Enhancements for Basic (Free) Users

Posted August 18, 2011 by George | 156 Comments

We’ve received a lot of feedback on the changes that we recently made, and we’re happy to announce some enhancements based on your feedback.

The loudest feedback we heard is that users were having trouble finding profiles of their close relatives and other profiles that they added to the tree. It was never our intention to make it difficult for users to find these profiles; users could still find these profiles through our auto-suggest tool and the “Managed by Me” tab on search results, but that wasn’t easy enough or intuitive enough, so we made some more adjustments.

When a close relative or a profile you manage appears in search results, you’ll now see a green checkmark next to it in the search results (see below). This means that you can click through to view that profile without upgrading.

We also want to reaffirm our commitment to giving users access to their data, whether on Geni or outside of Geni. Exporting a GEDCOM of your family tree has always been part of our free, basic account, and that has not changed. You can also access your data through partners such as AncestorSync, TreeSeek, and Charting Companion by Progeny.

Today, as a further sign of our commitment to open data, we’re announcing that Forest GEDCOM Export, which includes trees connected to yours, is now part of our free account. If you’re logged into your Geni account, you can export your forest here.

We hope that these changes help to address some of the issues that have been raised over the last week.

Please note that Forest GEDCOM Exports could take 24 hours or longer to process, because of the amount of data.

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

    Nice feature, but too late for my part.  The changes shouldn’t have been done to start with.
    A little tip to the users: Use some software to clean the gedcom prior to upload to another site.  My forest had approx 2000 errors.  People that died prior to being born, baptism prior to being born and other odd events.

    • Geni George

      Stig – just wanted you to know that I’d like to be friends on Facebook even if you’re not planning on sticking around Geni.  Seems like you’re pretty fun to follow.

      -George

  • Thenewk21

    You are ignoring the majority of feedback, about the free users not being able to add relatives beyond the close relatives. These are little tweaks which don’t address the loudest feedback.
    The searching difficulties were just another problem you created when you changed Geni for the worst.

  • Philip Weiss

    I don’t want Forest export. I want export of what I put in.  The descendant export doesn’t do that (it omits spouses and in-laws). And Forest export exports everyone, without a way for me to weed out the crap that other people entered.

    I’ll give you points for trying though.

  • Freeloader

    Thank you Geni, for listening to us. We appreciate that you listened to our feedback. But no. No, its not enough. No, you have still left us out of the Big Tree, which is the stated “purpose” of your site. You have still kicked in the teeth every user who helped work on the Big Tree. No, nothing less than a complete reversal of the downgrades of your site contributors will make me satisfied.

  • Mary

    I added a new profile recently. My 7th GGrandfather. His name does not appear in my Name Database. Or Name list.  Why is this? I should be able to find him with the “J” names.
    Thanks

    • Geni George

      Mary, not sure why, but that shouldn’t be the case.  Tell our CS team and they will fix it.

      • Mary

         Who is the CS team?  Thanks George. 

        • Dave K.

          “CS” = Customer Service, also known as help@geni.com

  • POedGeniuser

    Thank you for reading the 500+ comments and fixing the problem of about 4 of them. I did a test on the above procedure and it works as you say, however, I didn’t have a problem doing this before.

    I realize that your goal in this is to appeal to the amateur and get them to input their family tree for all branches back to the 5th generation (because for amateurs, that is quite a feat) and then let them sit back while you do the rest. Unfortunately, either you will get the person who just puts in their mom and dad and then loses interest, so he won’t be affected by this, or you’ll get the real family historians that had this stuff in folders and boxes and enjoy doing the inputting and wanted to get it sorted out. These are the ones that can provide the information you need to be able to join them to the ‘world tree’. These are the ones who want to find those long lost ancestors and when they put in that info, they want to be able to work with it. Now you stopped us from participating.

    I know for about two years, there was no Geni PRO at all. In the beginning, it was a place to lay out the tree for your private family and friends. I connected with people who provided me with names of their branch and I input them. I merged with some independent family members. I guess when you decided to make a ‘world tree’, you had too much info to work with. You added collaborators and started projects. You limited searches and merging. There were bugs around and bug fixes. Some times you changed something that made me have to go in and change a bunch of profiles individually. I invited friends to view my tree, to get them interested in doing their own. Some did, some didn’t. You changed ‘friends’ to ‘family group’ and that changed a bunch of stuff. Suddenly we had followers and we were following people. All the while things were getting limited, but at the same time, my tree was growing. I was just trying to keep up with all the changes.

    Now I played by your rules and I was asked to help a friend with her tree. She invited me, I accepted, and started helping her with her tree as a non family member, collaborating as you call it. I added 100+ profiles to her tree. I manage all of them. Your software calls me ‘a relative’ and so be it. I was happily putting in profiles for her. I am in no way even beyond a great grandfather in her tree. I NOW cannot add any profiles at all to her tree. I manage all the profiles I put in and YOU put me at a DEAD STOP! Why did you do that? How come I now have to pay to input profiles in her tree?? If I cannot put these in, then who will?? I guess YOU are going to put them in for me! Thanks! I hope you get it right for the sake of your ‘world tree’ and for the sake of all the other families.

  • Geni George

    Before these comments grow too much, I also want to post this here:  http://www.geni.com/blog/a-message-from-geni%e2%80%99s-ceo-369903.html#comment-290555705

    I will be responding in more depth tomorrow.  Thanks again for loving and hating Geni over the last week/years.

    -George

    • Freeloader

      I do appreciate that Geni listened, (to some things), I really do. But I feel that most people are just not going to be satisfied with this “change”. I use quotes because it’s not really much of a change. (The only thing that really changed was forest export (check boxes don’t count, sorry)). I mean, there were a few comments on the other blog post about forest export, but mostly thos were because people were so furious with the changes they wanted to get their info out of the site and move out. This doesn’t change that. 

      I appreciate your involvement George, I do, I’m not being facetious. But I feel like we’re not really being understood.

  • Tesimmers

    You’re kidding, Right? You apparently noted the general anger and disappointment of your subscribers over the majority of the changes you made in the dead of night with not so much as a hiunt of what you were planning. I communicated my feelings to you off line, but I did not hear from you which I understand that there are just too many.  But, that is just the point. If your decisions to materially change this product which was built by subscribers’ collaborative research, may ultimatel backfire? The fact that you acknowledged the many complainst, speaks for itself. As far as marketin is concerned, and the fact that it is a marketing person who is speaking for Geni owners, let me point out that we subsribers who have invited hundreds of persons to come and join the Tree, and the rest of us who have invitedonlky a few, make up a substantial segment of your marketing effort! Therefore it is difficult to understand why you have failed to appreciate us and our contributions!  It is your own ambition to create the World Family Tree, not necessarily ours! The fact that someone can pay you to corrupt my information without my permission is very disturbing People have approached me to merge my info with theirs but when I have examined their tree I have found them to be totally corrupted by merges with conflicting trees, with erroneous info throughout! So, I have declined their merges. Those who have joined my Tree have done so because they have been invited by me and they trust me and they trust the others that I have invited. In other words, I have vouched for Geni.com! Now you come along and decide which people are my immediate family and which are everyone else’s family! Allow someone else to decide who to add to ad who to merge into my tree?  Pretty highfalutin of you, to say the least! But, this is only how I feel and I don’t suggest that I speak for anyone else. I can imagine that many will agree with me.  

