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A New Merging Enhancement

Posted January 5, 2011 by George | 2 Comments

Today we released a new enhancement to the merge center: the ability to filter the profiles.  The feature is very simple to use.  Above the merge center on the right, you’ll now see a Viewing: drop-down menu. This drop-down provides the ability to filter the profiles in the merge center by various Projects, as well as a few options that are specific to the individual user. The My Relatives option displays only your relatives in… Read the full story

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Looking Forward to 2011

Posted December 31, 2010 by Geni | One Comment

Yesterday we took a look back at Geni in 2010.  Today we’d like to share our vision for the coming year. Geni’s mission is to create a shared family tree of the world. We continue to believe that getting as many people as possible to work together on a common tree is the best way to achieve this goal. We are committed to developing the best collaborative genealogy platform to enable this crowd-sourced world family… Read the full story

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Looking back at 2010

Posted December 30, 2010 by George | No Comment

As we prepare to usher in the New Year, we thought we’d stop and take a look at the last twelve months to see what has been accomplished on Geni…and the list is quite impressive. The Big Tree Steady growth of the Big Tree has been a constant in 2010.  We started the year with more than 30 million connected profiles, and that number has increased more than 60%.  In fact, there’s a chance that… Read the full story

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Update: Back! … Temporary Outage on 12/27/2010

Posted December 27, 2010 by George | No Comment

Update 4:00 PT: Service has been restored.  Our apologies for the brief inconvenience. 3:35 PT: We are experiencing a temporary outage.  Our engineers should have the site back up very shortly, please check back soon.

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Introducing Text Revisions

Posted December 23, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Today we released a new feature that allows users to view revisions on the “About” text for people, project, and surname pages.  The feature also provides the ability to compare two different versions of the text and revert back to a previous version. On any text field that supports text revisions, there will be a history link: To view revisions, click on the history link and a lightbox that displays the revision history will appear…. Read the full story

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Updates: Removing Media and Private Profile Discussions

Posted December 20, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

We’ve added two small changes.  The first makes it easier to remove media from profiles, and the second enhances discussion privacy on private profiles. Easier Removal of Media In some cases you will now see a red “X” next to media thumbnails on the profiles you manage.  Clicking the “X” allows you to remove the media directly from the profile, without having to navigate through the various media interfaces. You can only remove media from… Read the full story

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Geni API Feedback

Posted December 17, 2010 by George | No Comment

Prior to Wednesday’s release of the Geni API, we had been working closely with several Geni users to test the API functionality.  Today two of our users, Daniel Walton and Grant Brunner, share some thoughts about the API. The straw that broke the camel’s back We had been planning to create the API for some time, but it hadn’t yet become a priority.  A little more than a month ago, Noah noticed an interesting discussion where… Read the full story

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Translating Websites

Posted December 17, 2010 by George | No Comment

Note: This short post is a cross-post from the Geni Engineering blog.  The topic is less relevant to genealogy and Geni users, but we wanted to share because we know a lot of you are tech enthusiasts. We released our translation features six months ago and quickly saw our community translate Geni into 20 different languages.   Since then, Geni has been translated into 70 different languages with over 150,000 translations.  It has been amazing… Read the full story

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Introducing the Geni API

Posted December 15, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

After more than a month of alpha testing, we are proud to announce today’s release of the first version of the Geni API.  The API allows Geni users to develop third-party tools and applications that can interact with the breadth of data that the community has contributed for the past three years. To use the API, visit http://www.geni.com/apps and register your application.  (Note: If it is a desktop application, you can enter any callback URL you… Read the full story

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Introducing Surname Pages

Posted December 13, 2010 by George | 7 Comments

In less than three years the Geni community has created nearly 100 million profiles, including almost 50 million that are part of the Big Tree.  Among all of those profiles, there are more than 3 million unique surnames on Geni. Today we announce the addition of Surname pages to Geni.  Surname pages create a central point of discovery for profiles, projects, documents and discussions that are related to any given surname.  Geni users can follow… Read the full story

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Geni is available in the Chrome Web Store

Posted December 7, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Today Google opened the Chrome Web Store in anticipation of next year’s debut of Chrome OS notebooks.  We have added Geni as the first family tree app in the Web Store. For Geni users that browse the web with Chrome, it’s simple to “install” Geni as an app in your browser.  Simply visit our app’s installation page, click install, and Geni will be added to your Chrome browser. Once the app is installed, it will appear… Read the full story

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The Big Tree: Approaching 50 Million Profiles

Posted December 2, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

At Geni, our goal is to provide the genealogy community with tools for collaboration, and to ultimately create a single family tree for the world.  As growth of the Big Tree (the largest connected tree on Geni) continues, we find ourselves getting closer and closer to a huge milestone:  50 million connected profiles. This week we launched a World Family Tree page that allows the community to see the current status of the Big Tree and… Read the full story

