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miiser
04-30-2016, 08:36 PM
If you had to choose one or the other, would you say that FTDNA's test sequence, marketing, and upgrade system is designed to:

1) Encourage the most efficient testing strategy for the customer to meet their genealogy goals?

or

2) Promote testing to maximize FTDNA's revenues and profits, even if this includes encouraging tests that won't advance the customers genealogy goals?


I'm curious to hear what most people think.



Follow-up bonus questions to discuss: Can all FTDNA project administrators be trusted to give unbiased test recommendations? Or do some project administrators of large projects essentially function as salespeople in the service of FTDNA? Are all the project administrators actually volunteers, or are some of these "volunteer" project administrators of large projects actually on the payroll of FTDNA?

miiser
05-01-2016, 03:27 AM
If you had to choose one or the other, would you say that FTDNA's test sequence, marketing, and upgrade system is designed to:

1) Encourage the most efficient testing strategy for the customer to meet their genealogy goals?

or

2) Promote testing to maximize FTDNA's revenues and profits, even if this includes encouraging tests that won't advance the customers genealogy goals?


I'm curious to hear what most people think.



Follow-up bonus questions to discuss: Can all FTDNA project administrators be trusted to give unbiased test recommendations? Or do some project administrators of large projects essentially function as salespeople in the service of FTDNA? Are all the project administrators actually volunteers, or are some of these "volunteer" project administrators of large projects actually on the payroll of FTDNA?

As a relevant side note, I thought I'd mention genetic genealogy blogger Roberta Estes, who poses herself as a neutral commentator on her "DNAeXplained" blog. But it has been reported that she has a financial relationship with FTDNA. So it appears there is a precedent for paid promoters of FTDNA posing as independent parties giving unbiased product recommendations.

miiser
05-01-2016, 04:19 AM
6 of 6 polled so far believe that FTDNA's primary concern is profit, not the customer's interests. No FTDNA advocates here willing to stick their necks out?

David Mc
05-01-2016, 04:36 AM
It would have been nice to have a third choice that allowed them to aim for both profits and customer satisfaction. Most businesses are neither altruistic nor profiteering. They aim to make money and do their best for their customers. If that option had been provided, I might have taken part in your poll. As it is, it seems like you've offered false choices.

David Mc
05-01-2016, 04:38 AM
And for the record, I have never received moneys of any kind from FTDNA. :)

miiser
05-01-2016, 05:48 AM
It would have been nice to have a third choice that allowed them to aim for both profits and customer satisfaction. Most businesses are neither altruistic nor profiteering. They aim to make money and do their best for their customers. If that option had been provided, I might have taken part in your poll. As it is, it seems like you've offered false choices.

It is certainly not a false choice. The poll question itself unfortunately permits a limited number of characters to express the question and options, so I elaborated on the question in my opening comment. For the second option, I do not say that customer benefit is of no concern at all, only that it is a secondary concern after the primary concern of profit. Even if their primary concern is profiteering, they ought to care about customer satisfaction insofar as it can affect future profits. But it is possible for a customer to be taken advantage of and still be fully satisfied, ignorant of the fact that they've been sold a product they don't need. A savvy business whose primary goal is profit will take advantage of this reality.

The poll question asks which is the primary concern. In the case of at least some business decisions, maximum customer benefit and maximum corporate profit are in opposition to each other. When making business decisions based on competing goals, the decision will be made based on whichever of these goals is primary.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
05-01-2016, 06:10 AM
I haven't voted because I don't know for sure, but it does seem to me that various tests are encouraged, which may be in the interests of research, but what is lacking for me is understandable guidance for the average person with limited knowledge of the subject in interpretation of results, what they actually tell you as an individual and what further tests could actually give you in terms of greater understanding (or not).
I tested Chromo2 with Britain's DNA over 2 years ago (not cheap) and I still don't really understand what my results tell me other than the basics and I feel like a dork repeatedly asking what may seem dumb questions to those with greater knowledge and get the impression that sometimes your questions are a distraction from "bigger issues". It has put me off undertaking further tests with FTDNA or others because what is the point in forking out another few hundred pounds if I won't understand the outcomes or struggle with the process?
On the one hand you have people promoting more testing as the way forward, but seeming to assume that every potential customer out there already has the technical knowledge to interpret and understand results and go through the various processes, which is maybe fine for people who have the skills and are prepared to spend the time.

