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Find My Past New Website

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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:44 am

I agree with DCA and Margaret (which I haven't always done) - thanks to Sarah. I might even think it a sign of hope that FMP allow real people to answer the issues. Though that might be a bit optimistic. ....

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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby Editor » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:48 pm

Thank you to everyone who has supported my move. It was a difficult decision to do a video interview and I found the whole thing very hard, but it was good to actually talk to people face to face. They really do take this issue very seriously (they have to or they will lose subscribers!). I think the best way to get continuous improvements is to keep pushing for changes on their feedback forum. Although I couldn't push them on refunds, I understand that they have given some people who were affected by the migration and website redesign a subscription extension so it would be worth contacting them on support@findmypast.co.uk and trying that.

Also, a panel of readers will be testing the site during May and comparing it to Ancestry and TheGenealogist so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

Regards and have a great weekend,

Sarah
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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby DCA » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:04 pm

Sarah / Jon.

Have you any idea what is going on at the FMP feedback forum page? The last message posted was at 5.49pm on Friday 25th. I have been monitoring all weekend and not one single new post has appeared for the last two days. I have just tried to post an innocuous query message and it does not appear, instead I get a message "awaiting moderator approval".

There have been rumours for some time that FMP are censoring the forum, now it appears they have cut off all communication between their long suffering customers?

I am not on Facebook or Twitter so is something being said on these sites which I am not privy too?

If FMP are now barring all criticism on the forum page, this is an all time low, even by their poor management standards!
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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby ITSt » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:27 pm

DCA wrote:Sarah / Jon.

Have you any idea what is going on at the FMP feedback forum page? ....


Hi DCA,

The FMP Feedback Forum has had a "Moderation" feature implemented. It was switched on sometime around Thursday/Friday. All posts are now moderated before being put on the forum. Now do not laugh at this bit ... The last post to show was on Friday just before 6pm, since then nothing, can you guess why ? Yep, the FMP employee who has been tasked with moderating the forum went home for the weekend :lol: Can you imagine what that poor person is going to sit down to on Monday morning :shock:

The reason FMP gave on their Facebook page for the “moderation” was that posts were being made that contained personal info on FMP employees. What was actually posted was information that was taken from DC Thomson's own web sites and the public profiles on LinkedIn. FMP are showing a huge amount of naivety. There was nothing wrong with the posts and in fact a few of mine that contained similar information have not been removed !
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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby ITSt » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:34 pm

Oh, and by the way, due to the non-posting over the weekend on the FMP Feedback Forum a great number of users have been posting their issues on the FMP Facebook page, it's been swamped with reports of errors, searching issues, missing information etc. etc.
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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby DCA » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:51 am

Thanks ITSt.

I guessed it must be something like that, but after all that has gone on, I can't believe (or perhaps I can) that FMP have not learned their lesson about communication with their customers and putting announcements on social media before their own web site.

Strange isn't it that people are quite happy to post their private information all over the internet when they want to promote themselves, then get all defensive when things go wrong!!

If this wasn't such a serious issue it would be laughable!!

DCA
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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby tigertail » Thu May 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Today, sometime between 08.30 and 13.30 FMP restored the following functionality on the census transcripts:

1) people now in the same order as the original image
2) the searched for peron now appears in the main list of people

Now we await the rest (occupation, speed of loading, use of lower case, sex, condition etc etc) but at least it seems things are moving - sloooooowly.

Hooray
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FMP and the Feedback Forum and the last 6 weeks

Postby Margaret Hirst » Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm

FMP has effectively cut off the Feedback Forum to complaints by removing the thread relating to "bringing the new site into line with the old one". At the time of it being removed, there were 2235 comments on it. Most were complaints - none were feedback from FMP, as they never had the good manners to even acknowledge any of the queries never mind to provide advice or updates. In addition, other threads now fall into a "moderation" queue, whereby you post your comment and it may, or more likely may not, be posted to the live site.

This is a disturbing development by FMP, but understandable in a business sense. FMP's .com and .ie sites have not had a Forum facility, so subscribers from outside the UK have never had an outlet to voice their opinions. FMP may say that they are under no obligation to provide a facility where their customers can openly discuss their site, and certainly not to provide one where negative comments can be made. A Facebook page called Can't-Find-My-Past has been set up by subscribers and is providing a point for other subscribers to comment, and give and obtain advice.

It is now over 6 weeks since this whole thing began. The site is still littered with functionality errors. FMP are controlling what they can with regard to comments - ie the website and Facebook. However, there are still plenty of review type sites on the internet where people are posting. Unfortunately, there appears to be very little new to say as nothing much has changed.

In my opinion, FMP may well have known that the new "platform" wasn't perfect, but put it out anyway so that they could release their new data sets, thinking that the "tweaks" it needed could be easily sorted in a few weeks at the most. I would not be surprised if the time it has taken and the vociferous outcry has taken them unawares and they are now having to develop a new strategy. According to their own comments, their staff are working very hard to rectify the problems. Therefore, is it reasonable to speculate that either the FMP staff are not capable of that level of work, or that the system is so riddled with defects that it cannot be easily repaired without causing knock-on problems elsewhere?

On a positive note, FMP have made some refunds on subscriptions. Initially they refused to do this and offered 2 months' extension on a subscription as a sweetener - probably expecting that any problems would be solved well within this time. It is unknown how many people have received this.

So the current situation is - Anyone's Guess. FMP only seem concerned in publicising their new releases, and not updating the What's New page, which currently has no entry since Friday 25 April. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, "if this is the way FMP treats its paying customers, it doesn't deserve to have any".
Margaret Hirst
 
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Re: Find My Past New Website

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu May 01, 2014 11:23 pm

I think we need to be wary of thinking that because the old system did X, the new system can be tweaked to do the same quickly. If we look at the totally impractical way the year specific census forms handle birthplace, then swapping to a text based facility with wild cards will need a serious rewrite of code and new columns in database tables.

And don't underestimate the potential for knock-on effects. The whole system will be designed to be integrated. The last thing we need is for a change to baptisms (say) to foul up burials.

Sent from my GT-I8190N
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Find My Past finally appearing to get their act together?

Postby Margaret Hirst » Fri May 02, 2014 7:36 pm

So the afternoon of Friday 02 May arrives, and with it a lengthy statement from Annelies van den Belt, CEO of FindMyPast. (Why do they always do it on a Friday afternoon? It is endemic with senior management. Put it out, and we have the weekend for people to digest, get angry, analyse, consider, and then come Monday [or Tuesday in this case due to the Bank Holiday on the 5th], they are calmer and less likely to blow up at us....)

Anyway, she Acknowledged (mistakes including poor communication), Apologised (for letting the subscribers down) and Explained (what they were going to do to put it right). The explanation included the implementation of subscriber input including a "customer participation group", and she even gave "an" email address to contact her direct. If this had been done weeks ago, much of the hassle, frustration, and anger could have been dissipated.

I feel that this statement tells us a lot about how unexpected, widespread, and involved the problems with the new search platform are - although I doubt that we will ever get to hear a fraction of what went wrong. Initially, I expect, they thought that things could be sorted out pretty quickly. This has not happened (obviously). Still, at least there is hope for the future for this once excellent site.

Oh, and in addition to all of this (as if it was not enough), FMP have been issuing substantial refunds to subscribers. Talk about a major turnaround. Watch this space........
Margaret Hirst
 
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