Dear faithful Users,
As you know we are living on disability and well it has been a tough thing to do these past 14 years. The cost of everything has skyrocketed, and our government handout has not increased to stay in tune with the government caused inflation. There has also been decreasing revenue from ads on the website, but an upswing of the cost of the server service, meaning there is no income or cash flow from this project.
We have had to let several subscription services lapse, which means we can no longer monitor these for information, nor can we add information from them. Among the cutbacks are:
Computer Monitor Loss
Loss of second computer monitor that enabled us to read data from one monitor and type information into the program that was open on the other monitor. This enabled us to handle emails, webpages, scans, documents proficiently. Having to go back to one monitor and constantly switch between all the open windows and programs a real burden, and now it takes at least twice as long to enter data, and twice as easy to lose track of the data found. With this loss, frankly, I’m not sure it is worth pressing forward, but we have been trying to do the best we can.
We were sorry to let this service go, although it was not producing well for us. They were really helpful when they first opened, but as the cost has gone up, the results have gotten fewer and fewer. We were planning to let it go anyway, and it was the easiest to let lapse. Their service is also available in part through NewsBank, when the county library decides to offer it (in other words, it is an on and off again service).
Newspaper Archives was becoming more and more valuable as time went on, making them the clear leader. However, their prices are now really high and there is no way we can figure out how to afford it. It was a huge surprise to see our subscription had already expired on this service, but when we went to see about renewing, there was no earthly way we could possibly afford it, and no discounts that would help. Apparently the fee is now $99 for every six months? The charges are confusing.
I had forgotten I had this subscription, but it is the least expensive at $40 a year. Quite a few of us are miffed that we have to pay even more to get to the Ancestry newspapers we thought we were paying to be made available. They did have some newspapers that others did not, but we have been doing OK without them. But again, it just means we cannot check as many newspaper archives now, with the third service loss.
This was another Ancestry.com company that they spun off and require a separate subscription to, but of course will like with your ancestry tree! We thought our huge payments to Ancestry would keep records like this available to us, but alas, I cannot afford the extra $80 a year to keep US military records searchable. It was great while I had it, but the cost is too high, and how am I supposed to raise all this money when no one cares to pay for genealogy research?
This service is going to the the hardest to lose, and may mean I have to shut the website down as well. They have made record access the best, and their images are usually much better than FamilySearch. While Family Search is free, their information is spotty, and tough to handle competitively. Because my research is international in scope, the most expensive subscription rate is used of $200 would let me get Fold3 and Newspapers.com back, but where does one find $200 when he cannot even buy the medications needed on the new Health Plan?
There have been other services that we have either not been able to afford to obtain, or that we cannot sustain. This is enough so folks can begin to see the problem we have with trying to pay for all this! Yes it keeps me busy and out of trouble, but is that really a good enough reason? I am first and foremost a Bible Scholar and researcher, and this is way off the mark!
At any rate, it has been an amazing 14 years of formally doing this. I have learned a lot along the way. We are trying to get all our email backlog caught up, and it may be a good time to shut things down. I realize that nobody considers how much it costs to run a website this big, nor do they realize the cost in just having the website name address, or all the costs that come from answering emails and researching day and night.
Unless we can find a way to make this website pay for itself, or find sponsors or a foundation to support this project, this is too much for me to carry alone. Thanks for taking the time to read all this!