Geni Pro Just Got a Whole Lot Better

Posted August 11, 2011 by George | 562 Comments

Update March 2014: For current membership offers and subscription pricing, please visit the Geni Help Center.

At Geni, our vision is to empower the genealogy community to create the world family tree, the single largest, most accurate, and comprehensive family tree in existence. Thanks to the efforts of our curators and power users, the world family tree is fast approaching 60 million profiles, and is more accurate, better sourced, and has less duplication than ever. And we’re just getting started.

Today, we announce the release of new permissions that are designed to accelerate the growth and improve the quality of the world family tree.  Geni Pro subscribers now have full permission to add on to, edit, and merge profiles in the historical parts of the tree. Non-Pros can no longer add new profiles to the historical tree or merge profiles.  By making these permissions more consistent, we ensure that anyone who can add a new profile to the historical tree can immediately merge it with any existing duplicates. These changes will benefit all of us as the world family tree continues to get bigger and better.

With this release, there are a few changes to the way search works as well. All users will continue to be able to find their close relatives, profiles they added, and profiles they follow. A Pro subscription is now required to searching through the 110+ million profiles on Geni to find new relatives to add to your tree.

Please note:

  • View and edit permissions have not changed. You can continue to view your close relatives and the entire historical tree, and you can continue to edit your closer relatives and profiles that you’ve added.
  • All users can continue to build a family tree of their close relatives for free, and invite their relatives to view and contribute to that tree.
  • Pros do not have any additional privileges on private profiles.

If you are interested in trying out these new Pro features, you can sign up for a free, no-risk two-week trial to Geni Pro by logging into your account and clicking here.

The following FAQ answers some of the more common questions about these account changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I still be able to edit my data?

Yes, editing permission is not changing. You can still edit all of the profiles that you manage.

I collaborate on a profile, will I still be able to edit?
Yes, editing permission is not changing. You can still edit all of the profiles managed by your collaborators.

Will I be able to export my family tree?
Yes, you can still export your family tree by visiting http://www.geni.com/gedcom while you are logged in to your Geni account.

Do I need to upgrade to Pro to connect to the world family tree?
Yes, only Pro users can merge their tree into the world family tree.

If you have additional concerns, please visit our help site for additional FAQs and help resources.

Note:  Comments are now closed for this thread.  Please see the most recent post about Geni’s recent changes, A Message From Geni’s CEO.

 

Post written by George

George joined the Geni team in September, 2010 as Geni's marketing director. You can find him on Twitter where he never posts but is happy to respond: @georgegeni

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  • Yao Liu

    I thought historical part of the tree should move towards wikipedia style. All sorts of information about historical figures are so much better displayed on Geni (photos and timeline for the most part). I found it hard to convince wikipedians to move to Geni. For one thing, they are more used to having an alias in editing articles, but on Geni we all have our real names shown. The move towards further closed-ness might deter contributions from new users, more than it enhances the quality of the tree. Just my first reaction.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for being so passionate about Geni. User feedback is very important. I appreciate you taking the time to give a thoughtful response.

      • Yao Liu

        We need some voice from Pro users, who are now probably busy merging profiles. I know many of them are very good, and will do their best to improve the tree.

        My situation is a bit different: my areas are largely unexplored territory, and I have not found much need to merge for the 10,000 profiles I’ve added. I did make one request, and apparently the manager wanted to keep his tree isolated. Anyways, I don’t think people like him would be happy about any forced merging, if he still uses Geni.

        I think if this new change persists, “my” trees won’t attract any new collaborators (it hasn’t so far, so one can imagine). I myself could never accomplish what I set out to do, not even 100 of me. Plus the fact that Geni’s search does not support non-Latin scripts as of now, your aspiration for a true “world” family tree is farther in sight. At best a European family tree. The rest of the world would have less means (or the credit card) to pay.

        If you truly aspire to a worldwide collaboration as you claimed, you should look at the single most successful online collaboration, which is wikipedia.

        The Geni team need to seriously RECONSIDER the whole deal. You wanted to make the Pro “a whole lot better”, not by making non-Pro worse. There are much room to improve on Pro itself.

        • Lynne Hadley

          Yes.  It does indeed seem to me, that Geni have acted in this way to make Pro more attractive to potential paying customers.  Just a thought, Geni, as we all put in out data which then helps to build the big tree…and which, especially when relating to obscure branches of the tree, might have eluded Geni forever…do you not think that you owe something to all the users who have provided so much data, but who simply can’t afford to go Pro?  And please don’t trot out the “you can still edit profiles up to a limited number/kind” sort of line, because it really is morally wrong of you to stop users who have contributed to the big tree from actually viewing and working on it.  How on earth do you believe that you can justify this? 

        • Woehl

          PRO user here,     Gave you 3 very lengthy posts above , in detail.   PLEASE , PLEASE , take note . 

    • George J. Homs

      I like your thought, Liu! I’ve been thinking along the same lines regarding Wikipedia. Obviously, I look at Wikipedia too to find historical facts. It’s interesting to switch between the different language versions of an entry. You’ll find very often different birth and death dates, and conflicting opinions about spouses and children etc. Personally, I think that a closer association between Wikipedia and Geni would be mighty interesting, because the collective effort on Geni around genealogy is far stronger than what Wikipedia can offer.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

    The view when searching got so much worse!  When I’m searching I want to see if “my” profiles show up, or if they’re managed by others and may require a merge, or if they’re managed by users that don’t reply on merge requests.
    This is bad!  :(

    • Anonymous

      Stig, part of what we’ve improved in this release is that Pro users no longer have to worry about people that won’t reply on merge requests. The manager and collaborator status no longer matter. Pros can complete a merge on any public profile. :-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        Yes.  Fair enough, but What if the profile is not public.  I still want to see the manager.
        Sorry for discussing both here and on facebook…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1389211081 Jessica German

        Not really seeing how this is a good thing: So, some person with NO KNOWLEDGE of my sourced tree can merge it into ANYTHING, merely because a membership was purchased? Explain to me how this is OK. (I paid BTW, not happily.)

      • BoHaug

        It’s complete bullshit that Pro users will be “doing the right thing”. I already see profiles that I manage being merged with another profile that I manage,  that does not match.

        We are fooled by GENI to believe that this was the best genealogy site to build our tree and collaborate with others to expand the tree. We are no longer able to build on the work we put into this the past 3 years.

        I am seriously thinking of deleting the thousands of profiles I’ve added and merged,

        • Anonymous

          Probably am I going to do the same as you.
          I have onethousand and threehundred profiles and have spent lots of hours over three years of adding them.
          I didn´t thought of it would end like this.

    • Anonymous

      This is really really bad and idiotic.
      The user interface has gone to the dogs and promembers with no interest if the data they´re writing is correct are occupieing my profiles and I am out cant add anything.
      This might be the end of my engagement.
      The prise for doing what I did before is too high.

  • Suzyraq

    I’m losing out by not paying for the pro account?

    • Anonymous

      Pro accounts give you many more features, yes. Building out your family group is free, though. :-)

      • Suzyraq

        But I can no longer for search for family members and that’s a huge bummer!  This change is disappointing.  My cousin in Italy (who doesn’t have a pro account) found me on here because he was able to search for me.  Sorry for the dramatics, but he never would have found if he started searching now.  At least make the price of the pro account more reasonable.

        Thanks for the previous reply.  I have a feeling you’re about to get really busy so I understand if this post doesn’t receive a reply.  But this is a super bummer.

        • Anonymous

          We’re always interested in new people trying the features of Geni Pro. Did you know you can try Geni Pro for 14 days at no cost?

          We think these updates really make the Pro service very useful. We hope everyone here in the comments who is skeptical at least tries it out to see if they like it.

          Also, we have a monthly option for those of you who don’t want to pay for a year at a time.

          • Suzyraq

            I already tried Pro with my free 2 weeks some time ago.  I’m sure Geni limits free trials and that’s cool because theft isn’t my bag.  Like you really care but after netflix, zune and car payments, I’m spent.  But thanks again for the reply.

          • Anonymous

            Well, I hope you stick around and continue to give feedback. Thanks for being passionate about Geni. :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            And how many of your paying customers is actually pissed right now?
            You’re lucky it’s 4.30 in the morning for parts of Europe now.  I can’t wait to see what the majority will write in a couple of hours time when they notice what you’ve done…

  • Jacinta Palerm

    ARG!
    What happened to “home”, what happened to the “mailbox”?
    So now one has to pay for features that were for free?
    Oh dear

    • Anonymous

      The “Home” button is the Geni logo in the top left. Click them number in the right hand area of the navigation bar for your inbox and other notifications.

  • Alexander M Bishop

    Alex Bishop says that as much work as I have done for YOU at the expense of my own tree in the last 6 months, you can all go eff yourselves like you have just done to me.

    • Geni George

      Alex,

      We understand that some users probably share the same sentiment as you right now.  First, thank you for engaging in the Geni community.  Without great users and a great community, Geni wouldn’t be such a great place for us to work.

      Second, this was a tough decision for us to make.  Rest assured that it is not our intent to alienate valuable members of the community.

      For us to offer a freemium model with a Pro subscription service that can sustain Geni’s lofty goals (and I think all of us would agree that creating an accurate, single family tree of the world is a very lofty goal), we will sometimes have to move in a direction that doesn’t please everyone.  This, unfortunately, may be one of those times.

      Either way, we’re not stopping here.  We are very hard at work at continuing to make Geni the best place for genealogists to work together and collaborate.  Our Pro features will continue to be the most innovative features on the web as the world family tree gets bigger and better.  We’d love it if you came along with us.  

      -George

      • Alexander M Bishop

        You want a accurate, single family tree, get rid of the many people you have blocking things up by not participating or who continue to participate but do not take care of their merge center.  I can give you 5 right now that you have managing over 300,000 profiles and are messing the tree up for all.  What you did today does not address “accurate, single family tree”.  Addressing what I mentioned would go much farther in that direction.

        • Geni George

          Perhaps in the short term (thought I don’t know that is certain).  But in the long term, it is important for more people to be able to add, edit and merge more profiles, and that is what our Pro account is geared towards beginning today.

          • Alexander M Bishop

            The only thing you have accomplished (and for that matter addressed on this page) is to guarantee that you will have paid users, competence unknown, adding, editing and merging profiles.  To that end you were successful.  Well done you!  How about addressing some of my other comments as well as other folks.

          • Sparky the PRO user

            What about NO-PAYING members “competence unknown”

            Some kids could get onto Geni and just add false profiles, merge randomly thinking that they are on Facebook or something.

            If someone is willing to pay for wider facilities, the chances are they are serious.

            You cannot please all and it surely takes money to upgrade hardware, and run Geni.com and where does that come from.

            Any downloaded internet “freeware” also has limited functionality as compared to that for which you pay.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            Yes, and the limits of that software is from the start so you’re able to find another software without these limitations if you’re not willing to pay for it.
            It isn’t so that when you “update” the software a lot of what you’ve done is not available any more…

            Those kids with the false profiles had to get approval from another of the managers to merge randomly… NOW anyone with pro, but without knowledge of how the family actually is can merge the false profiles.
            You call that improvement?

            And I’m also a paying PRO, so stop being an asshole to people.
            You’re implying that the non-paying members aren’t serious?

            How many paying PRO’s do geni have?  I guess they have a positive net income.  Even with the costs of new hardware and staff.

  • Jacinta Palerm

    You say All users can continue to build a family tree of their close relatives for free, and invite their relatives to view and contribute to that tree.
    What does this CLOSE relatives mean? That there is a limit to the nomber of profiles?

    • Anonymous

      Your third great grandparents and closer. Your fourth cousins and closer. Those are considered your “Max Family Group.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        This is one of the reasons I will not invite any of my fift, sixt and seventh cousins I’ve been adding lately.  And I guess you have access enough to see how many of those I’ve been adding the last weeks….
        I had started explaining a couple of them how it works, but I can just put that where the sun don’t shine…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

        my third great grandparents huh? doesn’t do me much good if their dead.. ha… just lost another user genni 

        • Kazzandra

          Well, I’m a pro-user and I’m pissed. For most all of the reasons above.

          • alfa52

            I’m not sure what “pissed” meens as english is not my motherlanguage. Anyhow, my Genifriends that are not Pro, as I am, are not yet lost to me. I do worry about their profiles where they have let me in, as the profiles are my relatives to. If the “Basic”-service is as no-service to them, why should they stay? Their contributions are extremly important to me.

          • Annulla

            “Pissed” is a slang term in the US, an abbreviated version of the expression “pissed off.” It means angry, irritated, frustrated and annoyed.

      • Stewart Tryster

        A couple of very distasteful bottom lines remain, no matter how much you sugar-coat it. A lot of people contributed information without being informed that this was in the works, which many would not have done had they been warned. I last had time to add about a year ago, but was working in the 1600s on my wife’s side, well beyond the “Max Family Group.” I have added dozens of profiles that are outside the “Max Family Group.” In many cases, on my wife’s side, for example, the information Geni received free of charge from me was obtained by my mother-in-law’s cousin doing primary research involving travel and fees (even, I’ve been told, bribes). Now Geni has the information, I am no longer permitted to add relatives to profiles at that distance unless I pay for the privilege, but a total stranger to me will be permitted to add relatives to those profiles if he/she has paid. Am I wrong in this supposition and if not, can you not see anything problematic about Geni’s current move, given that the information was solicited and received before these new terms were disclosed? Why has Geni never made this a quid pro quo? If money is charged to add to one’s own ancestors, why is money not received from Geni by those who have given it so much information? I can think of one reason, of course. If you were paying for it, most of it would be faked just for the payment. I am unlikely to continue adding anything here, if I don’t decide to take it all down (repeat of myheritage.com scenario, which I was hoping Geni would be able – to afford – to resist). One thing I’m now glad I did was to have identical copies at half a dozen other sites that are at present still genuinely free without such absurd limits, so not all my work has been wasted. I don’t expect your policies to change because of what I’m writing – they have after all been dictated by business considerations that are unconnected to the human elements involved here. I do think it would not hurt you to get feedback telling what you will be sacrificing in this move motivated ultimately by a desire for profit.

        • Stewart Tryster

          Just one extra thought: there is – especially morally – a world of difference between attracting users (and donors of information) with a free basic plan that remains unaltered while adding endless further options for those willing to pay for them and what’s just happened now. Because what’s just happened now is that labelling this new development “Geni Pro Just Got a Whole Lot Better” is simply dishonest. It’s been slowly getting better all the time. It doesn’t need a headline. What is really news, because it’s happening for the very first time in Geni’s existence, is that non-paying members who have given Geni something it arguably needs even more than money, have just had their legs cut out from under them; they come into a place in which they having been depositing some of the most precious things they have without being warned that conditions might change and suddenly most of the doors have had their locks changed and they are told they’ll have to pay for a key. There is a word for that kind of thing. I understand that Grant and George have to be loyal to their employer, but I do hope they are human enough on a personal level to see this through a non-business lens as well.

          • Jacinta Palerm

            so right!!

          • Mightycorleone

            A warning Would have been nice.  Then maybe I wouldn’t be so angry now.

          • OddWiking

            Right, Stewart. Geni is not only alienating the free users, who we have invited in because they are what we all really need in order to create a joint effort and collect the genealogy data, and which of course may be so enticed as to go Pro eventually. But Geni is also pissing off their business core; The Pro Users themselves! This is a fundamental marketing and business model disaster. @5a49adc5e48a670b370a6b2ac2b10a71:disqus for one marketer should be ever so aware of this. And I frankly suspect that he is, but is probably not allowed to admit it.

      • Tommyeggers

        Looks to me that you are both deaf and blind. Cant you see everybody is complaining? And your only response is: Pro is getting better, and nothing changed. Why not admit to your mistake and see if you can convince some users to stay. Me, I bought Legacy 7.5 and belive me, I’ll never return :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

    Non-Pros can no longer add new profiles to the historical tree or merge profiles?
    Just what is considered “the historical tree”
    and
    Does this mean you no longer wish me “a free user” to do add any research “new people” to the tree?

    If so that kind of sucks, and wont give me much of a reason to continue here I guess.

    I don’t see how making only “Geni Pro subscribers” able to add and mearge is going to “accelerate the growth and improve the quality of the world family tree”

    So anybody with no real genealogical skills can now run a muck as long as they pay for pro, while those that may have an idea what they are doing and how to do it right are now forced to pay or sit on the sideline and watch.
    I will cross my fingers that anyone going pro has some idea what they are doing.

    Silly idea to me but anything for a buck right?

    • Anonymous

      We’re working very closely with the community, and our goal with Geni is to have the cleanest and most accurate data. We believe Pro members will benefit greatly from these improvements, and that will make the tree better.

      As always, there are great tools for users to fix bad data. Fully revisited data and the ability to roll back means that any bad information is easily corrected to good information. We also have our curator team in charge of locking fields with known good data. They’re a great group of folks.

      Free members can add profiles within their Max Family Group: 3rd great grandparents and closer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        I was about to invite some of the people in the 1-2K tree I’ve added and cleaned up, to get aid in veryfing their parts of this, but as long as they can’t work on those not related to me farther back than 3rd in their own line, you just screwed up big time.
        Not only will the information be obsolete, but also soon abandoned.

        I’m currently creating a gedcom to get away from what you’ve done now.  I want to opt out of these changes.  I’m still angry for myself accepting the renewal that went through today (or actually yesterday now, but I haven’t gone to bed yet…)

        I was sitting and watching people being pissed for the downtime last week, and thought to myself why whine so much.  Geni is great.

        That was last week, up until now.

        Thank you for wasting my 1 years work here.
        If geni had been then what it is now, I would’ve used one of the alternatives already one year ago.

        How about talking with your paying customers prior to doing changes?
        Being a sys admin in a company with approx 5K users myself I know that communication is vital for the users.

        This is the second time you’ve failed!

        It seems like you need to implement a change management process.
        Start with planning, then inform the users, do the change (after you’ve listened to the users), then inform the users again.
        It seems like you plan something, and then inform after things have been done.

        You’re not only pissing on your customers that are using the free features, you’ve also irritated a lot of the paying users.

        Do you know what will happen now?  People will start to creating “Private” profiles 300 years back, to avoid schmucks from merging wrong in the tree!
        It will be even harder to collaborate with people, because we need to add them to our “family”.
        I still have 15 pages left to enter into geni, but I don’t want to do that now.
        I’ll do it on my computer locally instead.

        This is so bad, and I’m so pissed now that I will have trouble getting to sleep soon!

        It is not to late to revert.

        • Anonymous

          I’m sorry you feel that way, Stig. I hope you decide to stick around and try out the new pro features. We think the world family tree will see big benefits from the new tools.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            I don’t care that much of how the world family tree looks like as long as my small part is getting harder to work with.

          • Terjebeyer

            broken record again

          • PO’d

            I reporting any staff comments containing lies or propaganda as abuse.  Maybe then someone who cares about the users will actually read what is being said rather than spouting the company line.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

            I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

        • Niclas Carlenius

          Stig wrote:

          “I was about to invite some of the people in the 1-2K tree I’ve added and
          cleaned up, to get aid in veryfing their parts of this, but as long as
          they can’t work on those not related to me farther back than 3rd in
          their own line, you just screwed up big time.”

          Has the possibility to collaborate with distant relatives been removed? If this possibility remains, it should be just as easy as before to work with specific non-pros on the same branch of the tree. Even before this latest change, it was needed to collaborate in order for non-pros to get edit permissions on public profiles (e.g. shared ancestors) created by close family.

          Or doesn’t collaboration give the collaborators rights to add public profiles onto the collaborator’s public profiles anymore?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            My point is that I’ve been adding 4-5-6-7 and 8 cousins.  If they can’t benefit of more than the current free accounts, I don’t want them to sign up here.  Then I would rather recreate the tree on another site, or hosting something myself.
            I need their assistance in updating and veryfing some of the information.  When they have no benefit in it in regards of more than 3rd great, then why should they bother?
            It’s hard enough getting people interested in helping as it is…

      • Jacinta Palerm

        More or less what myheritage offers for free, also has an excellent seach system to other trees for free.And has great graphics. Foe larger trees you pay but they are upfront on this.

        • Geni George

          MyHeritage doesn’t provide any tools to create a single, collaborative world family tree.  That’s one of the big differences between them and Geni.

          • erayzer

            “collaborative”? that’s a load of crap
            i AM collaborative, i added 100s of names, for free.
            Geni’s is not collaborative…

          • Wojciech Gołąbowski

            Who cares about “a single, collaborative world family tree”? Dream on… We got OUR family trees.

          • Dee

            Totally agree, my interest is in building my tree I really don’t give a stuff about the family world tree and I only want to share my information with people who I am able to confirm through documentary proof are family members of mine no someone who just goes and finds names in other trees and non document linked sites and adds them on.  I do not want my tree to be part of the family world tree I want the ability to be able to share and build with my family.

          • Geni George

            In that case, I suggest you try some of the alternatives.  Geni’s vision is that of a single world family tree, and if you don’t share the same vision, perhaps we aren’t the best option for you.

          • Ilo_puhm

            the world family tree is a myth, and most certainly so now that you have locked out the non-Pro users.  

          • Sport

            George don’t care ;-) Because you cannot take your tree with you. 

          • Voqo

            Thank you for this reply. ASAP I download my whole tree and remove it from Geni.

          • Trying AppleTree.com instead

            You seem to fail to grasp that the changes to free accounts now make it so that only Pro users ever get to see the One World Tree.  Because you have crippled viewing search results, once I have built out my tree (having to do research likely on other paid sites) within the limited range allowed, if I haven’t found a connection to the world tree by then, I am done. 

            The individual changes to cripple the amount free users can build AND to eliminate their being able to see so-called “Public” profiles which now only Pro users can view (talk about your 1984 doublespeak)  are each horrific,  But when you combine the effects of both changes, you have guaranteed yourself that no-one will want to build their trees here unless they have the cash to get a Pro-for-life account. Paying for a one or two year account seems like a dumb investment because who want to ever be revert to the now useless crippled free account?

            I suggest GENI users, both free and pro look into some of the TRULY Free and truly PUBLIC world tree efforts that have recently gotten underway, such as http://www.wikitree.com/ or, though I haven’t tried yet, LDS’s FamilySearch.org which already is one of the best free sites for researching, has opened up their collaborative tree http://www.appletree.com/ to non-LDS members.

            How GENI which has no research tools or content of its own expects to switch to what will be a de facto paid account only site I just don’t see.

          • Geni George

            1. View permissions on profiles (public and private) were not changed. 
            2. Edit permissions on profiles (public and private) were not changed.

            You may be confusing the fact that some search features have become Pro-only features, but we have not changed any permissions you had on any profiles that you could view or edit before these new account permissions were put into place.

            Further, if you don’t appreciate Geni’s research tools for Pro users, we won’t be offended if you elect to use one of the wiki alternatives.  We feel that we have a far superior offering for collaboration, and our business model is to monetize that platform.

            For more information, I encourage you to read my response to Damon:
            http://www.geni.com/blog/geni-pro-just-got-a-whole-lot-better-369661.html#comment-288053589

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

        Sorry but from the sounds of all of these comments you are not “working very closely with the community” or your idea of community isn’t matching ours.

        I am simply not going to pay your site to give you my research.
        Charge for the tools not the right to enter data past 3rd gen.
        If the tools are good enough people will pay.

      • Irminger M

        That’s ridiculous, what’s the point of even TRYING to build a tree?  You seem to have no clue how many people do this because they don’t have any family relations left inside of 3 generations.  You’re forcing me to pay because I need to enter information further out to find my family when that’s just a “hope” that someone may link to me.  Get real, nice feature, but not worth paying monthly for…I’d have more success on facebook.  You’re going to have thousands of abandoned trees on your website.

        • Lknisley

          Maybe since we FREE-loaders still have our right to edit all the profiles we manage, we should all use that ability to DELETE ALL that we have added.

      • Rafi_azoulay

        Cant see how an annual fee turns me from “bad guy” with the bad information inputs  into “good guy” that “easily correct into good information”

      • D Thomas

        My “Max Family Group” goes back a bit further than 3rd g-g-gparents.”

        • Mightycorleone

          Ditto.  I’ve just managed to get past 12th g-grandparents, with extended relatives inbetween, and now this.  
          We have a saying in my mother-tongue which translates as “mad enough to catch snakes”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/todd.carnes1 Todd Carnes

        Nothing on Geni has ever been easy. Heck, half the time I can’t even get your site to let me add source documents to my tree.

      • Terjebeyer

        Do pros add better, more accurate data? Are regular users ill informed?
        Pros and regular users are equally valuable  

      • Terjebeyer

        I added 6th and 7th gen in the past with no problem. why did that have to change?

  • msecc

    When can we start uploading GEDCOMs again…

    • Anonymous

      There is actually a better way to get your family tree data to and from your desktop and Geni. http://ancestorsync.com Launching at the end of the summer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        All trees on all sites will be the same then, so if one user uses ancestorsync it doesn’t matter which site we use?
        Maybe one that respect their customers?

        • George Geni

          Stig, that’s not quite true.  Geni is unique in that we actually have a collaborative tree with tools to prevent duplication and promote accuracy.  Most other tree sites are either private or they lack the tools to manage revisions and data integrity.

          • Jacinta Palerm

            HAD

          • http://www.WikiTree.com Chris Whitten

            George, that’s not entire true about Geni being unique. WikiTree.com is a collaborative tree with tools for merging, tracking, etc.

      • Beth Beeman

        @genigrant:disqus Thanks for the heads up on ancestorsync…. going to try the beta~

        • Anonymous

          You’re welcome. We’re excited about it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Bouman/100000034152876 Daniel Bouman

            Of course you are: more money!

  • Alexander M Bishop

    I guess it’s time to go back to Family Heritage where I was never bothered by the pompous asses or the money hungry FOOLS.

  • Benjamin

    You should really test before you deploy changes like this.  This change is
    making it so that non-Pro users cannot even view profiles in our own trees or
    historical trees that we have added ourselves or with collaborators. I get a
    message to pay for Geni Pro when I try to look at my grandfather’s profile
    through “Search People”.  Now I also cannot view a thousand person tree that I
    entered with collaborators.

     

    You cannot have intended to do this, except if you are trying to get people
    to abandon Geni.

