Marketing PGV more effectively

2004-10-12
2013-05-30
  • I have seen phpGedView mentioned many times on many sites.  But it is uniformly described as (not another!) a program to put your family tree on the web.  But that isn't PGV at all!

    phpGedView is the first, best, and fastest growing on-line family tree groupware.  phpGedView lets you and yours work on one true family tree together.

    Is there something we can do to help recitfy this perception problem?  I can see the following possibilities.  Some of them may be of course unfeasible:

    -The name of the program is misleading at this point in PGVs maturity.  phpGedView utterly misses the mark and puts PGV in the middle of the pack of GED2HTML clones when it should be in an entirely fresh class.  Would a new name be on the table for consideration?  A mysterious name might actually help, at least get people thinking:
    --phpGroupTree
    --OurFamilyTree
    --FreeGroupTree

    -Our motto fails to capture the essence of the revolution PGV represents.  "A New Look for Your Old Ancestors" is mighty catchy indeed.  But it falls right back into the pack of GED2HTML clones.  Try these.
    --''Log on. Branch back."

    -Could we develop press release material that reflects our unique contribution?

    I look forward to hearing ideas from the rest of you.
    Tom

     
    • John Finlay
      John Finlay
      2004-10-12

      Hi Tom,

      I think that we have reached a stage where we can begin truly marketing PGV.  But let's first keep the facts straight:

      This statement is false:
      phpGedView is the first, best, and fastest growing on-line family tree groupware.

      PGV is not the first.  We all think PGV is the "best" but that is subjective and poor marketing material.  PGV probably still is the fastest growing.

      I think it is a bad idea to change the name of a product after it has been established.  In hindsight, PhpGedView is probably the worst name I could have picked.  It is nice to read, but not easy to say.  Unfortunately, I think it is too late to completely change it now.  I do think it is appropriate to shorten it to the acronym, PGV or to drop the php and just call it GedView. 

      Also in looking at new names we would have to make sure we didn't step into any trade mark issues.  Did you know the term "family tree" is trademarked?  :P  As such we could not use the term "family tree" in the name of the program.

      If we also changed the name, then we would have to register new domain names, change images, and register a new project with sourceforge.  The cost to change the name is just too high.

      I have done some marketing and advertizing on Google for PGVhosting.com and I am finding that the thing that people are most interested in is online editing, followed by online sharing and collaboration.  Those are the ads that are getting the most clicks. 

      So we should probably start promoting the online editing more, but if we are going to do that, then we have to start working on the editing more.  Up to this point, I have put the editing on the back burner to other aspects of the project.  But I think it is time to begin shifting development and energies to editing and the research log more.

      Over the next year, I am also going to be promoting PGV at genealogy conferences here in Utah.  I am also working on papers so that I can present some of PGV's unique and exciting features at the Family History and Technology conference.

      --John

       
      • bearqst
        bearqst
        2004-10-12

        John,

        Well stated and thought out. I wanted to express my agreement on putting more time into the editing aspect.

        I think this would be a big boost to an already excellent program.

         
    • Ron
      Ron
      2004-10-12

      John,

      I really like what you have done to date, especially the new reporting, the relationship charts etc. 

      But I have to agree with you regarding the editing.  My workflow utilizes Legacy 5.0 for editing, and then an import.  It's long winded, but it works. 

      It is however, not a collaborative workflow.  I think you are right in that the biggest innovation phpgedview can bring to genealogy is the centralised editing and sharing of the data. 

      The name is pretty ugly.  Doesn't roll of the tongue. 

      Just my thoughts,

      Ron

       
    • Greg Martin
      Greg Martin
      2004-10-12

      Comments in line.  I know I'm new here - please take what I say with a grain of salt.  I'm only hoping to add to the conversation

      \\Greg

      > I think it is a bad idea to change the name of a product after it has been
      > established.  In hindsight, PhpGedView is probably the worst name I could have
      > picked.  It is nice to read, but not easy to say.  Unfortunately, I think it
      > is too late to completely change it now.  I do think it is appropriate to shorten
      > it to the acronym, PGV or to drop the php and just call it GedView.

      I agree.  But remeber that someone could branch your code and pick a cool name.  We need to make sure the description and other literature does a good job of presenting the  feature list and benefits.  As you state later - we need to make sure EDIT is upfront and obvious.  The current Sf description is missing that as is the FAQ on the web site (at least in the what is pgv? entry)

      >
      > Also in looking at new names we would have to make sure we didn't step into
      > any trade mark issues.  Did you know the term "family tree" is trademarked?
      > :P  As such we could not use the term "family tree" in the name of the program.
      >
      > If we also changed the name, then we would have to register new domain names,
      > change images, and register a new project with sourceforge.  The cost to change
      > the name is just too high.

