You might recall that I’d mentioned the 1940 census indexing project, run in part by familysearch.org. Last week familysearch.org announced that the indexing work had been completed:
Congratulations! 1940 US Census Indexing Complete! – eepurl.com/oeasH
— FamilySearch (@FamilySearch) August 4, 2012
The timing of this announcement is a big deal because the original estimated time frame for completing the indexing was 6 months (or at least by the end 2012). Instead it only took 124 days, very impressive!
What I want to focus on though is the link in that tweet, it goes to http://eepurl.com/oeasH
My first thought was that they have a fairly active blog, so this link must go to a new post at https://familysearch.org/blog/. Not so, instead it goes to a MailChimp page at http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=b0de542dc933cfcb848d187ea&id=c6e095aa92
Great announcement, but it should have be driven to a post at https://familysearch.org/blog/ instead. Why? First and foremost it is about owning your content. This is a big deal that potentially many people will want to link to and share, why would you drive them all to a third party site? Worse yet, what if something happens to MailChimp and that URL stops working? Next, you decrease the likelihood that someone reading the announcement will read through other pages on familysearch.org. There are only two links on that page that go back to familysearch.org and they are part of content, towards the very bottom. None of the navigation or other outside elements link back to familysearch.org.
FamilySearch, this is one of the reasons you have a blog in the first place, a portion of your site where you can make big announcements like this. Since you have comments enabled on the site it is also a place for your users and fans to talk about this achievement. Posting this announcement on your blog would have been better for familysearch.org and it would have been better for your readers and users.