    • Geni George

      @9622b70dd1ecea9bc0fc95c2ec7aa46b:disqus  – great note, and thank you for it.  You’re right, I’m a marketing person.  But that’s not what I studied when I went to school and the only reason I do marketing stuff is because it’s really important for websites to communicate with users, and I feel like I can help with that….and I think users are the best (and only) reason that the Internet exists…

      Please know that I appreciate you, and there are certainly other people at Geni that appreciate you like I do.  High fives next time we hang out, please.

      • erayzer

        hollow…

      • Marc

        All I know, is I got a couple merge requests, one I agreed with, and one I didn’t.  But then every time I tried to enter something, I got an offer to join Geni Pro.  Lately, everything I do on Geni, gets me an offer to join Geni Pro.  I think I’ll think I’ll just wait until you guys figure it out before I come back to Geni.

        • Jeff K

          I agree, I have 2 merge requests that I can’t complete because I am a “free” user…

          • freeascanbe

            I don’t even care about merging. I care about putting in accurate profiles. Geni is the one who cares about merging….merging everyone into a world tree. If someone else has a relative of mine in their tree, so be it! I am perfectly happy to leave them alone and let them do their tree while I do mine. Now I am stopped from entering in any profiles. Profiles that will help Geni with their tree. I don’t know how they will complete their tree without some more free help. We got them this far and I know that if I have problems sorting out the names in my family, how much more problems will they have since they are not related. The merges I have encountered are not always correct. Good luck Geni.

      • Thenewk21

        It is really a pity that you did not communicate with your users before implementing the changes that you have forced upon your users, without consultation. You will be losing many, many users because of the changes, therefore your precious World Family Tree will lose the majority of it builders. Not the greatest marketing campaign that I have seen.

    • John

      Please just get over it now and recognise that these improvements assist to claer up some of the complaints.

      I am a PRO user and have noted the willingness of Geni to listen to feedback and make changes.

      Why keep on harping on it.  Just let the effect of the changes settle in, and I am sure that Geni will listen sympathetically to calm and measured criticism in the future.

      When designing something it is not possible to get meaningful feedback BEFORE implementing the change as we are not able to judge until AFTER the change has been made.  How could we give meaningful feedback to Geni before experiencing the change.

      Thanks Geni for a great product on behalf of my over 900 Family Members as well as over 29,000 ancestors and over 100,000 Blood Relatives.

      I am a happy user of Geni.

      John

    • Hhdogget

      I stopped adding to the tree when I found out that one of the people I merged with had me related to Moses.  No sources, of course, just a ridiculous tree that is now a part of “my” tree.  I’m now using Legacy to keep up with my tree.

  • alfa52

    Well, as I’m a Pro I read  about the new commitments and I have a feeling POed Geniuser’s “Thank you for reading the 500+ comments and fixing the problem of about 4 of them.” is a quite good  description about the reality.

    I, as a Pro, have my complaints about what reestrictions make against my efforts to make 1) my tree 2) help others making their trees 3) help the World tree work as good as possible.

    As a Pro I cannot fill in the nicknames or the birthorder or the occupation or refrences or anything bout me in the profiles of my class 2 and 3 above. My brother was (yes was) interested in looking on this “free” sigth of OURS and he had no time until 3 weeks later. Then “Please pay”. He closed the sigth immideately. As I’m becoming older I’ve tried to show the Geni-sigth and me and my Geni friends job here at Geni to the younger generations. We’ll se how big their interest will be if they are not aloud to do hardly anything. (I at least have succeded in connecting them on Facebook, but not on the Geni-FB. They finds it more fun to be friends.)

    My Geni-friends is a mix of Pro and Basic. And among them in both cathegories, are both really advanced and beginners. Among the advanced are different personal motives for research. Some are more interested of the tecnique, some are real historians, some obviously like filling in names and complete at jigsaww puzzel and some are really good detectives. I don’t know how they categorys me but I had a mail yesterday about me being “creative, innovativ and hardworking in a good way”, someone thougth I’m in contrast to “old stofiles” and some are just happy that I have solved problems of theirs.

    Most Geni-users are probarbly in category 1 interested in only their own tree. That’s where Geni can find customors. They’ll build their tree and put in photos and pay for a Tree on the wall. Geni offers the server space and the ability to build the for this marcet of FamilyTree to your wall. Categorie 2 is another kind of people. They do need respect for what they do not just in their own interest but in others and in Genis. Either they pay or not.

    I don’t like to have messages from people asking me to fill in profiles they are interested in by some reason. They are a lot better than me. Experienced and do everthing good. Some of what they ask for I cannot do since all the “security settings”  (e. g. Birthorde) if the profile is none of mine. Basic users are the most giving ones and will not spoil their time about trying to find some Pro to fill in, correct och merge obvious duplicates.

    More than 4 problems out of 500 (or maybe just 200)  has to be solved.

  • Christine

    For the love of genealogy, would you please let us add relatives to our trees beyond what you consider our “family group”? Or just LET US define our “family group”? Why on earth would you guys not let us continue to build the tree as we find new information, just because we are lowly basic-account users? Adding previously unknown profiles to the tree helps the greater tree ya know. You should just have a fact check kinda thing where if I decide I want to add siblings to my 6th great grandfather, there can be a feature that searches for similar names and says “The name you are trying to add MAY already exist in Geni.com, see the potential profiles here” and I should be able to see EVERYTHING about those very similar names, and dig through the all info on each profile that matches to fact-check and indeed tell you if you already have the exact person in the tree or not, and if I say, nope that’s a guy with the same name and stuff but not the same guy, I should be able to add a legitimate newly discovered member to the family. That is what you want right, is less duplicates and more quality? Then if whomever I am trying to add is indeed already part of the tree, you should let me merge my tree with the matching one regardless of whether I am a PRO or not, because it’s for the greater good to connect two related trees. You should let me make a merge request and you should let the manager of the other tree approve or deny it regardless of their pro/basic account status, just as all merge requests/duplicates that come up in profiles I manage should be allowed to be approved/denied BY ME no matter what my account status is, since I MANAGE THOSE PROFILES. Why should a PRO be allowed to merge profiles and trees that I MANAGE when I CANNOT? What gives them the credentials to know who is who in my tree, just because they cough up $13 per month? I should be able to retain control over merging and adding/deleting profiles I added and manage regardless of how many generations away they are. I would not have taken the time to add them in them in the first place, way back before all this money grabbing crap happened, if I didn’t know what I was dealing with 7 or 10 generations back. Who would take the time to go that far back if they didn’t know what they were doing? And now all the research time spent understanding my relatives that far back is handed to the PROS only to add to or do whatever they want with it, because the profiles have been defaulted to “public”. If I added people in the first place, or if people are my direct ancestors, I WANT ALL RIGHTS TO DO WHATEVER I WANT TO THEIR PROFILES AND THEIR FAMILIES, INCLUDING ADDING RELATIVES AND MERGING OR DENYING A MERGE, BECAUSE IT’S MY FAMILY. My Family. Only me and actual legitimate relatives in MY FAMILY and people I trust that I personally add or invite to my “family group” should be able to make changes to OUR FAMILY, not anybody with a PRO account that thinks they are hot stuff.
    Pros with NO RELATIONSHIP PATH to MY FAMILY should not be allowed to touch my tree. Not the other way around.

