I for one, could not be more happy to hear the news this morning that Roots Television will continue to operate under the leadership of Megan Smolenyak. In all fairness, I posted her letter discussing her reasons for closing Roots Television, therefore it is with great pleasure I am sharing with you her letter for why she has chosen to keep Roots Television operating in hopes that we will all continue to support Megan in every way that we individually can.
Dear RootsTelevision.com Viewer,
OK, you convinced me! After getting inundated with emails, tweets, and Facebook postings and messages about the closing of RootsTelevision.com (RTV), I've decided to keep it going. I honestly had no clue how valued it was by the genealogical community, and I agree with the many of you who pointed out that it serves a somewhat different purpose than the prime time programming that's on TV at present (much as I've been enjoying that!). At the same time, I think many had not realized that RTV is a one-person company, but one that's not inexpensive to provide.
Thanks very much to all you who reached out to share your thoughts and experiences. Although I haven't been able to respond to all of you, I hope you realize that your comments made all the difference in the world. Thanks also to the more than 20 individuals, organizations and companies that contacted me to explore the notion of adopting RTV. It's refreshing to know how many were willing to step in and help. I also need to thank Brightcove, the video platform used by RTV, for working with me to find viable solutions.
I should probably clarify one point of confusion. Many were under the impression that even if RootsTelevision.com closed down, the video archive would remain. Quite a few also wrote asking me to send DVDs of the videos, but with more than 700 videos on the site, popping them on a DVD is not an alternative. Hosting and streaming this wide array of videos is one of the most costly aspects, and there are rights issues involved as well, so if RTV had gone, so would have all the videos.
That's why I surveyed genealogists on Twitter and Facebook, asking whether you would be willing to tolerate commercials if it would help preserve RootsTelevision.com. I was beyond relieved how lopsided the response was! So please be aware that I will be adding commercials to help pay the bills. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to customize them, but I'll experiment with ways to make them as painless as possible. I'd also greatly appreciate it if you let me know of any people, companies or organizations that would be interested in running banners ads on RTV. Boston University and Family Tree DNA have both helped support RTV in the past by sponsoring ads, and more of the same would help ensure that the doors of RTV stay open in the future!
Og and I are going to do a little tinkering under the hood at RTV, so you'll see fewer new videos for a while, but please use that time to explore the hundreds of videos that are already there. Please also consider uploading your own videos (podcasters welcome!) through RootsTube (http://rootstelevision.com/submit_rootstube.php) and let us know of any great genealogical videos you come across in your online travels. If we see something we like, we'll do our best to secure permission to share the video on RootsTelevision.com, so you can have the widest, high quality viewing selection possible all in one place.
And finally, I would ask that you spread the word to your friends, relatives, libraries, and genealogical societies that the lights are still on at RootsTelevision.com! The more viewers, the better – so watch often!
P.S. Be sure to follow us online for new videos, announcements and special events:
Megan on Twitter - http://twitter.com/megansmolenyak
Megan on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/megansmolenyak
RTV on Twitter - http://twitter.com/rootstelevision
RTV on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/rootstv