miiser
05-01-2016, 06:10 AM
It would have been nice to have a third choice that allowed them to aim for both profits and customer satisfaction. Most businesses are neither altruistic nor profiteering. They aim to make money and do their best for their customers. If that option had been provided, I might have taken part in your poll. As it is, it seems like you've offered false choices.

To help you out, here are a couple examples of business actions that require a choice between competing goals of maximum customer benefit and maximum revenue and profits:

Leave mtDNA within Big Y data, as it is there by default in the data of the test that the customer has already paid for (maximum customer benefit)
or
Remove it so that customers will have to purchase a separate test if they wish to see mtDNA data (maximum revenue and profit)

Promote SNP packs to customers who have already taken a Big Y test (maximum revenue and profit)
or
Target SNP pack marketing only to customers who will benefit from them (maximum customer benefit)

There are many other similar examples in which maximum customer benefit is in opposition to maximum FTDNA profits. Let the record show which goal drives FTDNA business choices.

David Mc
05-01-2016, 06:26 AM
Those are fair points, miiser. Again, I would take issue with your choice of words. Even if you were able to demonstrate that their bias was towards profits, the term "profiteering" is not only inaccurate (profiteering is profiting unethically) and highly pejorative. So I would still say, given the words you've used, it's a false choice.

miiser
05-01-2016, 06:38 AM
I haven't voted because I don't know for sure, but it does seem to me that various tests are encouraged, which may be in the interests of research, but what is lacking for me is understandable guidance for the average person with limited knowledge of the subject in interpretation of results, what they actually tell you as an individual and what further tests could actually give you in terms of greater understanding (or not).
I tested Chromo2 with Britain's DNA over 2 years ago (not cheap) and I still don't really understand what my results tell me other than the basics and I feel like a dork repeatedly asking what may seem dumb questions to those with greater knowledge and get the impression that sometimes your questions are a distraction from "bigger issues". It has put me off undertaking further tests with FTDNA or others because what is the point in forking out another few hundred pounds if I won't understand the outcomes or struggle with the process?
On the one hand you have people promoting more testing as the way forward, but seeming to assume that every potential customer out there already has the technical knowledge to interpret and understand results and go through the various processes, which is maybe fine for people who have the skills and are prepared to spend the time.

It is definitely true that many customers don't have a strong understanding of the specific purpose of a specific test, or a solid grasp on how it will advance their own genealogical research. So it may often come down to the guidance of a project admin whether a particular group tends toward maximum FTDNA revenues or maximum customer benefit. So what's particularly troubling is the thought that there might hypothetically be project admins out there who are essentially FTDNA sales people encouraging project members to buy every test available.

To further complicate matters, some project admins may have their own private agenda, apart from either the customer or FTDNA. If a project admin's main hobby is doing analysis of project member's tests and constructing haplogroup/historical/anthropological theories from the analysis, they may be motivated to promote maximum testing even if it's not in line with the tester's personal goals. Or a project admin might have a psychological motivation - I could imagine that in some cases, project admins might have dreary, disappointing lives - are not in a position of importance at work, struggling with family problems, etc. - and running an FTDNA project gives them a sense of self importance that they cannot achieve elsewhere. In such cases, the admin may get a rush of power out of tugging on the strings of their project members, authoritatively telling project members that their haplogroup originated here or there in Europe, and getting people to take this or that test.