    • Anonymous

      Benjamin: You can still view and edit any profile you’ve created or have edit permission on.

      • Benjamin

        You really should read messages before you reply to them.  If I search for profiles on my tree through search people, it now prompts me to pay. 

        Please fix. This release was very badly executed and will alienate many of your user base.

        • Anonymous

          I did read your message, Benjamin. You can, in fact view and edit any profile in which you have access. Free members can search for members in their Family Group (Third Great and closer).

          As far as other profiles you have already added, your permissions haven’t changed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            So you’re expecting people to remember where exactly in a three their 7th grandfather was.  You do know how many profiles they need to remember correctly to get there?

          • Ken Tregear

            To search for your 7th grandfather named John Smith, enter “john smith geni” into Google. You get the tree and everything. Can’t edit though.

          • Michelle

            How can you not see that there isn’t a single client on here that is happy of these changes?  At the very least give us back the ability to continue to build our trees.  It sucks that you took away the ability to merge, but to not allow us to continue to enter our family information?  Well that would be the reason we weren’t on other sites!  You should worry, you had a GREAT thing going here, but like many other popular sites when you do something like this and your clients leave, they don’t come back.

          • Sparky the paying PRO

            Great things such as Geni.com do not exist on “fresh air”

            If you are truly dedicated why not pay the small price for a subscription.

            So many people are bitching but they are not prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

            How else does Geni survive – certainly not via the “freeloaders”

            Do a survey – all the moaners are complaining because they are “freeloaders” or else on behalf of other “freeloaders”

            Also earlier criticism of Curators – Curators are unpaid volunteers so cut them a little slack – they do their best and CANNOT be expected to jump when someohne clicks their fingers.

            A PRO subscription is “the right thing to do”

          • Freeloader

            “How else does Geni survive – certainly not via the “freeloaders””
            I’m sorry sparky, but you are very wrong about that.

            I’ve been on Geni for over 4 years now. Pretty much as soon as it left closed beta. Before there even was such a thing as a Pro account. Geni was created by unpaid developers (as I understand it), and was built up by unpaying “freeloaders”. I personally have added hundreds of profiles and merged and edited thousands of profiles that I no longer have access to. 

            Geni exists and subsists because of “freeloaders”. If it weren’t for the data we contributed, Geni would be so useless that no one would pay for it, anyway.

            As much as I love(d) Geni, and appreciate the great (once freeware, now crippleware) software that the developers have made, Geni would do well to remember that they owe us “freeloaders” quite a bit. Without us, they wouldn’t have a marketable product.

          • Geni George

            Geni is a venture backed start-up, and none of the work put into the platform has been free.  Sorry if there was a misconception about that, but it’s not the case.

          • Geni George

            Disclaimer: We have open-sourced several of our projects, but I’m not sure if any of the communities’ works have been pushed back to Geni.  So, there’s a chance that some work on the platform has been free, but it is a minute percentage.

          • Freeloader

            I thought that might be the case, George, but ultimately, that’s irrelevant to my point. You’re essentially saying that we shouldn’t be surprised that you’ve shifted the emphasis to money; thats what its been about the whole time!
            I apologize for assuming that you guys started this unfunded. I shouldnt have assumed you would do that.However, my actual point was that Geni is a great service that was made great by dedicated staff, and dedicated users. The users are the reason you have a useful product, through them using the tools the developers provided, but your data is mostly from or because of, “freeloaders”.The fact remains; Geni needed us, used us, then left us with a crippled product, once we gave them what they needed. I’ve never liked crippleware, but freeware that we contributed to, and has now been crippled to force us to pay? That’s the height of insanity.George, if you could explain to me how I’m mistaken, in my actual point; I’d appreciate that.

          • Cranham01

            We live in Europe where “quite a few” Canadian/U.S.A. ancestors come from. We are able to trace our roots back to the 1500′s. Until yesterday we were able to add our family to the tree and going that far back meant that these relatives are “PUBLIC” and therefore the research we did is available to the population of the GENI world/community.

            We did the hours of research, the travel to city hall and/or archives, the work, the entries, the many MANY corrections and the uploads of pictures and documents. We did not send anyone an invoice for our time, our troubles and our knowledge.

            How are we “freeloaders” ?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            Exactly.
            I’m a paying pro, and have been working on geni approx150 hours last month… I spent my vacation adding people for the benefit of a lot of other paying and non-paying members. 
            I’ve been adding a lot of people to the tree, which can clean up their part of the tree now.  I can not think of any reason why I want them to do that now, when they can not use the site as the non-paying users have been doing until now.

          • Michelle

            Why not pay… because in life priorities like my children come first.  Are you telling me that my family history is not important because I’m not wealthy?  You don’t know me, you don’t have the right to judge me, and us “freeloaders” bring in revenue by inviting family that are beyond three generations out, that actually have the time and money that we don’t always have.  I will have you know that I pay the monthly pro fee when I have the time to dedicate AND the knowledge that it could benefit the growth of my family tree.  At this moment none of the pro features besides continuing to enter my own research benefits my tree.  How dare you judge someone without even taking into account more than how you FEEL about something.  I assure you I have taken into account why these changes have been made. 

          • Benjamin

            Genigrant,

            A) I design software.  You have introduced a bug that makes your software unusable.

            1) Searched for a close relative in Search People.
            2) Chose my grandfather, a profile I should be able to see and edit.
            3) Clicked on my grandfather’s profile.
            4) Get a message saying that I need to pay. 

            You did not read my message or test your software.  The only workaround is to only select people you already follow.  This means that family members cannot even look at their own tree.

            B) Bug 2.  Search for all close relatives using a unique surname.  All say “View Profile”.  None let you see the profile without paying.  This is brilliant and should be considered to be a “Showstopper” bug in any software testing cycle.  A and B are justifications to revert to a previous build.

            C) I could go on with more bugs that you have introduced, but you are software professionals and should know how to test and deploy software. “Freemium” is what distinguished you from a much more highly functional Geni.  Eliminating meaningful access, makes Geni irrelevant.

            D) Changing it so that free members can only search for close relatives takes away a lot.  You have made it so that those of us who have been using this to collaborate can no longer do so.  I can understand expecting those of us who enter large trees to pay a bit, but expecting casual users who may know distant historical connections to do so is naive.  I personally have been building a very large tree with collaborators around the world, attempting to reconstruct branches murdered during world war II.  I have been successful in that to date, but can no longer get to much of it and cannot continue in the current arrangement.

          • Geni George

            Benjamin,

            When you search, once you get to results, click on the “Managed By Me” tab and you should be able to get to all of your profiles.  If this doesn’t work, let me know.

            -Geoge

          • Benjamin

            1) It works for those I manage directly, but to be functional, it needs to work for the family group I can see or edit.
            2) Also, you seem to have removed the capability to do local merges within the famil and to accept merge requests from others. How is that an improvement?

          • Jbbuttrill

            In a previous post, Geni George said:

            Benjamin,

            When you search, once you get to results, click on the “Managed By Me” tab and you should be able to get to all of your profiles.  If this doesn’t work, let me know.

            -Geoge This does not work in all cases. You must be the PRIMARY manager for it to work. Otherwise,you get the Geni Pro ad.Joe Brous Buttrill

          • Geni George

            I’m investigating.  It would also be helpful if you added a ticket at http://help.geni.com so that our Customer Service dept can properly log the issue.

          • Ken Tregear

            There’s a heap of bugs now.

            Try making a profile public. It took me a while to work this out. The second profile you try will repeat the warning message 3 times. The third 6 times. If you intend to make a branch of your tree that contains 18 profiles public, then the last will repeat the warning 18×3 times. I’m using Safari browser, if it makes a difference.

            Why pay for something that doesn’t work?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            It has been so since the crash last weekend.  And I’m using Firefox.
            I thought it was a bug after the crash, and didn’t see it like a feature of how geni would be…

      • LeeGonHo

        I just invited a distant relative to my family tree, and I want to know why & how she is able to change profiles that I manage.  

  • Alexander M Bishop

    genigrant:
    You and others have been pushing for a Pro membership since I joined in 11/2010.  I as well as a lot of others have not been able to afford it.  I do not know whether I will be able to cover my utility costs next week, or the next, or the next,… I am disabled, as is my wife; time I have, a certain financial future I do not.  You might want to consider some kind of graduated program for membership, otherwise I and the many others like me are out cold.  The Geni (Tea Party) is not getting rid of the unskilled or the inattentive tree participants only the less fortunate ones.

    • Freeloader

      I actually like the idea of a graduated program. I’ve been a member for 4+ years, and have contributed tons of data. Perhaps Geni should show some appreciation for those users who have put quite a bit into their site. Correct me if I’m wrong, (and I’m sure George will), but many of the curators weren’t Pro when they became curators.

      Pro could still exist, just make it MORE useful, instead of making the free account LESS useful.

      But this is just wishful thinking. Geni’s customer appreciation is worse than any commercial or free site I’ve ever used.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UEK23A35W4Q7K3FZBRWP4BYUBY Antonio Strong

    I just paid $22.85 for an iPad 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $674 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentHub.com

  • Jacinta Palerm

    So search no longer works.
    Merge to link up families no longer works.
    And I guess you will place a limit on the number of profiles you can add.
     
     

    • Anonymous

      You can search the profiles in your max family tree, but you’ll need a Pro account for searching outside that.

      Free accounts don’t have a limit on the number of profiles. Free users have a number of generations. (Third and closer)

      • Jacinta Palerm

        and whats the difference between a free account ans a free user?

      • Ken Tregear

        Use Google. A while ago, Geni made all public profiles Google-searchable. It’s strange. Geni is the only subscription site that makes the profiles available to Google, but if you join Geni you can’t do this.

      • Lynne Hadley

        A disgrace, in  my humble opinion, that you are restricting data for people who have contributed towards the big tree, but can’t afford to go Pro.  Some go back many generations.  How can you possibly justify taking so much away from non-Pro users with one hand, whilst snatching their data with the other?  Well, if your aim was to make Geni highly unpopular and ruin what was (and is) a great concept, you are most certainly heading down the right track.

  • Alexander M Bishop

    You have taken what was not yours to take.

  • Edw Poor

    You are out of your minds if you think this will be better. Merging without research first does not make accuracy.Two names the same do not make them the same person. You are allowing idiots to add inaccurate, some times implausable connections, Such as parents younger than their children. Grand uncles as fathers. One has a man (His brother said he was dead in his Will) whose father was his brother who was married to his grandmother. Some have a dead man (He left a probated Will) (apparently reborn) come to the colonies and change his name, also bringing his stepmother to die and be reborn to go back to England to die a second time.

    Apparently money is the only criteria you need to show proof of accuracy on this site.If all you want is to make money without respect to accuracy you have no respect for Genealogy itself.
    Except for paying this site is not much different from Rootsweb or Family search. Data is overwritten and added onto without consultation making inaccuracys
    Your curators are no help. No matter what link I give them to correct something it’s never (they say)  the correct one but when I write to that link I get an answer and sometimes a correction.

    I suggest people find the Gurganus site for more reliable genealogy.
     I’m sorry I wasted my data and time on this site. Apologies to anyone that might feel like I insulted them.       Edwin Poor

    P.S. No apology to management. I know you need money to run a site but not everyone with some bits of knowledge can pay for the luxury of genealogy. You are going to be missing some valuable help for those who are “Clickers” as one of your submitters called herself.

  • Alexander M Bishop

    You may have provided the canvas, but we were not paid for our services.  You have know right to keep it. Give back everything you took.

    • Geni George

      All public profiles on Geni are completely free, and completely available to view, including all details entered by the profile managers and collaborators.  It is not our intent to “keep” anything.    In fact, anyone in the world can pull every single public profile from the tree with our API.

      -George

      • Alexander M Bishop

        genigrant:
        You and others have been pushing for a Pro membership
        since I joined in 11/2010.  I as well as a lot of others have not been
        able to afford it.  I do not know whether I will be able to cover my
        utility costs next week, or the next, or the next,… I am disabled, as
        is my wife; time I have, a certain financial future I do not.  You might
        want to consider some kind of graduated program for membership,
        otherwise I and the many others like me are out cold.  The Geni (Tea
        Party) is not getting rid of the unskilled or the inattentive tree
        participants only the less fortunate ones.

      • Jacinta Palerm

        But not serach for it

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

        “In fact, anyone in the world can pull every single public profile from the tree with our API.”

        Export Forest including connected inlaw trees
        (
        requires Geni Pro account
        )
        and I seem to recall some time ago non pro exports had been limited to some odd number? and pro could export unlimited (Forest) did that change?

        So should that read anyone in the world with a pro account?

        • Geni George

          Connected in-laws are private, not public, much more often than not.

          It reads correctly.

  • Lizzie

    I understand that you are a business and this is about making more money. However, I also believe that because of this change you are going to be loosing some really knowledgeable people who  cannot afford to go pro. I imagine you will also upset those who are pro members when more bad merges start happening due to the new changes.

    • Anonymous

      Lizzie,

      We’re fully revisioned. We have methods in place to prevent bad things from happening at large scale and fixing problems that arise. Our goal is to have one profile for one person, so these new tools will help make that easier to do.

      I do appreciate that you took the time out of your day to comment, though. I hope you stick around and try out the new pro features.

      • Lizzie

        Thanks for taking the time to answer Grant, but I simply can’t afford to upgrade to Pro.

  • http://www.ii.uib.no/~martinv/ Martin

    I share frustration with many users out there, although I don’t agree with the reasons.
    When you say things like “My tree” I react since it was never supposed to be a place to build your own tree!

    Just like you would not create a topic on wikipedia unless you know something about that topic, you sould not add people unless you have already buildt your tree using some other family tree software and checked your data.

    Geni is for sharing your good information and colaborate with other genealogists.

    However I also have critisicm to the Geni team. In the first place I don’t feel like we should have to pay to contribute to this site, we are afterall providing you with valuable information which you get the rights to profit from. I realize Geni also need money to operate, but beeing such a well known genealogy page you should be able to profit otherwise.

    And I don’t see how disabeling the search function for non-paying members will improve the tree?
    I agree that you should earn a reputation and the rights to edit profiles freely somehow, but paying don’t mean you will be more accurate. You have already a system for power users and curators, so why not make a system that automatically promotes you to pro user once you have added enough good information to deserve the trust. (maybe just let curators offer free pro promotion to those active users that deserve it?)

    I think Geni is a great site, and will continue to use it, but I don’t have time to use it frequently enough to be willing to pay for it, sorry for that.

    • Anonymous

      Martin, have you tried the 14 day free trial of Geni Pro, though? I think these new features for pros are extremely useful. I’d like to see what you think of it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • http://www.ii.uib.no/~martinv/ Martin

        I have expected changes, and wanted to wait for them befor I tried. Now it is summer and I think I will wait until fall when I might have more time to check it out. And I don’t doubt the pro features are great, and since I have over 350 pending requests I could have approved myself it would be great to be a pro.

        I will try out the pro features once I get time.

  • Ray

    Dislike!  Some of us would gladly become Pro users if we could afford it.  I can’t afford to repair the roof on my house so I couldn’t justify a luxury like paid Geni membership!  I have been responsible for recruiting to Geni some of your Pro members with years of genealogical experience.  Now like many of your other commentators, I feel betrayed with a bait and switch scheme.  Improving Pro is one thing, removing rights from non-Pro users is quite a different thing.  I doubt the restrictions on us non-pro users has any positive benefit to geni.com except drive a few more to pay.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

      Or loosing people that’ve been adding approx 5000 profiles…

    • Anonymous

      Ray,

      Our goal is to build the canonical world family tree. We believe these Pro tools will make it easier to achieve better data.

      As always, the profiles you’ve added and have permission to edit are still available to free users.

      • Jessie Case

        genigrant, 
        Your comments are not reassuring at all. I am not at all convinced that the changes to geni are going to help expand the World Tree. I am a teenager and I absolutely love genealogy and have spent hours researching and adding to my tree on this site. I always recommend geni to anyone I know that is researching their family tree but now I am sad to say that I can no longer use this site. I cannot afford to pay for a pro account and I don’t even want to use a site that does not even allow free users to add past their 3rd great grandparents. I have gotten all the way to my 43rd great grandparents in one line and now I won’t even be able to add anymore. This has ruined my day and killed my love for this site.

        • Concerned

          and now people like you who have worked so hard will leave… I happen to be a Pro member but I need people like you because one day someone is going to add data that I need!  these new rules are bonkers and I’m sorry that people like you are now going to leave.

  • Alexander M Bishop

    George and genigrant in their responses are saying the same thing over and over again, and George said it in his initial blog…”Non-Pros can no longer add new profiles to the historical tree or merge
    profiles.  By making these permissions more consistent, we ensure that
    anyone who can add a new profile to the historical tree can immediately
    merge it with any existing duplicates. These changes will benefit all of
    us as the world family tree continues to get bigger and better.”  It does not matter how you spin it George, you are either insulting the intelligence of a lot of people or as a marketing guy just trying to make money, or both.

  • Anonymous

    You just ruined your whole product for those that aren’t willing to pay. Very disappointed that I bothered spending so much time making my tree good on your site. This is a sad day for Geni.

    • Geni George

      What would make the site worth it for you to pay?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        Is this your new mantra?
        Pay, Pay, Pay.

        How about refund, refund, refund?

        Too bad it renewed my subscription yesterday…
        If it was renewing tomorrow I would’ve been out of here already!

        If you now search for a surname, I now have to go into each effing profile to see if it is of interest for me.  At least bring back the view of who’s managing it.  This is useful information, even if you don’t think so.

        Nothing I’ve seen you respond to these posts have given me any more desire to stay in here.

        I’ve probably invested $10K in hours working on my tree.  So’re a lot of the “freeloaders”.  And all you ask for is them to pay you?
        You’re the ones earning on the free work people do.

        A company showing so little respect for their users is scary.  Too bad. 

        You just shit down your leg now.

      • Freeloader

        I don’t know if I would ever upgrade to Pro. I hate paying to get out of crippleware, it makes me fell like I just got suckered. But if I would have the money, and the product wouldn’t strong-arm me into it, I would consider paying. Here’s what I’d like to see: 

        1) Perhaps some resources and genealogical databases, because up till now, users are doing all their own research outside of Geni. Geni only provides a hosting service. Why would I p
        2) A one time fee that’s more reasonable. (That’s not gonna happen).
        3) Asking or at least notifying users before making site changes. (Seriously, I mean, even Facebook does that).
        4) More focus on the user including “freeloaders”. From you’re responses here, it seems you don’t care about any user who’s not filling your pockets.

        I’m sorry if I sound overly aggressive, but I’ve watched Geni go from freeware, to freemium, and now to crippleware. It’s very frustrating for me.

        P.S I just realized that freeloaders is actually the perfect name for us. We loaded onto your site for free, and loaded it up with useful data for free, too.

        • Mightycorleone

          I was also considering going Pro.  But I seriously dislike being forced to do so.  I would rather take all my info, effort & time to another site and pay them instead.  
          Over the past 2 months alone I have spent an average of 30 hours per week researching and loading it onto Geni.  Collaborating with Pro’s, and inviting loads of family members to join.  

          But I agree with Freeloader that Geni is basically a hosting service, that’s why I was strongly considering paying on another site for my RESEARCH, and then loading MY verified date on Geni as a FREELOADER.  

          As for the Global Family Tree, I was in the process of making such a contribution to Geni.  I have ancestry from France, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Angola, Madagascar, and India, to name but a few.  Doing research on among others Dutch and German genealogy sites.  Now that I’ve been cut off from my tree and extended tree past 3 generations, why should I stay with Geni?

      • Michelle

        It would be worth it if you would contract me into a two year subscription and bill my credit card monthly instead of asking me to pay upfront (giving you part of my grocery money) in order to continue a hobby that will only benefit my children once they’re old enough to want to know where they come from and who they’re related to.  Some of us still haven’t bounced back from the recession and feeding our children comes first. 

        It would be worth it to pay for a month here and there at your monthly fee when I have the time to really dedicate searching your site IF you would allow me to continue building my tree as far out as I possibly can, because finding one or two more members that are more than three generations out isn’t worth paying one month to enter when I have no other time to devote in those thirty days.

      • Anonymous

        Give students a discount. Many companies offer their products for free or discount if you have a .edu address. As someone with no source of income yet this is not something I can pay for. Additionally I don’t use Geni everyday, it is just sort of causally as I have time. I would pay for Facebook before I paid for this. Google happily takes my map contributions for free why won’t you take my tree contributions? Lastly people have requested to merge into profiles I mange and I can’t even approve that!

      • Joe Slater

        Geni George asked “What would make the site worth it for you to pay? ”

        George, that’s a really good question and I wish someone from Geni had asked me a long time ago. I’m a premium user on several genealogy sites. I pay a shocking amount for this. You would think that I would be one of your best customers, but in fact I’ve never been a paid user on Geni – I haven’t even used a free Pro account.

        The reason for this is that on other websites value flows from the website to me – I use them for research, which is why I have a painstakingly documented family tree with thousands of relatives. On Geni value flows the opposite way: I put the results of my research online and I don’t see any personal benefit. I’ve done this because I like the idea of a unified world family tree and I’m happy to help out. But you guys need to provide some value in exchange if you want me to pay.

        My position would be that you have to wear the cost of some freeloaders in order to capture the benefit they provide. You don’t seem to like this suggestion, and I understand why – it’s what you’ve been doing until now and it doesn’t make you any money. Other posters have suggested that you supply research databases. You can’t catch up to ancestry.com and you can’t beat the price of the LDS. Don’t even try that: the core competency of your website is the family tree and that’s what you need to leverage.

        I can think of three things that would integrate well with your existing business that would get me to pay. The first is Facebook and other online service integration. I’d pay a few bucks a month for something which would automagically tell me how I’m related to people I talk to. The second is DNA mapping. You’d be amazed how many people have had their DNA mapped, but the other online genealogical sites are really bad at helping you use it to trace relationships. Geni would be great for this – you can already tell people how they’re related, and when you add DNA tracing it multiplies the benefits. I would pay for this at the drop of a hat. The last idea is better family tree reporting. Your reports suck. So do everyone else’s. Once you move beyond a dozen relatives they’re all unwieldy. I have a few ideas for this that nobody else is implementing, but this reply is already too long. Feel free to email me if you want more on it.

      • Ken Tregear

        Its not so much the paying thats the problem.

        From reading the other posts, its clear that it is the change to an existing product that is the problem. If you had changed the rules for new incoming members only, and left the rules for existing members as they were, you wouldn’t have had this outcry and you would get your money.

        This seems fair, as it is the existing members (Pro and non-Pro), that gave you the basis on which you are working. The new members (who would pay and/or work under the new rules) have the benefit of the extensive groundwork laid down, and can use all of this data as soon as they join.  

        • Ken Tregear

          To elaborate, the product has changed totally. From being a family tree with merging capabilities, Geni has now changed to become a World Family Tree. This was not envisaged at the outset – by yourselves or your members. It is a great idea, and will have a lot of following. Yes, it is a great advance over what the other sites are offering, and it will be attractive.

          A change of product like this has left your existing members feeling bewildered and betrayed. If you can realise that you are now marketing a new product, you can still retain a very loyal membership by looking after them.

          The concept of a ‘foundation member’ is not new, and incoming members would understand this concept.It would make your existing members feel appreciated, which is something they could  do with right now.

  • Ken Tregear

    Geni’s was advertising itself as ‘the world’s largest free family tree” and received plaudits in this category. If you remove the ‘free’, then other sites are obviously superior. The fact that you can GEDCOM out but not GEDCOM in both stunts the tree, and invites members to establish on other sites. If anything, you would think this would be the other way around.

    The tree remains freely available to anyone via Google, which will provide you with timelines, photos and all sub-trees. This is more than is available to non-Pro members. The removal of the SEARCH function simply means that non-Pro members must use Google.

    Large chunks of my tree have appeared on ancestry.com verbatim. Now I understand why.

    • Geni George

      Ken,

      I’d like to know exactly why you think other sites are superior.  And if you think “free” is the only reason that Geni is superior than other sites, I understand…but I don’t believe that is the case.  So what is it about Geni that you like opposed to other sites that charge, besides the free?

      Thanks,
      -George

      • Ken Tregear

        The sites I looked at before joining Geni all offered inbuilt data, such as census, births/deaths passenger lists, military records etc. Some didn’t offer much, but they all had inbuilt data.

        I chose Geni because it was well presented and free. The ‘free’ was the most important as it encouraged others to collaborate, and this turned out to be the case. Several people have added just a few people to the (historical) tree but weren’t interested enough to build their own tree from scratch.

        • Ken Tregear

          On thinking further, if you are trying to make Pro more attractive, and therefore earn some bucks, why not leave the non-Pro as it was and offer inbuilt data to Pro users.

          Your approach is to subtract functionality from non-Pro users, rather than add functionality to Pro Users. This is not progressive.

        • Anonymous

          Ken,

          We think these tools will help Pros make the world family tree better and cleaner. Data integrity is incredibly important, and this is the next step towards that goal.

          • Tarmo Mamers

            Most active members are really interested themselves in getting a cleaner tree - being Pro or not doesn’t make any difference. When you have to be a Pro to get a cleaner tree and ensure a cleaner tree, there would be a lot of interest lost among free members.

            When there’s an obstruction for a non-Pro to get some things done, there are Pro friends to help. When someone’s tree gets big enough, or tools come really helpful that are available for a Pro only, the free member has justification enough to purchase a Pro status – whether on yearly basis or lifetime, depending on needs (and monetary situation, of course).

            Yes, I have tried a 14-day Pro and have later cosidered several times to go for a lifetime Pro, but as I have currently not much time to spend on Geni, I haven’t done that. Now I will take another 14-day Pro to have everything exported to gedcom, return to my own PC, start again calling and writing possible or distant relatives, and I will probably forget that there is a site like Geni.

          • Tarvi

            Good words! 
            I’m a Pro user (happily not lifetime) and I already made Gedcom export to forget about this site. Only thing I’m considering right now is wether I should erase all profiles managed by me or not. Most probably I will erase, because making all those private doesn’t take information away from Geni and they can use-sell this information what belongs to us and we have even paid for that.
            PS: As I mentioned, I’m Pro user, but this last change totally sucks with a whistle! All my contributors who are non-pro’s are already leaving this site!