    • Voqo

      One thing.
      “I should be able to see EVERYTHING about those very similar names”
      You should not. For example: someone could add (as a “brother”/”sister”) person with identical name as your child (private profile, not public). Should he/she see everything about that child?

      • christine

        Obviously the existing rules regarding minors still apply. That goes without saying. I would be able to determine whether a minor is a match to someone in my tree by looking at their parents’ profiles.

        • Voqo

          Child I wrote aboute is only an example. I think about every private profile in my tree – any other user should not see everything.

          • Christine

            I’m not sure how long you’ve been using Geni or to what extent, but private profiles have always require the manager of the profile to allow visibility on a case by case basis. Of course a potential merge/match in another tree to a private profile would require the manager’s approval to view the profile first. The big difference between that and what is happening now is: I can’t even see the a person’s public profile at all nor contact them, nor contact the manager of the profile unless I PAY MONEY. That’s like paying money to walk in to a store. I may or may not buy something once I get in the store, just like the profile may or may not be a match, but I can’t even walk in to the store to look at it, without paying. I am much less likely to even go inside the store if I have to pay up front. Lame. That is the big thing GENI TOOK AWAY from basic users, the ability to even view public profiles and/or contact the manager about the profile and ask nicely to view a private profile. Basically I have no voice to communicate with to other users unless I pay. LAME.

  • Louis Thorne

    I share the comments of the many raised here about he changes. It was a community that built this so-called world tree, and Geni is just kicking that community in the face. I was invited to join a couple of years ago by a cousin in Australia. We’ve never met face to face but this site has allowed us to exchange messages and add to our tree. It’s nice to see where other people have added branches, but it was never our intention to link the whole world. Between my cousin and I we’ve keyed in about 1,000 people. yes, like the masses, keyed in information. Maybe we should charge Geni for the privilege of having this often unique information?!
    I for one would be ashamed now to recommend this site to any relatives or friends – unless they like using their credit card. I think PRO should be “Please Rip us Off”  

  • Amadeus

    Again, why does geni care about free users?  It makes no sense.

    Cheap people will continue to use it, regardless of how much they might complain, and those of us that support the company don’t really care.  

    I know it sounds harsh, but this is the way that life works.   I have plenty of family that use ‘free accounts’ on geni and I’d tell them the same thing I just said here.   Geni Pro is VERY cheap for the service you get ….folks need to realize this and stop complaining about what they think they should be getting for free.

    This recent pandering to free users is starting to really get annoying….

    • B G Nilsson

      It seems you live in a very little world ?You have now 60 000 000 names out of ???? (could it be around 14 000 000 000 ?) !
      What is the quickiest way to grow – by charging or by asking ?

    • Freeloader

      Your comment is small-minded and pathetic. Geni cares about free users because they can potentially become Pro users. They SHOULD care about free users because we have, and continue to, contribute a lot of data to their site, which in turn makes their site more attractive to potential Pro users.

      Just because you have the ability to pay the Pro price doesn’t mean everyone can. If it weren’t for all the free users who put all the information into the site when it started, you would never have found a useful site worth paying for.

      Now please, go take your unhelpful, unkind and inaccurate comments elsewhere. Somewhere where they will feel more at home. Usenet perhaps?

      • Woehl

         To add to that: Free users here and most anywhere are really the most reliable, and truthfull “Source” documents,  I meant people you have. Most often are  in large majority the true fact checkers by using “what they have” where they are at” “to do what they can”/allowed.  And that would be the family, living relatives around them and their records to cast roots into this data mix, and sort out the “click” copy” “past” “click” add Ged.file” click.  World of Trees.
          I am a pro user on here, only after I saw the excellent side of how uniquie and stand in a class of its own Geni was, then chose it to add family records never before in the “copy/past” click and add world of trees. and ask family to join, several active members.  I also have paid memberships at other sites , including ancestry.com , to obtain the cyber worlds “click and add  “”SOURCE” Documents  to validate my family members, Because in adding my  Dad, and brother, found that even though I am holding the obituary , and the funeral pamphlets , of which both were authered by my input and desires,  that I am not NOT a valide “SOURCE:   GO FIGURE.
        ………loooking loooking , local paper….. click obits…click , ah damn, now I have to pay for that seperatly from the membership i alreasy paid. one being a premium title at ancestry. WHAT the >>>> 
        So Free users………….. what good are they to YOU????    I would make them the most valued users. .

    • Alexander M Bishop

      Were you born an Ass or just a product of Geni staff environment.

    • Taborri

      Congrats on having the money to be nickel and dimed by every website online that wants to charge.  Some of us don’t have that kind of luxury.  I signed on with Geni, and spread the word about it to friends and relatives who are frugal and don’t pay for web sites, because it was unique and free. But you can’t change the rules of the game after you start playing the game.  The problem here has nothing to do with being a cheap person.  My husband and I are disabled.  Our income is low.  And I don’t do auto-withdrawls on my bank cards (we don’t have credit cards) – we just don’t.  It has nothing to do with cheap.  What it has to do with now is that my significant amount of time, research, and my irreplacable tree (intellectual property?) has been stolen by Geni for it’s own profit and financial gain.  It will be making money and profit off the work I, and all of you, have put into your trees.  That is the benefit of their having made it a computerized tree – I wonder if this was planned?  After the public has input hundreds of thousands of individuals and trees historically, shut it down and begin to charge, now that much of the work is done?  Consider if Geni had charged a fee from the outset and had few uses, gradually to increase.  The site wouldn’t have taken off very quickly.  Give free accees and millions of users inputting family members and the site takes off like a rocketship.  Shut it down to the general public and begin to charge money for the time and effort and research of those millions.  Geni profit.  Who’s CHEAP?  Who’s DISHONEST?  Amadeus, you should have a long and profitable career with Geni.com.  My hope is that these changes send Geni.com down the tubes and into bankruptcy.  If I can’t access my tree and continue to use it and add to it, I don’t want anyone to have that information.  My family is very frugal and backwards and don’t even like computers.  It’s all I can do to get them to take part in this occasionally and enjoy it.  Yes, our time, research, and intellectual property has been stolen.  STOP THIEF!  Geni.com  is a crook.