What I tell people is that before they purchase a DNA test, they should have a specific goal in mind and then choose the lowest cost test that is able to meet that specific goal. And if no DNA test will likely be able to satisfy the specific goal, then they should not simply close their eyes, throw their money into the wind, and cross their fingers to see what will come out of the woodworks. It's usually only termites. The genealogy and the document research should take the lead and inform the genetic testing. It is never as simple as "This test is the best".

And just to be clear - I do not really think FTDNA is "evil" for prioritizing profit. It's simply a reality that nearly every business operates this way as a matter of practice, although there are varying degrees of "evil" and shady dealings at different corporations. For awhile, Google had the corporate motto "don't be evil". It's a worthy goal and good branding (especially for attracting employees in a generally anti-corporate, hippie leaning environment such as San Francisco), but Google has nonetheless at times acted in ways that can only be described as profiteering. It's important that customers recognize this agenda before buying any product, whether it's at FTDNA or elsewhere, and keep in mind that the person recommending the test may not always have the customer's best interest as their primary concern.

miiser
05-01-2016, 06:45 AM
Those are fair points, miiser. Again, I would take issue with your choice of words. Even if you were able to demonstrate that their bias was towards profits, the term "profiteering" is not only inaccurate (profiteering is profiting unethically) and highly pejorative. So I would still say, given the words you've used, it's a false choice.

Now that I think about it, "profiteering" may be a little harsher than I intended it, and if I could travel back in time I would soften the wording. But I find it interesting that 6 people voted for this option in spite of the strong word and negative connotations.

RobertCasey
05-01-2016, 03:40 PM
I think black/white answers encourage getting the wrong perception. It should be a sliding scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is profiteering and 1 altruistic. I would vote an 8 based on several issues: 1) FTDNA's refusal to add the required YSNPs for individual order. This is the biggest issue since discovering new branches under L226, the cost per branch discovered with Big Y only is over $1,400 per branch (this is the same as Walk the Y) yet runs about 10X of this cost per branch when testing individual YSNPs. However, each Big y does produce a few more new private YSNPs. 2) the trend of giving insider information to those that represent a biased view in favor of FTDNA; 3) their policy to to create "better" privacy which just allows people to horde the "family Bible" and drives up costs - both at the project level (admin abuse) and their new strategy of defaulting to project only for new tests; 4) their reactionary marketing strategy: 23andme brings out atDNA then FTDNA, FGC introduces NGS testing then we get Big Y, YSEQ introduces YSNP panel tests then we get SNP packs. 5) Now, threatening lawsuits to protect themselves (FTDNA IDs are public domain if the publicly published which FTDNA does for YDNA tests). Now GEDMATCH uses yet another meaningless ID. 6) Alex and YFULL leaves ISOGG in the dust for haplotree improvements and we finally get some pretty good FTDNA YSNP haplotrees.

But on the other side, FTDNA spends a lot of profits on helping out the newbies with their support center. They do have good conferences every year where the genetic community can meet and exchange ideas. They really started this whole industry and deserve their leadership. They have stuck to the best platform YDNA while Ancestry.com dropped YDNA and is more interested in collecting new users to drive the $1.0B genealogical database business. They are quick to react to changes from competition, so they have staying power. They at least attempt to maintain a database (although their are many issues). They do spend a lot of money on IT but miss the boat on advanced tools. They produce products a lowest possible price that we demand but this means their is less funds for tools because we are too cheap to pay for anything but the test costs.

Joe B
05-01-2016, 04:11 PM
To further complicate matters, some project admins may have their own private agenda, apart from either the customer or FTDNA. If a project admin's main hobby is doing analysis of project member's tests and constructing haplogroup/historical/anthropological theories from the analysis, they may be motivated to promote maximum testing even if it's not in line with the tester's personal goals. Or a project admin might have a psychological motivation - I could imagine that in some cases, project admins might have dreary, disappointing lives - are not in a position of importance at work, struggling with family problems, etc. - and running an FTDNA project gives them a sense of self importance that they cannot achieve elsewhere. In such cases, the admin may get a rush of power out of tugging on the strings of their project members, authoritatively telling project members that their haplogroup originated here or there in Europe, and getting people to take this or that test.