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Updates: More Wikitext and Project Notifications

Posted December 2, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

This week we released two updates to the site.  The first is the addition of Wikitext support to the “About Me” section of profiles.  The second is the addition of Projects to the Notifications box that you see on your home page after you log in. “About Me” Wikitext Wikitext markup is now supported in the “About Me” section for profiles.  When you edit any profile that you manage, you’ll find a Wikitext editor on… Read the full story

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Projects 2.0

Posted November 23, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Since we introduced Projects we have been adding new features regularly and usage has continually increased.  This morning, we reached the milestone of 600 Projects on Geni. Today we released the next major version of Projects. This release includes features that make it easier for Geni users to use projects for research and collaboration.  The Projects interface is similar, but there are many more features that we’d like to highlight. Suggested Projects We can now… Read the full story

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Easier Project Creation and Related Projects

Posted November 19, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Yesterday we released two enhancements to Projects:  an easier way to create Projects, as well as the ability to mark Projects as related.  The response to the release of Projects has been very encouraging, and we will continue to focus our efforts on making Projects as easy to use as possible. Start a New Project When you click on “Start a New Project”, you will now be shown a lightbox that allows you to quickly… Read the full story

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Geni at Spotlight: LA Tech

Posted November 16, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

This Thursday, November 18th, Geni will be presenting at the inaugural Spotlight: LA Tech event hosted by TechZulu at the UCLA Anderson School of Management (map link).  The event is a “screening room for new technology homegrown in our region. It’s a gallery of great entrepreneurship.” TechZulu is holding the event to provide an environment for young entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to network and meet with the creators of the most innovating local technologies.  In addition… Read the full story

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Introducing Project and Discussion Search

Posted November 12, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Today we are updating Projects and Public Discussions to include search features that make it easy to find relevant information within these features. Project Search You can now search for specific information in Projects including the Project name, text within the wiki text area, and Profiles that are associated with a Project.  To search Projects, simply type your query into the box and press Enter, or click the magnifying glass icon. For example, let’s assume… Read the full story

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BetterGedcom – Improving Data Exchange Among Genealogists

Posted November 10, 2010 by George | No Comment

Last Wednesday’s interview subject, Dear Myrtle, sent us this press release yesterday regarding a project with the intent of making genealogy data a little bit more portable.  The BetterGedcom project “will be to develop an update/replacement for the de facto GEDCOM standard based on input from end users and developers world-wide. Long-term efforts will include standards for the sharing of genealogical information over the internet, for example,” according to Myrt. We can confirm that GEDCOM… Read the full story

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Welcome to the new version of the Geni Blog

Posted November 1, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Geni announces the relaunch of the Geni Blog, including daily/weekly features and content for genealogists of all types, from hobbyists to advanced.

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Building the “Big Tree”

Posted October 29, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Recently, when we introduced Curators, we noted that Geni’s mission is to create a shared family tree that connects all of our users. We wanted to share a little bit more about what this vision means and how we are going to get there. For centuries, people have studied their family history in order to document their ancestors and find new relatives. However, there has never been a great way to share the results of this… Read the full story

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Enhanced following privacy

Posted October 27, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

A few weeks ago we introduced following, a great way to control your notifications and keep track of the users, profiles, and now projects you’re interested in. Although following does not have any privacy implications (you don’t gain any additional access to profile information by following a profile), some users were not comfortable with people they don’t know following their close relatives. Even though this did not in any way violate the privacy of these… Read the full story

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Project Enhancements

Posted October 27, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Projects were first introduced a couple of weeks ago as a way to organize groups of profiles, usually around a specific family, surname, place or event. Users have found some really interesting uses for projects, and almost 200 projects have already been created. Today we’re introducing the following enhancements to projects: Project Discussions Every project now has its own list of discussions. Use the Project Discussions link to view a list of threads related to… Read the full story

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Introducing Projects (now for everyone)

Posted October 20, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

A few weeks ago we introduced Projects, a way for Geni Curators to create collections of profiles. Some great projects have been created, from “Mayflower” Passengers and US Civil War Notables, to Extraordinary Women of the Middle Ages and Early Normans c.790-1066. Today we’re opening up projects to all users. Before you start a new project, please review the list of current projects to make sure that there isn’t already a similar project. You can… Read the full story

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Introducing Following

Posted October 14, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Today we’re introducing following, a new way to organize the profiles that interest you, control your notifications, and invite people you know to Geni. Following a profile is as easy as clicking the follow button. Click it again to unfollow the profile. Following a profile does a few things: You’ll receive updates about the profile on your home page. You’ll be added to the list of followers on the profile – this is a great… Read the full story