          • Disappointed

            Grant, please stop insulting the intelligence of your users. Becoming a paid user does not magically increase the integrity of your additions to the Geni database, it simply makes you a paid user. The bullet points that you continue to repeat regardless of what was said are not adding anything to the discourse being had here.

            Also, please be honest about why this has been done, and stop trying to circle the wagons with irrelevant statements that “Pro users have great tools now”. Yes, they do, no one is arguing that. Your line of response is a diversion from the point, which is your company has lured users with an interface that has allowed them to make free and wide-ranging additions to your database. This information is often held quite personally by said users, and now you have put an end to the ability of the unpaid user to use your website to continue building upon their own family tree beyond “close relatives”.

            You built the popularity of Geni based on a particular model, one that has clearly proven to be quite popular. Instead of adding more features and abilities to Pro accounts to encourage more paid users, you have taken away features that made Geni worth using in the first place to unpaid users and repackaged them as Pro-only. That is your right, but it is a mistake.

            With this move, Geni is sending the message that unpaid users, the users who I would wager have added the majority of the content that you’re now charging access to, are not important to you or your company. You have taken advantage of your users. As an unpaid user, a few days ago you could look, and touch, and build upon your family tree. Now you can barely look, and you certainly can’t touch. Well, once, you can touch your tree once, but not too hard.

            I’m sure you’re sorry I feel this way, and have I tried the 14-day Pro trial yet? No. The handling of this situation has been severely mishandled and mangled by Geni’s PR and marketing team, and the lack of communication is and has been astounding.

          • Mightycorleone

            Well said.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

        You are still not listening or working with your users. I can see now you fully indeed on forcing this on everyone for the extra buck in your pocket.
        Free and Pro users are telling you this is bad.
        I don’t see anyone but Geni Employees saying this is good.
        This was never a research site, you don’t have the sources available unless your users added them, which is less likely now. This was a great sharing site, with the new limitation it is not.
        All I see from the Geni replies are why don’t you just buy a pro account…… SAD SAD SAD.

      • Woehl

        I have two lengthy posts I placed above.  Please Geni, do read. And scrolling through the disappointed users, Self included, If you do read, and find my answer posted above, to this question you posed here.  You will find you need not to be concerned with what features you can charge for,  ( user stated “free users are very important and most often the best source data that money cannot buy oon any site”)  You will find you are not going to be replying to me first , BUT first to two of my Aunts, both in their 80′s , both contributing to and helping us to add information that would without doubt be lost forever, very very soon.    If this does not bring a clear picture to the geni staff , and  clear enough to re activate what was taken away, it will be like stated by the web creator that posted,  companys that made this choice  in the past, are many and also no longer exist.  Please do not let this happen , Geni !   Please listen to the many valuable members that have provided feedback toyou. —- a pro user…

    • Sten

      Large chunks (5k profiles ea) of the Geni family trees can also be found on My Heritage, where they were uploaded as Geni GEDCOM files for free.

  • Tarmo Mamers

    No good :( No more way to search for people and check their data whether they could be eligible to merge, follow, get in touch, or whatever…..

    • Ken Tregear

      Instead of searching for “john smith” within Geni, enter “john smith geni” into a Google search. All public profiles can be accessed in this way. 

      The result gives you all information and tells you if you want more, you need to join Geni. You get less if you join Geni, not more.

    • Anonymous

      Search outside if your close relatives is now a Pro feature. Why not try out Pro for free for 14 days to see if you like it? 

      • Voqo

        How about NOT HAVING a VISA CARD? Is it enough for you to understand why I don’t try out “free” Pro?

  • alfa52

    I’m very new at Geni. I’ve been here for maybe 2 months. It took about one week from the “Free tree” until the change into Pro. I paid for the “free” but was a bit surprised about what’s open to me as Pro compared to what was possible during the first week. I must say it was not nice thougths about Geni I had. It made me associate with all the telephoncall about “let me give you ten new socks” but not until the end of the call tell the “if”.
    I changed into Pro since I had got several contacts and new relations with very experienced researcher. Some Pros others not. As I’m used to the free of charge Wikipedia and Wikisource and Wiki…, Wiki… where all the contributers can choose to give money to Wiki or to not give anything. Some of the contributors are able to do a little bit more, since they are elected to “administrators” and are aloud to eraze “stupid” comments, stop contributors that obvious need a rest from writing and things like that. Some of the contributors are higher equipped with possibilities. I don’t know if they pays anything or not! And I don’t give a dam if they do or not.

    Think of the possibily that people that can afford, are not mean or anything else but stupid pays and contribut garbage and the poor but serious researchers are closed out from Wikipedia!

    There are some changes I’ve noted during the last week. It’s not a big deal if ther is an envelope or a red box witj numbers for my mail. It’s not a big change if the “Startpage” is merged with the Geni-logo or not. It’s a bigger change thou, to  call i Birthnam instead of Maiden name. It’s  good to have the possibility to write Nickname. IF it’s possible. IF, since this seems to be hard core  data if Mary was knewn as Polly i 1760:ies, Why am I as a paying Pro not aloud to move occupations/titles from the Name-Box to the Occupation-Box ? If there are merging problems because of conflicts about Birthyear, why not let me choose one of the years (days or month) and then write in the “About me”-box that there are different knowledge about the Birthyear and the alternative years are 1709 and 1706.

    And what if a none-Pro finds documents who to make them willing to tell?

    Well I’ve paid for two years and evanthough I’m not satiesfied compared to the Wikipedia situation. I do understand Basic-Genies are disappointed. I’m afraid of loosing them. They were last week one of the good things for me at Geni. What will happen with all the “private” profiles now?? Most people that realize that the free thing is no more free and so they will see their job at Geni as a Sunk cost. As it is.

    • Anonymous

      Alfa52,

      Permissions haven’t changed on the profiles added. Any profiles added by a member are still viewable and editable by the free member. Close family (3rd cousins and closer) are pretty much unaffected by these changes for free users.

      • Disapointed Geni

        Your reply to Alfa52 only help if Alfa52 is the only person from his family working/using his tree.  I have been collaborating with my Uncle on our tree a lot of the clean-up I have been doing when I can is not possible for me now.  You have removed the collaborative genious of Geni thus ruining it.  I can only occasionally hop on Geni and my Uncle is a PRO, so I’ve seen no need to be a PRO.  Now with your change you wil simply say become a PRO, but I see less not more incentive to go PRO as I know anybody I invite will feel just a dis-enfranchised as I do now.  I believe ALL free users have just been sucker punched and Geni is trying to tell us it feels good which proves Geni is not “customer” focused and thus is not a good place to do business.  I will thus be suggesting to my Uncle to pull our tree off of Geni on several grounds – Geni require an invite to view the data before now I learn it is Google accessivle to anyone, it is no longer a good way to share our work with family as they will have a very limited view of the tree (the intresting parts are much further back than 3 generations) and Geni is proving in its replies on this blog that does not intend to be a good sharing site (just a site that insists we pay to supply valueable information) thus the motivation for him to have uploaded our GEDCOM file back when that was possible is now gone.  The flavour of the answers from the Geni folks makes a users concerned that next Geni will start using the data in thier tree for marketing, etc. which while being certain “suicide” for Geni is the next logical step on the path you have started down.  Please read and understand your users posts.

  • Disapointed Geni

    Reading the blog and comments, I see Geni is now not about being a great site (though fairly clumsy and slow) to colaborate etc. for free, but instead a site about building a world family tree.  I’m sorry, but your changes don’t help either either mission.  You really should listen to your users, on this one I think, loosing users will not help Geni, its world family tree goal or its users.  Of those three the users are the most important as with out them Geni is nothing, without more users your other goals won’t be met.  I for one can only occationally use Geni (limits of time), and mostly when there am very dismayed by the amount of problems I find in the data entered and or needing to be merged.  For occational use we can’t all justify paying, that should be very obvious, there should be no reason I can’t request a merge for something I know should be done.  I like the request a merge in that the other party gets to verify it even though I usually have more and better information (I do keep a separate geneaology file with about 9000 in it) the approve step still makes sense especially when the merge request alerts the other party that there might be a bunch more of thier family already entered and to stop and check for that before entering more.  Now though, those just starting are pretty much asurred they will make a mess as they add thier family completely oblivious to the possibility that it might all already be there.  I have seen this multiple times with cousins 2nd, 3rd, 4th and beyond.  Some of those problems are still there as those folks have not been back, yes the new “PRO” powers might help clean that up, but it seems clear the changes will create more messes to clean up.  I’m afraid you are alienating your “free” users with the changes now, and I predict will soon find the PRO users complaining also due to the increased new inaccuracies that will result.

    I had been considering maybe trying PRO to clean up a bunch of my family tree more easily (multiple family members started trees and a lot of merge issues exist).  But now I’m not sure I want to hitch onto GENI any more the changing rules and a theme of building a “world family tree” just simply are turn-offs.  It sounds too much like an organization with not only an attitude that appears to be almost a snobish we are better than our users and will do what ever we want attitude but an agenda that is for some higher purpose the users wouldn’t understand. 

    I’m sorry to see a site that I thought was dedicated to helping the average Joe get thier Family Tree started and be able to collaborate with Geneological Experts now throwing the base that built them under the bus for some strange goal of a “world family tree”.  What does “world family tree” really mean?  Most of us users simply want to know our own family tree and find links to improve and add to our own family tree.  It is intresting to find new linkages to the extend a “world family tree” means there is a larger base of trees that practical searches and merges can link to allowing collaboration a “world family tree” would be usefull.  But, just building a bigger and bigger collection or profiles which only a few can search and merge into isn’t that useful, making Geni seem more like the ultimate phishing scheme (they even want your credit card number for a “free” trial) and less like a serious geneology site.

    • Anonymous

      We have been focused on building the World Family Tree for a long while now, and these tools for Pros will enable them to make the world family tree even beter. Our goal is one profile per person, so their abilities will make the data much better.

      • Disapointed Geni

        The scripted replys which leave us wondering if the post being replied to was even read by “genigrant” and “Geni George” to every post are simply proving the point of most of the posters, please start listening, Geni is going the wrong direction in the view of the users.  The more answers that say nothing more than “we are not listening to you posters” that we see the more becomes clear Geni is not where we “want to do business”.  Geni has made a mistake and needs to cut its losses before it is too late.  I venture to guess most Geni users are “free” users (can you share the percentage?), assuming I’m correct this change dis-enfranchises most of your users (some will not discover that until they get a little more serious).  From a marketing and tree accuracy perspective your changes make no sense, from a revenue enhancement perspective I believe it will back-fire on Geni.

        • D Thomas

          The “genigrant” and “Geni George” replies started sounding like automatically-generated replies quite a few posts ago. 

        • Mightycorleone

          Sounds a bit like an evil robot.  ;)  

          Focused on building the World Family Tree for a long while now, hey?  First I heard of it was when I got cut off today.

      • erayzer

        I have seen a Dutch ‘curator’ who added 3 profiles for one and the same person multiple times…

  • Cranham01

    “Non-Pros can no longer add new profiles to the historical tree or merge profiles”

    WOW… guess my mother (with which I collab) and I will be opting out of Geni now as we have both been adding loads and loads of Dutch/European “historical profiles” which benefit the PRO user in the long run!

    Merging I don’t care about… a public profile is a public profile.

    Anyone know, does the export also include the photographs in the albums my mom & I maintain?

    • Cranham01

      ps. in response to post from SPARKY the Paying PRO…

      We live in Europe where “quite a few” Canadian/U.S.A. ancestors come
      from. We are able to trace our roots back to the 1500′s. Until yesterday
      we were able to add our family to the tree and going that far back
      meant that these relatives are “PUBLIC” and therefore the research we
      did is available to the population of the GENI world/community.

      We
      did the hours of research, the travel to city hall and/or archives, the
      work, the entries, the many MANY corrections and the uploads of
      pictures and documents. We did not send anyone an invoice for our time,
      our troubles and our knowledge.

      How are we “freeloaders” ?

    • Anonymous

      Cranham01, our goal with Geni is to create the canonical world family tree with one profile for one person. We truly believe that these improvements will make our tree better and the data more useful.

      I hope you stick around and try out the new merging ability for Pros. It makes a big difference in cleaning up the tree.

      Also, the GEDCOM standard doesn’t support photo albums.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        But now you’re pushing the cleanup on the wrong people.
        I didn’t mind people having wrongs in their tree that the ignore to clean up even when they got proof, as long as the errors isn’t being moved into my area.  At least they had the possibility to clean up before I would accept any merges.

        With your change this has already happened.  Now I need to spend time cleaning up and moving people I already have in my tree.  This is on the cost of my time, and on the cost of me entering more people and documentation into what I know is correct.

        All for your desire to get more paying customers.  But you’re doing this on the cost of your already contributing customers.

  • Student user

    The only reason I moved from ancestry.com (where I am a free memberr as well) to geni was due to the merge feature – a chance to initiate communication with members who share family which, as a free member, I am unable to do on Ancestry. I have spent the last few months laboriously typing up my tree into your site. My tree has 67644 individuals – and I’m less than half way through at the moment – but seeing as I can no longer merge into established trees this information cannot be included.

    I happen to be a student in a Third World Country – can you think of someone less likely to afford your expensive membership? Although frustrating, I could cope with the request for merge function (and the subsequent long wait for the merge to occur) but not being able to incorporate relatives through marriage cripples my work. Either you need to establish a cheap student membership or remove these further restrictions.Otherwise I’m afraid you’ll lose me and my tree. At least ancestry.com has remained consistent on what free members are able to achieve.

    • Anonymous

      Student User,

      Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you took the time to comment. I hope you stick around to see the benefits to the tree. We’re always adding new features and doing promotions. :-)

      • D Thomas

        It’s quite easy to see the “always doing promotions” part.

  • Allan

    I hope you are listening to these comments. I am a pro user, but I absolutely do not see this as an improvement. The ability to work with members of my family who are not pro users (and never will be) is a huge benefit for pro users that you have just removed. If these restrictions had been in place when I started, I would most likely never have become a pro user.

    Accept that you made a mistake and fix the errors. Then start communicating better as some of the other comments mention.

    • Anonymous

      Allan, I think that if you give these new pro features a try, you’ll find that Pro accounts have a lot more utility.

      Thanks for being passionate enough to comment. We appreciate it.

      • Synnest

        genigrant, I think that if you give these new pro features a try, you’ll find that Pro accounts are useless when when all the non-pro owners of private profiles have left Geni.

        • Anonymous

          Synnest,Our goal with Geni is to work for one profile for each person. These new tools for pros will make the tree better. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and I hope you decide to give pro a try — if only for the 14 day trial.

          • Synnest

            You just don’t get it, do you? Why don’t you just sell out to somebody who could handle Geni and make profit out of it without crippling the huge free userbase.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Bouman/100000034152876 Daniel Bouman

            I was sincerely thinking of ‘going’ PRO when I had enough money for a lifetime membership but after this change which makes it impossible for me to do any more work without going PRO this will certainly not happen anymore. I did start the 14 day trial but only to export my work to a gedcom file…

          • George Allan Jones

            I too have been upset as the new restrictions have been placed. However I’m sure GENI expected some difficulties with their changes and will try to ameliorate the situation fairly as they hear our suggestions(not complaints). My worst suggestion is that where we get all those persons to match: they should only give to us ones we are allowed to finish the corrections for.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

            fat chance of that happening

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

            I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

      • Terjebeyer

        You miss the point. Regular accounts have been downgraded

      • Terjebeyer

        Pro users should cancel their accounts to teach you a lessom

      • Dee

        Grant its not going to make any difference, us Pro members rely on our non pro family members to help us build our trees and give us info.  If it is of little to no benefit to them because of the restrictions then it disadvantages us too – its that simple.  I am happy to pay for the extra storage space and other benefits but I do not care about the world tree so called benefit.  What I do care about is the ability to link with my distant family members and to be able to have a wide range of relatives able to add and contribute to a tree to which I bought over 10 000 people!!  Give the non pro users back their access.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

          Why should my brother or anyone else in my family need to sign up here when I have added all familymembers they are permitted to?
          He also have inlaws that have added his wifes family, so there are no-one left for them to add.

          I want someone from Geni give me a reason to why they should need to sign-up.
          I also want an explanation to how this is improving Geni and the trees when people cannot do anything else than view what I have already added.

      • Vaike Murumets

        As I understand, the main “new feature” is the Pro ability to merge all public profiles without asking the permission of managers. But I, being a Pro myself, am not quite happy about it. I was happy comparing profiles and sending requests to managers who could decide if it was a true match or not. Now I should decide it myself about complete strangers and there is not even easy way to ask the opinion of the respective managers (if this word is even suitable to describe their position any more).
        I think if Geni wants to limit the non-pro member rights it should only apply to new members, not to these people who have joined Geni under previous terms.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

        I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

  • Renee W

    This seems more like a way to make money than to assure a more accurate tree. I never bothered to research my genealogy until I found this site because I wanted a site where not only my family could see the work I had put in, but also contribute to it for FREE. Collaboration was the whole idea of this site when I joined. I am a lifetime pro member and intend to stay that way but it seems unlikely that my family will help me with any research if they have to pay for features they had for free previously. Shame on you Geni for not only making all the sweeping changes without asking everyone, or even those of us who pay for the service, what we think. I am not opposed to you making money. I would not have minded paying double what I did for my pro account if only to ensure that those who can assist me with the research can do so without paying. I am extremely disappointed.

    • Tarmo Mamers

      Family-centric Pro account might be an idea. Pro rights should expand to husband, siblings, parents and children of a Pro member.

      • Anonymous

        Free members can view and edit any of the profiles they have permission for. It’s searching and adding outside of your close family group that requires Pro.

        • Ccjpolbart

          I am a Pro user and am currently having issues with adding profiles  (on the profile and the tree). Also on the tree it is freezing up and the names are going vertical….no improvements seen by this Pro user :(

          • Geni George

            The vertical names issue is a known bug.  Try toggling the CTRL button to see if that fixes it; if not, our design team is working on a fix.

            If you have any issues adding profiles, please file a ticket at http://help.geni.com and we’ll work with you to figure out what is going on.

          • Ccjpolbart

            I did that and am waiting for a response.  I’ll try toggling but I have hit refresh and sometimes that helps.  However, on the profiles, there is no option to add family.  As I said, I am a Pro user so I should have that option and I am the manager of those profiles as well :/

          • Geni George

            We will be adding the add family link back to the profile pages next week.  Sorry about that.

          • Selwyn

            Its not a browser issue.  I’ve tried in safari Firefox and Chrome. Cleared the flash settings / data etc No avail 

          • Anonymous

            It’s a flash bug.

          • Marilyn

            George,

            Toggling the Control button fixes it – for about 10 seconds. Then the names go vertical again.

          • Rafi Kornfeld

            It is a flash bug. Yesterday I was asked to upgrade my flash to version 10.3 (or similar) and immediately the vertical problem appeared. I did not have it before, never. I am trying to find a way to downgrade back to the previous version.
            Does anybody have an idea how to go back to the previous version?

          • Geni George

            Adobe has confirmed the bug and is working on a fix.  In the mean time, there are some fixes that we may be able to put in place; one of our engineers is experimenting with them, and if we can temporarily resolve this before Adobe has a patch, we will.

          • Sten

            Yes, I have seden those names going vertical recently, but only on the Safari browser after I got one of those Mac Books Air. Another problem used to be those users marking historical additional profiles of theirs as ‘private’ and them refusing to respond on efforts to merge those when multiple entries to the tree. At least the new order found a cure to that problem.

            /SW

          • Terjebeyer

            cancel your pro account

          • Timaneco

            When someone has already payd “for life” if we cancel our Pro account, they will not give us the money back…

        • Dragonasbreath

          yes, that’s part of the functionality they ripped away from their users (even though they swore they wouldn’t) when they turned this into a pay-for-play site

        • Terjebeyer

          genigrant sounds like a broken record. how much do you get paid to sound like a parrot

        • Disapointed Geni

          From January 11th, 2011 Geni press release titled:  “Geni Tops 100 Million Genealogy Profiles” we find several statements:

           - Geni is a free service with a premium model, meaning anyone can use the vast majority of the features on the site without a barrier-to-entry, including profile merging and search capabilities for documents, discussions and more than a hundred million profiles.
          This tremendous growth has been fueled by the release of a suite of collaboration tools that have been embraced by users, and expanded upon in the past year.
           
           - “We knew that the community wanted tools to make collaboration easier, but we didn’t realize the amount of impact the tools would have.  Our efforts for the past year will continue to pay dividends in 2011 as we release more sophisticated tools to aid our community’s research efforts,” said Geni’s President Noah Tutak.

          Apparently Geni has a very short memory, in January Geni knew what made it sucessful, now they have thrown that out the window and its source of free data under the bus. 

          I for one have many more profiles I could have added to Geni and had been planning to find a time, take a few days off of work, go pro and get them all added to Geni knowing it would be a good way to share the family tree information with family members that were interested (a lot keep asking when I’ll put together the book).  Now, they will not be able to see the most intresting parts (we have tracked down multiple lines back to the 1500′s, 20+ generations) as they will only be allowed a crippled view.

          Bottom line, I now can not trust Geni to make thoughtfull informed decisions about the way it functions and can not therefor put my own reputation on the line by recommending something that will only disapoint to my family members.

          Please,
           - return Geni to its roots as a free service with a premium model that is the formula that works and built Geni
           - be a little bit considerate to the folks who load data for free,
           - listen to us users,
           - knock off the canned talking points they don’t add any value or new information, will not change anybody’s minds and only serves to further frustrate
           - reply with thoughful discussion building discourse (we’ve seen nothing but, I’m sorry you feel that way, and we made it better from you)
           - understand most folks who have expressed thier dissatisfaction here don’t just “feel” that way, the have very real reasons, problems and issues with the changes.  In other words they are stating the facts of what the changes mean to them not feelings.
           - change your profile picture to something that doesn’t look like you are arogantly sticking your nose in the air at us, it is kind of grating especially with the word that accompany it

          In short:
           - we are sorry you feel you made Geni better because we know you’ve just about destroyed it.  
           - we are sorry you care only about the “world family tree”, it has blinded you to what your users really care about, that is thier own family tree, but as long as they are allowed to merge then the bigger tree will get bigger too, that is called a win-win something most businesses strive for and once attained try to maintain not destroy.
           - we are sorry Geni can’t make changes they have not de-bugged
           - we would love to support Geni financially when and if we can but Geni must prove daily that it actually cares about its users and thier family tree’s first
           - we are sorry but these changes have removed the reasons Geni worked for us so we’ll have to go find another way

          • BoHa

            Couldn’t agree more – I’m no longer able to search for profiles I’ve added.
            Another issue is that GENI made the profiles I added public, even for living persons. Now all these profiles are no longer accessible.

          • Phil

             I wholeheartedly agree with this user and others who are resentful of Geni’s sudden change in policy that no longer allows those of us who have created their database to continue to do so without paying.  I have added over 2300 profiles to-date and have hundreds more in the wings.  I had been considering upgrading to Pro, but resent being forced to do so.

        • Kingzap

          Even if free members can edit and view profiles  don’t you think it’s pretty useless if you can’t find them?

          • Timaneco

            I am a Pro member & I can not find some profiles (relatives from my family members) added by myself…;

            I have to surf from someone backwards in order to find them;
            Tagging suche people in fotos is not possible from some profiles althougt they all were inputed by myself e.g. a brother from my second cousin’s wife is not findable if I want to tag him in a picture starting from the profile of my great g-father’s brother…

        • Very Disappointed Free User

          One change you need to make as a result of this is that searching by free members should let you see anyone within your “close family” without having to get a pro account.   I just got a response back from a “How are you related” trace telling me the person was my 4th cousin but when I wanted to see the profile, I was asked to get a Pro account.  NOT letting me see the people who I am connected to but letting me still create new profiles for that same person is just a recipe from continuing to create duplicate profiles.

          • Ken Tregear

            All public profiles and trees are available via Google, but not within Geni.

            Enter “john smith geni” as a Google search and you will find John Smith and all his details, including his tree.

          • Kyukich

            omg i just tried that and am stunned, it was information for my tree not the whole world. I dont want my information in geni.com any more.

        • http://twitter.com/gen_freak Leslie Ann

          Limiting the search option to just pros is a very bad idea! Those free users that decide to say now have no way of knowing if their ancestor already has a profile, therefor you will have more duplicate profiles than ever before! It seems as though you are cutting your nose off to spite your face.

          • Geni George

            Leslie, a couple things:

            1) Under the new account permissions, a duplicate ancestor that is a private profile will not be able to be merged anyway, unless both users who added the profiles-in-duplicate are Pros.

            2) It’s an industry standard for search to be a premium feature.  If you look at Ancestry, for instance, you can perform the search, but to see the results you have to subscribe.  We created this experience to understand how it would work on Geni.  You can still search for the profiles you’ve added by clicking on the “Managed by Me” tab of the search results.

          • http://twitter.com/gen_freak Leslie Ann

            I wasn’t referring to private profiles. But my bad,  I just noticed that you have blocked me from continuing my pedigree, even though I have been a part of the big tree from day one. So I guess it wouldn’t do me any good to run a search anyway; since I can’t add any more. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

            I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

          I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            Open the gedcom in myheritage’s Family Tree Builder prior to uploading to http://www.myheritage.com and run a check for errors so you get to fix death prior to birth, children born after parents death (and also get a hidden, but appreciated surprise…) prior to uploading… I found almost 2000 errors in my downloaded gedcom.
            And what I like there: When one person buy a premium account, all invited familymembers get rights to add users to the tree.  Here @ geni all familymembers must buy a pro-account.

    • Anonymous

      Renee, free users can absolutely see and edit any profiles to which they have permission. Adding outside of your close family and searching outside of your close family are Pro features. I think you’ll find that these Pro tools are going to be a big benefit to the world family tree.

      • erayzer

        NO. what you’re claiming is NOT correct.

      • Crickett

        Define “close family.”

        My MIL has researched her family line, and added over 100 profiles going back 3 or 4 generation.

        My Uncle has researched his family line, and added several profiles going back the same depth.

        Neither has Pro status, but joined and started adding because *I* invited them. Are they now no longer going to be able to add any additional profiles at that depth? How close is “close”? I need better definitions!