    • Arvuti Katsetaja

      In a rather ironical way Geni is trying to make a the social revolution never seen before.
      In a normal world you have rich who can pay, enjoying their leisure time with something beautiful handed to them on the silver plate.
      And the underpaid loosers working hard to get ends meet.
      The New Brave World of Geni is the one where losers point a finger and yell: “Fetch!” and all the paying customers should jump and roll, merging, doing the research to be sure the merge is called, etc.
      Yo, Amadeus merge my 4th great grandfather! Dude, quick I have no time to loose!

    • Previously Happy Free User

      Also, AMADEUS said it’s inexpensive for the service they provide.  As
      they provide ZERO research tools other than the ability to search the
      World Tree (which, FYI, you can do much more efficiently via Google
      without being a Pro member)  whereas I already have many other genealogy
      sites that DO have source documents ALSO asking me for money.  I could
      build my tree for free with any of a variety of free standalone tools,
      but I believe in GENI’s goal of building a single unified tree.   It
      just seems odd that they are now requiring their most dedicated
      volunteers to pay for the privilege. 

      I think this new pricing plan will ultimately fail unless they can find a
      partner like Archives.org that actually has some content worth selling,
      that isn’t already freely searchable by Google. 

      I also think that that GENI will likely soon be sued by some of those
      content providers who didn’t mind sharing their content with
      individuals, who now find that that content which has been enhance by
      the organization of GENI users, is now be bundled and sold by GENI on a
      for-profit basis.

      • Previously Happy Free User

         Sorry, that should have said Archives.COM

        • FYI

          Oh hey look!  Archives.com is only $39.95/yr for their pro membership (the only level they offer) and that includes their massive collection of Census, Birth and Death records and building your family tree.

          When you become a primarily Pro site, you’d better be able to compete on price and product – and offering a collaborative tree is likely not a value-added feature for most user as there are free sites offering this, and for some others (which doesn’t include me), it clearly sounds like a value subtracted feature.

    • Voqo

      If Geni Pro is VERY cheap for you, please pay it for me. Or stfu.

    • A PRO User with a SMILE

      I totally agree with you.

      It seems that some users expect “Freeware” or “Limited Use Freeware” to have all the same functionality as that which PAYING users get.

      Where on the Internet or in IT circles does this happen – that you get TOTAL FU+NCTIONALITY for FREE?.
      Does Microsoft supply FREE software.
      How does Geni pay salaries and cover development and archival costs – from the FREE users – I think not.

      I am a PRO user and I am very happy.  You get what you pay for and Free users have a certain limited functionality which is opened up once they subscribe.

      What is so different from other types of spftware.

      • Christine

        How does geni have anything to even sell? Did they PAY ME when I input hundreds if not thousands of names in my free tree, which they are now pimping out? Yeah things aren’t free, we know that. Business cost money to run. However, if you actually take in to consideration all the “freeloaders” that built up this whole tree to start with, I think we have paid our due already. We pay with our time, we pay with our resources from other sites that we have now added to Geni, we pay with our willingness to continue to grow the tree. Who put up all those profiles in the first place? Certainly not Geni staff, and somehow THEY have to get paid, but the thousands of people who have actually given them something to sell do not get paid, and are totally slapped in the face by being asked to pay when they’ve already paid in kind. That is called pimping. Selling our asses and paying the pimp to orchestrate this circus, while we get “I still love you baby, but you need to go out and bring daddy home some money, so go sell your ass!” Pimp gets everything for the hookers’ work. And hookers have Stockholm syndrome. We don’t want to leave, we are in too deep, we keep begging the pimp not to beat us, so he gives us a kiss, then just beats us again next week.

      • http://pedja.supurovic.net Unsatisfied user

         This is not the case. When I started prociding data to Geni I was promsied free service and that only new advanced options may be allowed for a subscription. What happens is oposite. Options that were free are now crippled or totaly removed for free accounts, and we are required to pay to use them. That got to such level that free accounts are hardly usable any more.

        And free account just means I do not have to put som money to Geni to use it. But it is not free at alo. Gathering data is expensive in time, efforts, nerves, and money too. Now, Ill that I have done is lost simply because Geni blackmails me to pay to get access to my own data.

        • Anonymous

          “Now, Ill that I have done is lost simply because Geni blackmails me to pay to get access to my own data.”

          This isn’t true you can still view and edit every profile that you have permissions on. What has changed is search and adding new profiles past your 3rd great grandparents.

          Of course, GEDCOM export and access to your data via Our API and third party applications remains.

          • freeascanbe

             What has also changed is adding profiles within the 3rd great grandparent, but happen to be in-law family. I can no longer do that. I also can no longer add to a friend’s tree on which I was collaborating which is still within the 3rd great grandparent.

    • http://pedja.supurovic.net Unsatisfied user

      Wel, tha is correct for new users who wnat to use jsut free account. We, who were with Geni are in totaly different position. We aplied when rules were different, and provided much more data than today’s free users can, and we are ripped of, because we cannot even access all data we entered.

  • Arvuti Katsetaja

    Still there are many important things messed up:
    1. My direct family is beyond my reach. Everyone who wants to mess around with my mother can do so if he pays to the pimp (aka Geni). I have only one way to stop the merges, keeping everything privat, but this does not mean that I can stop anybody adding them a new, and making the hostile takeover merge bid.
    2. I cannot work with my research which may contain some errors. The only thing to do is to delete.
    3. Pricing! It probably sounds to good to be true for people in Orange County, CA, or penthouse dwellers of Manhattan. If you would really like to work with the whole world, you should be more realistic. Monthly pricing is ridiculous. So lets have the next option where current pricing would be 0,5% of an average salary in the area I inhabit. Paid upront for 2 years, it means 12%. Would you like to pay as much? Probably not. A second mortgage? Loanshark?

  • Alexander M Bishop

    You had your chance to redeem yourself and you generously gave us everything we already had instead (just easier or more). Hopefully everyone sees your true colors.  Thank you and good bye.

  • Grogins

    I am still prompted for payment when I try to export my wife’s tree.  Is this a bug?  I don’t want to export my forest with over 58mil connections, the Big-Tree, just the blood-relatives for my wife/children.

    • Anonymous

      Grogins,

      Free users are limited to exporting only from their own profile. If your wife would like to claim her profile and export from there, that would work fine for you.