The main purpose of a haplogroup project is to develop the phylogenetic tree. That requires advanced NGS testing pure and simple simple. I make no apologies for it. Nobody is being forced to take a test other than a SNP test to prove they belong to a haplogroup project. People are not as dumb as you're making them out to be. They know this is a scientific endeavour. I can imagine there are people out there stuck in their cave with nothing better to do than complain about project managers.

Eochaidh
05-01-2016, 04:34 PM
Now that I think about it, "profiteering" may be a little harsher than I intended it, and if I could travel back in time I would soften the wording. But I find it interesting that 6 people voted for this option in spite of the strong word and negative connotations.I am not sure that this is too harsh. There are two cases.

SNP: I took the BigY test a year and a half ago and they declared me M222. They also began, and continue, to offer me a test for 115 SNPs below M222 for $119. I would have happily done this is it had not been for two knowledgeable people in my FGC4077 group who examined my BAM file and found my lower subgroups. I informed FTDNA about the presence of the groups in their own file, but they still label me M222 and off the other test. A normal business would have a "Do not solicit" field in the database to stop these kind of worthless offers, but FTDNA does not. But for luck, I would have paid twice for the same data and they know it.

STR: I have commented before that I took the STR111 test some two years ago and have never gotten a match from them. Other people, the privileged group admins can see my results, but I cannot. This pushed me to do the BigY test to get some results. A cynic might say that this was their plan.

I work as an Oracle Developer/Application DBA and I know how these things work. Both of the issues could be solved easily, but only if the will to do so was present.

MikeWhalen
05-01-2016, 04:38 PM
Its pretty clear the OP has an axe to grind and simply tried to frame it in semi acceptable terms

use of the word 'profiteering' is the key, a despicable act that often happens during a crisis and in more than a few countries, including Western ones, can bring about a jail sentence or even summery execution

this is the exact sort of passive/aggressive hostile nonsense that drives people away from the forums and I find it irritating that the OP did it as I have found other of his posts to be useful and interesting

-let it go miiser, you're better than this

Mike

ps-for disclosure.. spent money on several companies over many years and 2 continents, never got dime one from any
-I think they all did their basic job well, some a bit more user friendly than others

Pss-this will be my last post in this thread, I have no intention of joining this particular circus

miiser
05-01-2016, 08:58 PM
Its pretty clear the OP has an axe to grind and simply tried to frame it in semi acceptable terms

use of the word 'profiteering' is the key, a despicable act that often happens during a crisis and in more than a few countries, including Western ones, can bring about a jail sentence or even summery execution

this is the exact sort of passive/aggressive hostile nonsense that drives people away from the forums and I find it irritating that the OP did it as I have found other of his posts to be useful and interesting

-let it go miiser, you're better than this

Mike

ps-for disclosure.. spent money on several companies over many years and 2 continents, never got dime one from any
-I think they all did their basic job well, some a bit more user friendly than others

Pss-this will be my last post in this thread, I have no intention of joining this particular circus

Honestly, I don't have an axe to grind with FTNDA. I do have a bit of an axe to grind with the heavily pro-FTNDA promotional activity I sometimes see on this forum and elsewhere by people who ought to be more neutral. I only post such messages when I feel it's needed to counterbalance the aggressive lobbying from the opposite side. I don't mind toning it down, but I think it's reasonable to expect the other side to be held to the same standard.

It's injustice that gets my dander up. When I see one side or the other getting unfairly treated, I tend to step in and voice my opinion to defend the underdog. I think you'll find that this is a fairly common thread in my forum posts that might otherwise be viewed simply as complaints. For example, the last time I was very vocal was when GEDmatch was getting beat up by FTDNA.