        • Geni George

          Close family refers to 4th cousins and closer, as well as third great grandparents and closer.

          • Lena Frid

            That is a really CLOSE family. Some of my fifth grandparents were born around 1750. Normally, I have access to fairly reliable hand-written sources about their parents and grandparents too. The written history of California is obviously shorter. For Scandinavians your definition of close family sounds a bit ridiculous. Also, we tend to regard some of our fifth or sixth cousins as our family, especially if the families have stayed within the same area.
            At the same time, I do agree that the so called historical tree needs to be stabilized. The same mistakes have been added over and over again. Our definitions of historical versus contemporary seem to differ, though.

          • CB

            I can understand the 4th cousins and closer limit, but the third GG limit is ridiculous. You should be able to enter your direct line as far back as it can be researched, as well as siblings of anyone on your direct line.

            I am not a Pro-member, but in December I purchased from your site a printed family tree for my father.  As this product goes back five generations from my father, it would now be impossible for me to build the tree here. 

            I have been a victim of the poor economy, which gives me what I hope is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do in depth genealogical research, but prevents me financially from getting a Pro account. 

            Please consider removing the limit on adding direct ancestors and their siblings, you will significantly limit the growth of the world tree if you don’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

            I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

      • Terjebeyer

        It may be good for Pros, but you robbed me, the average user

      • Stewart Tryster

        What I don’t get is how you can define someone as outside close family and therefore off-limits to the person without whom Geni wouldn’t have the profile. In essence it’s saying “the site is free, give me your information” and then, once you’ve got it, turning around and saying “sorry, we’ve redefined this information you gave us as being beyond your means, so other people who pay us can use it as they please, but you can only admire it from afar.”

    • Woehl

      I agree 100%. And for the same reasons, I to choose Geni, over all the others. Key reason being, it is truly a family tree when all family members can see and take part in it. That fact alone is why I choose geni. And much of my history was all input individually, not via ged file to switch. Point being in a short 6 months I have abt 3000 profiles and several ACTIVE family, taking part in doing this.  7 more just heard about my tree and joind last week at the worst time.  Now asking me about things they heard from other family, and all i can say is, Geni left me in the dark , and family thinks I was untruthfull.    gee… Thanks Geni !!!!!!!!    My  Sugestion: Geni, do what is right and give back the features we  all choose this site for in the first place.
       In closing, like the others, EXTREMYLY disappointed !  
        btw, what happened to the home page window to post news ??  and such. That was a big plus plus with the family that I had join.  and  was a means of several of them to reconnect, Example, my I have two aunts both in their 80′s and that was a BIG part of the joy for them, they could wish happy b-day to the family they had lost touch with, and with the number of people in my tree that meant at least  5-10 people a day had things like this.   I am still at loss for words , what to tell them??????   :/

      • Woehl

        BTW—- I am also a pro user— and the new family members last week have a different title for me being they found none of the things I told them about Geni.   — its now—Pro lier….   ouch!  Geni,  you want to help with that? please put back the features which were for many your true selling point.  I promise this, I choose your site because I believe family histroys should be free and this site best offered that plus the family members to take part and communicate on the home page.   I also do pay for Ancestry.com /Premium, and a few other just for the reasons to obtain the data and provide it to the family here for free , to ENJOY.   But, you now have me pursuing the hunt for a site to do this, short of creating my own host site for this family, OF many. Just take a look at the activity on my page and the family that did enjoy, And you will also see the aunts in their  80′s ,   Ya for them to even be online, Its simpe , you do not change , to what your selling point was  prior to this mess,  I packing up my 3100 profiles i manage, family members that joined, and the pending merges for the world tree,  Bye Bye. its that simple.  Truly the last thing i want to do is leave, but my reasons for landing here no longer exist the same due to your changes. 
        sincerly, –  pro user hoping to stay IF you add to what was good before your changes, not subtract.

        And your new selling point on the world connect thing,  take note what i said about my memberships elsewhere and why I choose your once Wonderful family web site.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not a pro user and due to financial constraints (even with a free trial) can’t be at this time.
    I’m trying to figure out how to request access to see another person’s information, but this keeps bringing me back to Geni trying to get me to sign up for the “free” trial, which leads to me having to give my credit card info which i don’t want to give.
    I have been able to get permission to view other Geni trees in the past.
    Can someone please help, advise, fix?

    • Anonymous

      Search outside of your close family is a Pro-only feature. You can still view and edit the profiles you’ve created, though.

      As far as the free trial goes, if you cancel within 14 days, nothing will be billed. I think you’ll like it if you give it a try.

      • Disapointed Geni

        You are not understanding what you read, he clearly is questioning if he can trust Geni with his credit card information.  You’ve drastically reduced Geni’s credibility with most of your users.

      • Allyn T

        Is ones self outside of close family because when I searched myself and clicked view profile it sent me to the register to be a Pro screen.

        • Mightycorleone

          Same happened to me.  This sucks.

        • Jmforll

           Start typing in Search Box – if person you want comes up, click on it.

          If not, finish typing name, click – when search results come up, do NOT click
          on any – instead click tab (to right of All Gen, same bar) saying ‘Managed by You” – this
          will pull up only those you are primary manager of with that name – but then you
          can click on them and see profiles etc.

           

          Is that intuitive as all get out?  PLUS – why doesn’t genigrant ever tell folks that?

  • bullsky

    18000+ profiles added, hours and hours of work down the drain. My work contributed to your tree and attracted new users but is useless to me now. If you had been square about the possibility it could end without a booh or bah I would not have wasted my time, since I do not have any benefit of it anymore. You should be grateful you have us freeloaders who spent so much of time towards building the tree.
    So this is where it ends. Adieu.

    • Anonymous

      bullsky,

      You still have complete view and edit permissions on everything you’ve added for free.

      These pro features will make the world family tree better. I hope you stick around and try out Geni Pro for free for 14 days to see if you like it.

      • Edw Poor

        I tried and all I got was a pop-up go Pro

        • Mightycorleone

          Same here.

          • Jmforll

            Start typing in Search Box – if person you want comes up, click on it.

            If not, finish typing name, click – when search results come up, do NOT click
            on any – instead click tab (to right of All Gen, same bar) saying ‘Managed by You” – this
            will pull up only those you are primary manager of with that name – but then you
            can click on them and see profiles etc.

             

            Is that intuitive as all get out?
             

      • Terjebeyer

        But we can no longer expand tree to include profiles from other trees LIKE WE COULD BEFORE 

    • erayzer

      same here. i’m beyond being disappointed; i’m angry

    • Edw Poor

      A giant Bravo to bullsky.  I have tried to correct some mistakes by writing to the submitter with some success. I have added onto lines going hundreds of years beyond what was already there and now I can’t add more or see what I did enter. Geni is making money on what we researchers gave them free.
      Ancestry may be expensive but there you have access to hundreds of records and books.
      This was a very disappointing decision. We “freeloaders” may have given you your most accurate data.

    • Ken Tregear

      I thought of the possibility of bait-and-switch tactics when I joined. Should have listened to my inner self.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

    Thank you for implementing new features so that people can merge public profiles.

    Now I have a whole branch that is askew just because someone didn’t check dates and just followed a book where a grandparent was placed as parent.

    I could’ve blocked this merge earlier, as I knew what was wrong AND I had notified the person that had  entered the wrong branch.

    You’re actually forcing me to clean up this shit now, because I don’t want people to continue to believe that the book was correct.
    I need to waste another multiple hours to clean up.

    I see in the terms that you’re offering refunds.
    I will take you up on that offer after I’ve cleaned up and need to download a new gedcom as the one I have now have the errors after the above merge…

    As if I wasn’t pissed of to start with it didn’t even take a day before my worst fears went through…

    If you were at school you would get an F.
    Both for Fail and F#¤# you

    • Anonymous

      Stig, please contact our help team. http://help.geni.com

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        I believe I’m able to clean up better, since I know who’s belonging where.
        I even got a phone from one today where I had to explain why things looked like they did.
        But I had to waste hours doing that, but I’ll move on so I won’t need to think about it more…
        But I’ll keep logging in once every 11 months to keep the profile alive.
        :P

  • Theo

    From VentureBeat.com: January 16, 2007

    “He [David Sacks, Geni.com CEO & Founder] plans to make money from advertising. Geni may know more about its
    users than any other site, and should be able to target advertising
    better than most, Sacks said: ‘We’re going to know how old they are,
    whether they are male or female, where they live, family structure,
    whether they are single or recently married, whether they have kids,
    newborn or in college, whether they are divorced…’ He may also charge
    for premium services, even if the basic site remains free. He says the
    model has worked at LinkedIn.”

    For paid subscribers of LinkedIn they receive: better search options (more viewable profiles, expanded profiles, saving important contacts), better messaging options, priority customer service, etc. Essentially Geni.com is following the LinkedIn model, EXCEPT that Geni has taken away the ease-of-use for its non-paying members and a few important privileges (including connecting to the “Big Tree”).

    Everything you’ve added to this site has allowed them to build up their value. You’ve made them valuable by giving them millions of pieces of of personal information on every living member (age, marital status, interests, schools, etc.) and by creating profiles for every deceased member which allows them to sell “The World’s Largest Family Tree.”

    David Sacks is a businessman– he didn’t create Geni out of the kindness of his heart, he did it to make money. The reason Geni is making it easier to complete merges and limiting the addition of profiles unless you pay is because they want to clean up the Big Tree. They want to eliminate all of the duplicates, controversies, and clutter in the tree so that it looks better. Having a clean tree is a huge marketing tool for them.

    I see all this blame being thrown around. I don’t blame Geni, it was a very smart model they started with. Get people excited about building a huge, worldwide family tree, and then charge money to be a part of it. You’ve done their work for them, and they couldn’t have done it without you.

    genigrant and Geni George, please don’t patronize me by responding to this unless you want to hire me as a corporate strategist. I may be available…

    • Student user

      Thanks for opening my eyes, Theo.

      The last thing I want is my family information to be used as a moneyspinner for some anonymous corporation or fatcat!

      Thanks for the good times, Geni, but I’m afraid that I’ve already started making all the profiles I’ve added private – and will start deleting and disconnecting the individuals that connect me to the world family tree. At the moment there are no incentives to stay. Despite the thousands of individuals I have included, there has been no suggestion in your above posts that the huge contribution of free users will be rewarded, or that there will be ANY incentives for free users to stay.

      There’s something rotten in this state…. 

    • Disapointed Geni

      The trouble is bait and switch tactics are just sucker punches that leave the “customer” with a Bad feeling about the company.  My view a very bad corporate strategy if a company wants to be around for a while, if a company does not want to be around for the future then I see no reason to use it for my family tree which I’d like to share now and in the future.

  • Peter Rohel

    It took a friend 4 years to convince me to Join (I am a Pro) – because Geni Users have been Copying names from my 50,000+ public web site anyway during that time.
    Since joining in April, I have been asking All my old genealogy contacts to Join Geni – telling them it’s Free, Flexible, etc. (I have 100,000+ blood relatives)
    Don’t – Taka Away Value – Add Value to PRO Users instead. A “Descendancy Screen” (selectable fields, incl. spouse parents), Printable. *below is 1 of my web pages (HABSBURG), others with 500+ Descendancy names.http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~prohel/names/misc/habsburg.html#st I am sure Geni Users (now possibly former) – have many more Ideas for New PRO functions – that Non-PRO Users would be Willing to Pay for.You have Made a Mistake – with Your New Improvements – Please Rectify. They Impede both – New & Old Users. ** Very Disappointing !!!ps. The the new Home access – a little to Cute (very pretty) – and Useless – especially for New Users to Find.

    • Anonymous

      Peter, I’m sorry you feel that way. We think these new tools for Pros will improve the quality of the World Family Tree, so I hope you hang around to see the benefits.

      • Thenewk21

        I doubt that may people will see any benefits from what you have done. I have convince many relatives to contribute to the “Tree” because it was free. Now that you will have to pay for any real degree of flexability, you will be very few new users, therefore you will get very few users converting to Pro Accounts. I thought Geni was a very good resource, but you have just shafted it.

      • Mightycorleone

        Don’t you have anything else to say?  Goodness!  I realise that it must be a thankless job to face a bombardment of complaints, but at least TRY not to sound like a robot.

      • LeeGonHo

        I have to keep signing out and then signing in again just to get back to my Home page, once I leave the home page there is no access back to it. I have no access to read my email or send email. The email appears when you first receive one but once you get out there is no way to get back to it. What’s happening?

        • Anonymous

          The Geni logo is the home button. The inbox is in the notification center in the red number on the right hand side.

    • Pam

      If you are interested in seeing Geni develop printer-friendly views of Profile pages, Projects, Ahnentafel and Descendancy reports, family trees, photo albums, and so on for you to be able to print at home, please go to this link and click “Me Too” to express your interest. The Geni staff will look into it if there is enough interest. 

      http://help.geni.com/entries/20369601-print-formatting-printer-friendly-version-for-profiles-and-report-generating

  • Thenewk21

    From all the comments, I can’t see anyone that agrees with the changes made to Geni, forcing users to become Pro account holders to view. Can you not tell the truth in your feedback, that you are now forcing contributors to pay for a Pro account before they can “make a more accurate tree”. How does paying money make contributors more responsible in their input. Please, just tell the truth.

    • Anonymous

      The tools we just implemented for Pros make it easier to build and make a more accurate world family tree with one profile for one person. The ability to merge public profiles will make the tree a much better experience. 

      • Alexander M Bishop

        A massage makes me feel better, smiles go a long way, saying hello to people you pass on the street will make you feel better all may make life “a much better experience”, but your marketing spin fools on one.  You want money whether people can afford it or not and your excuse is if you charge for your service the result will be better … because stupid poor people will not be able to
        mess up your “world” tree.  I use world in the most loose sense possible.

      • Mightycorleone

        Robot, anyone?

  • Jakub Raciborski

    1st From today – my tree looks scary and I can not use it. Signatures on the badges are vertical! Help and fix this!

    2nd It is a pity that you remove the old forum. Now everything is everywhere – formerly was in one place. 

    3rd Your ‘pro-facilities’ are going the wrong way. I used Free Trial a long time ago. Now I have no possibility of finding new users connected to my family. I would gladly run away from you, but it is not easy to move several thousand signed and marked with archival photos.

    Take care of your users!

    • Anonymous

      1) We’re aware and our engineers are fixing the population of users experiencing it.

      2) We have moved away from a forum outside of the site to built-in discussions: http://www.geni.com/discussions3) Thanks for your input. I’ll pass it along.

      • Jakub Raciborski

        Thanks for reply especially now when you are under fire (fairly!)

        1/ Waiting… waiting and waiting 
        2) We had forum nad blog and now we have geni blog, geni discussion, geni help, geni wiki and geni projects – everything is everywhere

  • Allyn T

    Something that confuses me is if the objective is to get the most accurate tree and one profile per person how  is this done if so many people keep their profiles private?  Also if your a Pro do you get to see the Manager of a profile.  I must say that I am upset by these changes and don’t give me the speech to try Pro cause I have been considering it and am just waiting for the right time when I can maximize my use.  I love this website.  I have managed to find so many relatives already I would never have known about without this website.  These changes only work in a world where everybody is a Pro and you can see managers.  Please at least bring back manager of  profile so a person knows if they may know the person.

    • Allyn T

      genigrant and Geni George can you reply please?

      • Geni George

        We’re looking into the visibility of Managers.  In an ideal world, managers would be irrelevant.  Can you explain exactly how you are using managers so that our user experience team has a better understanding?

        • Disappointed Geni

          I think that should be obivous, contact the manager about collaboration etc., which is of course one of the attractions for a lot of people, share the work and knowldege.  Now that only really works for a PRO, non-PRO’s have been left to “wallow in the dark”, blindly adding what they know of thier tree likely never discovering if much of it is already there.  Clearly your “user experience team” has little or no experience with the use of Geni and has not taken the time to contact users on how they use it.  If they had they would discover a lot of us have been having to pain stakingly work around things in Geni for some time and changes have not improved stuf.  The most frustrating thing is how slow it is to navigate from place to place on the tree, but you have now solved that for non-PRO folks, they can’t really “go anywhere” anyways.  What percent of users are PRO?  Has that number actually risien significantly?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

          If you get a match and see that this manager have I tried to be in contact with several times without any response, or there is a pending request you don’t have to bother doing it again…
          Now we need to go into the profile, and if its public we can see the manager.  If it’s private we need to “contact the manager”, and then see who we’re trying to contact…

          How about your team starting to ask the users prior to doing changes, or even notify users of what you’re planning to change and see if the users object.  Then you can use your energy and staff where it is needed instead!

          Your lack of confidence in your users is astonishing, and it is scary.
          I’ll go for the ancestrysync, and make sure I have all my data and then you’ll see a magic trick:
          *POOF*
          Profiles gone, and I’m gone.
          And I’ll probably bring my family and friends with me so that we can continue building our trees together, but on another site…

    • Anonymous

      Fourth great and above are always public profiles. As a pro, it doesn’t matter who manages public profiles.

      Also, you can see who manages a profile by going to that profile directly on Geni.

    • Anonymous

      Fourth great and above are always public profiles. As a pro, it doesn’t matter who manages public profiles.

      Also, you can see who manages a profile by going to that profile directly on Geni.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        Yes, but why do we need to take those extra clicks?
        One for getting in, and one for getting back out?  (or do tabs, but still…)
        And going directly?
        Do you know where exactly in a tree all your relatives are?

        I’m not using that feature to get to profiles that are IN my tree, I’m using it to merge it when your system isnt suggesting it.  You know names can be written differently, and for me it isn’t suggesting all it should be…

  • Web1215

    Have just closed my account after approximately two months and adding 241 profiles of ancestors and inviting several and more family members to join. There are too many other paying and nonpaying sites that actively want my information that will allow the additions of family members past the 3rd generation without paying for it.  You made a critical error gentlemen and ladies in this
    “so called improvement”.  I was just trying to decide whether or not to go Pro.  Thanks for making my mind up for me.
    William E. Belzung

  • PG Krishnaiah

    I had to create TWO identical profile earlier and have successfully merged them subsequently. Today I am finding the profiles de linked and ALAS!!! I am not able to merge them. Why is it that I am not able to merge the profile I have added and what is the reason for you to stop this feature. I hope you should continue all the features atleast for the people who added the profiles as well as their collaborators while you may block others from editing and merging to prevent damage to the tree created.

  • PG Krishnaiah

    My comments disappear after entry. It seems immaterial whether one is registerd (Of course free member in your terminolgy) or Pro member or a guest.

  • LMC

    Since this latest “improvement” the “push pin” function on profiles no longer works (to view how one profile is related to another.)  PLEASE FIX THIS GENI.

    • Geni George

      LMC: Please visit http://help.geni.com and submit a ticket, this appears to be bug.  Please let them know what browser and version you are using.

      • Alexander M Bishop

        LMC: you should get a competent (and I’m joking) response with 2 months.

  • erayzer

    Geni says:
    “All users can continue to build a family tree of their close relatives for free, and invite their relatives to view and contribute to that tree.”
    This is NOT the case. For example I can NOT make changes to the profile of my 4th grandfather, a profile I added and manage.
    What exactly is ‘close’ in this case?

  • Yao Liu

    Hey everyone, apparently something other than complaints and treats of leaving is needed.

    We all have many relatives on the tree who are not interested in it at all. We can pretend to be them (with or without their consent), and use up the 2 week trial, adding new profiles just the way we used to (with the added benefits that they described), and switch to another non-active relative.

  • Hunter T.

    As a student, I have used Geni to find information for numerous history projects because other sites, like Wikipedia, don’t show entire family lines as Geni does with historical figures. Now that I can’t search for historical figure’s family trees, or even find my family members for MY tree, I will probably no longer use Geni. In the economic state the world is in, it’s ridiculous to have to spend money on this.

  • Birgit Werner

    You say you have added more and better tools.
    The truth is - you have not only alienated the enormous group of Non-Pros (and future Pros) but taken away the best tool the Pros ever had, the dedicated Non-Pros. We can no longer search, merge or even find out (or conntact) managers of profiles we have information about.
    I was just on the brink of signing up as a Pro, but now realise that I can no longer use Geni to get my family to cooperate with me in whatever work could have been done.
    Too bad, you had something good going. It is now useless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

    If you’re really working towards making this one tree:
    Why not let Pro’s suggest merges for profiles that both are private?  I understand that some people do not manage to cooperate with everyone in their families, but how about the same people having multiple profiles?  The merge do not need to be performed unless the person accept it, but that would at least keep people from creating the same profiles over and over again.
    I can give a couple of examples, but not in this thread…

    I every now and then see people have, with identical names, same profiles creating new trees.

    • MP

      And on a related note:
      More times than I recall, my merge requests have sat in GeniStasis because the manager (a non-Pro) is no longer active on Geni and either isn’t receiving or is ignoring the request.  George@Geni et al., if you haven’t heard this enhancement request before, please consider it now: if a user (up to you whether to limit to a non-Pro user) hasn’t logged onto Geni or hasn’t responded to messages in some time (up to you how to define “some time” — perhaps one year? and less than that if the user has not logged in since the first-ever-login date), ‘public’ize all profiles s/he controls (or at least contact Pro users who have attempted to contact the user and ask them who should receive control).  Thanks for listening :).

      • Geni George

        For profiles that have been abandoned, you can report is as an abandoned tree.  After you navigate to the profile page, click “Actions” and select “Report”

        • Peter Rohel

          I am sorry – but that has Not worked & will Not work for the 1000′s of Profiles, like family of Sigmund Freud – with 3 Dead-beats or HOGS, who have Profiles of Dead people “Private” – with MERGE request by 4 individuals now for a long time:
          http://www.geni.com/family-tree/index/315773591250001676

          Instead of Introducing the Latest New Limitations – why not make All Private profiles 99 years and older, etc. “Public”. Some of them are likely “Private” from Gedcom Imports of long ago – or by People Not even Knowing they’re Private, due to the previous software limitation. *** And the HOGS (intentional Private profiles of Dead people) – Tell them to take a Hike – instead of Loosing Good Users interested in Genealogy. The PRIVATE vs PUBLIC — is where your DUPLICATE and MERGE Problem lies – and that is What Should have been FIXED instead !!
              

        • MP

          Ah, that is what is meant by “abandoned tree”?  Thanks!  I’ve just reported one such profile as “abandoned” and will await word from Geni.

          On the subject of a user not being active for “some time”: homepage “Recently Online” tells me who _is_ active, and a profile’s Joined On field tells me when the user initially logged into Geni, and a profile’s Activity tab can provide insight into recent activities by a user, but is there a way to tell via the profile when the user last logged into Geni?  Thanks.

  • Rick Tasber

    Why is your 58,000,000 “World Family Tree” number droping like a rock? Are people leaving Geni in droves? What are you going to do with all those abandoned trees? My cousin introduced me to Geni and gave me a new lease on life. It got me off the couch and involved in something fun. I’ve made friends as a result of my research and collaborations, as well as re-connected to some of my family. Thank you for that.
    It’s with a heavy and broken heart that I go back to the couch and watch TV again. I can’t afford your “Pro” fee and I’m absolutely sure, the people that got involved with my tree, because of my enthusiasm for Geni and “MY Family Tree”, will lose any interest and move on as well.
    I was intending for all my hours and months of research, growing a family tree and tending to the leaves (profiles) and branches, to be my legacy. Something of myself, with literally my name on it, when I left this earth and someone filled in my “Date of Death”.
    I usually end my correspondence with this emoticon ;~) , but today I end with TT_TT…

    • Ric Dickinson

      I think the number is “dropping like a rock” because so many people are diligently working to merge the many duplicate profiles.  Which benefits us all.

      • Rick Tasber

        “So many people”?? The numbers where dropping by the hundreds when I posted my comment earlier. Where are these hordes of people coming from, all of a sudden, and merging en-masse?
        I suppose there will always be people defending an injustice. I hope you can benefit, before the inevitable fee increase goes into effect.  Good Luck! 

        • Geni George

          The number of completed merges is up significantly, which was one of the positive effects we hoped to see as a result of these permissions changes.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            And how many of these merges have created problems in the trees?
            That you will not know until people start noticing…

          • http://www.facebook.com/todd.carnes1 Todd Carnes

            I rarely allow merges in my tree anymore. Every time I do it causes more trouble than it’s worth. The vast majority of people on Geni either don’t have a clue or else they don’t give a darn about accurately researching things before they enter it into their tree. There’s WAY too much garbage in Geni’s so-called “World Family Tree”.

          • Rick Tasber

            You got the “Pro(s) to do all the work AND pay for the privilege…you guys are diabolical. Good Job (NOT).

          • Rick Tasber

            How does that work?
            All these “Pro(s)”, that are now supposedly making merges in unprecedented numbers, have been sitting on all these merges for months or years and waited for this precise moment in time to act? Come on Geni George, does your response really make any sense?
            I do thank you for responding though…Thank You.

  • Voqo

    I develop some free net service (about popculture) for 11 years. We’ll stay free for our users. Why? Because we know cases of other services, which had hundreds and thousands users, and one day they started to be non-free. Now there’s not a single sign they ever existed…
    We are for free. But we started to get money in other way then selling something that doesn’t belong to us. Other trees are not yours. Public profiles are not yours. And there’s not so many users who cares of one world family tree. Now I see you think you have enough of Pros to keep whole Geni service online. Ok. But I don’t think you will have more of them by going this way.

  • Thomas

    Yesterday Geni was fun, today it is not.
    This headline feels like orwellian 1984-talk like “freedom is slavery”, it is not “a whole lot better” at all.
    It will make the site less attractive, attract fewer users and hence fewer Pro prospectives, which will generate less money, not more. And decrease the building of the big tree.

    It was wrong to remove free users ability to build and search.
    It is right to give Pro accounts more tools and other incentives to pay.

    I have put lots of time here and enjoyed it it so please listen, I would hate to see Geni die.

  • Anonymous

    You should probably remove the thing on the right side that says “Join the worlds largest free family tree” since you can no longer do that.

