Some seemingly unconnected events are really the same thing:
Ancestry.com changes the format, name and emphasis of Footnote.com to a "new" site called fold3.com (yes, it does not have a capital letter at the beginning, but neither did footnote.com).
Hewlett-Packard to spin off its personal computer business. Yes, this means that there might not be any more HP computers on the market. What does this mean if you already own one or just bought one?
FamilySearch.org keeps adding millions of records with images with many millions added just since the first of August, 2011.
Wal-Mart said same-store sales at its U.S. discount stores, by far its largest business, fell 0.9 percent in the second quarter, the ninth straight quarterly decline at domestic stores open at least a year. See Yahoo Finance.
Target reported second-quarter results Wednesday morning that included a solid rise in same-store sale, in contrast with rival Wal-Mart.
What do all these things have in common? They are all the results of business strategies, market conditions and corporate goals. In the case of Ancestry.com's move with Footnote.com, this is a purely market oriented and business organization move. Ancestry.com may have any number of motivations for the change, but none of them are based on what is best for the genealogical community, only what is best for Ancestry.com. By the way, I had it pointed out to me that the change may have a dramatic impact on member pages and memorial pages on the "new" fold3.com. It remains to be seen what will happen to all of the non-military records presently on fold3.com. Will they move to Ancestry.com? Or, what is possible, Ancestry.com will create yet another subscription service and thereby another income stream. These decisions are not considering the impact on the genealogical community.
So how is that related to HP, Walmart and Target? Target has started a new campaign to sell more food items through their stores. Apparently, the program is working. Does that have anything to do with your own food purchases? Are you now more likely to go to Target than you were before? When you go to Target will you buy your food there, instead of at the local supermarket? Did Target make this decision based on your own interest? Both Walmart and Target are seeing an impact from basic changes in the economy and changes in markets. HP is seeing the same thing. Desktop computer sales are down and there has been a dramatic shift to Apple products. HP introduced a tablet computer with a huge ad campaign just a few weeks ago and now, announces that the tablet will be discontinued. Too bad if you bought one. Too bad if you signed up for a Footnote.com account.
So what does all this have to do with FamilySearch.org? Even though FamilySearch is a non-profit organization, it still has a business strategy, it has to take into account market conditions and it has corporate goals. Fortunately, those goals coincide with the major interests of the genealogical community. Also, fortunately, FamilySearch is really trying to further genealogical research by making records more available rather than less available and at a higher price. But FamilySearch has strategic agreements with Ancestry.com and some of its record images are on the now fold3.com. So what happens with fold3.com will ultimately affect at least some of the records on FamilySearch.org's Historical Record Collections.
So market conditions affect large corporations in some of the same ways they affect you and me. It will be interesting to see what develops.
There may be a lot more later.