First of all, I'd like to welcome anyone coming to this blog. If you've come because of Ancestry's closing of Expert Connect, I have a few links at the end of this post to alternative sites that accomplish a similar purpose of hiring genealogists for research.
I started with Expert Connect about eight months ago and completed 38 projects in total, which were a mixture of record lookup, custom research, and ask an expert. All of my business came through them, and I am grateful that it gave me a start in researching professionally. The Expert Connect system allowed me to cultivate a growing client base, and I've never had any trouble with any of my clients. It also provided me some much needed income while I am looking for a job as an archivist.
About ten days ago, Ancestry.com sent the providers an email stating that, though not considered a failure, the company would be closing Expert Connect to new client requests as of February 3rd. A further email stated that on February 3rd, the Expert Connect page would be replaced with links to ProGenealogists (a company Ancestry.com bought) and the Association of Professional Genealogists.
I've had to rearrange what I was doing to get business, hence the creation of the blog. I can't pretend to know their reasons for closing EC, but I'm moving forward. Eventually I plan on joining the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a portion of my fees will be going towards professional development (conferences, equipment, and genealogy courses).
If you are looking for genealogical research and want bids from more than myself I have signed up at two websites that allow for genealogists to bid on projects:
My Profile: http://www.genlighten.com/profiles/megan-atchley
My Profile: http://www.genealogyfreelancers.com/index.php?action=view_profile&profile_id=1874
Also, Directory of Genealogists is a new site listing for quite a few experts that were previously on Expert Connect and will be live soon:
Directory of Genealogists (At the moment, the list of genealogists resides at GeneaPro: Link)