    Do I need to upgrade to Pro to connect to the world family tree?Yes, only Pro users can merge their tree into the world family tree.
    #fail

  • Annulla

    Horrible, horrible, horrible idea. After years of work, thousands of profiles added, encouraging family members to join and contribute, you have now cut me off from the PRIMARY features that led me to join and support I’ve been using this site. I am beyond saddened. Beyond disappointed. I am enraged.

  • Susan Putnam

    I liked Geni as it was.  I  have introduced many new users both in my tree and in my forest, but I am no longer able to add to my forest people who are actually living and could join due to the new “pro” requirements.  Sorry, Geni, looks like I’ll be trying out ancestry.com unless the forest access changes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

      Oh they can still join.
      They have to build up to the closest relative, put the profile public and wait for a PRO to pass by and merge the profile…

      Of course it would’ve been better if you were to join them to the tree and inviting them, but who cares if there are a lot of duplicates showing up… All the PRO’s can merge them if they’re public.  and the PRO’s doesn’t have anything better to do.  We’re here for the cleanup, not for building and expanding our branches with more documentations.

    • Geni George

      We like Geni the way it was, too.  But we want it to be here in a few decades, too.

      • Disapointed Geni

        “We like Geni the way is was, too.”  So, PLEASE put it back and truely ADD features to entice PRO’s.  The ONLY way you’ll be around in a few decades is to not dis-enfrancise the bulk of you users.  Look back in Geni news, your business model was more effective targetted adds due to being able to use the profile information to pick adds better matched to the user.  What happened to that?  From what you are now saying, you are admitting Geni is already a failed business - it can’t “stay like it was” and so has to try dis-enfrancising most of its users instead?  Sounds like a dieing beast thrashing uncontrollably in its final moments.  58,000,000 is not really that many profiles (half of them are the same anyways) so it won’t take too many of the “free-loaders” to leave before your relevence is deminished beyond return.  Remember folks like bebo?  They were here and then next thing we know, gone.  It is a pitty Geni is choosing to do it to itself.

      • Disapointed Geni

        “We like Geni the way is was, too.”  So, PLEASE put it back and truely ADD features to entice PRO’s.  The ONLY way you’ll be around in a few decades is to not dis-enfrancise the bulk of you users.  Look back in Geni news, your business model was more effective targetted adds due to being able to use the profile information to pick adds better matched to the user.  What happened to that?  From what you are now saying, you are admitting Geni is already a failed business - it can’t “stay like it was” and so has to try dis-enfrancising most of its users instead?  Sounds like a dieing beast thrashing uncontrollably in its final moments.  58,000,000 is not really that many profiles (half of them are the same anyways) so it won’t take too many of the “free-loaders” to leave before your relevence is deminished beyond return.  Remember folks like bebo?  They were here and then next thing we know, gone.  It is a pitty Geni is choosing to do it to itself.

  • Susan Putnam

    Not better, not more accurate, just more expensive!  Thanks for holding my forest hostage!

  • Freeloader

    I think all that needs to be said has been said already. Users are furious, as evidenced by 200+ comments, when the average Geni news story has about 2. The Geni staff have pulled off an amazing bait and switch, and don’t care about their users’ reactions. 
    You know, if Geni had pulled this stunt off and everyone had remained quiet, I probably would have sucked it up and continued to contribute what I have to Geni. But now that I’ve seen the staff’s (non)-reaction – nay, ambivalence and apathy – to the users’ outrage, I am too disgusted to continue. Barring a quick reversal and retraction by Geni, I will no longer use Geni.com, except to occasionally reference some of the hundreds of hours of work that I already put into it.

    • Geni George

      Freeloader, please don’t mistake our lack of continued “robotic responses”, as someone else put it, as apathy.  We’re all reading and listening, and we are watching very closely to see how the community reacts.  

      In response to your previous post:

      1) Perhaps some resources and genealogical databases, because up till now, users are doing all their 
      own research outside of Geni. Geni only provides a hosting service. Why would I p

      George: We are working to provide databases of records.  It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do.  If you were to compare us to a web hosting service (like Godaddy) our monthly cost is pretty similar, too, for just the hosting (not the platform).

      2) A one time fee that’s more reasonable. (That’s not gonna happen).
      George:  You’re probably right, it probably wouldn’t keep the site alive for the next 10-20 years.

      3) Asking or at least notifying users before making site changes. (Seriously, I mean, even Facebook does that).

      George: I don’t know what this has to do with delivering a product that you’d be willing to pay for.  Since this was the first time that we ever did something like this (specifically creating a barrier for specific tasks on the site to be completed), we were bound to upset some people.  It’s not very often that we make a large change and then stop working (we’ve never done that).  We’ll continue to iterate and hopefully end up in a place where everyone is happy.

      4) More focus on the user including “freeloaders”. From you’re responses here, it seems you don’t care about any user who’s not filling your pockets.

      George: There are expenses behind things like development (we have a full team of great developers that any other startup in LA would love to have), as well as world class Front End/UX folks and a customer service team (that’s free for everyone)…and a lot of our employees are active and involved in the community, and sympathetic to all of the concerns that have been expressed.

      We are trying to find a model that will make Geni sustainable for decades to come, and unfortunately that means that revenue has to come from somewhere.  Advertising the magic solution for everything like it is for Google, Facebook, etc.

      If one of our users could figure out how to make money grow on the world family tree, it’d be a lot easier for everyone.

      • Freeloader

        George:
        As regards #3, I say that because I like a site that takes its users into consideration before making changes, and whether or not I like the way a company treats me greatly affects how much I’m willing to pay them, if at all. As far as this being the first change of its kind, I am not referring notifying us before changes like this one, but any change that will change a user’s information or his access thereto.

        I do realize that Geni is a for-profit organization and needs to have an income. I do appreciate that it cannot survive without enough paying customers. I do not think in any way, that Geni could or should be completely free for everyone. 

        I DO think this was a bait and switch. I DO think that Geni needed and used us; which I didn’t mind at the time as long as I could continue to use Geni the way I loved it. I DO think that if the current Pro users are not paying the company’s bills, then your monetization strategy has to be rethought. I DON’T think that should come at the price of turning Geni into crippleware, and I DO hope Geni reconsiders and reverts.

        George, do you understand where I and the other commenters are coming from? It’s not necessarily a sense of entitlement on our part, but more likely an inability to pay, or a dislike of being used and then thrown out. I await your response.

        • Geni George

          Every time we release, we post to the blog.  We’ve had more blog readers in the past 24 hours than we ever do – but we’re here, keeping everyone up to date and publishing cool and useful content every weekday.  We don’t change users’ information, and last week we had a lot of sleep deprived folks working as hard as possible to restore data from an unanticipated outage…and throughout that process, we were able to make sure that user’s were able to access their information, and that it hadn’t changed.

          I understand where everyone is coming from.  I wasn’t exaggerating in any way when I suggested that “a lot of our employees are active and involved in the community, and sympathetic to all of the concerns that have been expressed.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            >We’ve had more blog readers in the past 24 hours than we ever do
            No shit, Sherlock.
            Why do you think that has happened then? I believe I’ve been in here 15 times to read the updates and the frustrations from people.
            I also think that there are a lot of people that probably would’ve said the same things as the majority of posts here say, but they don’t bother.  They see what we think, they see what you think, and they make up their own mind.
            I guess you’ll just see a lot of abandoned accounts in the future.
            :)

          • Freeloader

            George, I do appreciate the fact that you have continued to answer all of our furious comments with civility, (as any company representative should), but you appear to answer all of my questions/arguments with the straw man fallacy. 
            To wit, your statement that you were funded by venture capital is irrelevant; I was really trying to bring out the major contribution of the free users. I clearly stated that your users should be informed BEFORE such a major change; so the fact that you blog about it afterwards is pointless. Also, I did say “change that will change a user’s information or his access thereto”: to which you answered that you hadn’t changed users information (true) and that during the outage you made sure the users information was still accessible (also true). However, you are now making inaccessible information that users previously had access to, and may have contributed to (public profiles, for example).

            I appreciate your continued responses, but more than a response to our distaste for the new downgrade of the site; we’d like to hear you response to our response. That is, we’d like to hear what the Geni team is thinking about the negative response the users have given.

      • Jacinta Palerm

        Well then say the money coming in is not enough, but dont make a sing and dance on –”just got better” which is so untrue

        • Geni George

          We added the ability for Pros to merge and add public profiles timed with the permissions change.  Based on the site’s activity for the past 24 hours, the changes have been extremely positive for Pros.

      • Jbbuttrill

        George,

        If you can’t sell advertising on Geni web pages, then perhaps we need to get a new marketing director. There is an ad box on each page, which unfotunately is frequently empty. Move that box to the top of the page so that it’s more visible, and get on the phone and start selling. (Of course, Geni Pro would be ad-free.)

        Joe Brous Buttrill

        • Geni George

          Joe,

          We have run enough advertising tests to know that with our current traffic levels, advertising would not be a viable business model.

          -George

  • Michelle

    You know, if you just contract people into your year/two year monthly rate instead of making them pay it all up front you probably wouldn’t lose a single person.  By forcing me to pay three times as much for one month, I will end up paying it just to get my work that I spent forever putting into your system and never come back once my month has expired.  I have a feeling you’re going to make $12 off of thousands of people this month and then your financial chart is going to plummet.  This is a sad, sad way of trying to make an extra buck, there’s a million ways you could have implemented these changes without losing a single client.

  • Sue

    You have got to be kidding!  I can’t add ancestors beyond three generations even on my own close family group?  This is ridiculous.  Guess I will have to find another place! 

    • Anonymous

      You, Your Parents, Your Grandparents, Your Great, Great-Great, and Great-Great-Great.

      Five generations up from you.

    • Jacinta Palerm

      terrible its it

    • Mightycorleone

      Yes, you’ve got to be kidding.  And don’t think you can add to the profiles you’ve added beyond that either.  
      And to export a GEDCOM of your forest, you have to be a Pro.  Really between a rock and a hard place.
      I loved collaborating with Pro’s and Curators, but now I’ve been cut off from them.  No such thing anymore as doing my research, loading great-great-ancestors, and then searching the names to locate the individuals in other trees to double & triple check information, and then merge.  
      Even if I see a shortcoming in a tree I merged into, I can no longer go on a hunt on their behalf just to be nice, and add profiles or info that I’ve found.  
      One part of my extended Living family pops up in the tree twice, and I wanted to help my elderly aunt from that side whose husband passed away recently work on her tree.  Now I can’t.  Very sad indeed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

    202 comments, and if we take away the geni staff all but one has been (partially) positive.
    All in 21 hours…
    I did expect this when I first posted 20 hours ago…

    Time for Geni to rethink their business model?

    This is what Geni should’ve improved:
    Printing.  Not only tree-posters as it is now, but how ’bout a book like you can get at some of the alternatives?
    Let’s say you pinpoint an ancestor, and another profile (or yourself), then you could get familytrees for each family, with a summary of each thing in the timeline for the family members, with links to other pages (x marries someone, look page y for new family group).  That would kick ass, and people would start creating books.
    That is a feature I bet people would go PRO for.

    I would also like a more clear way of filtering profiles that’re dead/alive, birth/death, missing baptism or burial, and also search for profiles that’re private/public.
    That is also something people would perhaps go pro for…

    I would also like to have back the view of who is the manager when I’m searching (with my PRO account).  It is useful information. 

    And what’s up with not showing any info at all when you’re looking at a merge request?  I can see all the info I’ve entered, but the one I’m merging with I see only the name?  Let’s merge blindly…  This will be accurate and well documented.

    Bring back the feature to let people build up their tree for more relatives than geni allows for now after the change.  Add on to the features for PRO’s.  Then you’ll perhaps 202 comments praising your work instead of feeling so disrespected that they choose to leave.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A4RWXHOVPNPS7NIYHHTZ4BM6TA Sophie

    Hi, I’m a Pro user from Belgium. I compared the new Pro features with
    the Free account of a family member. Indeed: she isn’t longer able to add people
    to our ‘historical’ tree. I think that’s not a good evolution: European
    archives are going back to 1300 – 1400 or earlier, so there is a lot of
    information to add. There are some very good free European websites
    like geneanet.com and I still believe that Geni offers some very
    important advantages, so please keep it like that. I know: there’s no
    such thing as a free lunch, but in my opinion it would be better to attract new Pro users with extra features (eg nice looking printable views of profiles…). Improving the quality of the tree can also be achieved by adding more Pro feautures without ‘punishing’ the Free users, I strongly believe. One example: I’ve some important merges standing out but the manager of the private duplicates doesn’t answer…so there is no merge (and no improvement) at all. An idea: make private profiles automaticaly public when the manager didn’t log in for 6 months… just an idea.

    • Geni George

      Sophie,

      If you click on the “Actions” button on the abandoned profiles, you can report the profiles as abandoned.

      We’ve also offered tree posters for more than a year, and let’s just say they’re not keeping the smallest of boats afloat.  Some of our API partners offer some cool charting…check out Treeseek or Progeny Genealogy’s Charting Companion.

      -George

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        We’re not talking about you printing something for us for you to send.  It is just as easy to print things ourselves.  People do own printers and scanners in addition to computers you know…

        We’re talking about improving the reports people can create.  Something they want to go PRO for.
        That would not only float your boat, but you could eventually buy a yacht.

        • Anonymous

          Treeseek and Charting Companion generate charts from your genie info for you to print yourself.

          • Amar

            I have been using Charting Companion for 2 months and its really great.. :)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A4RWXHOVPNPS7NIYHHTZ4BM6TA Sophie

        George, thanks I’ll report the profile. For the printing: Treeseek is a good start, especially the fan chart – but what I mean is more basic. I would like to show my grandfather, who is 86, some profiles on paper. But now I have to print ‘the screen’, which looks terrible… It would be nice to generate a nice looking pdf or jpg of a profile… This could be a Pro feauture

    • Mightycorleone

      Sophie, thanks for the tip on a European site.
      I was just getting to my 9th-12th great-grandparents from Europe, and their extended families (call me anal, but I like to add all siblings and their spouses, not just the one connected to me).  Now I can’t access that as easily.  Sure, if I go through the round-about process of going to a list of all the profiles I manage, I can scroll down till I get the one I’m looking for.  But if I search a name of one of my profiles (even my self), it redirects me to the PAY PAY PAY page.  Nice.

    • Pam

      If you are interested in seeing Geni develop printer-friendly views of Profile pages, Projects, Ahnentafel and Descendancy reports, family trees, photo albums, and so on for you to be able to print at home, please go to this link and click “Me Too” to express your interest. The Geni staff will look into it if there is enough interest. 

      http://help.geni.com/entries/20369601-print-formatting-printer-friendly-version-for-profiles-and-report-generating

  • Concerned

    All the work that free users have contributed is used by Pro account users.  Your data was created by people for you and now you are using it to sell on.  If you insist on everyone paying then you ought to adjust your pricing structure downwards drastically.  We need new users to join all the time… we are all wanting more members because one of them just might have that long lost answer.  You are going to seriously put off new blood joining and this big tree is going to wilt.  Maybe we need to start planting elsewhere.

  • Pat

    I need to delete a name that is not correct.  I have not joined Geni.  Do I have to be a member to delete my relative?  I put it in right but cannot get rid of the incorrect one.  After reading some of the comments, I don’t think I want to join.

    • Concerned

      better not join at the moment and that’s the advice I’ll be giving out from now on – I’ve put so many people onto this site and now I feel like an idiot.  I’m a Pro account holder but I rely on free members to join and input data!  this is bonkers

    • Anonymous

      If you join the family of the person who added it, you can edit anything in that close family.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        Not if the originator select that the family group is none of his or spouses blood relatives, nor the inlaws.
        That is if the original creator is very mean…
        That way you’ll block anyone from messing with your private profiles, won’t you?
        ;)

  • Concerned

    The ABOUT page on Geni reads… (right now)… “Geni is solving the problem of genealogy by inviting the world to build the definitive online family tree. Using the basic free service at Geni.com, users add and invite their relatives to join their family tree.  All Geni users can share an unlimited number of photos, videos, and documents with their families.  Geni’s Pro subscription service allows users to find matching trees and merge those into the single world family tree, which currently contains nearly 60 million living users and their ancestors. Additional pay services include enhanced research tools as well as keepsake products created from family tree data. Geni welcomes casual genealogists and experts who wish to discover new relatives and stay in touch with family. Geni is privately held and based in Los Angeles, California.
    ”  What rubbish… the basic free service can no longer do that!  False/misleading statements as to what the basice free service lets you do. 

    • Geni George

      What is false or misleading?

      • Concerned

        “Using the basic free service at Geni.com, users add and invite their relatives to join their family tree” makes it sound as if nothing has changed… but it has… there is a limit to adding yes?  define “relatives” then…. as far as I’m concerned its ANYONE on a tree

        • Geni George

          That’s a good point, and it was confusing.  I updated it to say “close relatives”.  Our definition of close relatives is 4th cousins and closer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

    Why not just go public and start selling shares?
    I would be willing to by stock in the company.

    I will never be willing to go pro so I can pay you for my services.

  • Toomas

    Tere. Just to keep going as a non-pro user, I have found out that I can still use a wonderful tool :) – MAKE A PROFILE PRIVATE. I have started to make as many as possible of the profiles, I manage (ca 5000) or which are in my family-group (ca 3500), private. Non-pro’s do not have any benefit  to hold their data public any more, as the cooperation possibilities are almost none, the family-group can also see private profiles and just in order to protect the data, it is good to MAKE IT PRIVATE.

    And good luck for the Pro’s, behind the “curtain” (where all the tools are in pure gold), I hope it is interesting enough with “the historic word family tree” (still public ;) ).

    Once upon a time the geni-world was one, but not any more.

    And it is true, it is worth to try the Pro-for-free period – in order to try out, how to download gedcom of the “forest”.

  • Guest

    This is a big improvement?  ” Non-Pros can no longer add new profiles to the historical tree or merge profiles”.  If we don’t pay, we can’t add information.

    Some improvement.  This is typical of businesses which hype ‘improvements’ which aren’t.

  • Guest

    Also, you can’t edit or add to information that you added and manage, if the person has ever been a member.

    • Geni George

      If that person has abandoned their profile, you can visit their profile, click on the “Actions” button, and report it as abandoned.

      • Concerned

        and how do you know if a particular profile is abandoned???? 

        • Anonymous

          If the person managing the profile doesn’t respond to messages.

          • Tarvi

            Well, I have reported at least twenty of non-responsible persons. Nothing has happened so far. I understand, that you need some more and more money to make those abandoned trees to be public.
            Pity, you made this movement. I understand your situation where your investors got itchy in the middle of turbulent stock markets. Still…. I would say that this particular rapid movement to aggressive “money-in” policy was totally wrong and if you Geni guys don’t find a prompt and good solution then you can forget about “10-20 years of bla-bla-bla”. Do you know what is Harakiri? You just made it.

  • Michelle

    Just went pro for the month (I will be canceling and moving on if you don’t revert these changes) and I don’t see any “new” advantages to pro unless every single person on geni goes pro, which is never going to happen.

  • Cloudlessday911

    One thing, we are resourceful people. A new “free” site will emerge and we can join it.  Geni could have allowed advertising and made their money.  And now they are making money on my research and additions.  So be it.  Their loss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

    Geni was founded by former executives and early employees of PayPal,
    Yahoo! Groups, Ebay, and Tribe. It is backed by venture capital firms
    Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures.

    Charles River Ventures
    http://www.crv.com/portfolio

    Founders Fund
    http://www.foundersfund.com/

    • Concerned

      all those brains and they came up with this new model?

      • Alexander M Bishop

        Brains?  No one ever accused the Tea Party of having brains.

  • Amar

    I was planning to go to Pro in a month later(after our family day event).. But with this new changes I’m afraid to proceed with my plan yet.. However my Pro Trial had already been used up before thus I’m unable to test it.. there is only an option to Upgrade now, no Trial is available.. It will be good if Geni can enable back the Pro Trial everytime they made a big changes as this..
    Aside from it, I believe all the effort done by Geni is for good reason(agree that some of the changes might not be on the same page with some users).. :)

  • Mightycorleone

    Luckily for me, I do have a credit card in order to get my fantastic free trial of Pro so that I can do a GEDCOM export of my forest.  But I can’t afford to go Pro permanently, since I don’t earn enough at the moment to make ends meet.  So the hobby I was enjoying so much, and that was so therapeutic for me during this stressful time in my life has now become a headache.  
    It may sound very “noble” to aim for a global family tree, but the reality is that many individuals from less prosperous countries (like my own, South Africa) do not have the financial resources or even credit cards to go Pro.  So this move has made Geni an elitist site, instead of including people from poorer countries who could make a significant contribution to the world’s family tree.  I realise that the subscription cost doesn’t sound like much, but it is in Dollars – take into account exchange rates and trivial things like a global recession, and this becomes unaffordable to many people worldwide.  Geni has effectively cut off and excluded millions of people.  NOT nice.  
    I can move my entire tree to a local site that is geared towards genealogy for my country, but I can no longer collaborate with people from the countries where my ancestors originate from.  For example, one of my third great-grandfathers came from Scotland.  If I manage to find his parents etc (which has proved to be a challenge), I can’t add this to my Geni tree.  Even if I could, I can’t merge any of that.  Cut off from the world, and very disappointed.  

    • Geni George

      This is something that we are discussing internally.  If we can find a reasonable solution for localized pricing, we may be able to make some changes here in the near future.

      • Voqo

        It will be too late…

  • http://www.facebook.com/bart.vandermeijden Bart van der Meijden

    Geni, does you call this a good release??

    After researching my ancestors to the 18th century, I’m not able to add their siblings or their parents! I’m not able to edit my own family story!!

    This isn’t fair for the majority of the Geni-users, who are free users. After years of imput by the free users (you take away their data and possibilities), you thank them to restrict their ‘rights’! Btw, the intention behind the pro-user is to give them more rights, but the intention behind the pro-users is never to restrict the free-users. Genealogy must be accessible fotr everybody, even for the free-users.

  • PG Krishnaiah

    Merging has been BLOCKED by GENI without any due consideration. The same is a basic requirement  even for free members. Consider the following example
     
    IN INDIA MARRIAGES BETWEEN A PERSON AND THE DAUGHTER OF HIS SISTER IS A COMMON PHENOMENON. IN ALL THESE CASES THE GIRL’S NAME IS ENTERED TWICE (as daughter in one branch and as wife in another branch) IN THE TREE AND THEN THE TWO ARE MERGED TOGETHER TO COMPLETE THE TREE / RELATIONSHIP.
     
    IT IS ALSO A COMMON PHENOMENON AS REGARDS TO MARRIAGE BETWEEN THE CHILDREN OF A BROTHER AND HIS SISTER. IN ALL THESE CASES ALSO WE ENTER ONE NAME TWICE IN THE TREE AND THEN MERGE THE TWO TOGETHER TO COMPLETE THE TREE / RELATIONSHIP.
     
    Since merging has been barred for free members, how do they enter any data. I agree unauthorised merging will damage the work created after a lot of efforts. Alterations in availability of features / permissions should have been done after due consideration. GENI has miserably failed in this regard. Unless the ealier features are restored GENERAL PUBLIC USERS WILL NOT FIND ANY ATTRACTION IN ENTERING THEIR DATA IN GENI AND MAY SHY AWAY FROM GENI. This defeats the very purpose on which GENI has become very popular.
     
    I suggest you to restore all the features to PROFILE MANAGERS and THEIR COLLABORATORS instead of allowing to every one as earlier. PROFILE MANAGERS WILL DEFINTELY TAKE ALL THE CARE TO ALTER AND NOT TO DAMAGE THE DATA.
     
    Hope this will be given due consideration.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

      You can still enter them once, and then select move.  Then you can drag it to the other party and select if this is the daughter/wife or whatever?

  • Itai Meshulam

    Sometimes a good intention ends up as a very bad decision, or implementation.
    I’m sure this is the case here. 
    Don’t see any mean of tree improvement, or any increase of geni income.
    My best (and FREE) advise – roll back this change immediately and rethink it.
    It is worse than last week’s technical crash.
    Itai

  • OddWiking

    OMG! Can you spell ‘user alienation’ and ‘disastrous decision’? Some money hungry Chairman of the Board of Geni ought to take his hat and leave! This is the downfall of a fantastic collaborative effort. I am a Pro user. Shame on you for this!

    • Terjebeyer

      Way to go Odd.

  • Arvuti Katsetaja

    Every other month Geni comes out with a NEW and “improved” version. In about fortnight later they are able to adjust it to some sort of bearable form. Occasionally it crashes. Is this alpha or is this beta Geni? 
    Defenitely it is prerelease level for the software. Kinky, and bumpy.
    Should you pay for betatesting while adding the value to the end product (the database). 
    I don’t think so.
    I have tracked my tree back to the XVII century, but now I have no rights to proceed. “You can’t touch this…”
    WHY? 
    There could be mistakes to correct, persons to add. But no you do not care any more. You want monnney…

  • Dick R.

    Your explanation of what the new rules are is very ambiguous.  I need to know the following in order to determine whether I should keep adding profiles here or not:

    Can non-pro users search for, and see, the profiles outside their close family as long as those profiles are public?

    If you did take that ability away, why?  The ability to view a profile in no way affects the accuracy of the tree so you can’t use that excuse.

    • Anonymous

      Your close family and profiles you follow are available in search for free users.

  • Jen Schouten

    Allright, Geni staff has to think this over and come. You cannot improve the the status of PRO users (as I am) by taking away so many rights from the not paying users. That’s forcing them to go on Pro status. Making a difference okay that was the reasob I got Pro eventhough I could not effort it ans had to skip something else I enjoyed, but that was my choice. Geni staff has to come with a solution that makes it less worse for the free users. We all need each other and many of us paying and not paying do together a  a verygood job. Geni has profit of this. I’m not against this profit, but Geni staff must realize that’s the people who makes it work. An action like this might get more pro users but many users will leave. Come with a solution, a good one. Don’t give a response in saying how improved Pro is, but Geni staf come with a solutionwhere we can see you’ve listened and took action on it. Money and heart can come together. That is what working on a big world tree means. Btw that could be a good PR, so  Geni staff you can  profit anyhow. And I’m not against profit. Be a better “man”. . Btw I ask you to get at least in touch with the curators I think many of them have a  good advice. I wish everybody the best and Geni staff the wisdom to solve this, so Geni can be “a happy place to be”. :-) . Bye, Jennie

    • Stewart Tryster

      In my earlier comments I was understandably concerned with my own side of this as someone who was enticed in by something I was told I would never have to pay for, only to discover that most of it would be hacked away unless I did pay. Though very disappointed in the decision-makers at Geni, I am encouraged by how many of those who do pay realise that Geni is hurting them as well by driving away the “freeloaders” who can contribute valuable information that may not exist elsewhere.

