[ExI] it's your choice

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sat Apr 4 17:16:13 UTC 2020



From: spike at rainier66.com <spike at rainier66.com> 


>…I want to see if we can succeed where 23&Me failed.


>…The idea behind 23 was get a bunch of people to do DNA tests, group them, have them fill out surveys about their health, see if there are certain conditions that run in certain DNA-clades… spike



When the consumer-level DNA tests became available in 2006, 23&Me was originally set up as a medical experiment, so it has features inherently designed into its structure to protect privacy.  23&Me is really good that: all the default setting there go toward privacy.  If you want your identity known in 23, you hafta go in and set it that way, but most users never do that.  This makes 23&Me inherently limited and difficult to use as a genealogy tool: too privacy-oriented.


Ancestry.com was originally designed to be used as a genealogy tool, so if a user is concerned with privacy there, she really need to know what she is doing.  The default settings blab there.  It is hard to hide on Ancestry, but that outfit was never designed for secrecy, it was designed for sharing.


My theory: the idea behind 23&Me was good, but… you can’t effectively map out DNA clades until you have both the DNA and the family histories.  DNA alone is too limited: you can’t effectively create family trees with just DNA.  However, if you have people who work on family trees and have them share and compare, you figure out where the mistakes are, where is the false documentation (both intentional and otherwise) you eventually solve mysteries and put together accurate DNA-based trees, which is necessary if you are going to succeed at what 23&Me tried to do (and mostly failed  in my opinion.)


Fun aside: 23&Me recognized that DNA-based genealogy is popular, fun and useful, and Ancestry.com recognized that medical surveys are enlightening, potentially the greatest benefit of genealogy, so both companies attempted after the fact to establish those things.  After all this time, the genealogy stuff they added in 23 is cobby and hard to use, and the medical survey stuff in Ancestry.com is worse than cobby, it is frustrating and practically useless.


This leads me to this observation: later efforts cannot effectively design into a system that which the original system was designed to defeat.



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