  • Guest

    The operative word here is “free”.  Don’t like the free version?  stfu and pay for Geni Pro or go back to ancestry.com.

  • Taborri

    Geni.com has taken advantage of its users.  If your computer tree had charged from the outset and slowly grew from a few thousand users, Geni.com would not have had much success.  Instead, it allowed users to enter their trees and family members for free.  I spent hundreds of hours on family research creating an irreplaceable tree.  Now it’s nearly worthless to me.  I can’t continue to add the new family members I am researching and finding, ones that you don’t have. 

    My time, research, & intellectual property (my tree) have been stolen.  I have entered all my information at Geni.com and now I am told it is no longer mine – it’s yours, and you will be making a profit from it.  I want a share of that profit for my time, research, the information that I entered, in good faith.  I want my family members (of several families which are resistant to technology and don’t have cell phones, answering machines, computers in some cases) to be able to look at their tree and share it with our kids and grandkids.  I didn’t spend all the time and energy to voluntarily give you all my heart and soul and blood only to be stabbed in the back and myself and family denied access to it!!!   SHAME ON YOU THIEF! 

  • Kirsi Kanep

    -When a close relative or a profile you manage appears in search results,
    you’ll now see a green checkmark next to it in the search results (see
    below). This means that you can click through to view that profile
    without upgrading.-

     What’s the point of that? That doesn’t give me anything. I can see people on my tree without search and having them ticked… Stupid idea.
    Just put it back the old way.

  • Woehl

    GENI.  I need your help.  Aside from the input in length i provided , I am just creating repetivness to reply as the others have already.   Sad to see that geni will join the rank and file of OWNING our valued family data, and obtained at our expense.  All the family data i have retained the so called “source” data either has been paid for via a pay to buy my family data back, or paid for by time /years spent and miles traveld to see and view fill cabinets of , info.  Just to give to you for a world whatever,  If you want to manage your site that way fine, do not come back online and force manage my familys info by making it public for you to build world tree…….  Every considered grandfather clause? or NOTICE in change of action.  Kinda late now, but would still appreciate it to by my or my family/s choice.
      NOw for what I need TODAY being you offer the forest download………………….Yes I am a pro user………Yes I have read the blog on the issuea with forest downloads and it being a problem, 2000 errors or something crazy.   I to have had the same problem, Also the attempts at this were a few weeks ago, my self , and the one I have listed in my tree, MY ONLY Sibling not pro user, but either way, was suppose to work , We have been unable to do this with any  use of the file obtained. 
        When you go to see  my sibling, it will also explain how pasionate I am with family history, and that I and the family of several active members that contributed both on here and elsewhere, BUT choose this to be the site to bring it all together.  Together to provide and have all family visually see, take part in and know for fact that its been a collective effort to bring it all together.  Also this eliminated completly the worries of having just one family member in control and taking charge of this.      This is why I am so upset with your changes, it has dampend it all.   I am withholding the key factor here which you are welcome to elaborate on my use of geni,  MY/ being MY family that all has comunicated and validated each line, all being in communication, those that not able to use a computer , done so via phone and personal visits.    “To  Preserve Our Family History”. 

    But really need you help to make sure my sibling can do the forest downlad you speak of.  Pluse ite will be a very clear view of  how much I and my family has enjoyed GENI, very much !!!!  BUT,,, your changes have taken away so many of the little things that made it work. now, its in jeperdy, but have hopes you will understand when you see my tree/ family activity.
    thanks,
    Randy

  • Woehl

    GENI.  I need your help.  Aside from the input in length i provided , I am just creating repetivness to reply as the others have already.   Sad to see that geni will join the rank and file of OWNING our valued family data, and obtained at our expense.  All the family data i have retained the so called “source” data either has been paid for via a pay to buy my family data back, or paid for by time /years spent and miles traveld to see and view fill cabinets of , info.  Just to give to you for a world whatever,  If you want to manage your site that way fine, do not come back online and force manage my familys info by making it public for you to build world tree…….  Every considered grandfather clause? or NOTICE in change of action.  Kinda late now, but would still appreciate it to by my or my family/s choice.   NOw for what I need TODAY being you offer the forest download………………….Yes I am a pro user………Yes I have read the blog on the issuea with forest downloads and it being a problem, 2000 errors or something crazy.   I to have had the same problem, Also the attempts at this were a few weeks ago, my self , and the one I have listed in my tree, MY ONLY Sibling not pro user, but either way, was suppose to work , We have been unable to do this with any  use of the file obtained.      When you go to see  my sibling, it will also explain how pasionate I am with family history, and that I and the family of several active members that contributed both on here and elsewhere, BUT choose this to be the site to bring it all together.  Together to provide and have all family visually see, take part in and know for fact that its been a collective effort to bring it all together.  Also this eliminated completly the worries of having just one family member in control and taking charge of this.      This is why I am so upset with your changes, it has dampend it all.   I am withholding the key factor here which you are welcome to elaborate on my use of geni,  MY/ being MY family that all has comunicated and validated each line, all being in communication, those that not able to use a computer , done so via phone and personal visits.    “To  Preserve Our Family History”.  But really need you help to make sure my sibling can do the forest downlad you speak of.  Pluse ite will be a very clear view of  how much I and my family has enjoyed GENI, very much !!!!  BUT,,, your changes have taken away so many of the little things that made it work. now, its in jeperdy, but have hopes you will understand when you see my tree/ family activity. thanks, Randy

    • Anonymous

      Can you please link to your Geni account so that we can look into your GEDCOM creation error?

    • Anonymous

      Can you please link to your Geni account so that we can look into your GEDCOM creation error?

  • Timaneco

    As I wrote some days ago, and as you say
    … having trouble finding profiles of their close relatives and other profiles that they added to the tree…

    It’s not a question of SEARCHING them on the tree but
    tagging them in a photo. I mean, I have a photo with different relatives from different generations but when tagging the people on that photo, not everybody appears, even though I have myself inserted all of them somewhen…

  • Previously Happy Free User

    The check mark idea is a good, but I found the problem with the implementation.  You need to have a tab that is just the “check marked” results of a search.   Getting every John Smith on GENI, or even every John smith I am connected is not helpful if I still have to dig though pages and pages of hits.  Add a tab (or change the ‘Managed By’ or “Connected to You” tab) to (just) include all of the hits with a check mark.  That is what non-GENI staff are thinking of as the profiles they manage.  Not just the ones where they are the primary manager.  Personally, I still don’t get the “Connected To You” tab – for anyone connected to the world Tree shouldn’t that be pretty synonymous with “All of GENI” especially for for Free users?

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ll pass it along.

      As for the point of “Connected to you” for members of the World Family Tree, it is helpful when you’re trying to find only profiles in the world tree while excluding profiles that aren’t connected.

