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.

25 Comments

Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for MyCanvas?

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
RJ

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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????

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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.

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    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.

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    I can’t believe all the assumptions you made and state as if they are “fact.” In FACT some of the things you state are downright wrong. My biggest concern is that you are influencing people AWAY from Spokt – which might just be the one GOOD thing that has come out of Ancestry.CON disgusting lack of consideration for their customers.

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    We really had too much data on our My Family site to copy manually so I took a chance on Spokt. Our migration is now complete and I couldn’t be happier. Everything is there. It’s true that more organization is needed – History and File Cabinet are in News. There are no albums for Photos but Spokt has assured us that all this will come in a later date. Personally, I think they took the right approach. First capture our data before it disappears, then import our data to their site so that we can see that it is really there. Then provide more organization like new categories and albums. They say that they have captured enough information to enable that to happen later. But what is there now is impressive. Photos with their descriptions and associated comments as they were in My Family. The same for News. If anyone would like to see an example I’d be happy to invite you to our site. Just let me know here. I have no connection to Spokt except that I’m a very happy user right now.

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

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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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I am absolutely appalled that anyone is making negative comments about Spokt or bad-mouthing them in any way, shape or form.

Let me tell you why. First the WORST company in the world is ANCESTRY.COM and yet many of you were – and may still be – their customers. they had an opportunity to sell myfamily and refused to even consider it. They would rather put it to death and all our years of research along with it.

I have maintained a website (Middle Village Memories) with them for 15 years and have invested a major portion of that time nurturing it and building it. And all of a sudden – out of the clear blue sky – the announced that they are slaughtering the site and all the work I’ve put into it. They aren’t even lifting a finger to provide the data that people have trusted them with. The only thing I was able to get from them was 3,506 photos but with a meaningless number assigned to each one rather than even the title of the picture and not one single word of the detailed comments I had posted, with detailed identification of people in each and every photo.

When I first learned about this I had to make a decision about whether or not I could salvage all my work. In the short time allowed, I certainly couldn’t be sure that I could personally copy and repost each and ever item. So I investigated paying someone to do it for me. The first quote I got was ball-parked at between $40,000.00 and $50,000.00 . . . and the company who gave me the price wasn’t even sure that they would be willing to do it. Another company was willing to do the bulk of it but the way they would do it would still leave a lot of work for me to do on my own. That price was cheap (compared to the first) and came in at $16,000.00. Then, FINALLY, I got a decent offer (through a friend of mine) and was told they could do everything for $8,000.00 but it would take a minimum of 4 weeks and possibly longer (risky given the short-fuse Ancestry.con – a more fitting name for them – gave us).

And then – somehow – I was lucky enough to “fall into” Spokt – simply through someone sharing their own excitement about the company. They are offering a website for $29.00 per year – a bargain by any criteria. But, BETTER YET, they are offering to save your COMPLETE myfamily website and not only preserve everything you’ve put up there but to import it to your website you have with them for – are you ready for this? – the OUTRAGEOUS price of $69.00. I say “outrageous” because it is unbelievable and dirt cheap. Even if they were charging $1,000.00 to save all my work, I would still consider it a bargain and would jump at the opportunity. I am absolutely thrilled at the fact that, finally, someone decent has presented themselves to us and everybody can win.

Those of you making negative comments are doing a grave dis-service to anyone looking for a great deal. I’m not concerned about your doing a disservice to the “company.” I’m concerned about your doing a disservice to those people who are desperately in need of help to save and preserve their original website.

Moreover – the people “in charge” seem to be very responsive to requests made on their personal site. I feel confident that if there is enough demand for some feature, they will respond . . . just as they have responded to the catastrophe created by Ancestry.con. Speaking of Ancestry, I suggest that anyone having an account with them – set up and share a username and password with as many people as they possibly can. That will prevent others from being conned by Ancestry . . . and, hopefully, will eventually put them out of business – which is exactly what they deserve.

I am 76 years old, have no connection to or concern a bout Spokt. But I know a good opportunity when I see it. So, if you – or anyone you know – has any concerns about Spokt and would like to speak to someone who is creating their own experience with them, feel free to contact Spencer@mvmem.com or, better yet, pick up the phone and call (954) 900-2994. I love helping people and “sharing” the good in life instead of the likes of Ancestry.CON!!!!!