I am usually content to read forum threads without offering my own input, as long as all the relevant ideas are being covered. I only jump in when there is a void needing to be filled, or some unchallenged BS needing to be challenged.

miiser
05-01-2016, 09:30 PM
The main purpose of a haplogroup project is to develop the phylogenetic tree. That requires advanced NGS testing pure and simple simple. I make no apologies for it. Nobody is being forced to take a test other than a SNP test to prove they belong to a haplogroup project. People are not as dumb as you're making them out to be. They know this is a scientific endeavour. I can imagine there are people out there stuck in their cave with nothing better to do than complain about project managers.

The "for science" argument has always especially amused me. I suppose there is some John McDoe sitting in Miami, waiting for his Big Y results, who imagines anthropology professors in prestigious universities around the world waiting with bated breath to find out whether he belongs in arbitrarily numbered haplogroup AB1234 or AB4321.

Genealogical research of one's own tree is the only reason a person ever ought to take a genetic genealogy test. There is no field of science out there that is being advanced by your Big Y test, unless you provide your test data to a medical database along with your personal medical history.

If your goal is simply to advance science, then just give me the $500. I'll apply my experience in MEMS to work on developing the next generation sequencer. I guarantee it will go further "for science" than if you hand it over to Greenspan.

Joe B
05-01-2016, 11:10 PM
The "for science" argument has always especially amused me. I suppose there is some John McDoe sitting in Miami, waiting for his Big Y results, who imagines anthropology professors in prestigious universities around the world waiting with bated breath to find out whether he belongs in arbitrarily numbered haplogroup AB1234 or AB4321.

Genealogical research of one's own tree is the only reason a person ever ought to take a genetic genealogy test. There is no field of science out there that is being advanced by your Big Y test, unless you provide your test data to a medical database along with your personal medical history.

If your goal is simply to advance science, then just give me the $500. I'll apply my experience in MEMS to work on developing the next generation sequencer. I guarantee it will go further "for science" than if you hand it over to Greenspan.
Nobody is waiting for univerisities to publish phlylogenetic trees. It seems arrogant to say "Genealogical research of one's own tree is the only reason a person ever ought to take a genetic genealogy test. There is no field of science out there that is being advanced by your Big Y test, unless you provide your test data to a medical database along with your personal medical history." There are over a thousand people in the haplogroup project that I'm involved with that are very interested in the science of phylogenetics. Most are way past seeing if they are a Smith or Jones and want to participate developing the phylogenetic tree. Many are from countries far and wide with little or no genealogical interest. You are insulting all of them. Please note, I don't care where one gets their NGS test and don't recommend giving money to people with a chip on their shoulder.

firemonkey
05-01-2016, 11:26 PM
I have never felt pressurised to do a test by FTDNA. As things stand I probably made a mistake doing Big Y but then only because there are very few E-L17 out there and no others have currently done the Big Y. If a few came along though I might well change my mind as there might then be something to work on.

George Chandler
05-01-2016, 11:45 PM
It's "extremely" important that project members are tested for NGS and have that interest in the phylogenetic tree. It's the group members with a willingness to test who are the ones making it happen in terms placing SNP's in the tree. Having a large database of SNP's is (placed or not) critical with the testing of human remains going on.

I agree it can be frustrating at times when people are asked to test a certain SNP which you "know already" they are either positive or negative but you can never be 100% without actually performing the test. I comes down to the level of importance for that specific SNP. It becomes important as well with SNP's that turn up in different haplogroups yet are the same mutation.

All companies will have their flaws, issues and positives.

George

Táltos
05-02-2016, 03:46 AM
I have never felt pressurised to do a test by FTDNA. As things stand I probably made a mistake doing Big Y but then only because there are very few E-L17 out there and no others have currently done the Big Y. If a few came along though I might well change my mind as there might then be something to work on.

