?

Ancestry.com recently announced that it will close the popular MyFamily.com web service. (See http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk for the details.) The outcry from MyFamily.com users has been loud. However, users of the MyFamily web site are not out of luck. Other companies offer similar, perhaps better, services. Spokt.com appears to be a strong contender to replace MyFamily.com. If you are planning to move your family’s web site to a new service, you may want to investigate Spokt.com.

Spokt™ (pronounced “spoked”) offers a private family web site (called a Spokt™ Hub) to start sharing news, photos, videos, and more with family or friends. Think of your Hub as your own private sharing site. The site includes a message board, photos (posted by the administrator or by any other users), videos (including YouTube Videos, if you wish), file uploads, polls, and a search mechanism to quickly find past messages about any topic you care to search for.

If you create a web site on Spokt™, you become the administrator. You can also (optionally) promote other users to administrator status.

The company claims you can create your own private family hub (web site) in under 30 seconds.

Spokt™ takes your privacy seriously. Your content always remains private between your members. Spokt’s managers promise to never share, rent, or sell your data to anyone. You won’t receive unwanted spam mail because of your participation in Spokt. The company does notify users of new content on a daily basis. Any user can choose not to receive these notifications (or receive them less frequently) by editing their profile preferences. The email notifications are sent only when there is new content.

Spokt™ also offers RSS newsfeeds of newly-added information for those who wish to use an RSS newsreader instead of surfing manually in a web browser.

Spokt™ is also working on a MyFamily.com Migration Tool. While not yet available, the online tool reportedly will transfer all the News (with replies) and Photos (with replies) from a MyFamily.com Site to a Spokt™ Hub. Your memories will be preserved, be more searchable, and are presented more beautifully than ever before. Details may be found at http://blog.spokt.com/general/myfamily-com-migration-tool.

Spokt.com costs $29 per year. The price includes unlimited members and up to 15 gigabytes of file storage, probably enough for most family websites. Should you need it, each additional gigabyte of data costs an additional $1.99 per year. Before signing up, you might want to view the demo at http://spokt.com/demo. If you do sign up and pay for the service, you will also receive an unconditional 75-day money-back guarantee in case the service doesn’t meet your needs. A 75-day money-back guarantee strikes me as more than ample time to see if the service meets the needs of your family.

Spokt™ may be found at http://spokt.com.


Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for MyCanvas?

I think it should be pronounced ‘spocked’ and include Vulcans.

I am not seeing any way to add a viewable gedcom, so nice for family sharing but not great for genealogy at first glance.

As to MyCanvas, I have not used it, but Lisa Louise Cook suggested Lulu as a good alternative.

Checked out Spokt, and it appears to be a faux Facebook page. Does not appear to be Genealogy friendly for actual documentation and sharing anything but pics of the grandkids. There has to be something better than this for Genealogy researchers.

Looking at the suggestions for a substitute MyFamily site given by Ancestry.com as well as bloggers, it appears that there is a mis-understanding about the use of MyFamily.com by myself and other dedicated users. We DO NOT use it as a family picture, event and comment site. That’s what Facebook is for. Sites, such as ones for locations, descendents of a given ancestor, or a Y-DNA surname project have adapted MyFamily via the photo albums, comments, discussions and files into a history and genealogy sharing site for a specific topic. At the privacy level we chose for Blockley England, it’s Google searchable – mine shows up on page one or two. And visitors can see what we have (they just can’t upload or add). These type of sites NEED to be visible to get new members via Google. So far I’ve found no equivalent after searching through many categories on Cyndi’s List. Ancestry saying it’s being dropped in order to focus on their main goal of giving their customers the best genealogy experience just rubs salt into the wounds.

Thanks for the great writeup on Spokt, Dick. Did you see the announcement we made today for our official MyFamily.com data migration tool called Mayflower? Mayflower is the most comprehensive migration tool available. So far we’ve had a great response, and I wanted to get the word out to you and your readers while it’s still possible to access MyFamily and retrieve a complete copy of the news, history, photos, conversations, etc. in your MyFamily site.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about Mayflower, or need anything else.

Have a great 4th!

I have not seen any information about how to find out who is really behind these startup sites that wants to ‘take care of myfamily.com website members’. One company had it’s charter revoked for failing to pay taxes. Are you going to let someone you don’t know take charge of your family’s private information???? What are they hiding, and what is their real motivation??? Your family’s private information????

Bill, I couldn’t agree more. This vendor is looking very suspicious IMO. I’d like to bring a few things to other folks attention: Red flags are popping up for me… The domain owner is hidden – they don’t even want you to know who they are. Who is behind this webpage? I’ve made several attempts to post questions and comments on their forum but, big surprise, the moderator hasn’t “accepted” them. That’s right, they screen the questions out that they don’t want to answer – or you to see.

The “demo” they show is really nothing more than a facebook layout and is seven year old content. Originally they were soliciting migration feedback and then walla, they have a tool for 69.00 that promises to get your data but in a phased implementation… You are told money back guarantee but today I read (on the forum) no money back on the migration tool. I also see that once you have been nice enough to pay them to extract your data from MyFamily (if they really can) they intend to charge you AGAIN to get it back for yourself – each individual. To me, this is not a way to start off a business relationship with users who have already been burned after paying Ancestry’s fees for years. Is this just another assault on people to create a side business to charge them and charge them again? If this business was HONEST they would be upfront with the potential users. Lots of fluffy messages that look pretty suspicious to me. No ability to import gedcoms, lots of promises and not even one screenshot or example of a successful migration. They seem to just be making things up as they go. Personally, I would suggest people go ahead and get there own data. I know it’s painful but at least you are in control and you can decide later what you want to do. I still can’t believe Ancestry’s lack of regard for their long time customers that helped get them where they are today. Fool me once shame on you, TWICE? I think not.

    Mygreatbigfamily.com has been in business since 2004 with a large and loyal customer base. They offer a private family website with extensive interactive social features, file archiving and have a built in family tree / genealogy feature (Family Explorer) that even allows you to import your family tree via their GEDCOM import feature. Not the cheapest around but you get what you pay for.

Mygreatbigfamily.com includes a family tree feature that allows you to import a GEDCOM file of your family tree.

Thanks Deborah. I’ve looked at their site and it is by far infinitely better. They need some better positioning and meta tags because they didn’t show up in the google searches I was making for alternatives to Myfamily. You are pretty much correct that you get what you pay for but in some cases apparently you don’t even get what you pay for especially when you don’t even know what you are buying…. I think spokt, by the time they are done with you, might end up costing just as much anyway. At least this provider has a solution for those interested in genealogy not just social networking and is willing to reveal the company name. I wish I never read this article. I just hope folks read the comments here before signing up.

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