  • Erin

    So users can download a GEDCOM and move elsewhere for free, but to stay, they have to pay? Not a great business model…

    • http://pedja.supurovic.net Unsatisfied user

      Actually, GEDCOM download is crippled so you do not get all data you provided.

      • Anonymous

        GEDCOM export has the same functionality it had before. In fact, free users can now export more than they could before.

        Of course, accessing Geni data via the API and third party applications has remained unchanged as well.

  • erayzer

    Geni got a whole lot better…yeah yeah yeah.
    why does Geni keep sending me notifications of merge issues if i’m not able to do any merges?
    annoying…

    • Voqo

      As a bait to make you wanted to go Pro…

  • erayzer

    i posted 3 comments, i see only 1.
    genious…

  • Timaneco

    Still problems:
    1) About calendars…

    “Don’t see your favorite holiday?

    You can edit which holidays appear in your calendar view.”But dear Genies, when we click this link, the result is an empty box…2) Why there’s not the scroll down option when seeing the family calendar?You (Geni engineers) only allow 2 mths at once. If I want to consult other months earlier or later, how to do?3) And I am a Geni Pro 4 life…

    • Anonymous

      I just reported the blank box issue to one of the engineers. He’ll look into it.

      As it stands, the calendar is just a list of upcoming events. There is no way to move around in it. If you’d prefer, you can view the Timeline (http://www.geni.com/timeline/family) to see when certain events took place.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  • Judy (Meyer) Owen

    I am unable to add children of 2nd cousins 3X removed. By definition these are in my family group. I added the 2nd cousins and can still edit their profiles, but children and spouses and grandchildren, etc., are not possible. This is ridiculous. I fear that I will be forced to abandon Geni after having researched and entered over 20,000 profiles and 1000′s of photos and documents. SAD! And, I appear to be a liar to the many relatives I have invited having assured them that they can see so much and that Geni was free and would remain so. Now, our family data is being held hostage for a monthly fee.

    • Anonymous

      Judy,

      You can view and edit everything that you have permissions on, and of course you can export your tree as well. The limitation is on adding new profiles. Previously entered data is still there for you to access as a free member.

      • http://pedja.supurovic.net Unsatisfiled user

        This is lie. I have number of proofiles I ENTERED IN GENI, and then I invited peopel and provided them access to that profiles and now I HAVE NO ACCESS TO SUCH PROFILES. Soem of those are even removed from tree I created.

        Not that you just steal data, you also lie about it!

        • Anonymous

          This is untrue. Viewing and editing profiles you have permissions on has not changed.

          Search and adding outside of your close family (3rd great grandparents) are what have changed.

          If a profile has been deleted, you can undelete it: http://www.geni.com/list/deleted

          If there is a profile you have permission to view and edit, but cannot complete either of those tasks, please post a link so we can investigate.

          • jannetie

            No, it’s not a lie. I’ve had profiles deleted and they don’t show up at all in my deleted list, which only goes back to Dec 2010. Only three profiles show up. When I try to download my gedcom, whether the tree, ancestors or blood relatives, I don’t get one tenth the information I added to geni. And I am a pro user. I just won’t be renewing my subscription when there are such unknowledgeable “pros” around, not to mention the anal retentive quibblers.

          • Anonymous

            jannetie,

            That doesn’t sound right.

            Can you provide more information and/or file a support ticket so we can look into this about the deleted profiles not showing up?

            As for your GEDCOM export, all exports only go out 100,000 profiles from the person you export from.

  • Mohamada1012

    A few of my relatives have ignored requests to merge with another tree.  These involve some minor conflicting data and that they are in control of their data and I know they do not visit the Geni sites ever.  One particular person has passed away and his son could not open his account.  How do I overcome this problem.

    • Anonymous

      Is the profile you want to merge into a public profile? If so, you can initiate and complete the merge by yourself if you are a pro member.

      Private profiles require action on both sides. You could try messaging them or contacting them outside of Geni if you have other means of communication with them.

  • Egon

    Jeg vil kun bruge den gratis del, men nu er der blevet blokeret for at jeg kan flette med andre brugere, og så er det jo så som så med nytten af GENI, og overvejer at melde mig helt ud. Kan jeg slette alle mine indberetninger (over 8000)

  • Student user

    What I find most frustrating is not being able to add individuals to the profiles that I manage. Management (to me) indicates that the user has information that they are dying to get out there and it seems counter-productive for Geni to merely state that the profile you manage you can edit – but not add spouse, children, and parents. The family tree that I have on my computer (I use Legacy which can deal with thousands of people without crashing and has web publishing features) includes 67726+ individuals. Can I count those as my family group?

    If Geni was trying to clean up the world family tree, they could start by deleting the hundreds of fake historical profiles and fictional characters – Did you know that Minerva McGonagall has a profile?

    I have added 3241 individuals to the Geni concept of the ‘world family tree – who do I send the bill to for this valuable data?

     

    • Student user

      Funny how I never seem to get replies from Geni – maybe striking a nerve? What a load of idiots – no idea of personal relations or the idea that a corporation has to give to receive (hence all the freebies you get at corporate functions and job displays). And why do I have limits on which individuals I can make private? Can’t seem to make my 8th grandparents private – why would anyone else be interested anyway? They and their information belongs to me and I should have the right to keep it private. All the satisfaction of a job well done has gone on Geni – I’m only adding stuff to eventually export a finished product before deleting as many of the individuals I’ve added as possible. So there suckers!

  • Aivar

    I have one solution for you, I believe some of free users agree…

    Who has build this tree for you for free – mostly free users.
    Did they ever get thanks from you that they has build such great thing to you which you now wanna sell to them back – no !

    For them who still trust Geni and are willing to enter any THEIR family data to your website, could be the solution if you reward them by PRO account and depending of level their contribution to build this tree for you, it can be 1, 2 or lifetime account.
    If you agree with this, we can say that this is one time issue due to changes you made and because nobody didnt know this could happend, there is no points that some profiles are entered to get this reward and are fake profiles. You also cant say that this is not fair to these PRO members because they payd then for nothing, as they also could get it free, because this is what Geni has done now is not fair for most of us, not only small group of pays customers. My suggestion is that these free users who had enteres 500-1000 profiles can get 1 year, 1001-2000 – 2 year and who entered 2001+ profiles could get lifetime account.
    They are the core of your tree what you have now.

    In this way you probably could stop leaving some of free users who work hard and couldnt reach their family data anymore properly and also stopping them delete their tree, but this is in my opinion not enough (at least for me), because without support of free users and their collaboration (which is dead by your changes), PROs are not enough to keep you site alive for a long period.