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The Shrimp Warrior August 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

For more than 12 years I administrated a community website for the Serani community of Malaysia on MyFamily.com. The Serani community are descendants of the cross-cultural liaisons which took place between Europeans (Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, English, German, et al) and Asians (of every possible ethnicity) from the 1500s, and our origins stretch from Goa in India right across Southeast Asia. The current diaspora is global, so I had members from all over contributing Serani heritage in terms of anecdotes, family histories, stories of inter-marriages, and photographs. You can imagine the value of such a repository we had at MyFamily.com, and how devastating the news was to me of MyFamily.com’s impending shutdown. Well, the news of Spokt.com did come as a relief to me but I have yet to be convinced totally that their Migration Tool will work for us. Meanwhile, I have dived straight into an open source content management system (cms), established a good relationship with a PHP programmer and am customising the cms to handle all our 12 years of data. I have assembled a team of volunteers who are manually copying every single page off our MyFamily site and transfering it over to our own self-governing website. I strongly suggest this would be the way to go if your site means more than just another digital transient experience. I am happy to share our journey with anyone who is interested to follow suit. It hasn’t been easy but let me tell you, as we reach the final leg of our ‘migration’ I’m feeling really good about this.

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Spokt now has hundreds of very happy ex-My Family customers. Their migrations are WORKING NOW. They are working day and night to make sure our migrations are complete and our data safe. They are listening to our requests for new features. They are planning a Phase 4 called Safe Harbor where we can download our data to our own computer just in case something happens to them in the future. Read the blogs at http://www.spokt.com for more information.

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    Dear Nancy Bryant: Why not use the site export option which is offered by MyFamily.COM – as an option to Safe Harbor? I have exported the file from MyFamily.COM – but I don’t know what to do with it? Can that file be used on my local computer harddrive, to simulate the My Family website? To access photographs and news items and etc? How do I learn what to do with that export file, please? Thank you for any help.

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    The EXPORT functin by MyFamily.com is useless as it ONLY downloads photos and not the conversations ignited by the photos and other postings, and THIS is the real treasure. I would recommend Spokt as I was able to salvage 12 years of data from 700 members without too much of a glitch. All best.

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    Thank you for the info. I would think Ancestry.COM would be ashamed of that export file! Don’t they worry about their reputation, and the future of their other subscription services? Thanks for the recommendation for SPOKT and Mayflower. (I presume you used the Mayflower migration service?)

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    Robert, I haven’t looked at exports recently but the original export consisted only of the photos with no description and none of the associated comments I heard that they later added titles but no more info. I don’t think the info in News, History, File Cabinet etc has ever been included in the export. This is why we all started looking for an alternative way to save our data.

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Thank You for this article… the customer service at Spokt.com is AAA+++ and they transferred all our family photos with text… and address’s… and news… etc… I am sooo happy !!!! Spokt.com is AAAA+++++ … the price they charged is pennies compared to the loss of 15 years of family memories !!! I will be a member till the day I die !!!

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I am a Hub member of USAF at RAF Kirknewton, which was migrated from myfamily.com to Spokt.com. For the type of information that the admistrators of USAF at RAF Kirknewton have maintained, it appears that the migration was mostly, if not completely, effective. For me, I’ve found it to be so much more user friendly that I’m logging in daily, compared to once every six months or so for myfamily.com. I am SO happy with the site that I’ve subscribed and am setting up my own family/friends Hub. None of us can predict the future for anything, especially electronic communications, but Spokt.com, as it is currently configured, meets my expectations for the present and my only fear is that users will demand so many new features that it will become like Facebook. If that happens, hopefully there will be another innovator to provide something as simple and intuitive as Spokt.

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Information about Spokt is not hard to find, Spokt is a private company created by Ron Adair and Dan Hixon in 2007. Ron Adair is a professional photographer. Spokt is not a genealogy website, nor does it claim to be. As it grows and remains popular it may add genealogy functions in the future. At this time it supports most of the social networking functions of the former MyFamily.com site. It has successfully migrated user data from MyFamily for many people who report being pleased with the service.

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    My site from myfamily is mainly genealogy related and spokt probably will make changes
    to improve their site for genealogy. I have applied for transfer and hopefully it will be done
    shortly. Lets hope they can make changes especially a file cabinet to store records,

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Our family has signed up and done the MyFamily migration. Posts and photos pulled over, although the album feature to sort photos and folders are still in development. Everything looks great so far. Today (last day for migration from MyFamily, access has been hampered by high activity, but generally it works well. It has a nice sort feature and I think this will be a nice site to have for our non-Facebook family, and to save and share things. So far, so good!

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