Geni’s CEO on GeneaBloggers Radio Tonight at 9pm ET

Posted August 22, 2011 by George | 8 Comments

Tonight (Monday, August 22, 2011), GeneaBloggers Radio will host a special live call-in episode with Geni’s CEO, Noah Tutak.  The episode will air at 9pm ET (1am GMT), with a large portion of the episode dedicated to Q&A with listeners.

According to GeneaBloggers Radio, “we’ll be discussing some of the recent changes to how Geni works for both their free (Basic) users and their paid (Pro) users as well as the reaction to such changes. We’ll also open up the phone lines so you can discuss some of these issues and talk with Noah about Geni and the recent changes. Don’t miss this important community discussion not just about Geni but the concept of a collaborative world family tree to share research information.”

All pertinent info — including the call-in hotline — can be found over on blogtalkradio.

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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  • No_Notice

    As per usual, GENI gave no notice regarding this chat. 99% of the folks dont even know this happend.

    How about some fair notice guys!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wygodny Shlomo Wygodny

    I tried to register/login to BlogTalkRadio for the las 15 minutes unsuccesfully with different login names and Email addresses. While confirming the account, it keep saying there was an error (and the developers will be noticed).
    This is a bad service. Use a better one next time.

    • Anonymous

      Shlomo. This is Thomas MacEntee’s deal. We were there as a guest.

  • Christine

    I was able to catch about 45 minutes of the show. The main feeling I got was that Noah is re-emphasizing everything the customer service people/techs keep saying “no changes have been made to editing capabilities” and “we don’t want duplicates” and blah blah blah. In essence, it sounds like Geni is taking a very skeptical and cynical view of its basic/free users. They think most basic/free users have no idea what they are missing anyway, so what does it matter if Geni takes abilities away from them, and also they think that people are trying to sabotage Geni’s mission of a one-world-tree by creating zillions of duplicates and not having any way to merge the duplicates. Seriously Noah, the whole “we don’t want duplicates” thing is getting old. Obviously there are better ways to merge trees or check for duplicates without locking out a whole community of previously happy contributors. As if only Pros know how to do genealogy research. Ha. When asked if Noah/Geni would consider gifting Pro memberships to those free users who actually added thousands of profiles and continue to maintain them, he answered that they had considered such a thought but then decided that Geni would have no way of knowing who creates thousands of bogus profiles just to look like they are doing something, so they can get a free membership. Jesus, really Noah? I think you are dodging the question. It is very easy to see who faithfully added, invited, and maintained tons of profiles PRIOR to your little announcements over the last couple weeks. Of course you don’t need to give out Pro memberships to newbies who add 1,000 profiles AFTER you would announce such a thing, duh. Those who worked on the tree for free before this mess without any incentive or inkling of a need to buy the newly revised Pro membership, those are who I am talking about. They should get some compensation. The ones who have, FOR YEARS, added and added and helped out and collaborated with others without any other incentive or intent to “hide” their trees, those folks should very well receive a pro account, basically the rights to continue to do the good things they have always done, without a second thought. You know, reward people for good behavior? Keep them motivated? Not the opposite.

    You mentioned on the radio show that many users have threatened to remove all their profiles and run away to another site, but you’ve seen that that actually hasn’t happened. Well, I wonder if what you will see is just much less action altogether, basically a major slowdown of growth, since non-pros aren’t able to add anyone far out enough to connect to the big tree, and enough if they were, they can’t do a merge anyway.

    By the way, the whole thing where basic/free users can’t even search for people is TOTALLY STUPID. That is such basic functionality, why are you nickel and diming on this? I was able to search a few weeks ago, and make contact with someone who is distantly related to someone else I am working with, trying to help him find the rest of his ancestors. Since then, both these contacts have been able to add more to their trees – and they are PROS and I am not, but I am helping to grow their trees just by communicating with them to work on their research, and they have indeed been adding unique new profiles to the tree. I would never have been able to do this now, since you don’t even let us view or contact anyone outside our own trees anymore. Don’t you see Noah? You are shutting down the very thing that Geni started with: collaboration and the whole “everyone’s related” idea. Well you’re gonna get a whole bunch of truncated trees and no one is going to be related much if you shut out a bunch of people who are willing to help grow their trees and help others figure out how they are connected as well. You cut off our ability to initiate communication to other users, that is the opposite of collaboration.

    What you should do is set a better set of parameters for people to work within. Not just, well it’s partially broken, so instead of fixing it, let’s just throw it away. You have taken the stance that basic/free users are essentially worthless and just eat up valuable data space on your site and do nothing else, so to hell with them. I’d like to say, I am proud of my tree, I put years and years of research in to it, I cite sources, I add documents, photos, detailed facts, etc, and I feel like Geni is saying to me, thanks for the work, but we don’t need you around anymore, please turn in your keys and leave. We’ll just let someone we like better, Mr. Genipro, take it from here, goodbye. So I’m left feeling like, hello, what did I do wrong? What did I do that necessitates you leaving me without capabilities to continue my work here? My work was good enough for you before, good enough to entice thousands of others to your site, but not anymore? I’ve been a faithful contributor to the big tree all the way down to my own small tree, why am I getting dumped and locked out?

    • Yao Liu

      Well-said. The rationale Geni puts forth does not answer many of the issues being had around here.

      The search restriction is stupid. One can use Google to access most of the (public) profiles, but not within Geni itself? Come on. I wish that one day Google would just buy Geni and make things more open.

      • Jane

        hear hear!

  • tomas macengeni

    Thomas Macentee the scam artist.
    Geni.com the scam artists.
    They are made for each other….

  • Arvuti Katsetaja

    Probably the only place for everybody to see the effects of the new policies is: http://www.geni.com/worldfamilytree
    The statistical numbers are as follows:
    1. Profiles added daily
    Average for last 365 days - 27550
    Average for last week - 17564 
    Yesterday - 18456
    2. Merges daily
    Average for last 365 days - 7143
    Average for last week - 4811
    Yesterday - 4003 

    It shows that the activity of the Geni users has been sharply cut, even thou the PRO users have much broader rights to initiate, and complete merges. 
    It is now about 2/3 of the previous. So in order to reach the ultimate goal, it will take about 1 1/2 times longer.

    Just the dry numbers.