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Merging Enhancements

Posted October 14, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

As your tree grows and merges with other trees, you may find some profiles in your tree that have duplicates in their immediate family. For example, when you merge two profiles that each have a complete set of kids, you'll need to merge the kids together. In these cases, you should use the resolve duplicates option under the node's more menu to quickly merge them. We've made some changes to this process. After you drag duplicate… Read the full story

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Introducing the Enhanced Profile

Posted October 1, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Today we’re rolling out an enhanced version of the profile page to all users. After weeks of testing various versions with a small group of users, we’re ready to share the latest version with all of our users. The cosmetic changes, outlined below, make it easier to find the information you’re looking for on a person’s profile. Here is an overview of what changed: Basics Immediate Family can now be collapsed or expanded. Nicknames and… Read the full story

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Building our shared family tree

Posted September 15, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

"Our mission is to solve the problem of genealogy (the question of how everyone is related) by creating a family tree of the whole world." – Geni CEO David Sacks, January 12, 2007, days before Geni launched to the public. The goal of Geni has always been to create a shared family tree, so our users around the world can meet new cousins and discover how they relate to historical figures and celebrities. Recently we've… Read the full story

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New Features and Enhancements

Posted September 15, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

We just released the following updates: Single field date entry This has been available as an option in tree preferences for some time. We have made it the default way to enter dates in the tree. Instead of dropdown menus, you can enter the date naturally as "January 7th" or "1/7/2010" and so on. You can choose the old way of entering dates in your tree preferences if you prefer. International date formats are also… Read the full story

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New Enhancements: User profiles, Removing relationships, and more!

Posted September 9, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Geni users are increasingly working together to merge their common ancestors and find new relatives. We’ve made a couple of changes to make it easier to find and communicate with other users.  First, a user’s public activity, such as adding a public document or editing a public profile, will always appear in their recent activity. You will only see private activity, such as uploading a private photo, if you are in the user’s Family. This… Read the full story

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Site Maintenance

Posted September 8, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Update: We are back! 4:15 PM PST Site Maintenance: We'll be right back! We've had an unexpected issue. We're working on bringing the site back as soon as possible. We'll update this post once we're back. Thanks for your patience. 2:45 PM PST

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Site Maintenance

Posted August 25, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Update: We are back! 3:50 PM PST Update: We have taken the site down again for some final tuning. 3 PM PST Update: We're back! 2 PM PST – The update took longer than anticipated. Thanks for your patience. Site Maintenance: We'll be right back! We've had an unexpected issue. We're working on bringing the site back as soon as possible. We'll update this post once we're back. Thanks for your patience. 10:15 AM PST

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New Feature: Merge Center

Posted August 19, 2010 by Geni | 4 Comments

The ultimate goal of Geni is to create a single, accurate family tree that connects all of our users. A family tree is only accurate when there is a single profile for each person on the tree. When more than one user adds a common relative to the tree, we let them merge the profiles together to create a single profile for that relative. Today we’re announcing a number of enhancements designed to make it… Read the full story

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New Feature: Revisions (now for all users)

Posted August 11, 2010 by Geni | One Comment

A few weeks ago we announced the beta release of our revisions feature for Geni Pro users. Over the last few weeks we have monitored performance of the feature and feedback from users. Both have been positive and, as a result, revisions are now available to all users. Revisions are a new way to track changes to your tree and discover new collaborators. Revisions are built on an entirely new technology that will enable some… Read the full story

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Scheduled Maintenance

Posted August 9, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Update: We're back! 9:35 PM PST – The update took longer than anticipated. Thanks for your patience. We're performing some maintenance tonight around 7pm PST. The site will be down for about 30 minutes. We'll keep this post updated.

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New Features: Undo deletions and more

Posted August 4, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Undoing Deletions We're pleased to announce a long requested feature – when someone deletes a profile you manage, you can now undo the deletion. The email notification of the deletion includes a link to view the list of deleted profiles that you manage. The list of deleted profiles you manage shows you when the profile was deleted, who deleted it, and includes a link to undelete the profile. We hope this helps you maintain the… Read the full story

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Free Relationship Paths for Everyone!