It's never a mistake; just a waiting game. :)

firemonkey
05-02-2016, 04:26 AM
It's never a mistake; just a waiting game. :)

I'm not ultra impatient but I'm not the world's most patient person either.

TigerMW
05-02-2016, 01:25 PM
It would have been nice to have a third choice that allowed them to aim for both profits and customer satisfaction. Most businesses are neither altruistic nor profiteering. They aim to make money and do their best for their customers. If that option had been provided, I might have taken part in your poll. As it is, it seems like you've offered false choices.

David Mc is exactly right. This poll is a false dichotomy which is a logical fallacy. Politicians and media do this to divide us and try to put their opponents in a bad light. Ex. "Do you beat your wife with your left hand or your right hand?"

Of course they are interested in profit and WE WANT THEM TO BE. We need self-sustaining on-going institutions to make profits so they won't they will die and we will have less options. This is the good thing about the economics of capitalism. Profits attract competitors. Competitors drive costs and prices down and provide new and improved functions. It's all good.

How do you get profit? Any salesperson knows it is much harder to sell to dissatisfied customers than to satisfied ones. The incentives of improved service are there but there are trade-off with costs and therefore pricing. Do customers want cheaper or better? Probably both but this is the struggle in the marketplace.

miiser
05-02-2016, 01:29 PM
David Mc is exactly right. This poll is a false dichotomy which is a logical fallacy. Politicians and media do this to divide us and try to put their opponents in a bad light. Ex. "Do you beat your wife with your left hand or your right hand?"

David acknowledged the truth of my response to his concern. Do you willfully choose to ignore my use of the word "primarily", or simply fail to understand the meaning of the word?

And your analogy is not even a sensible one. Beating your wife with your left or right hand are both beating your wife. But the poll gives the option of two distinctly different choices, one of which casts FTDNA in a negative light and one in a generous light. A closer analogy would be, "Do you beat your wife or bring her flowers every day?"

At any rate, 75% of respondents believe that FTDNA is PRIMARILY profit oriented, which speaks much more loudly than anything you could possibly have to say about it.

TigerMW
05-02-2016, 02:24 PM
David acknowledged the truth of my response to his concern. Do you willfully choose to ignore my use of the word "primarily", or simply fail to understand the meaning of the word?.

I see the word but that is just a word-smithing, phrase parsing game like what we see on the media all of time.

Let us add the word "primarily" here - "Do you primarily beat your wife with your left hand or your right hand?" The question still is a false dichotomy.

Your poll still leaves little room for other motives or recognition that combinations of motives are at work. In that sense, this closed-ended poll question is not good for seeking truth if that is something we care about.

But why the mind reading games anyway? I don't care what motives FTDNA has, as long as they are legal and produce what people want.

miiser
05-02-2016, 02:36 PM
I see the word but that is just a word-smithing, phrase parsing game like what we see on the media all of time.

If I add the word "primarily" here - "Do you primarily beat your wife with your left hand or your right hand?" The question still is a false dichotomy and leads little room for other motives or recognition that combinations of motives are at work.

It is not "word-smithing". The word "primarily" significantly changes the content and meaning of the question. So you have apparently answered my question with your response: you do not understand the meaning of the word "primarily".



But why the mind reading games anyway? I don't care what motives FTDNA has, as long as they are legal and produce what people want.

The whole point of the poll question is whether FTDNA is, in fact, producing what informed customers want, or rather are more focused on producing what they themselves want - money.

My poll is not about minding reading FTDNA's motives or airing a personal gripe.


My intent is to provide a beacon of truth to those web surfers who innocently meander into this forum looking for balanced advice, and instead find themselves lost in a morass of FTDNA promotional propaganda masquerading under the guise of informative factoids about FTDNA's tree size, haplogroup project growth rate, etc. - this practice being especially offensive in light of the fact that comparable "factoids" regarding FTDNA's competitors are, as a matter of policy, strictly forbidden outside of tightly controlled threads.

