There Is No Cat

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Monday, January 12, 2004

The decline and fall of Everton/The Family History Network

In the world of genealogy, there are few names more venerable than Everton. Since the 1940s, they've published a magazine, originally known as Everton's Genealogical Helper, and now known as Family History Magazine. In the days before genealogy became the second most popular subject on the net, the Helper was an invaluable tool, publishing queries and indexing every surname that appeared in the magazine. Before networks, they were the best networking tool available in their field. They even took note of the potential of the Internet quite early, setting up one of the earliest web sites devoted to genealogy.

And now they're just a bunch of fuc<ing spammers.

I take a pro-active approach to keeping my e-mail box clean of spam. The way my account at my web host works, any mail that's not addressed to a specific account at my domain winds up in my mailbox. So I take advantage of that. If I sign up for a mailing list, that mail is sent to a specific address at my domain. If I have to give an e-mail address to a company when I purchase something over the net, they get a unique e-mail address to use as well. That way, if spammers get hold of it, I can just shut it off, and I can track where they got hold of it from.

That's how I know that Everton, now known as The Family History Network, is scraping my address (and presumably others) from mailing lists I belong to on Rootsweb and using them to spam me with pleas to subscribe to their magazine. I never gave them those addresses, and I never agreed to let anyone other than the list members for those lists e-mail me at those addresses. But Everton/The Family History Network thinks it's okay to steal those addresses to spam me, just like the pen¡s enlargers, pornographers and pump-and-dump stock manipulation fraudsters they're emulating.

I got my first spam from them a couple of months ago. Today more started showing up. Sure, they say "just opt-out; we honor opt-outs". That's not acceptable. Do I have to opt-out for every address I've used to subscribe to an e-mail list on Rootsweb with? That's bullsh¡t.

Years ago, Roger Ebert devised the Boulder Pledge, to never purchase anything from a company that spams. I've held to that over the years. I read most of the commercial genealogical magazines on the market in this country. But after the first spam I got from Everton/The Family History Network, I stopped buying their magazine, and I'll never buy another copy.

It's a shame to see such an honorable name dragged so low. I hope they enjoy sharing the gutter with the scum they've chosen to emulate.

Posted at 9:26 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Thats too bad. I've also read them from time to time. -Fellow genealogy geek

Posted by Ben Hines at 9:52 PM, January 12, 2004 [Link]

The End For Family History Metwork?? A notice in Logan (UT) "Hareld Journal", legal notices on Sunday, 18 Jan 2004 listed a Sherrif sale for "Family History Network to be held 28 Jan 2004. The sale is to be held at the Everton building in Nibley UT. Sale to include all property, and all intelectual rights of the company..etc.. It looks like they have reached the end....

Posted by W. C . Hance at 2:54 PM, January 19, 2004 [Link]

Well, that was fast.

I'll just have to remember to use my powers for Good, not Evil....

Posted by ralph at 7:17 PM, January 19, 2004 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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