    • http://www.marnen.org Marnen Laibow-Koser

      Indeed. Our data has added value to Geni. Paying to be permitted to add more value is insane. I guess I’ll be switching to WeRelate…

  • Cheryl

    I am a pro user (until next year), and now I am concerned about what will happen after my subscription runs out. I have invited several relatives to Geni, but doubt they will stick around because Geni appears to be useless to non-payers. ANYWAY, can anyone recommend a better genealogy site that is FREE for tree building? And if I did have to pay to use a genealogy site, which ones would be worth the money as far as actually OFFERING something (like documents, etc)?

    Someone should start a class action suit.

  • Disgusted

    I have spent hundreds of hours researching and adding approx. 700 members to my family tree, going back to the 1500′s.  Very few of these have any links to other trees.  Now your latest updates prevent me from adding any other members to this tree.  If I can’t update this information, who else would be interested in doing so at this point??!!??  

    I am currently a Basic Member…yes, FREE.  My plan had always been to become a PRO member once I had my tree completed and wanted to research possible links and merges with other trees.  But, now my plan is to get all my hard earned work off of this site.  So thank you for providing the ‘forest’ version of GEDCOM.  That’s the very least that you owe all of us who have contributed our time, efforts and research to this website.  I haven’t tried the GEDCOM download yet, since I’m sure it’s swamped with other ‘free’ members trying to get off of this website! 

    Please remove all references to ‘Customer Service’ from your website, since you have certainly shown that you do not provide any such thing to your valued ‘free’ members!!!!  Exactly where would this website be without us??!!??

  • Lacticman

    The tree is only of value to the PRO users because of the data added by the basic users. In a short time the PRO users will begin to notice the reduction in data being input and the value to them in being a member will be diminished. I was never a PRO member, but have added more than 1000 profiles. I was annoyed by the implication by GENI that somehow because I’m not on every day – I still have a job to do and a family to raise -  I’m not a ’proper’ researcher. If I take a 3 month break from adding profiles it might be that I’ve been too busy, or it might be because I’m researching elsewhere and GENI has nothing left to offer for now. That break used, when there were many many users, to allow time for more data of interest to me to be added. That’s not going to happen now. I feel that GENI may well have shot itself in the foot. It was a great idea, and it was great to be part of it. Ruined, like so much nowadays, by a greedy and ill-thought business model. 

  • Michael Delahunt

    George,

    Thank you for showing a degree of flexibility in making changes, however
    dubious those may be as improvements in service, and in responding to
    members’ concerns.

    It is heartening to see you and Noah maintain an even-tempered
    professionalism in the
    face of some vitriolic criticism.

     

    I’ve been a “free” user over the last two years, and have very carefully
    added more than a thousand profiles, enriching them with hard-won and
    carefully cited data, including carefully scanned photos to profiles
    contemporary and historic, carefully merged time after time, worked on
    numerous Geni projects, and so on.

    I have been a fan of Geni, and have often thought I’d become a PRO at
    some point, though my finances have yet to allow it. The likelihood of
    my going PRO are not increased by this week’s activities.

     

    My niece married a fellow last month. I invited him and his relatives to
    join the tree. I added a number of his relatives to the tree, but when
    it came to adding great-grandparents this week, Geni confines me to the
    “Start free trial” page. I have to wonder what Geni will do with the
    profiles we “free” members created previously. If adding such new
    profiles is no longer welcome, in the future will Geni remove or bar us
    from viewing or improving profiles we created? If adding such new
    profiles is no longer welcome unless we pay Geni, will Geni pay us for
    the data with which we have enriched it? If adding such new profiles is
    no longer welcome, are we also welcome
    to remove the ones we created previously? These questions vary in their
    degree of absurdity, but Geni prompts the raising of such absurd
    questions by its actions. These questions are largely rhetorical. I
    don’t expect answers. I doubt that I would believe answers.

    Geni is understandably proud of its growing World Tree, but abuses its
    “free” users despite its “free” users’ generous contributions to the
    growing of the tree by badgering “free” users with invitations to become
    paying members. Geni presents itself has tightened its grip on the
    tree’s branches and twigs that “free” members added earlier beyond the
    edges of Geni’s newly assigned limitations. This tree is only about five
    years old — a kindergartener. We imagine it could grow much further
    over another five, ten, fifty…. It could continue to grow, but only if
    the PRO users have a rich cadre of “free” users with which to
    collaborate on it. It could grow if Geni powerfully commits to nurturing
    the participation of “free” users. Geni is a money-making enterprise.
    We get that. But Geni’s hardware and software is collecting data that it
    does not so much possess as it holds in TRUST. 

  • rc

    I like Geni very much. I look forward to an improvement in my financial situation so that I can purchase a paid subscription.

  • Per Weber

    I have a great problem
    Every time I try to put in a husband to a special relative of mine, the advertisment of joining Geni Pro pops up, and I can´t put the husband into the tree. I have tried at least 30 times to do so without any result.
    I don´t want to be a Geni Pro member!
    Kind Regards
    Per Weber

    • Anonymous

      Per,

      Adding profiles outside of your close family (Third-great grandparents, 4th cousins) is now a Pro only feature. Here is the info: http://www.geni.com/blog/geni-pro-just-got-a-whole-lot-better-369661.html

  • Appusha1948

    The Geni.com site after the recent changes is indeed a complicated process of connecting with relatives.
    We were all happy with the site from 2008 right up to last week in August 2011. Now it doesn’t serve our family’s ( almost 650 members) purpose anymore.
    An unfortunate loss to the membership of Geni.com and God alone will be able to bring in some sense to the person who created these recent changes.
    K.C. Thomas

  • Exagranat

    I am thoroughly frustrated by the “better” Geni. I am the family genealogist & computer person. Thus, I enter data for relatives and relatives of relatives. I’m sitting here with great tombstone photos of my distant relatives (and relatives of relatives), but am locked out from adding their photos to their unreachable, already entered data. This is a total bummer! Being a senior citizen, I cannot pay for membership, especially when I’d be paying to often see what I’ve already done. Bah humbug! Fooey to Geni! Make money some other way.

    • Hope this helps

      Have you tried adding the tombstone photos by using the SOURCE tab from the main profile page?  Usually you can add a source to any public profile (though not to events) even with a free account.

      it won’t be as useful to your family or to GENI that way, but it will be uploaded and linked to the specific profile.

      Make sure once you have uploaded it, that you use the “cite” function to tag the specific profile facts on the tombstone, such as date of birth, date of death, and possibly place/date of burial.

    • Anonymous

      Can you please give an example of this not working?

      Editing permissions of previously created profiles has not changed. You should be able to add photos to any profile you have permissions on.

  • Matthew Kirschnick

    How pathetic. These “enhancements” are but table scraps of what used to be available to us before you blocked large sections of functionality from the normal user. You guys have proven time and time again that you just don’t care about trust. Geni has a nice interface but the second something comparable comes along, people will just pack up and leave.