TigerMW
05-02-2016, 03:29 PM
It is not "word-smithing". The word "primarily" significantly changes the content and meaning of the question. So you have apparently answered my question with your response: you do not understand the meaning of the word "primarily".

Your question still poses a false dichotomy. You are trying to collect subjective information with binary questions. This questioning technique is called "closed ended". Everything I've learned in business communications and real life is that if you want to find the truth you ask "open ended" questions. I've never been to a psychiatrist but I imagine that "open ended" is the questioning style they use.


The whole point of the poll question is whether FTDNA is, in fact, producing what informed customers want, or rather are more focused on producing what they themselves want - money.

It appears like you've already made up your mind about what their motives are. The nature of the questions is leading and fencing in the respondents options for answering. If you already know the answer, what truths are you searching for?


My poll is not about minding reading FTDNA's motives or airing a personal gripe.
In context of your prior sentences, it sure sounds like a grip.

Let us go to the marketplace and let that be the poll. It's the one that really counts. People uttering this or that makes little difference. It's how people vote with their money.

FTDNA is the clear market share leader in many forms of Y DNA testing. There is your poll.


My intent is to provide a beacon of truth to those web surfers who innocently meander into this forum looking for balanced advice, and instead find themselves lost in a morass of FTDNA promotional propaganda masquerading under the guise of informative factoids about FTDNA's tree size, haplogroup project growth rate, etc. - this practice being especially offensive in light of the fact that comparable "factoids" regarding FTDNA's competitors are, as a matter of policy, strictly forbidden outside of tightly controlled threads.
Calling a fact a factoid does not make it untrue. A fact is an element of the truth, which you seek. Is it relevant? is what matters.

It sounds like you have a lot other concerns. I'm sorry this bothers you. Please just bear in mind, that fairness is in the eye of the beholder, just like beauty. Different strokes for different folks. It's all okay. It's not worth losing sleep or anything, I don't think.:)

David Mc
05-02-2016, 06:54 PM
David acknowledged the truth of my response to his concern... I'm sorry, but that's overstating it. I said you had made fair points, and reading backwards I can see I wasn't as clear as I could have been. I meant your points in the post immediately above my response. I too have been annoyed with suggestions that I do SNP tests when I've already covered all the bases when I did the BigY. I too would have loved for the mtDNA to have been left in the BigY.

Having said that, the first example probably arises from a badly implemented automated response system-- one which is meant to help customers identify the best next step, but is unable to distinguish when someone has already done all of the steps.

As to the second point, I get the frustration, but I think it's fair for them to do this. They were selling the BigY, not the Big Genome.

I still think you've offered false choices... and Mike has laid out the reasons rather eloquently.

If you don't like his analogy, try this one:

A friend asks people if they think you primarily love your wife (while appreciating your friends) or primarily love your friends (only somewhat caring about your wife). It's totally unfair to you, of course, because by framing the question in this way you are made to look like a bad husband or friend from the start. You and I know that it's possible to have a healthy balance between marital love and the love of friends... but the question doesn't recognize that possibility. The original question invites anger from both sides, but does nothing to acknowledge the middle ground where most people (or most businesses in the case of the OP) live.

So, no, my concerns weren't allayed-- that's why I raised the issue of language (profiteering) again. I left it there, though, and wouldn't have become involved again if my name hadn't been used in this way.

Mac von Frankfurt
05-02-2016, 07:52 PM
Not sure ftdna set out to create the current situation but it does resemble Zeno's dichotomy paradox.

miiser
05-02-2016, 09:33 PM
Your question still poses a false dichotomy. You are trying to collect subjective information with binary questions. This questioning technique is called "closed ended". Everything I've learned in business communications and real life is that if you want to find the truth you ask "open ended" questions. I've never been to a psychiatrist but I imagine that "open ended" is the questioning style they use.