Posted July 31, 2010 by Geni | 6 Comments

A relationship pathway is the list of people and relationships that connect you to another person in your tree. All Geni users can view the relationship pathway between close relatives. One benefit of upgrading your account to Geni Pro is enhanced relationship paths. These are paths to more distant relatives, friends, historical figures, and celebrities. We’re giving away enhanced relationship pathways to all Geni users for the month of August. To find a path between… Read the full story

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New Beta Feature: Revisions

Posted July 28, 2010 by Geni | 2 Comments

We’re excited to introduce revisions, a new way to track changes to your tree and discover new collaborators. A preview release of revisions is available today for all Pro users. Revisions are built on an entirely new technology that will enable some great features in the future, including the ability to undo changes to your tree and compare different versions of profiles. Today you can view a list of revisions for a tree or profile…. Read the full story

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Scheduled Maintenance

Posted July 22, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Update: We're back! We're performing some maintenance tonight around 8pm PST. There is a chance that the site may be down briefly around this time. We'll keep this post updated.

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We’ll be right back

Posted July 8, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

10:30PM PST UPDATE: We're back! 10:15PM PST We're having some unexpected difficulties right now, but we expect the site to be back in a few minutes. We'll keep this blog post updated.

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Scheduled Maintenance

Posted July 1, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Update: The maintenance took less time than expect. We're back!  Geni.com will be unavailable tonight at 7PM PST for about 30 minutes. We'll keep this blog post updated.

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Geni in One Minute

Posted July 1, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

We’ve created this short video to explain how Geni uses collaboration to make it really easy to find new relatives and build your family tree. If you want to explain how Geni works to your family or friends, just send them this video! 

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Twenty Languages. One Tree.

Posted June 23, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Geni's user base is truly international, with family trees extending around the globe. Our largest tree connects users from Israel to Estonia, from Norway to Malaysia, and just about everywhere in-between. Over half of our users come from outside of the United States, even though Geni has only been available in English – until now. A few weeks ago we invited a small group of users to use our new translation tools to translate Geni…. Read the full story

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Technical Difficulties

Posted June 14, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Update 9:55 PDT: Geni is back up. We will update this post as we monitor for further issues. Geni is experiencing technical difficulties. Server issues began around 9:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time. Our engineers have deployed a fix and the site should return momentarily.

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Give Dad the Gift of Family for Father’s Day

Posted June 10, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

This Father’s Day, give the gift of family history from Geni. Our personalized options make great gifts for all the dads in your life. Personalized Family Tree Poster:  Because your family tree is already on Geni, sending a poster takes just  a few minutes. Personalize his poster with your choice of designs and colors. Each includes up to five generations of relatives, and can be express-shipped directly to nearly anywhere in the world. Give Dad… Read the full story

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Family Tree Posters Now Available Worldwide

Posted May 25, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

As promised, Family Tree Posters are now available for delivery outside of the United States.    The 16″ x 20″ posters are available in two formats: Deluxe Framed Canvas ($119.99) – A durable gift or keepsake printed on high quality canvas and mounted in beautiful wood frame Basic Tree Poster ($29.99) – Printed on high quality, archival photo paper Design your tree poster now For more details, view the original announcement, or watch the video… Read the full story

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Sharing on Facebook

Posted May 24, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

We’ve added some great new ways to share your genealogy with your Facebook friends. You’ll notice “like” buttons on many public Geni pages, such as profiles, trees, documents, and relationship paths. If you like one of these pages, it will share a link to the page with your Facebook friends. You can even see if any of your Facebook friends have liked the same page! Use the share this path link beneath your relationship path… Read the full story

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Following discussions

Posted May 24, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

Discussions are a great way to communicate with other Geni users, whether you are having a private family discussion or a public discussion with the entire Geni community. Whether you are viewing your family discussions or public discussions, you can now choose to view all discussions or just the discussions you are following. Note that you will never see a family discussions started by someone that is not in your family. By default you follow… Read the full story

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Merging Enhancements

Posted May 24, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

The following merging enhancements were released today: Merging private profiles The privacy of private profiles is very important to us. We realize that many of our users are not comfortable revealing private information about their close relatives to the larger Geni community. These enhancements are designed to make it easier to merge private profiles without violating anyone’s privacy. When requesting a merge on a private profile, you now have the option to send the merge… Read the full story

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Enhancements & Bug Fixes

Posted May 24, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

In addition to facebook sharing options, better discussions, and merging enhancements, we recently released a number of enhancements and bug fixes: When tagging a photo with an event, you can now select from your events and events associated with anyone tagged in the photo. You can now add an existing document to event. Look for the new “Browse Existing Documents” tab when adding documents to an event. Search results are sortable by first or last… Read the full story

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New Feature: Family Tree Posters

Posted May 10, 2010 by Geni | No Comment

You've build your family tree on Geni and it looks great online, but what about when you're not in front of the computer? Print a family tree poster! These five generation family trees include your family's names, dates and photos on an archival quality poster.     The 16" x 20" posters are available in two formats:  Deluxe Framed Canvas ($119.99) – A durable gift or keepsake printed on high quality canvas and mounted in… Read the full story