      • Terjebeyer

        I thought Geni was the answer, but it is no different from the others

  • Dragonsbreath

    you broke it again, didn’t you? Now, not only do I get the begging screen every blood time I try to come in for a celebration, the second one brings me to my home page rather than the celebration I aimed for.
    You still have not restored the functionality you stole from us when you decided to destroy the site by making it pay-for-everything.
    And a friend did a public search the other day, came up with a beautiful demonstration of why I should not let someone using public records alter my database(and to watch their own) -=
    All of the kids were there. 100% of the ages were wrong, a couple of them were reversed…no, wait a minute,.. there WAS one child missing. Since that child is 8….

  • Alexander M Bishop

    WARNING TO ALL PRO USERS  there may be a required upgrade in the next 6 to 12 months.  To continue your level of permissions you may have to upgrade to a higher level membership so that Geni can weed out the poorer stupid participants making for a higher quality “world tree” LOL  LMAO.

    • Geni George

      Rumor has it that this will be a lifetime-only account and it will cost 8 billion USD.  You didn’t hear it from me…

      • Jane

        http://www.geni.com/discussions/99154
        Geni may modify this Agreement at any time and such modification shall be effective upon posting by Geni on the Website. You agree to be bound to any changes to this Agreement when you use the Geni Services after any such modification is posted. It is therefore important that you review this Agreement regularly to ensure you are updated as to any changes. If you do not agree with any of the terms of this Agreement, you must immediately discontinue your use of the Geni Services 
        HERE’S ALL EXPOSED 

  • Ofer

    As a pro, if I identify a dup and ask for a merge, will the other side, non-pro, will be able to approve now ?

  • Ofer

    As a pro, if I identify a dup and ask for a merge, will the other side, non-pro, will be able to approve now ?

    • Geni George

      If the profile is private, the other user will have to be a Pro to complete the merge.

      • Tarvi

        Very poor solution! And how high is possibility, you Geni George think, there is? 0,005% of all requests in Geni environment might be over-estimated.

      • Benjamin

        That is completely idiotic.  You’ve made it so that we cannot even make our immediate family trees accurate.

        I have verified that a non-pro cannot even do internal merges.

        Way to go!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

        So we need to instruct the other one to go public with profiles? 
        But we can still go private again after the merge, right?

        Or add the user to the family group?

      • Gideon

        I thought that the new restriction on non-Pro users is that they can not initiate merges. But apparently Geni went one step further.   Non-Pros can not complete mergers!  

        I have a bunch of mergers that are waiting for completion for many months now.  These are private profiles inside the family tree, but the other side is an occasional and inexperienced user.  My hope was that these users will eventually click and approve the mergers.  Now they won’t be able to do that w/o paying for a Pro version.   What are the chances that these mergers will ever be completed?Any thoughts on this from the Geni marketing team?

  • Guille G.

    I am a bit Disappointed with all these changes. I agree with all below coments about this “improment”. I thinkt that was a wrong decision.

    • Guille G.

      Also with this change I am considering to give up geni and try another geanology web service. 

  • Pissoff

    You gave no advanced notice. Unacceptable.
    Your fees are outrageous. Unacceptable.
    You are no longer trusted. We are gone.
    We’re telling everyone else too.

    Good luck with you cheap cash grab.

  • Janice

    Off topic, but many people have been having a problem with vertical text (including me on Chrome).  I can use Interent Explorer 8 without problems.  It’s less annoying than toggling the ctrl button all the time.  Hope you will let us know when the bug is fixed.

    • Geni George

      It’s a known issue and our front end team is working with Adobe to figure out how to fix it.

      • Jakub Raciborski

        We’re waiting…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W4GZAX4FQ4X6CNH2RUTXQ32XG4 ningning

    I joined Geni in 2008 and have up to now been very happy. But when I found out that I am no longer able to merge identical profiles in other trees, Geni is not as useful to me as it used to be. I have brought in a lot of new members by word of mouth and by invitation, and many of them have become pros. I wish I had not lost the abilities I had when I first joined. I have used other programs in the past, and when I found Geni, I was very impressed. Unfortunately this is beginning to fade.
    Terje Beyer

    I cannot count how many people have merged into my tree, which I believe is a huge benefit to Geni. I uploaded my tree to another “free” website a few years ago only to find that after a while I was unable to work with it unless I payed up. Sad to see that Geni is going in the same direction.
    Will I, in the future, have to pay to wiew my own tree?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W4GZAX4FQ4X6CNH2RUTXQ32XG4 ningning

    Geni improved Pro accounts and downgraded regular accounts.
    Very dissapointing! Just the same as the other Big genealogical websites!
    Terje

  • Danilevy23

    In a nutshell, if you want people to fork over their money, give them a good product.
    I am with Geni for over a year, active daily for hours, and I have seen many changes, additions and substractions, but the final product is still farrrrrrr from great.
    GIVE US THAT GREAT PRODUCT THAT WE LONG FOR… and many of us will become PROS by choice, not by coersion.
    I know for a fact of many active and important contributors to Geni deserting the the site for other sites because of a slew of issues they were upset or unhappy about.
    You can’t please them all, but you must try to please the large majority.
    When you try to compete in the market place, two ingredients are important: quality and price.
    The price was OK, but the quality leaves a lot to be desired.
    When I have a problem and ask for assistance from Geni “help”, it is unacceptable to wait over a month. As I said, improve your service and things will fall into place.

  • Tal H.

    Along the past 3 years, I have created more than 2,000 profiles in Geni.All of them are full of details pictures and documents.I have gathered many population registries and translated them from Gothic German. Uploaded the information to Geni. Geni is now asking me for money to access my own information.
    As a regular member (non-pro) I cannot even access my own profiles now. All my profiles can now be edited by new subscribers who pays four f***ing dollars a month.
    Geni should pay ME for building their database ! but instead, they are asking me now for money to view my own database.

    Go to hell Geni. I am not going to pay anything to you. I don’t need your website anymore. If you want my help in building your database you will have to pay ME for this in the future !!!

    • Danny L

      I understand and agree with your sentiments.
      We all should stop with the recriminations and start behaving like “good” rrown up human beings in continuing to build the tree for our descendants as a memorial and testament of the past.
      It should start with Geni, by showing us that money isn’t all they care about.
      As I said elsewhere, give us the “product” and the “service” and money will follow.

  • Mishtamesh

    You should change the title of this post to:

    “Geni non-Pro Just Got a Whole Lot worse”

    The pro users didn’t get anything more. In fact their condition is much worse now because they no longer have people to cooperate with.

    • Emanuelle

      SO TRUE !

  • Eero Ignatius

    Reading the flow of comments these points come to mind:

    1)  The Geni community needs even the non-paying tree builders who may have valuable information not available to Pro users
    2)  Geni, as a business, cannot provide mainly free-of-charge services, which should be understood by us all – “there is no such thing as a free lunch”
    3) The unemployed, part of the retired and persons in countries with a very different standard of living compared to Geni’s California may really be right in suggesting that five bucks a month is a lot of money – some of them cannot have international credit cards, so even the payment can be difficult to arrange!
    3) Geni should find a solution to points 1-3 above
    4) It is highly likely that reducing the rights of non-paying users in the way done on 12 August 2011 caused such a storm of customer dissatisfaction, that something should be done fairly soon to avoid the loss of indecision
    5) As we Pro users have not been deprived of anything,.we should help Geni, which has excellent engineers, proud visions and right now excellent material available for a profound customer satisfaction analysis.

    Let us be optimists, because a business such as Geni targeting for success can only do it when the vast majority of customers are satisfied.

    Eero Ignatius
    Kuopio, Finland

    (Used to work for Hewlett-Packard in the past)

    • Woehl

      Excellent input.  I just bloged two posts in great length above.  I do believe they have / have had the best to offer.  But still, I will pack up and leave if they do not correct this very soon. That includes me, all the family that joind only because of the 3100+ profiles i manage, and the pending world merges.  I do hope they are reading these and do act fairly.   Geni , please activate the features that were riped away from us all, and then move forward to inprove. In the big picture, those are very small requests , BUT important enough to many  like me, and will stay or will leave.   I desire to stay. , h o p e i n g…

  • Karmon

    I went to a genealogy conference and received info of my 4th greatgrand fathers parents and now I can’t even add them to my own tree. Do I have to burden a pro to add these names and dates for me?  I use to search for other relatives before I added them so we didn’t have to merge.  I guess the progress is all over with!!

  • Asher

    I think that the general manager of Geni should consider to take control and change this bad decision, as soon as possible. This bad decision will not bring more paying subscribers but surely will reduce the number of free members, the free member that built the “The world family tree”.
    It is time to make decisions, in order to reduce the damages that this miserable decision has done till now.

    • Synnest

      I think that GM is behind these changes and should resign.

  • Terjebeyer

    I am sorry to see that you have changed totally from your original intent which advertised “free family tree”. I have put in a lot of data, and invited countless people, and now I am no longer able to carry on the work I have done since 2008. I am sure you are happy that you sucked in thousands of free users that have contributed their time and effort so that you can profit from their work. i have no illusion that this and the many other complaints will accomplish anything because I now see that you are motivated by greed and you are no different from the other websites that started out in a similar fashion. All pro users ought to cancel their account. I have nothing against your pro users. they have been very helpful, but they started out the same way as we all did and chose to pay for the extra pro features. Then you got greedy and limited the features of the original users and the original intent of this web page. Shame on you!

  • Jacinta Palerm

    Getting ready to leave, dont like NOT having some control over the profiles I put in; I loved the finding and collaboration w/family members. But this collaboration is gone. Too bad.

  • Ken Tregear

    The Geni server is going to be very busy. I’m changing my 2,347 historical profiles to Private. There’s no point in having them Public any more.

    Presumably all other non-Pro members will be doing the same.

    • Jacinta Palerm

      How? Dont they have to be alive or close to you ancestor wise to be private?

      • Ken Tregear

        Those that cannot be made private are being deleted. This means starting at the top of each branch of the tree and working down.

        Bring up the persons profile first then select the edit option. You can change more to Private this way than directly selecting edit in the persons box. Haven’t yet worked out which ones work and which ones don’t, but its working with 7 generations back in most cases.

        • Jacinta Palerm

          Thanks.
          Thought about the option of deleting but since I invited some 100 family members deleting the family tree is sort of not so nice.
          Tried making ancestors live and them they appear in the list so I can make them private pretty fast, however have to go to each profile to resucitate the ancestors.

          • Voqo

            5ths and older have to stay alive for being private.

    • Jane

      1. You can change EVERYONE in your family group to PRIVATE.  Deceased or alive.  Managed by you or NOT.

      2. I think you can change any LIVE profile you manage outside your family group to PRIVATE.

      Go to http://www.geni.com/list and apply the appropriate filters on the left.  Page through and “Make This Profile Private” on the right.

      Let’s see how many we can make private.  I just did 300.  Report back here!

  • Fgoldsm170

    You added new features but now I cannot do the old features of adding on children to the tree.

  • Jacinta Palerm

    Has anybody tried
    http://www.wikitree.com/

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Bouman/100000034152876 Daniel Bouman

      Trying it as we speak :)

  • Simon

    I wish to remove all the data I added to geni, because of geni’s lousy new policies. Please tell me HOW to do so. Under HELP I did not find instructions. I do not permit geni to charge for access to data I posted here for the benefit of the genealogical community. I never ceded to geni or to PRO users the right to retain, change or corrupt my data.
    I look forward to your comments.

  • Simon

    I wish to remove all the data I added to geni, because of geni’s lousy new policies. Please tell me HOW to do so. Under HELP I did not find instructions. I do not permit geni to charge for access to data I posted here for the benefit of the genealogical community. I never ceded to geni or to PRO users the right to retain, change or corrupt my data.I look forward to your comments.

  • Stewart Tryster

    Seems to me there is one, and only one, way that this will change: if Geni sees that the number of Pros who cancel exceeds the number of new Pros coerced into a paid subscription by the new policy. I can’t see how anything other than that bottom line will have an effect. Short of that, Geni will carry on and fudge whatever explanations are needed to justify it. The decision was made for financial reasons and it will only be altered if there’s a clear financial reason to do so.

  • Jane

    1. You can change EVERYONE in your family group to PRIVATE.  Deceased or alive.  Managed by you or NOT.

    2. I think you can change any LIVE profile you manage outside your family group to PRIVATE.

    Go to http://www.geni.com/list and apply the appropriate filters on the left.  Page through and “Make This Profile Private” on the right.

    Let’s see how many profiles we can make private between us.  I just did 300.  Report back here!

    • Odb

      I made 1000+ private

      • Jane

        Well done Odb!

        • Dee

          I am doing this too, it may take me a while but if I cannot work with my non Pro family to make my tree bigger and have to do it by myself now then I am not going to bother having any public profiles.  I am not interested in the World Tree, I am interested in growing my tree with information whose integrity I can rely on and I only link with confirmed family members who are proven through documentation.  I do not want my tree “doctored” in the world tree by family whose research integrity I cannot trust.  Easy solution is my tree will grow much slower with just being me and a couple of pro cousins rather than my over 40 trusted family members.  60 privatised profiles done, several thousand to go!!

          • Dee

            700 profiles are now private, slowly working through my others.

      • Jacinta Palerm

        Made everyone in my family group private, maybe 2,000. Will see what to do w/ancestors.

  • George J. Homs

    Hello fellow Geni users. I’m one of the volunteer curators on Geni, and I just want you to know that we’re discussing all this amongst curators as well. We’re just users like everyone else, and we haven’t been ‘elected’ to represent the user community, but we’re bringing all the issues together and I think we’ll be able to be quite representative of what’s on everyone’s mind.
    The fact that we’re seeing this uproar shows that we all enjoy Geni and that we care about its future.
    The curator group that is actively collecting everyone’s input should be in a position to communicate the user perspective to Geni as of this Monday. Stay tuned!  

    • Jane

      George – thank you.  One thing that was really awful was the lack of warning.  I was in the middle of working and then with no warning – it all stopped.  I don’t think that is how ANY organisation should treat people it wants to be its fee paying customers.
      There is also something Orwellian about the title “Geni Just Got a Whole Lot Better” when for most Geni-ites it just got a lot worse!  Bit like the chocolate rations in the novel “1984″ – if you ever read that.  How could a customer serving organisation get it so wrong?  Alienate those it needs to attract?  Make a fool of itself?  Have a blog with 351 adverse angry comments?

      We are all with you and we wish you good luck George.  More power to your elbow!

    • Jacinta Palerm

      Excellent.

    • Guitarafar

      Some notice would have been the professional thing to do.  Maybe you should have some ads in the margins ( not popups)  to add to your revenue.  When I signed up and led many others to this site, I hoped this wouldn’t happen.  Please revert back and ask for input from loyal users (even non pro’s!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507062820 Maria Edmonds-Zediker

      I am another one of your Curators. I have been participating in the efforts George Hom mentions in his posts. I want to assure you that Curators are Geni members, just like you. What upsets you, upsets us, too. We feel your pain. 

      I know these changes are difficult to absorb and accept. In the meantime, I want you to know that, as a Curator, I am still “on duty,” working on the Big Tree, completing merges, resolving conflicts, researching and adding sources. At any given moment you can find several Curators available to help you. Non-PRO members, if a Curator can help you while you wait for a response from Geni, please contact us.

    • Freeloader

      Well, its Tuesday, and excuse me for being so impatient, but its been 4 days since this travesty occurred. I’m exporting my GEDCOM and moving. AppleTree.com looks promising….

  • Dan Cornett

    re: @c0346d8644011c4af7d7b5f301bfd020:disqus  (from 2 hours prior to this) about marking profiles private (particularly long-deceased ancestors):

    To me, this goes to the heart of the issue:

    Is Geni.com:

    (1) a nice online tool for me to play with my own family history (however I define that).

    or

    (2) collaborative environment which strives for (but, really, will
    never reach) connecting all the peoples of the world into one “earth
    family” tree.

    I sense that many have the attitude of view #1, but that Geni.com has the mission / vision of #2.

    If you “agree” with #2, then there is no place for private profiles
    other than the “current generations” (i.e.: protection of children;
    privacy of living adults).

    I *do* agree that the steps they (Geni) are taking seem a bit
    “draconian” for what has been advertised as a free facility (which may
    encourage viewpoint #1), but I *am* in agreement with what others have
    posted in some of the other discussions that there should be no such things as a “private profile” for
    more than XX generations back and/or birth/death year. — Moreover, it
    ought to be difficult to create a private profile for a non-living
    person … difficult in the sense that any immediate matches are brought
    up for your review, so that it is difficult (or at least irritating) to
    create a **private** profile.  Furthermore, there ought to be some rather strict “integrity” enforcement about what profiles can be marked as “living”.

    By the way, “forcing profiles public when likely deceased for at
    least ‘N’ previous generation” (e.g. based on birth/death date or implied ages of descendants) would really (in my view) eliminate the need to restrict
    the basic / non-Pro user from creating as many generations as they
    desire — since any Pro / Curator user could then merge them into “real”
    profiles as necessary.

    FYI: A lot of this issue makes a HUGE assumption that Pro users
    are operating with some integrity about the “correctness” of this “world
    family” tree. Paying a fee does not necessarily equate with an
    attitude of integrity.  To me, the issues of “integrity of the data” and “paying a fee for capabilities” ought to be distinctly separate. — My own preference is to focus on database/software rules to encourage and enforce data integrity, and ‘fees’ ought to be for tools which make my “life on Geni” easier and quicker.

    • Dan Cornett

      (Aside: Sorry about the formatting … copied pieces from a few other discussions.)

    • Alexander M Bishop

      Dan:
      Your “viewpoint # 2″ (collaborative environment) and the “draconian” steps as you put them that have recently been taken can not co-exist.  I can not I agree with you and believe most others will not either.  I believe in protest I, Jane, Odb, all my 40 some invites, and many others who have already or plan to make our trees private, until we our appreciated for what we bring to the table, are doing the right thing.

  • http://twitter.com/wouterdeboeck Wouter De Boeck

    Hi, I have some important merge requests pending. Now a manager tried to answer my request an tried merge these (private) profiles …without success: now he need a Pro account … so our trees will be remain separated. This isn’t contributing to Geni’s mission to build one tree…Or am I missing something? Thanks for your advice!
    Wouter

    • Ken Tregear

      If he is now in your family group, doesn’t that make your privacy settings a little redundant?

      He now can see as much of your family details as you can. Hope your family hasn’t entered too much personal info – with the knowledge of your birthdate and your mothers maiden name your bank account must look inviting.

      • http://twitter.com/wouterdeboeck Wouter De Boeck

        Hi Ken, thank you for your feedback. After the merge I removed him from my family group. And he set his profiles back to private

  • Alexander M Bishop

    I hope all of you have taken this this discussion and spread it through all social networking sites and ask your friends to do the same as I have.  This is horrific marketing and they holding the purse strings should feel it.

  • Pgsiegel

    I consider it a trap or even dishonest to attract users by offering free features, and then when a free user is already committed to his geni tree, due to the effort expended in entering all the data, the free features are denied.

  • Susiesworld23

    Any way they could let us have back the name of the manager of a profile in the search, even if us  “freebees” can’t look at the manager’s profile without going pro?

  • Allyn T

    So when exactly can us users expect our checks to arrive in our mail for all of the research and recruitment we have done for Geni.com?

  • Kjell

    Theese changes will in the long run be a disaster for Geni and I actually think you’ll get less pro users instead of more as you intended. More and more people will leave (or not start using) the site with the changes made. 

    If the changes will remain I will personally remove my profiles (one by one if necessary) as this environment isn’t what I will call collaborative any more. 

  • http://twitter.com/keinsei G. K.

    it’s a sad news, Geni without the free members would be nothing! now i don’t see any point to stay there… i think lot of people think like me, your price are just too expensive for many of us, what’s about ads, how a site like facebook can be free and not yours ? i dont say all should be free in life but i think the only purpose here is to make lot of $$ with our work

    sorry for my english, that’s not my language!

  • Casanova Reinaldo

    I dont like any of your recent changes… now I can´t do anything in Geni… now Geni is always selling the PRO version and I dont want to buy it… if you dont let me make free research, I will left and talk to averybody about this abuse…

  • kati

    Why did they take away my ability to continue to build onto MY family tree?  I don’t care about searching for other profiles or merging mine with others.  I think it SUCKS that I can’t add to my own tree.  Guess I’ll be moving all of my info to ancestry.com.  

  • Russell smith

    I am an avid Geni user and the things that made Geni so special was you could connect with family that you can’t readily see or be with. This may be a bad word around here but most of my family and friends would use this much like Facebook! Slowly but surely you have made that impossible as they are no longer friends but followers. I still have no sound when loading videos. Now the universal comment box is gone and Geni was a useful tool in getting family info out there .Just recently my dad went in the hospital (he is the last of his Brothers and Sisters) and usually this would be the first place I would go to get the word out but I couldn’t so went somewhere else to do that. I miss the homeyness.

    I have added many profiles and have done many hours of research as many of you have.I also have put many pictures of the family and some of third grandparents what about some of the younger geni users in the future? 

    We need to remember all aspects past ,present and future. The world tree will get better as time goes on. You just have to have faith in us.

  • Bradley Zehr

    Geni.com, I hate your changes.  Hate.  I feel as if I am being treated like dirt.  I spit on your “whole lot better” and the smug manner with which you announced it.  Ptui.  I now must resign to the Elite Pros to execute all the merges – they who have proven themselves worthy by opening their checkbooks…as if paying for an account suddenly increases your skill and accuracy…Ptui.

  • http://www.geni.com/people/Bradley-Zehr/6000000005404360326 Bradley Zehr

    OK Geni…you totally, totally suck.  I just returned from my first ever trip to Salt Lake City Utah and the Family History Library.  I am armed with new documents for a multitude of newly discovered ancestors in my direct line.  I CANNOT EVEN ADD THEM TO THE FREAKING TREE.  You have got to be kidding me.  I added all seven generations prior to these people, and I cannot even add their parents.  This is a travesty, and a shame. Geni, do you not want the dozens of names, birth dates, images, documents, marriage records etc. for all the new people I planned to add to my tree on return from my trip?  I saved all the scans of the documents I researched at the FHL to my hard drive (yes, I took my own scanner, and was there for days at the library).  There these names and source documents will sit, on my laptop, not getting input into the Geni tree because I refuse to pay YOU money so that you can benefit from the hours of MY research that I have just completed.  Can you understand why this turn of events makes me angry?  Do you know how long it takes to scroll through  a microfilm, wide eyed, scanning for a familiar name for across hundreds of birth, marriage, death and baptism records, delighting to find the sought-for connection, then scanning, saving, and documenting.  And then I can’t add it to the tree…my tree…the one I have created here on Geni over years…inching this family line upto the sixth generation, and getting stuck, and then this past week at the FHL blasting past that point to the twelfth generation…and now not being able to add that data from my laptop into Geni.  Keep your “Have you tried Pro?” suggestion to yourself by the way.  “It’s free for fourteen days”.  How’s about this: if you want my source documents and research results in your tree, you give ME a Pro account.  ‘Cause without that, you’ve tied my hands…

    • dan L.

      I just encountered similar problems of not being able to add names to the tree to profiles that I added and manage… in the NEW AND IMPROVED GENI.
      What a joke!!!!!!!!
      Keep up with your stupid ideas and you’ll close shop very soon, because nobody can nor will continue working on their genealogy research on a site that lost all common sense. 

  • Raju Karunakaran

    പ്രിയമുള്ളവരേ, എല്ലാ ഭാരത മക്കള്‍ക്കും എന്‍റെയും കുടുംബത്തിന്റെയും സ്വാതന്ത്രിയ ദിന ആശംസകള്‍ നേരുന്നു.ദേശ ഭക്തിയോടെ,രാജു കരുണാകരനും കുടുംബവും 

  • Jacinta Palerm

    What happens with PROJECTS?
    Collaborators in projects were able to do several things, I belive merge was one of them.

  • Clcprodigy

    I’m a new member, if that means anything, without this silly place I figured my Clarke ancestory all the way back Edward the 1ST, King of England.  Before I didn’t really know who my grandfather was, except his name was Jack.  I’ll start with me Charles Lafayette Jr., -Charles Lafayette Sr., Lea Jackson, Burdette, Burdette E., Ebenezer, Jeremiah 11, Jeremiah Sr., James SR , Benjamin SR, Walter(many times governor and lt. governor of R.I.) Jeremiah(Jeremy) 1ST President and Governor of R.I..,These Males Ancestor are Englinsh and Remained in England William Clarke(Son in Law of Sr. Richard Weston, 1ST, Earl of Portland see Wikipedia. James , George, James, I don’t even know how to put this on Geni, and don’t think I’m going to try and learn seems to be a worthless waste of time.  I learned all the above a whole lot more for free, even on my mothers side. Geni isn’t the only game in town, does it think so lol good luck.

  • B G Nilsson

    I´ve added around 26 000 profiles but I´ve just as many to go, but now I can´t, because of this changes?!
    I´m way beyond my “inner” family but was collaborating with many friends who was interested in their familys. So, I´m sorry – but the remaining profiles will probebly stay in my posession.Well done GENI and my excauses to all collaborators for not continue.
     / best regards and many thanks…

  • George J. Homs

    FYI… Over the weekend, a majority of volunteer Geni curators (like myself) have participated in a constructive dialogue about the recent changes. The dominating opinion in this group reflects the frustrations of the Geni user community at large. Please hang in there, and let’s give Geni a chance to respond and reconsider. I think that the good news is that the user community has demonstrated once again its trust in the original idea behind Geni. Trust me, the dialogue between curators has been around the clock – and we’ll make sure everyone’s heard! We’ll keep you posted! 