      You could consider a sub-name with pgv as the product "suite" name.  Something like phpGedView Genealogy Portal (pgvGenealogyPortal) .  Sounds cumbersome, but maybe there's a legitimate idea in there <g>

      >
      > I have done some marketing and advertizing on Google for PGVhosting.com and
      > I am finding that the thing that people are most interested in is online editing,
      > followed by online sharing and collaboration.  Those are the ads that are getting
      > the most clicks.
      >
      interestign way to do market research, but it works!

      > So we should probably start promoting the online editing more, but if we are
      > going to do that, then we have to start working on the editing more.  Up to
      > this point, I have put the editing on the back burner to other aspects of the
      > project.  But I think it is time to begin shifting development and energies
      > to editing and the research log more.

      As a novice "genealogist" but professional technologist, I suspect those wishing to run your code are likely interested in a rich environment for making their info availalbe over the web.  Editing would be key to this.  I also think documentation is important as well.

      It would be helpful to have a working document that describes short & long-term goals and how someone can get involved to help

      >
      > Over the next year, I am also going to be promoting PGV at genealogy conferences
      > here in Utah.  I am also working on papers so that I can present some of PGV's
      > unique and exciting features at the Family History and Technology conference.
      >
      > --John

      How active is your development community?

      \\Greg

       
    • miron
      miron
      2004-10-12

      I think we can all give a helping hand here.
      My modest share can be seen in:
      http://www.avotaynu.com/nu/v05n18.htm

      Miron.

       
      • KosherJava
        KosherJava
        2004-10-12

        From Avotaynu I expected a mention of Hebrew language support as well as Jewish date conversion offered by PGV. Maybe mention it for their next issue.

         
    • Daniel Kionka
      Daniel Kionka
      2004-10-12

      I made a rough attempt to show the groupware aspect in the "Paradigm Shift" section of the GDBI home page:

      http://gdbi.sourceforge.net/

      This is as good as I get with HTML, so feel free to expand on it.

      I think the groupware approach is tough to sell for 2 reasons.  One is that (unless you constantly import and export) you have to say goodbye to your favorite genealogy program and put your future in PGV's hands.  There are a lot of good features we have to match.  The other is the control and purity aspect that when your relatives make changes, you either have to reject them or take them in as your official data.  But then, it isn't your data, it's your family's data.

       
    • Thanks for your excellent responses, John.  And isn't Google Adwords amazing for market research?

      I think you are headed in the right direction.  A name change is truly daunting.  Would a new motto and a little web site work be feasible?

      Tom

       
    • Er, I mean a new slogan.  :-)

      Tom

       
    • At the least (and I think this small change will reap a lot of effect), the Standard theme header image and any others should be changed to say

      "PhpGedView
      Online Genealogy **Editor** - A new life for your old ancestors"

      Viewer must be changed to Editor at this stage in the game.  Then reviewers will call it an editor, not (another, eyes glaze over) viewer.

       
    • Jason Hicks
      Jason Hicks
      2004-10-22

      I for one am quite pleased with PGV's display functions and have welcomed all the fabulous improvements that have been made in this area.

      With all the other editors out there, why strive to be just another one? 

      Marketing "groupware" sounds good from a IT professional level, but I'm telling you, many folks are going to think that sounds complicated and skip right over it.... not to say that "phpGedView" doesn't sound complicated.

      If I just mention the word phpGedView to my family and I see their eyes glaze over.  "The family tree webpage" works best in my discussions.

      I hope that PGV's ability to display genealogical data remains the heart of this project.  I believe that well presented data encourages interest in family research more than the ability to enter data... not from our standpoint, but from our family members that we must gather so much information from.

      The presentation is what brought me into genealogy, and for that I thank John & the rest of the developers.  This tool has sparked my interest and subsequent discovery of so much of my family's past.

      My $0.02,
      J

       
      • Daniel Kionka
        Daniel Kionka
        2004-10-23

        I agree that buzzwords like "groupware" can scare people away.  It is important to stress the aspects/benefits of groupware it has rather than the fact that is is groupware.

        I can just imagine granny telling a relative, "It has something called 'groupware', and besides that, we can all work together on the family tree."

        Even though we techies know how hard it is, I think most people assume that if you have a family tree webpage, anyone can go in and update it.  It should be the responsibility of the other programs to put disclaimers that their webpage is a mere snapshot you can not update.