Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Events, Speaking, Stories

ACOM-GirlReadingWhen we think about Big Data we often envision charts, graphs and spreadsheets, but what if we could use that same data to produce detailed stories about interesting subjects or people?

Increased pressure to find meaning in mounds of data—in real-time and at scale—has given rise to technology that analyzes and turns individual data points into bite-sized prose and, in some cases, fascinating personal stories.

Take for example, the man who was responsible for spreading the Spanish Influenza that ultimately killed more than 20 million people worldwide.  Imagine instantly weaving together a history about this man’s life and his family’s journey to the U.S. through technology that mines historical data kept in records.

If selected to speak at SxSW Interactive, Executive Vice President of Product Eric Shoup, will discuss how using AI-based technology can bring depth and meaning to massive amounts of data and, in turn, the stories presented to end users.

Your vote matters! Please vote for Eric’s presentation to be selected via the SxSW PanelPicker:

PanelPicker voting will close on Friday, September 6 (11:59 PM CST).



About Eric Shoup:

Eric Shoup has over fifteen years of experience in high-tech development, product management, professional services and general business management, where he combines exceptional technical understanding and analytical ability with outstanding product marketing. He has served as’s Executive Vice President of Product since February 2012. He joined the Company in August 2008 as Vice President of Product. Prior to joining the family history giant, Eric was at eBay for more than five years, where he focused on growing the eBay Stores product and ProStores business unit and also assembled and led eBay’s global mobile product team. Prior to eBay, Eric was a Director of Product Management at Commerce One, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions and worked at US Interactive, designing and managing consumer e-commerce and marketing Web sites for established companies such as Lexus and Wellcome Supermarkets (Hong Kong). Eric holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

About Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's Head of Global Social Media and Online Support Community and is responsible for developing and managing the company's social media and social business offerings worldwide. She works with a team of community managers, genealogists and social content developers to help educate Ancestry's existing customers, inspire new family historians and expand awareness into new social audiences and communities. She has a deep love of family history and is currently trying to break through the brick wall of her Christophier line (that was supposedly French and Catalan, but it seems was really the Christopher's from Iowa) and to one day prove where the heck William Wells of Southhold, NY (b. 1608) was really born.



Your advertisement says this is free. It is not free and that is false advertisement, which is illegal. It seems odd to me this organization hasn’t been sued for false advertisement. This service is not free and should not be advertised as such.

August 20, 2013 at 7:56 am
Kristie Wells 

Hi Sandra, the basic service is free and you can build your tree and search our database one of two ways:

(1) You can sign up for a free 14-day trial. It will require a credit card, but as long as you cancel before the end of the 14th day, it is 100% free of charge.
(2) You can sign up for a guest account where no credit card is required. You can find instructions on setting up this account at

Hope that gives you a path to using our service without paying for it.

August 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

This sounds like an interesting presentation. What other opportunities will there be to hear it whether or not it gets selected for SxSW Interactive?

August 20, 2013 at 11:01 am
Audrey Babbitt 

What is FREE?? I have paid for many years to use and have been very satisfied.

But FREE? Tell me about it.

August 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

What is this? What purpose will it serve genealogy, or me? Explain in plain English. And you had better hurry! September 6 is right around the corner.

August 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm
Ellen Thorne Morris 

Idea sounds great. Have trouble accepting that one person was the start of the great flu. No DNA to use then, or did patient catch it from a monkey like one of the legends of AIDS?

August 21, 2013 at 11:30 am