    • Stewart Tryster

      Were they to backtrack on the truly damaging parts of their new policy, I would be prepared to rethink my future activities here. However, not just on this thread, but also in private e-mail communications, I’ve heard from those who are simply slamming the door on Geni and are too angry to give them another chance. So… I do hope something is happening, but I also hope it won’t be “too little, too late.” When myheritage.com lowered the pay-boom on its users (which limited the number of individuals per tree, but did not dare tell anyone that they’d essentially lost control of their own ancestors to non-relatives) they did not do it without warning anyone and then posting about it under a misleading headline. They sent an individual e-mail one month in advance, giving everyone who wanted to bail out of the new conditions a chance to do so with dignity. So, unpleasant as it was, it did not the have feel of an ambush, like this just did.

    • Birgit

      Thank you for trying to do something about this mess. I miss Geni already.
      But frankly, why are you and the other curators the only ones that are doing anything? Why does not “Geni” respond in any constructive way ?(apart from: “It is better for the Pros, you are welcome to try the 2 week free trial).
      If they are so eager to build the world tree, how are we to build when we can´t search outside the close family. Even the profiles we can list are impossible to reach as the name of the manager is now deleted from the post, so we can´t ask for collaboration. Genealogy is so much wider than the close family, but to build and merge I need to search and read before I can be sure where to ask for a correct merge and that takes (or should I say took) me to profiles outside my close family. Even if I went Pro (in your dreams, as it stands at the moment) I have lost all the other non-Pros who can´t find me any more. Why should I only search within the close family? I already know them. So much for the “world wide tree”.
      But I commend you for at least trying.
      Good luck!!!

  • Putrid Polecat

    I’ve been a pro user for, oh, one year and I am extremely grateful to Geni for offering this amazing service for free to most users and $5/month for pro users, which not only enables genealogy, but enables my whole family to stay connected and share materials.  I’m more than happy to help kick in a few bucks to keep the site profitable, and so should all the fucking whiners here, who, without Geni, would be posting their [insert I stayed up so late scanning a document give me the Presidential Medal of Freedom] family tree to to the crappy ancestry.com facilities or making Gedcoms that nobody will ever see. 

    • Eager Beaver

      I appreciate what you are saying. Is your entire family PRO users and mister…can you spare a dime?

    • Stewart Tryster

      That is the least productive comment I’ve seen here, ignoring the genuine problem that now afflicts non-pro users and instead belittling an exaggerated strawman of a complaint that no one has made. There is a real issue to be addressed here and Mr. Polecat’s (I assume that is his real name and that he would not hide behind a pseudonym) lashing out at those less willing or able to spend money than himself only diverts from relating to it (which I also assume was the point of his post). 

  • Vleems

    I can see this was done to bring in more money, but in the long run this is going to hurt you.  Pro users will no longer be able to entice their relatives to join and free users will no longer be attracted to join.  Much of the content has been built by free users.  We have suddenly lost this free benefit.  As free users leave and less free users join, Pro users will then start to leave and the website will start to die. As a marketing director you should know this George.  The community has been angered, and unless you do something fast to rectify it, Geni.com will die. 

    • Annoyed Pro Member

      So true I have just changed my billing details from automatic renewal to remind me and at the time it is due I will consider if it is worth me keeping Geni or not.  Right now all the advantages this site had given me and for which I was willing to “carry” my free cousins are totally gone.  Whoever did the market research for Geni that led to this decision should be shot.  The only thing this site offers is a way to build a tree and add your own documents it does nothing for effective research as it does not offer access to original documents.    I already pay for Ancestry which does offer me all these advantages although I prefer they way I can view and deal with my tree on Geni if it ceases to offer me all the advantages I used to have it looks like I am pulling the plug because Ancestry gives me a whole lot more to build my tree with and the choice to keep my tree totally private or not easily without having any old other Pro member fiddling with it.

  • Sarah

    Last week I added information from my family tree back 6 generations.  Today I started to work on it again to continue to add 2 more generations but I can’t seem to add these anymore.  Is this related to this change.  I wanted to add my whole tree, but now I can’t seem to continue.  Please help, I’ve invested several days entering all my information by hand.

    • Ken

      Sarah, with the new rules as a non-paying member, you can only work back through 5 generations behind you. (Though your 3rd great grandfather.)  To go beyond that, you have to upgrade to the PRO membership level.

      • Voqo

        …or log in as your still-living 3rd great grandfather. But what for…?

  • Tamara Sbelgio

    I want OUT of Geni!  I had not been participating after my posted information had been changed in a completely illogical and bogus set of relationships.  I have forgotten exactly how it read, but it was something like my great-grandmother was also my 10th great-aunt or some such ridiculosity.  Today, for the first time in months I clicked on a message from Geni and found that since my trial membership had expired, I could sign up for an entire year for $249.  I clicked on the option to NOT re-enroll and then found myself “enrolled ” for a year.  I DEMAND that no charge be made to my credit card and that I be freed from the Geni tentacles.  If there is a charge to my credit card, I will refer this to the AG’s office in my state and I will have to cancel a credit card thatI have had for years in order to avoid any more higihway robbery.  So, is Geni just some elaborate con game?  Is this because many of your users are elderly and we are considered easily confused and conned!  AGAIN:  I demand to be freed from any futher association with Geni and that NO CHARGE be made to my credit card for a year’s membership.   

    • Geni George

      Tamara,

      I have passed along your information to our Customer Service department.  It’s very likely that whatever happening is the result of an error, but I don’t have enough specifics to know what the error is.  You’ll need to work with our CS department to resolve the issue.

      I recommend filing a ticket at http://help.geni.com, too.

      Thanks,
      -George

      • Daleine

        Boy George didn’t they drop you in the deep end when they made you marketing manager – I would hate your job right now.

      • Fence Sitters

        Hey George,

        Since your the marketing guy, how about a response to all these disgruntled users. I think it only fitting. Or at least decent enough to put us out of misery.

        Will GENI stay as it is now? Or will some or all of its new policies be rolled back?

        There are 1000′s of us sitting on the fence. If you’re plan is “no change” at least those who do not wish to subscribe can move on without wasting time and in peace.

        Thanking you greatly in advance for your response. We will check back often.

        Best Regards,

        The Fence Sitters.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

          I think they have moved on from caring what any of us think and plan to keep things the way they are, I personally will not pay them to give them my research.

          I also will not be using any other sites run by or associated with anyone running this one.

          • Fence Sitters

            Well, maybe so. We shall see. My thoughts on the matter are simple. I have asked them in a respectable way. So if they are honest and care about customer relations, they will respond in kind.
            If not, I guess you win. I cant imagine George not responding. After 40 years of running a large successful corporation myself I know how far one must go to please his clients. Even those who come to the door and dont buy. If you’re a respectable outfit, you will treat them no different than your paying customers. And that means answering simple questions, even if the news isnt so great. 

          • Geni George

            Damon,

            We are reading every single comment, but we’ve decided that it doesn’t make sense to respond over and over again with the same answer, lest we seem patronizing.

            We’re looking at both the soft feedback (comments, discussions, emails and support tickets, etc) and hard feedback (the data surrounding how users are interacting with Geni after these changes).  What may be surprising to most of the commenters on this blog post are that (a) the hard feedback is much more positive than we would have anticipated, and (b) the private feedback from some of our most engaged users is also very positive.

            The fact of the matter is that a very small percentage of Geni users have been actively engaged in contributing to the historical tree, and these account changes were made to reflect the value proposition that the Pro account can provide to historical researchers.

            Of course we understood that this would be big change for the small percentage of users who were affected; our hope was that they would realize the value that Geni provides and elect to support Geni financially as well as communally.  We feel that the Geni product is far superior to any wiki family tree product on the market, and as a for-profit business we must continually evaluate our value proposition to genealogists.  And most importantly, these changes were not made for short term revenue gains; they have been planned for quite some and and they were made as part of an effort to make Geni a viable business for decades to come.  A business needs a business model, and Geni is a business.

            Is this going to upset some people?  Yes.  Whether you want to believe it or not, every single comment on this blog post, and every single message in every single Geni discussion, has been read and digested.  As I mentioned earlier, we are looking at all feedback, and once we feel that we have enough data to make additional decisions for both Pro and Basic features, we will act accordingly.

            Again, thank you to every single one of you who care enough about Geni to have commented.
            -George

          • Freeloader

            So, just to make sure I understand this right, I’d like you to here your response to these observations, if possible.
            I think that….1) Geni has read and overruled all of the users who have posted here, and has no intention of  reverting neither some nor all of the changesYou said:  Second, while you and almost every other commenter on this blog post are more serious about genealogy than the average person, it must be noted that the vast majority of our users are participating as part of their close family network; a social network for families, if you may.  By far, most of Geni’s users are unaffected by the changes we made last week.2) Because the majority of users aren’t major contributors to the big tree, Geni feels that all free users, including major contributors, should suffer3) Geni does not recognize the contribution free users have made, and doesn’t think free users are necessary to complete the big tree.You said: What may be surprising to most of the commenters on this blog post are that (a) the hard feedback is much more positive than we would have anticipated,4) The positive hard feedback most likely comes from Pro users who are now able to complete merges etc. that they couldn’t do before. It does not reflect on the concerns of the commenters at all. Nobody argued that the changes hurt the Pro users directly. Pro users are only hurt because they wont have any free collaborators on the big tree, or the small trees, for that matter.

            Please respond to the above so that we can all stop wasting our time and move on; if that’s what the situation warrants.

          • Freeloader

            And of course, all my formatting was removed. Let’s try that again for more readability.

            So, just to make sure I understand this right, I’d like you to here your response to these observations, if possible.I think that….

            1) Geni has read and overruled all of the users who have posted here, and has no intention of  reverting neither some nor all of the changes

            You said:  Second, while you and almost every other commenter on this blog post are more serious about genealogy than the average person, it must be noted that the vast majority of our users are participating as part of their close family network; a social network for families, if you may.  By far, most of Geni’s users are unaffected by the changes we made last week.

            2) Because the majority of users aren’t major contributors to the big tree, Geni feels that all free users, including major contributors, should suffer

            3) Geni does not recognize the contribution free users have made, and doesn’t think free users are necessary to complete the big tree.

            You said: What may be surprising to most of the commenters on this blog post are that (a) the hard feedback is much more positive than we would have anticipated,

            4) The positive hard feedback most likely comes from Pro users who are now able to complete merges etc. that they couldn’t do before. It does not reflect on the concerns of the commenters at all. Nobody argued that the changes hurt the Pro users directly. Pro users are only hurt because they wont have any free collaborators on the big tree, or the small trees, for that matter.

            Please respond to the above so that we can all stop wasting our time and move on; if that’s what the situation warrants.

          • Geni George

            1) Geni has read and overruled all of the users who have posted here, and has no intention of  reverting neither some nor all of the changesGeorge: It’s not that we have no intention of making changes, but we won’t truly have any idea how these changes have impacted us for at least a few weeks while the dust settles.  As soon as we have a full set of data to allow us to make informed decisions, we will use that data to plan any feature/permission changes that we think will be better for the overall Geni community.2) Because the majority of users aren’t major contributors to the big tree, Geni feels that all free users, including major contributors, should sufferGeorge:  The way I would say this is:  Because Geni’s core focus is on collaborative genealogy, and because such a small percentage of Geni’s user base is active with the collaborative genealogy features, those who are affected are the even smaller percentage of users who use these features but are unwilling or unable to purchase a subscription.  For those who are unwilling, I don’t see what we can do.  We are discussing some options that could help those who are unable, and as soon as I can share anything, believe me I will be.  The vast majority of Geni users are Basic users, and of those, nearly 99% are virtually unaffected.  This is a case of a very small minority of users being very vocal.3) Geni does not recognize the contribution free users have made, and doesn’t think free users are necessary to complete the big tree.George: Most of the profiles in the world family tree have been added via GEDCOM (which has been disabled for nearly a year at the request of power users) and/or by users who have abandoned their trees.  I don’t think I need to go into detail about what problems are caused by this, but I’m happy to in a follow-up if you’d like.  With that said, there are on the order of X thousands of users per month that are involved in merge activity, and along the same order that are adding public profiles.  To make a significant dent on the number of public duplicates, more merging permission was needed, hence the account changes that were introduced last week that have resulted in this conversation.4) The positive hard feedback most likely comes from Pro users who are now able to complete merges etc. that they couldn’t do before. It does not reflect on the concerns of the commenters at all. 

            Correct.  Users are merging more efficiently, and metrics around the world family tree are very positive.  In addition, basic users are still joining the site, adding nodes, inviting people, uploading photos, and logging in, and we are seeing fewer deleted profiles. A very small percentage of users were actively engaged in contributing to the historical tree, and now a larger percentage of those users have the tools they need to effectively contribute.

            I hope this is helpful and transparent enough for you to make decisions, and we won’t be offended (though we will be sad) if you choose to use another wiki site to build your family tree.

            -George

          • Freeloader

            In all likelihood, I won’t be using another site. I tried appletree.com and wikitree.com, but they’re just not as good as Geni. The truth is, you’ve created an amazing product, but then you made it virtually useless to me. Oh, I can still see and edit my family, but as you pointed out, thats not even what Geni is for. Geni is for the Big Tree, and for all intents and purposes, its now off limits to me. 
            I would go Pro, but I am a full time student with no extra cash. I used Geni whenever I could because I enjoyed collaborating with family on my tree, and with others on the Big Tree. But now, half my interest in the site is gone. I’ll stick around for the family tree, but I’ve pretty much filled it out to the furthest I can take it with these permissions, so probably not much activity.To be clear, I’ve put hundreds of hours of work into the historical tree, cleaning up duplicates caused by messy GEDCOM importing, as you said. Perhaps free users importing GEDCOMs caused a lot of duplicates etc., but we did help clean it up, and even once they have been cleaned up, all those GEDCOMs are probably the large majority of the tree, so its not like it was only a negative thing. I personally, have never uploaded a GEDCOM, so I was not and am not affected by that. All my several hundred profiles were added by hand. (But perhaps GEDCOM import could be done smarter, by automatically finding matches, and requiring the uploader to approve each profile. Not necessarily in one sitting ;-). Probably a big hassle, especially for larger trees, but better than no GEDCOMs, I think.)Perhaps you guys might work out some kind of graduated program, like has been suggested here before. Those users who have proven themselves active and useful could be given more privileges. Maybe a small badge to go with it ;-). If that’s not an option, I would be happy to see unobtrusive advertising on the side for free users, if it means I can use the site again.

          • Freeloader

            What on earth is it with Disqus and formatting???

          • Geni George

            We’re discussing some kind of rewards/scholarship program, and if there is something we can do I’ll make sure it is publicized on the blog.  Unfortunately, advertising has never proven to be a viable business model, and even if it were to be viable, it would probably have to be very obtrusive :(

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528366554 Stig Roar Bye

            How shall we that want a refund go forth?
            My PRO subscription renewed the day before this happened.  I will make sure I can clean up some of my profiles prior to being a no-use, no-good basic user again.  This since I don’t trust Geni for the future to keep Private profiles private.  I will therefore cancel my subscription for geni PRO from September 1.

            Please advice how I can make sure that this goes through.  The Terms doesn’t specify other than you want it in writing.  Does this suffice?  Do you want an email?  Fax? Handwritten letter posted by mail?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Inger-Hulander/100000886838181 Inger Hulander

    Shame on you! Geni Pro better – for who????
    I have added over 11000 profiles and I have another 30000 to add – BUT I WILL NOT add them to Geni  – that is for sure.

  • Stewart Tryster

    Interesting how things have changed. This from 2007:

    Sacks said he was driven to build the site because his parents were immigrants from South Africa, and wanted to track family origins in Lithuania and elsewhere — he’s used Geni to connect with relatives from Canada, Australia, France and Israel. Humans have a fundamental need to know where they come from, and who they’re related to, he said.He plans to make money from advertising. Geni may know more about its users than any other site, and should be able to target advertising better than most, Sacks said: “We’re going to know how old they are, whether they are male or female, where they live, family structure, whether they are single or recently married, whether they have kids, newborn or in college, whether they are divorced…” He may also charge for premium services, even if the basic site remains free. He says the model has worked at LinkedIn.

  • Forced into Pro

    I get what you guys want done here, but it’s crazy that you’re making us pay to clean up other people’s messes.  For example there’s one guy on here that’s entered his family tree at least three or four times on Geni under different profiles (all under his name, with the same people/information on his tree) also he has private profiles that are duplicates that pro’s cannot clean up and I’m left wondering if (1) how they’ll ever get cleaned up if he’s not active under that profile anymore and (2) if he is active and doesn’t choose to clean them up himself will I forever have these mass duplications on my tree because of him? 

    P.S. People, I can understand adding a blank profile of a person in order to carry on a line (if both parents first names are unknown, or if you have only a last name of a spouse, etc…) but adding several “unknown” (blank) profiles to your tree is silly and useless, especially when they’re “private” and/or at the end of the line.

  • Dan L.

    I am from the older generation and I am not savvy with social media, which has proven to be a very powerful tool in the hands of us COMMONERS.
    Please, one of you younger people should start a blog on Facebook or Tweeter to boycot Geni, so either they fall on their knies or listen to our cries.
    They try to mascarade as a free site with extra benefits to PROS, which is no longer true.
    GREED is getting the best of them.
    I don’t expect them to pay me for my work on the tree, since I am doing it for my enjoyment and benefit, but they should not expect to put a nuse to our necks and then bragg about it.

  • GUEST leaving

          Due to the latest changes to “free” Geni and NO longer having the ability to do changes/additions to my trees as necessary, I will be closing m,y account IMMEDIATELY after I home-print my charts/lists!   This crap ENDS for me right now!

  • Asher

    It is time for the new marketing director, who is probably behind this miserable marketing decision to  draw the conclusion……

  • Philip Weiss

    you guys didn’t even get around to posting a link until THREE DAYS AFTERWARD? 

    But seriously, to all the complainers below, you shoulda seen this coming last month when Geni made it so any Pro could edit the work you did with no notice to you.  But very few people complained then, so obviously Geni thought they could screw people over again.

  • Karen Raffanelli

    I must say that I am not happy with the changes. I have been on geni.com since 2007. My niece invited me by making a node for me and I turned her budding tree of about 10 people into about 400+ at least on our common side. Over these 4 years, I have connected with people in my family that I didn’t know existed and through them, added family. Through the many changes, I still managed to connect with curators and collaborators who added even more to my tree; who without them and their help, I would not have even my great grandfather’s name, much less his parents, etc.

    By making these far generations public, I was able to find others researching those relatives and was able to merge or they were able to find me and expand the tree accordingly. I do most of my research on ancestry.com because your site offers no research ability at all. I liked that there was a site that made it easy and free to post a family tree and invite other family members to add their current information about their particular branch. This made it easy for people to keep in touch and to make sure that the family tree is correct for our descendants in the future. We all know as pros or just hobbyists, that someday, we are going to be somebody’s great, great, great grandparent, aunt/uncle, or 3rd cousin twice removed.

    Because of the recent changes of the last 12-18 months, I have found it more difficult to navigate around geni.com, but because of our world as it is with upgrades and releases, changes of this kind are the norm around the popular websites and we as users must just adjust and go on. I can appreciate your desire for a world tree, but to cut the cord on the many users, the way you have, is basically ‘biting the hand that feeds you’. I am helping friends with their family tree and now find it difficult to research and add to that family tree. I was hoping for others in their family to find the profiles I have made public and help in the fortifying of their tree, but these changes have made that not likely. Merging used to be easy, but now it is impossible.

    I have looked at matches through the search bar, and realize that there are a lot of duplicates that need to be joined. Many people started trees and abandoned them years ago and now merging with them is not possible. Many people do not understand what merging is when it is requested, so then connecting their tree is not possible. Many people started a tree and passed away, thus leaving a fragment branch out there in the black hole. I thought collaborators were going to address this issue. That is why I thought collaborators were out there. Now you have tied the hands of us that are trying to work with our own information and with collaborators.

    Please change this before it’s too late. From what I read, many people are up in arms and are going to NOT help you with your ultimate project. I think if you ask your curators and collaborators for their opinions, they will tell you that it is the free users that have helped them more than the geni PRO users. I know you need the thousands of profiles that are not going to be added now due to this change. Don’t think that the geni PRO users are going to provide this information.

  • Back_Door

    Say, what does geni stand for anyways? I think it must be genital. I sure feel like one got put to me in a non-positive way.

  • déjà vu

    I am with Geni from beginning of 2008
    I have a strange feeling we had this situations and discussions  before.
    The rights of the average user ( and even a PRO in some ways) are deteriorating more an more with every passing year
    I remember battles when 5th generation limit was introduced…out of the blue sky.
    Then 4th. Then we were battling for amount of family groups (or lines were they called?) visible with or without Pro account.
    Then… I lost my interest in updates here. There was no point even then, after we’ve lost half of our trees from clear view and navigation.

    Today I came to refresh my memory on one of my distant relative and I cannot get anywhere.

    How are you guys, who joined in 2007-2008, surviving here? After what you had for free and what was taken from you in all these years bit by bit? Even your money hardly can buy now (from what can I read from comments) the power you’ve had here as a tree creator in 2008

    all I can say-Geni, rest in peace. You had your chance-you blew it.

  • Carla Reed

    You have got to be kidding me.  I have a free account that I am constantly adding new relatives.   If I have to upgrade to Pro in order to do that, I guess I will have to find something else.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  My family members barely use this site anyway.  So all you are doing is motivating me to quickly look elsewhere for other options. This is absolutely ridiculous that I can no longer add relatives.

  • Rihards_b

    Free Geni just got a whole much worst. There is no doubt about it. OK, i will try Geni Pro but just for one thing – to export my falily forest and then move it to another place. It’s pretty sad, because I have plenty of relatives and collaborators here, doing our family research, and I don’t care about your World Family tree, because in my country church records are available only up to the beginning of 1800. It means eight/nine generations, no more. And now, after almost two years of effort I’m not able to add some new ancestors. It is ridiculous and insane. Thank you!

  • Cranham01

    When my Mom joined in 2009, she was full of praise and wonderment of GENI. Her enthusiasm and excitement at finding family and retracing her roots caught my attention and under her watchfull eye, I too joined GENI. Together we, along with other GENI members, spent hours searching, fact checking, collaberating, adding nodes, viewing & scanning documents and chatting over our gr gr gr gr gr grandmothers/fathers who lead colourful and extra-odinary lives. We discovered sordid, morbid and happy events which answered a lot of our questions and satified the curiousity for other far-away relatives. My mom brought in other family members who then enabled us to verify and branch out their lines. We thoroughly enjoyed finding ancestors as far back as 1550 and sharing them publicly with PRO users and YES, vice versa too.

    Even though GENI has let us, the basic user, down in a big way and we will be moving our information elsewhere within the next few weeks, we want to thank them for the 2 years of joy they have brought into our lives and for giving us this short time to re-acquaint ourselves with our past.

    Sincerely,
    the Dolman, Tigchelaar, Cranham, Dekker (and the many more surnames) in our family line

    • Stewart Tryster

      That’s a classy exit. I think Geni’s been important to a lot of people, but all who joined did so under certain conditions, those with which they could live and those they could afford. I don’t know, but Geni does, how many chose to make that commitment a financial one, but even those who were enticed into it by extras or a desire to be able to do more than the rest did so of their own free will, without any coercion at all being involved. This thread has been (perhaps inadvertently) informative regarding alternatives to Geni; have you already decided where you are taking your information? Good luck.

    • Geni George

      I’m glad that Geni was able to positively add to your genealogy experience in some way.  It’s sad to see you go; best of luck with your future research and collaboration.

      -George

      • Woehl

        Gerorge, I have yet to see you give a reply to my blog. I Guess it is clear you people at geni do not care. its sad i will have to leave with this being the results. and its not just me leaving, My next question is : where are the attorneys???  I know for certain the info you have gained was in an unjust way and class action suit is absolutly the just thing to do next here!!!!

        • Geni George

          Woehl,

          Sorry that I missed your question about the news posting – several users have requested that it be returned, but I’m not sure what the status is.  To ensure that our Customer Service department knows that it is important to you, can you please let them know by submitting a ticket at http://help.geni.com and expressing your desire for that feature?

          I cannot comment on legal action, sorry.

          -George

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

            I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

  • http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE Pat Richley-Erickson

    Ol’ Myrt’s comments are posted at Geni.com didn’t ask my opinion

    • Geni George

      Myrt,

      Thanks for the link.  To correct your opening paragraph, we did significantly increase the features available for Pro users by giving them the ability to edit and merge public profiles, as well as the ability to add new relatives in the public tree to profiles that they do not manage.  This is much more in line with standard wiki practices than our previous offering.
      It’s also important to note:
      1. View permissions on profiles (public and private) were not changed. 
      2. Edit permissions on profiles (public and private) were not changed.

      You wrote:

      Of particular concern is the ability now granted ANY Pro Geni.com user to modify my personal tree without my permission.

      Geni has always had the vision of a shared tree.  This is something that we have been trying really hard to communicate over the past year, and most of the bloggers we have been working with have failed to understand it:  we view the tree as “everyone’s” tree, not “your” tree or “my” tree.  This is such a paradigm shift for genealogists, and we feel like it is vital for people to understand that the wiki vision disregards the notion of sole ownership.  Does this make sense?

      You also wrote:

      Maybe it is in anticipation of increased server usage when AncestorSync goes live that Geni.com made this change? Obviously Geni.com hopes every freebie account will move on up to the Pro side.

      We don’t anticipate AncestorSync creating the need for more servers.  We already have more servers than I can count, and the amount of data that can be transferred in and out of our API will not put a strain on our system.

      We made this change as part of our ongoing attempts to make our business model one that is sustainable for decades to come.  Some have pointed out that they think we are doing this for short term revenue gain, which is not true.  And when we make adjustments to our business model in the future, people will speculate, but the fact will remain that we are simply trying to remain a viable business by providing features that serious genealogists find valuable.

      Restricting collaboration to those with Pro accounts sorta defeats the purpose of a freebie account, doesn’t it Geni.com? How will anyone see a benefit of going Pro?

      First, we feel that allowing Basic users to build out to their 3rd great grandparents and fourth cousins provides a very ample opportunity to determine whether Geni is a suitable solution for building a family tree.  Second, while you and almost every other commenter on this blog post are more serious about genealogy than the average person, it must be noted that the vast majority of our users are participating as part of their close family network; a social network for families, if you may.  By far, most of Geni’s users are unaffected by the changes we made last week.