Forum polls are binary by nature. They do not permit a sliding scale of profit versus customer interests. So I followed the only practical approach by making a binary poll question and using the word "primarily" as acknowledgement of the fact that the two goals are not entirely exclusive.

Theconqueror
05-02-2016, 11:54 PM
It's a totally valid question, and for me it's obvious that FTDNA primary objective is not to provide top-notch ancestry information. Their first goal, as it is the case with 23andme (Google), is to get ALL you genetic information and profit from it in various ways. How do you explain then their endless single SNP testing, basic autosomal products and tools, under-sampling of European populations (hello Germany!), and general obfuscation in supporting the true discovery of European ancestry.

TigerMW
05-03-2016, 04:56 PM
It's a totally valid question, and for me it's obvious that FTDNA primary objective is not to provide top-notch ancestry information.

There are trade-offs in economics. Would you pay a million dollars for "top-notch" ancestry information? How do you define "top-notch" and do you think everyone would define it the way you do?

Do you see why I think the market is the ultimate arbiter? People vote with their dollars. That's a meaningful vote and gripes and grumbles are just a part of folks' consideration.


Their first goal, as it is the case with 23andme (Google), is to get ALL you genetic information and profit from it in various ways.

Why bring 23andMe in to this?

23andMe writes,
"23andMe was founded to empower individuals and develop new ways of accelerating research. The members of 23andMe have come together because we believe in the combined potential of genetics and the Internet to have a significant, positive impact. These Core Values represent what motivates us at 23andMe."
http://mediacenter.23andme.com/our-core-values/

I don't know if there is some truth to that or it is all bunk. I assume they want to make money so they can do things, not all bad, like pay employees. Do we need phsychological evaluations done on the senior officers at 23andMe and FTDNA?


How do you explain then their endless single SNP testing
What company are you talking about here, YSEQ? They focus on single SNP tests via Sanger Sequencing. A lot people complain on the other side of the issue with you here, as FTDNA has quieted single SNP test availability in favor an SNP Pack approach.


... basic autosomal products and tools, under-sampling of European populations (hello Germany!), and general obfuscation in supporting the true discovery of European ancestry.
Who are you talking about here? I agree with you that Europeans are under-sampled. I sure wish more continental Europeans would buy genetic genealogy tests but how is that a company's fault? I'd like to see them advertise more there and in France but I think it is more complicated than that.

The theme I'm getting here is profit = bad.

Perhaps this is more about world views as individuals than anything. Please consider also reading Adam's Smith book, "The Wealth of the Nations".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealth_of_Nations

TigerMW
05-03-2016, 05:08 PM
Forum polls are binary by nature. They do not permit a sliding scale of profit versus customer interests. So I followed the only practical approach by making a binary poll question and using the word "primarily" as acknowledgement of the fact that the two goals are not entirely exclusive.
You could have used more neutral wording. You could have more choices to respond rather than just two (binary). You didn't need to use a poll at all. You could have just opened a thread with an open ended question. Open ended questions are better at seeking the truth with multi-faceted, complex issues.

I have a close family member worked for Gallup Polls. When asked to objectively find information on audience sentiment they take great care not to bias the questions and not to target non-representative segments of the audience.

AJL
05-03-2016, 05:10 PM
the poll gives the option of two distinctly different choices, one of which casts FTDNA in a negative light and one in a generous light. A closer analogy would be, "Do you beat your wife or bring her flowers every day?"

Many people, of course, do neither. Probably most. Sorry, there's just too much neglected grey in the middle for this poll to be anything other than bait. If you asked something like "What is FTDNA's primary motivation?" and had a poll answer with a sliding scale of 0 to 10, with Altruism at one end and Profit at the other, then it would be fair. But you've left out the equivalents of "I neither beat my wife nor bring her flowers every day," as well as "I sometimes do one but more often do the other," as well as "I do both every day," and "I bring her flowers on weekdays and beat her on the weekends."

This thread has run its course.