Here is the official announcement as written by Mocavo. I will add my comments at the end:
Today represents an exciting milestone at Mocavo. Over our years in both the genealogy and technology industries, we have had few occasions to meet an engineer as talented as Matt Garner. Matt has deep expertise in the genealogy industry and has few peers in the art of historical record digitization. We are excited to announce that Matt and his incredible team at ReadyMicro have joined Mocavo. The ReadyMicro team will continue to operate out of their facility in Orem, Utah, and we will maintain our office in Boulder, Colorado, while also adding more employees in both locations.[---End of the official announcement as written by Mocavo---]
Now you might ask, “Why does a genealogy search engine need digitization?” The answer is, “Mocavo is no longer just a genealogy search engine.” From the day the company was founded, our mission has been clear: to bring all of the world’s genealogical information online for free and give everyone the ability to discover their family history. Over the past several months, we have been working tirelessly to gather genealogical records and connect with other genealogical Web sites. In the next few weeks, we will make several exciting announcements about these additions that are sure to please family historians.
The acquisition of ReadyMicro gives us the ability to partner with other stewards of genealogical information to help them digitize their records at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost. In an era where government cutbacks are forcing archives to shut their doors, we will provide a valuable resource to our partners that will enable them to rapidly and cheaply digitize their invaluable collections.
Welcome aboard ReadyMicro and welcome to the new Mocavo!
I had a chance to talk with the CEOs of both companies late yesterday afternoon. They talked for a while about this acquisition; but, of course, I started asking questions about the future. They were hesitant to offer specific and detailed plans, using such phrases as "we hope to..." and "we are evaluating..." Even if they accomplish only 50% of the things they talked about, I suspect Mocavo may rock the genealogy information marketplace. However, don't look for immediate changes; this will take a while.
While short on specifics, the long-term goals of both CEOs are obvious. They plan on offering a lot of genealogy information online, and most of the new offerings will be at no cost to the users. In some cases where Mocavo may have to pay licensing fees to the providers of the information, the company obviously will have to pass on those fees to users. However, the Mocavo managers hope to keep the "mark up" at a minimum and thereby keep prices very low, much lower than those of any of the other online services that offer paid content. Even so, the paid material is planned to be a small percentage of all material to be made available; most records will be available free of charge. As stated in today's announcement, The acquisition of ReadyMicro gives us the ability to partner with other stewards of genealogical information to help them digitize their records at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost.
ReadyMicro is a name that is not well-known to genealogists, and yet many of us often look at the records digitized by ReadyMicro. ReadyMicro has several offerings, but their biggest business is that of a contractor that digitizes records for other companies. Think of any online service you have used in recent months. There's a good chance the record images you looked at were actually scanned by ReadyMicro under contract to the company whose service you are using at the moment. The ReadyMicro name doesn't appear anywhere on the screen you look at, but the company works for several major and minor genealogy information providers. Now all that experience and all those scanners will be owned by Mocavo. The plan is to continue working as a contractor for other companies plus to start digitizing documents for use on Mocavo.com as well.
Mocavo is best known as a genealogy search engine although the company has recently expanded into other, related lines of business. Mocavo has primarily indexed information held by other companies and societies and even genealogy web pages created by individuals. However, Mocavo also owns its own server farm with many terabytes of empty space, waiting to be used.
Mocavo will continue its present businesses but plans to also expand into hosting their own records in addition to indexing the holdings of other organizations. The company already has acquired a number of datasets and plans to create many more now that they have the ReadyMicro employees, hardware, and expertise in-house. A few of the already-acquired records may duplicate records available on other web sites, but the majority will be new records that have not been made available online anywhere prior to Mocavo's offerings. Most of these records, with a very few exceptions, are planned to be released to the general public free of charge. The new offerings will be mostly U.S. records for the next year or two and, after that, who knows?
Mocavo will not be limiting their efforts to huge databases. The long-term plan includes making both large and small record sets available online, whenever practical.
Will this succeed? I can't say for sure, but I do have a good feeling about Mocavo's plans. Any time there is increased competition in any marketplace, the consumers benefit. Having another provider of genealogy information strikes me as a good thing.
As mentioned in today's announcement: In the next few weeks, we will make several exciting announcements about these additions that are sure to please family historians.
There is a lot of work to be accomplished before the images appear online. But do stay tuned: this announcement looks to bode well for genealogists as well as for the enterprises involved.