      You’re always welcome to reach out to me if you have questions about what is happening at Geni.  Thanks so much for taking an interest and sharing your thoughts.

      -George

      • Geni George

        It should say:

        Finally, you wrote:
        Restricting collaboration to those with Pro accounts sorta defeats the purpose of a freebie account, doesn’t it Geni.com? How will anyone see a benefit of going Pro?

        It stripped the red text that I had copied from your blog, which had appeared in the preview but not in the post once I submitted it.

        • Disapointed Geni

          Bottom line:
           - you’ve change the experience of the users who have posted here, universally they feel it is negative
           - you claim other indications are positive, we have no way of knowing for sure, but it seems many are just starting to realize the full implications
           - you now say, and claim it has always been so that Geni’s mission is not what we all read when we joined, believe me I checked it out every whay I could before I joined, it sounded too much like, well like it appear to have become, a money grab associated with a pie in the sky goal that most don’t share.
           - we now find Google searches work better than Geni searches, but wait, when did Geni warn us private data would be Google searchable?
           - Most users do use Geni as it was originally intended, for family group colaboration, one or two Pro members, but the rest casual, now they can’t even merge and consolidate thier own tree’s, simply makes no sense.
           - I do not see how the new Free-loaders will be enticed to go Pro, they have no concept of merges, etc. as they have not “experienced” them and the possible new avenues it opens in thier historical tree.  Of course with the limited depth, they wouldn’t any ways.
           - what about the “quality” of merges, we’ve already seen the posts about horor stories of incorrectly merged profiles.  It does no good to “take care” of duplicates who were NOT actually duplicates, do you have any idea how many generations had exactly the same name in the 1500-1700 time periods in Scandanavia?  Great church records, the ones I’ve dealt with are mostly on Geni, the newer information I’ve found I now can not add to Geni.
           - Privacy issues vs. the Google search are very troubling, is there a limit to say those deceased for at least one generations?  If not, Geni/Google would be an ID thefts dream come true, of course many on this blog are now considering that must have been the point all along?

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see how the new changes will help clean-up the tree unless everybody who has ever added a profile goes pro, so if the real motivation was cleaning up the tree yo are not really any further along.  Why not put free folks back where they were, there is more enticement for them to go Pro if they can experience some merges (the mergeing was always a limited and slow process for free-loaders anyways) and experience the depth that might be available.  At least give us established users back our functionallity.

          On the subject of your claim it is a small minority of vocal users on the blog, I note it is at least 200 times as many as your normal amount of blog comments, and I suspect most folks that will be bothered by it will not yet have discovered the effects.  It just doesn’t make sense to “take away folks ability to build thier tree beyond where they have if it is alreay past 3rd great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE Pat Richley-Erickson

    Ol’ Myrt’s comments are posted at Geni.com didn’t ask my opinion

  • Edw Poor

    I’m a free user and not happy with your decision. However, I’m not going to remove my work and will continue contacting users about mistakes I find. Some fix them some don’t.  Ancestry makes money on my work as do several other sites. I just want my work out there. Occasionaly I get contact  via something I put on a site I haven’t used for years.

    I also want to suggest to Geni if they must have money how about a one time maybe $5 initiation fee for new users with at least unlimited generations if not a merge denial privilege, A researcher should know if the merge would make sense. I.e. the dates don’t fit, the names are different or that person died married to someone else.

    For those who as one said don’t trust you with their credit card for renewal. I sometimes use a gift credit card available at grocery stores and pharmacies to pay for online purchases. No long time commitment guaranteed when it’s empty.

  • Ladydiane4

     I’m beyond angry!  You money hungry thieves!  I did a lot of looking around 2 years ago when I started my tree and have since entered 18,000 profiles.  You threw me into this “world tree” which I want no part of anyway and now I can’t even manage to work on the profiles “I” added!  You are holding MY profiles hostage for cash.  Buy “Pro” or you can’t even work on your own tree!!!!!!!!!!!
    That’s not fair.  I’m a widow trying to hold on to my home in this economy and don’t have the cash for pro.  THANKS FOR TAKING AWAY MY FUN!!

  • Allyn T

    I believe that in an earlier post there was mention of Geni acquiring documents for research like censuses and ship manifests.  Can any light be shed on the progression of that?

    • Hope this helps

      The best free source of Census records that I’m aware of familysearch.org pretty good coverage of the US Census for 1850 – 1920 (except 1890 which burned in a fire) and for some states the 1930 Census.  Plus they have some state census records and some immigration records.  They also have tons of birth & death records from US states. 

      The best part is unlike GENI they have a pretty good fuzzy search logic to account for spelling variations.  The search engine isn’t perfect, but the records on the back end are only exceeded by Ancestry.com and FamilySearch is TOTALLY Free.

      They are sponsored by LDS which can be a problem for people.  If it isn’t, you may want to look into their fledgling (still in beta) rival to GENI, appletree.com

      • Geni George

        I do not believe (and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong) that appletree.com was created by LDS.  New FamilySearch is their wiki tree product, and it’s not yet available to the public.

        • Prince Corey

          What are you talking about? 44,072,080 profiles on Appletree

          • Prince Corey

            Latter day Saints is right, which means they most likely won’t screw you like Geni did.

          • Geni George

            They are VC-backed and were founded by Scott Mueller.  There isn’t any clear affiliation to LDS.

            http://blog.genlighten.com/2010/05/01/follow-friday-appletreecom/

          • Geni George

            I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what the size of their tree has to do with their affiliation to LDS?  I don’t believe there is a direct affiliation (and I know that they’re located in Southern California, but I’m not sure if their founder is a member of LDS or not).

            Another thing that is important to note: we don’t consider total number of profiles to be a good metric.  How many of those 44mm profiles are duplicates?  There is no easy way to tell.

            I also just created a tree on Appletree to see how their merging works.  I am unable to find any merging functionality, so I’m not exactly sure what the benefits of Appletree are.  Their help interface doesn’t provide much support, either.

            Do you consider Appletree to be equal to Geni in terms of collaborative features and data integrity?  If so, I’d be interested in any reading material that you can point me to.

          • Synnest

            wtf are you mumbling about? what has lds or appletree to do with geni’s latest changes?

          • Synnest

            genigeorge, get your act together and start answering all the complaints here instead of picking a thread you think you can smug about

          • Geni George

            Please let me know if there is a question that hasn’t been addressed.  I think that you’ll find we’ve addressed every question, and most of them several times.  It’s pointless to respond to every single post; we’ve already gotten yelled at for “sounding like a robot”.

          • Synnest

            of course, if all you answer is ” we have made it much better, have you tried 14-day trial?”

            what i’d like to know is: are these changes final? are you reconsidering? are you flexible?
            if these changes are final then i’d like you to make an official statement: “dear geni users, thank you for your enormous input, now pay up or fuck off”

          • Geni George

            Here is what I wrote to Freeloader.  As soon as I send this I’m going to delete your post.  Please don’t use vulgar language, it won’t stay on the blog.

            1) Geni has read and overruled all of the users who have posted here, and has no intention of  reverting neither some nor all of the changesGeorge: It’s not that we have no intention of making changes, but we won’t truly have any idea how these changes have impacted us for at least a few weeks while the dust settles.  As soon as we have a full set of data to allow us to make informed decisions, we will use that data to plan any feature/permission changes that we think will be better for the overall Geni community.2) Because the majority of users aren’t major contributors to the big tree, Geni feels that all free users, including major contributors, should sufferGeorge:  The way I would say this is:  Because Geni’s core focus is on collaborative genealogy, and because such a small percentage of Geni’s user base is active with the collaborative genealogy features, those who are affected are the even smaller percentage of users who use these features but are unwilling or unable to purchase a subscription.  For those who are unwilling, I don’t see what we can do.  We are discussing some options that could help those who are unable, and as soon as I can share anything, believe me I will be.  The vast majority of Geni users are Basic users, and of those, nearly 99% are virtually unaffected.  This is a case of a very small minority of users being very vocal.3) Geni does not recognize the contribution free users have made, and doesn’t think free users are necessary to complete the big tree.George: Most of the profiles in the world family tree have been added via GEDCOM (which has been disabled for nearly a year at the request of power users) and/or by users who have abandoned their trees.  I don’t think I need to go into detail about what problems are caused by this, but I’m happy to in a follow-up if you’d like.  With that said, there are on the order of X thousands of users per month that are involved in merge activity, and along the same order that are adding public profiles.  To make a significant dent on the number of public duplicates, more merging permission was needed, hence the account changes that were introduced last week that have resulted in this conversation.4) The positive hard feedback most likely comes from Pro users who are now able to complete merges etc. that they couldn’t do before. It does not reflect on the concerns of the commenters at all. George: Correct.  Users are merging more efficiently, and metrics around the world family tree are very positive.  In addition, basic users are still joining the site, adding nodes, inviting people, uploading photos, and logging in, and we are seeing fewer deleted profiles. A very small percentage of users were actively engaged in contributing to the historical tree, and now a larger percentage of those users have the tools they need to effectively contribute.I hope this is helpful and transparent enough for you to make decisions, and we won’t be offended (though we will be sad) if you choose to use another wiki site to build your family tree.-George

          • Synnest

            i’m glad you finally revealed your true colours, not glad that you deleted my original post which btw was:

            ” of course if you only answer “we’ve made it much better, have you tried 14-day trial?”
            what i’d like to know is: are these changes final? are you reconsidering? are you flexible? how do you feel about all that negative feedback? are you searching for compromise?
            if these changes are final i’d like you to make an official statement:”dear geni users, thank you for your enormous input, now pay up or **** off””

      • Edw Poor

        Archive.org has most of the census for download or online view Free. Familysearch.com does not have Census images of the census they send you to Ancestry.com. If you don’t like their religion go to their Family History Center anyway. They won’t try to convert you. The local one, at least when I went there, had free Ancestry.com usage (Just made myself want to go back there).

        • Anonymous

          It’s not the “conversion” thing that bothers me, but rather the “baptism by proxy” they do on records collected that really bothers me.  That’s why I don’t post my tree to FamilySearch.

  • Kjell

    I still wait for someone from Geni to answer how you could remove the content I have added to the site which according to the terms still is my property. I only states that I can’t remove content on shared profiles.
    So how can I remove every profile which I’m the only manager of, do I have to do it one by one? And how can I be removed as manager from the rest of the profiles?

  • Victoria

    I’m just getting started and have lots of new info to add.  Maybe I will try another site! 

    • Rick Tasber

      Count your blessings and the best to your efforts elsewhere. Choose wisely, I have 5 months invested in Geni and now this happens. Good Luck.

  • Prince Corey

    can you not see the damage you have caused? Mass amounts of info has already been removed and it is about to get much worse. What the hell were you thinking. This seems like a deliberate attack to make this site fail. If you were so desperate for money, you should have just said so and added a Donate button.

    • Prince Corey

      This is quite apparently an act of self destruction. I will offer to buy it for 1US dollar if this is your plan to destroy it.

      • Ladydiane4

        I’ll offer you $2 but I don’t have $300 to become a “pro”!

  • Scuddsl

    There are many people who have helped get you Geni to get where you are today. We have put many hrs into our research and are very disappointed with this move.

  • Prince Corey

    I just did a search and was shocked at what I saw, Whole trees have been removed and an entire Emperor line was removed. Too late, get out now people. Deletion and destruction is the new Geni theme.

    • Prince Corey

      Humpty Dumpty has fallen and all the curators can not put him back together again.

  • Stewart Tryster

    I’m not going to read through everything in case these links are already there, but I hadn’t seen them before and apologise if I’ve duplicated: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/08/geni-pro-just-got-whole-lot-better-but.html and http://www.tamurajones.net/GeniChanges.xhtml

  • Yet another freeloader

    I’m amazed (and shocked) that after all these hundreds of angry comments, genigrant and geni george are still defending the awful choices that geni has made in their responses.
    A few weeks ago the entire Geni site had an outage for 2+ days. This is barely forgivable.
    But the new policy changes are totally insufferable.
    I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.
    The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety and apologize to the users for this mess.

  • Woehl

    Gerorge, I have yet to see you give a reply to my blog. I Guess it is clear you people at geni do not care. its sad i will have to leave with this being the results. and its not just me leaving, My next question is : where are the attorneys???  I know for certain the info you have gained was in an unjust way and class action suit is absolutly the just thing to do next here!!!!

  • Woehl

    Gerorge, I have yet to see you give a reply to my blog. I Guess it is clear you people at geni do not care. its sad i will have to leave with this being the results. and its not just me leaving, My next question is : where are the attorneys???  I know for certain the info you have gained was in an unjust way and class action suit is absolutly the just thing to do next here!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590938054 Michael P Mccann

    I’m exporting my tree and moving on. Bye bye Geni. myheritage.com sounds much better.The only way to keep me is if you revert this change in its entirety

  • LeadOptimist

    Geni, you are a great program.   I understand the need to make more revenue, but please explore different avenues for gaining greater financial backing.  I’m a pro member, but feel terrible for all of your loyal and faithful supporters who are no longer able to add to the historical branches of their trees. You are taking a lot of joy away for those who can’t afford to go pro.  I will still support you, but beg you to listen to your dedicated users – please don’t limit their joy.

  • dklkalmon

    It is almost useless and from reading the comments of others,Geni will lose a lot of custom, the word will spread quickly and they will end up losing money

  • Rebecca is PO’d

    Thanks alot Geni, for the years of lies.  At first when I read the complaints, I thought…”Well, these people are just complaining about a minor change, just like Geni has always done.”  Usually, people just deal with it, get used to it, and move on.  Like me.  But this is totally different. 

    You say that it is “It’s an industry standard for search to be a premium feature.”  That’s not entirely true, but whatever (What about familysearch.org!).  I’m assuming the other sites you refer to actually provide real documentation, like census records, marriage records, etc.  Your site does not provide this, and can never claim to.   Therefore, your ridiculous fee of $12.95 per month is CRAZY!  Cut that to $4.95 and I might consider.

    You are going to lose on this one Geni.  I’ve been a member since Jan 2008, was forced into the big tree after adding countless ancestors.  I will now opt to pay the $12.95, retrieve all my data, and then upload it to Ancestry for the $19.95 fee.  At least I get real data there.

    Geni, I think you forget how personal one’s family tree is.  You want to make it this huge global thing, which is cool and interesting, yada yada yada…but you don’t give people the option to not participate in that and you are not upfront about that either.  It’s very deceiving.  Then, to hold hostage information and not let non-pro users add ancestors?  Come on.  Maybe for all the money you are bringing in you could hire some better developers to sort out these duplicates and merge them.

    I’m sure you’ll see an influx of revenue this month from people signing up for one month memberships.  Don’t think this will last, as I definitely will not be renewing after that.  I will just use Geni for talking to the numerous family members that I’ve invited (oh wait, they are all on FB too…)  

    I do appreciate the way Geni was in the beginning.  Thanks for that, and thanks for helping me begin to organize my tree.  

    • Geni George

      Hi Rebecca,

      First, familysearch.org is a non-profit organization with very good funding from the Mormon Church.   If we weren’t expected to turn a profit (they aren’t), it would be a very easy decision to make Geni completely free :)

      Second, our annual account has been priced at $60 for quite some time, which comes out to about $4.95/mo.  The Monthly account for $12.95 is a fairly new option, and we have tried a few different price points.  I don’t know whether or not that is set in stone; we’ll likely make adjustments over time to see what users think the value of a monthly subscription is.

      >> Geni, I think you forget how personal one’s family tree is.  You want to make it this huge global thing, which is cool and interesting, yada yada yada…but you don’t give people the option to not participate in that and you are not upfront about that either.

      For as long as I’ve worked for Geni, the vision has been that of a collaborative world family tree.  Unfortunately that means that if you don’t want to participate, Geni probably isn’t the best place for you to store your family research.

      I’m sorry that this has been frustrating for you.

      -George

      • Rebecca is PO’d

        Thanks for the reply George.  These days, $12.95 per month is too high for most people, including myself.  If the monthly charge was $4.95 paid monthly, not all at once, I’d do it.

        You are right about the not participating thing.  I won’t be adding anymore profiles (not that I’d be allowed to).  It’s just that when a person signs up, it says:  Build your family tree, Unlimited Uploads, Collaborate with others, Merge your tree.  

        There should be little asterisks next to these because Geni has now stopped people from building their tree.  In fact, you cannot merge or collaborate with others in many instances, unless you pay $$$.  This is what I mean about being deceitful.  Not to mention the worst thing of all…not allowing those who originally added profiles to work on them.  

        • Geni George

          Hi Rebecca,

          We are aware that some people are having difficulty accessing some of the profiles they added – that wasn’t intended, and we are working to fix that.  However, all users can still view and edit any profile that they contributed to Geni, and we’re sorry for anyone having trouble.  I encourage people who cannot access their profiles (for whatever reason) to submit a ticket at http://help.geni.com

          -George 

          • David

            Geni George said: “all users can still view and edit any profile that they contributed to Geni”.

            Not true.  If you are not PRO and through merges you are no longer the primary manager, you can no longer guarantee that you can find them.

      • Ladydiane4

         George…..you have only worked for Geni for LESS THAN A YEAR!!!   It says so right at the top of the page. How can you stretch this to “for as long as I’ve worked for Geni”?  You make it sound like you’ve been here forever.  I came here long before that and built my tree of 18,000 with the guarantee that is was personal and PRIVATE!!!    Today I googled my name and found my entire profile including pictures.  I also googled another family member and was SOOOOOO angry.  I have family members in law enforcement and was assured that those profiles would be protected.  They are not!  You have put these people in harms way.  Police officers tend to make many enemies.  You are the ones who threw me into the “world tree” that I didn’t want to be in and you heard from me when you did it.   Now you complain that I don’t contribute to the “world tree’ that I DIDN’T want to be in in the first place!!!   WTF are you thinking? I looked at the world tree that YOU added to my tree and it’s a mess!  I don’t want to be associated with it.  All I want it a place to work on my own PRIVATE tree and share it with those I choose to share it with.  Your mission has drastically changed in the past 2 years without even thinking of those that keep their trees with you.  Now you hold my tree hostage for cash.  I received a Geni T-shirt just the other day from someone who attended the Overland, KS get-together.  Tonight I will burn it.
        The word ANGRY doesn’t even cover this!

        • Ken Tregear

          This Google connection has me puzzled. As I’ve mentioned before, no other subscription site has this ‘feature’. Why limit a members search capabilities, when anyone in the world can do what a member can’t, via Google.

          If you’re worried about your families personal details being freely available, log out of Geni and then do the Google search. The outcome will depend on what your profiles contained when Goggle’s spider was scanning the web.

          Remember that Google holds everything in cache memory. Even if you delete a profile, it will still be available via Google.

          • Ladydiane4

            Ken, The point is that when I started here I was careful to choose a site for my tree that only myself and those I invited to my tree were privy. To me my tree is personal and private unless I make the decision to share it with others.  There are grandchildren on it!  My grandchild and those of my siblings.  This was never meant to be public information.  Anyone in Geni can just type in a name and whalla!…goggle will find them as their profile appears on MY tree including other family members and pictures.
            It’s not right……..
            So, you are saying it is too late and even if I delete those sensitive profiles they will still appear on google?………………….and I thank you for your response…..

          • Ken Tregear

            That is precisely what I’m saying. A branch of my tree was inadvertently added as ‘public’. I changed it to ‘Private’. Too late. Googles spider had already picked it up in it’s Public phase. I’ve one uncle in particular who has his photo and everything on the web and I can’t do anything about it. The photo is no longer in Geni – I don’t know how long Google retains the information.

          • Ladydiane4

            This is NOT at all what I was promised over 2 years ago.
            Brewer time…..at least my mind will be on something else for a while…night….

          • Ken Tregear

            My uncle isn’t talking to me any more, which isn’t a bad thing.

          • Ladydiane4

             I am thinking it is time for legal opinions………………….

          • Geni George

            Ken,

            We tell Google not to cache profile pages, so if you see any profiles that have a cache link in Google, please point me to them.

            Thanks,
            -George

  • http://twitter.com/geneabloggers geneabloggers

    Keep rubbing that magic lamp Geni.  You can polish a turd all you want.  It is still a turd and it still stinks.  You won’t be the last company to try and treat the genealogy community like a bunch of rubes, but hopefully this will serve as a warning to others.

    http://www.geneabloggers.com/geni-stuck-stupid/

  • Ted Nadeau

    I posted a safety issue about my children and no one at geni.com has gotten in touch with me yet.  A user is duplicating profiles of everyone he can see/touch and making the profile public.  I hope that someone gets in touch with me immediately to stop this abuse of my data. – Ted Nadeau

  • Ted Nadeau

    I have contacted geni.com about a saftety issue concerning my children and no one has gotten back to me.  Some other user is making duplicate records of everyone he can see including children and marking them public.  This is a very very bad thing.

    • Ken Tregear

      Ted, I’ve received personal email on the same subject. Bring up a child’s profile and click the REVISIONS tab. It should show the perpetrator.

      In my case, we discovered it was adding unrelated people to the family group that was the cause. This took a bit of research, as it snowballed with the first person added to the group adding others. The original addition appears to have been inadvertent.

      • Ken Tregear

        On second thoughts, from your experience, it would seem that this has all happened recently. Has someone found a way of adding themselves to a family group?

    • Geni George

      Ted, have you filed a ticket yet?  If so, let me know what the ticket number is and I’ll escalate.

      -George

  • Ticked-off Karen

    It’s just wrong! I’m a pro member, but dozens of people have joined the tree at my invitation, being assured that unless they were going to REALLY get into the search, it was free and fun. You’re destroying the “good stuff” that Geni was. Now it’s just a run-of-the-mill ripoff like so many others.

  • Guille DG

    Thanks to this change a I am trying  myheritage.com and other sites. I have never considered to move Geni.com still today

  • Kathleen

    I’ve been using Geni for years.   I had no idea I wouldn’t be able to add more profiles until I tried to today. Perhaps an informational email to members would have been advisable.  I used Geni strictly for organization and feel that the sharing of ANY information should be up to a member only.  I guess it’s time to find another site to handle my tree.  Truly a shame as I found the site easy to use to keep track of my information.  I don’t understand why all of a sudden I need to be a paying member to do what I’ve done for years on this site.  Seems like taking advantage of your members.

  • http://www.geni.com/people/Bradley-Zehr/6000000005404360326 BetrayedAndAbandoned

    “Geni is creating one family tree for the entire world, built from the collaborative research of millions of genealogists.”  Apparently Geni does not want to collaborate with me and receive my research, since with the free account I am not able to post ancestors prior to third great-grandparent.  Come on Geni, do you want to build one family tree?  If that’s true, why do you not want my research added?  Or is it that you just want my money?

  • Gintrater

    I thought that the new restriction on non-Pro users is that they can not initiate merges. But apparently Geni went one step further. Non-Pros can not even complete mergers that were initiated by others!

    I have a bunch of mergers that are waiting for completion for many months now. These are private profiles inside the family tree, but the other side is an occasional and inexperienced user. My hope was that these users will eventually click and approve the mergers. Now they won’t be able to do that w/o paying for a Pro version. What are the chances that these mergers will ever be completed? Any thoughts on this from the Geni marketing team?     

  • Carla Reed

    The better way to handle your money issues is to ask for donations from your members. Instead of changing it to paid account like you have with Pro account.  You would be surprised how much money people may be willing to donate to you when you leave it up to them.  All you did was anger your customers who will look for another means to house their information.

  • Jacinta Palerm

    Its the new PRO capacity to merge a bit too fast track? Can merge w/ no feed back from managers?
    How can one reverse a merge?

  • http://twitter.com/MyHeritage MyHeritage

    At MyHeritage.com we take privacy very seriously indeed.

    When a user creates a tree on our site, they are the sole owner of all the information within it. Under no circumstances would we force users to join a ‘global’ family tree. We have world-leading technologies including Smart Matching, which will match your tree up to more than 58 million others and we also offer the free Family Tree Builder software for PC which interfaces with our website. We are verifiably the world’s largest family network!

    Once you open a family site with us, you will be given full control over the privacy of your data and can decide whether or not to participate in our Smart Matching service. 

    At MyHeritage.com we completely understand the concerns of genealogists because, frankly, MyHeritage has been developed by professional genealogists.

    Regards

    The MyHeritage Team.

  • Rick Tasber

    WHY WHY WHY!! Please answer my questions and comments, without using one of your “copy and paste answers”. Thank you.
    Why after 4 years, did you decide to take away, most of, the special gifts Geni offered?  It was working fine the way it was. We got to do our thing and you made enough money to make the recent 1 to 3 hour, excuse me 4 to 5 day update/improvement/overhaul/diabolical scam. Time which WE NOW KNOW was used to revamp the system, that is now hurting so many people. I hate to think it was out of sheer greed, but that seems to be the only answer.

    You allowed us to use our time and energy to build and grow our profiles, branches and trees, spread the word about Geni and once we were hooked….”Now it’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to get rich”!!!
    We can use Google for free, Skype offers extras like your “Pro”, but doesn’t force it on us and hurt people in the process….WIN WIN (as they say). YOU CAN DO IT TOO, like the BIG BOYS, if you choose wisely and don’t gamble on the chance of….More $$$ in your pockets (GREED) vs the possibility of, maybe, losing this site (DESTRUCTION).

    There also seems to be a lot of bugs popping up on this site, all of a sudden, (probably because of “THE FIX”). and you keep responding to with the pat answer… “We are working  on…”…hmmm…
    Karma??? 
    Thank you for your, NOT copy and paste response or pat answer. Hang in there, this will eventually be over, one way or another….;~)

  • Ladydiane4

    Since the “topic is closed for comments” on the “How can I export my GEDCOM?” site…….
    First of all…the “share” link is NOT under “tree” tab.   It is under the “family” tab!   Somebody might want to correct your instructions.
    Second……My tree shows 803 members but my total tree is 18,053 profiles managed.  I want to know if the total 18,053 will transfer or only the 803?  Another question is whether or not the tree will run into problems since all the information is currently running up and down the page.

    anyone…anyone??