15 April 2013, Tax Day in the United States, has been targeted by FamilySearch for a major overhaul of the FamilySearch.org website. However, the messages I got yesterday from my meeting with the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group were mixed. Several speakers and others referred to the pending changes but there was substantial disagreement as to the effect of the changes. What seems to be the case is a movement towards incorporating FamilySearch.org more closely into the main website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at LDS.org.
Given the current conspiracy attitude of many people in today's world, this move will likely be seen by some to have sinister overtones. But it is obviously being done to follow up on the previous goal of consolidating all of the various websites, as much as possible, at one virtual location on the Web. There is presently, and has been for some time, a measure of confusion over the various websites. The confusion has arisen in part, through the unfortunate naming practices. For example, there is still some confusion between New.FamilySearch.org and FamilySearch.org. By consolidating these two websites, the problem will eventually vanish. Presently, the links between LDS.org and FamilySearch.org are difficult to find. In the Church, FamilySearch.org will benefit from more and easier visibility. Likewise, the users of FamilySearch.org will benefit from access to the resources on LDS.org.
Some comments were made that the changes purportedly coming will involve little more than a cosmetic overlay. But there are so many conflicting reports, it is hard to sort out what is really going to happen. In my own opinion and given the history of the websites, some changes might occur but it is likely that changes will continue for a period of time and that not all of the changes discussed will ever be implemented.
In technology, change is inevitable and so we expect it. Stay tuned.