    I don’t waste much time on here any more giving you guys data because you’ll just lock me out of it the next day.

  • http://www.elblogdezano.wordpress.com OldZano

    I have been a user of Geni for more than four or five year now, I guess. It has helped me a lot to put my family information in order and to connect with relatives with whom I had lost contact over the years. I have now close to 2.000 family relatives in the system and I have considered myself a potential Geni-pro as soon as I retire and can devote more time to this family history hobby. However, I must confess that the changes that I have seen have filled me with uncertainty. Not so much because Geni wants some money, which I consider fair reward (I am a keen LinkedIn user also and appreciate that some money may have to be paid for the provision of an information system). My uncertainty is that now I can not do things that I used to be able to do before, like adding relatives to trees of friends which I have helped to build, I do not know what I will not be able to do in the future if I do not pay more. In other words, I feel that that the large amount of information which I have loaded into this program, may not be safe unless I pay what I am asked. Not a nice feeling. Accordingly I think that I am going to download the information to a GEDCOM file ready to sign off here. A suggestion to George, marketing director: you have a very nice tool here, and you have millions of users willing to stay; improve your marketing and explain more and better what the paid-for grades offer, and gain clients by conviction, not by force. Thank you for all your help. Regards, OldZano

  • David

    Hi Geni George.  Some problems.

    1. The green tick doesn’t seem to appear on multi-manager / curated profiles.  So non-PROs can’t get to those, even if they are a manager.

    2. Non-PROs should be able to edit all profiles managed by their collaborators, but cannot find them.  Can those be green-ticked too please?

    Thank you
    David

    • David

      Also private families outside the family group that are managed by family members.  Same problem.

      • David

        This one too …

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the feedback, David. I’ll pass along these suggestions.

      • David

        Thanks Grant.  Please post back the response you get when available.

  • Michael

    I’ve been trying to download GEDCOM for days and receive bad or empty files everytime. I just received this error message.

    We were unable to export your GEDCOM on Geni.We are aware of the issue and are working to fix it as quickly as possible.We apologize for any inconvenience.
    Thank you for your patience.
    - The Geni Team

    To all users: download your files/GEDCOM now or never.

    • Anonymous

      Michael. Can you post a link to your profile so I can send this to our engineers. This shouldn’t be happening, and we’ll make sure that it gets fixed.

  • Acker

    Do the math:

     

    If a Basic user has a large GEDCOM file what would he or she
    do with it?

     

    Ancestry is unlimited but does not offer a free membership-only
    a 14 day trial.

    If you want World research rather than just USA a
    1 year membership costs $299.40.

     

    MyHeritage offers a free membership with a limitation of only
    250 profiles.

    A 1 year unlimited Premium Plus membership costs $119.40.

     

    A pro membership at Geni for 1 year costs $59.40.

     

    Hmmmm. That’s $4.95 a month. How many hobbies can you think
    of that cost so little more than your time? …And consider the benefits that
    come with the upgrade (like no more annoying pop-ups).

    Maybe we freeloaders
    should consider this a good deal and get it before the price goes up.

    • Sara

      The point is…when a lot of us “free users” joined it was Free to add our “family ancestry”. Now that we have added (and really would like to still add as free members) its available to “Pro” users and we have no access to a lot of it. Doesnt seem fair now does it? If we added it we should have access to it. If GENI wants to change their policy it should be changed for new users and not all of a sudden limit access for the ones who joined and put all their work into GENI before the new changes.

      • Acker

        Sara, I am in the same boat as you and absolutely agree that it would be fairer to enforce the changes to new users. Nicely put.
        I considered posting along the same line of thought but didn’t want to add to a list of complaints without a supporting suggestion. Instead, I thought, for now, that it may be helpful to share the results of my own investigation to prevent some from dropping out before the alternatives have been explored.
        I think that an intermediate classification could work for us. Some new users may be satisfied with a limited number of profiles. It may be beneficial for other new users to become seasoned with a means to earn qualification, such as reaching a specified number of profiles and/or a small fee with additional benefits, to the intermediate level, that we should be grandfathered into to be fair and justified.
        Also, administration might consider getting feedback on proposed changes before implementing.
        Thank you for the kind reply.

      • Anonymous

        Sara, you still can view and edit any profiles you have permissions on. You also have the ability to export. The change only affects adding outside of your close family and searching.

  • Frederick Oscarsson

    A question, why all the sudden cant I add any info on my familytree, without getting the offer to join “Geni Pro”? And even when I click “no thanks” it still isnt possible for me to add anything, im just sent back to the same offer again????? Very annoying…..

  • Frederick Oscarsson

    A question, why all the sudden cant I add any info on my familytree, without getting the offer to join “Geni Pro”? And even when I click “no thanks” it still isnt possible for me to add anything, im just sent back to the same offer again????? Very annoying…..

  • Frederick Oscarsson

    A question, why all the sudden cant I add any info on my familytree, without getting the offer to join “Geni Pro”? And even when I click “no thanks” it still isnt possible for me to add anything, im just sent back to the same offer again????? Very annoying…..

    • Anonymous

      Frederick,

      Here is the information on the change: http://www.geni.com/blog/geni-pro-just-got-a-whole-lot-better-369661.html

      Adding new profiles outside of your close family (Third-great grandparents, 4th cousins) is now a Pro-only feature.

      • Grinsfem

        This is really a frustration for geni users!  The ad to join geni-pro is an irritation and way too frequent.

  • Frederick Oscarsson

    A question, why all the sudden cant I add any info on my familytree, without getting the offer to join “Geni Pro”? And even when I click “no thanks” it still isnt possible for me to add anything, im just sent back to the same offer again????? Very annoying…..

  • Kutnik

    wtf I can not merge anything what I want help plz

    • Anonymous

      Merging is now a Pro Feature. If you’re not a Pro member, you can no longer merge.

      If you are a Pro and you are finding issues with merging, please let us know the details so we can investigate.

      • Niclas Carlenius

        @genigrant:disqus Just an honest question related to this: Who can now request and approve merges on private profiles? I thought the need to be pro (which I am) for merging was only for public profiles. Can pro members now merge private profiles without approval by the profile manager in the other tree? Or do both profile managers need to be pro in order to merge two private profiles? Or is it as I thought, i.e. no permissions have changed for private profiles, so both managers (or family members in both trees) can and must approve a private profile merge and do not need to be pro?

        • Anonymous

          Private profiles still need permission on both sides. The only time you can complete a merge on a private profile by yourself is if you already have permission to view and edit the profile in the first place.

        • Anonymous

          Private profiles still need permission on both sides. The only time you can complete a merge on a private profile by yourself is if you already have permission to view and edit the profile in the first place.

          • David

            There are no some private profile duplicates that I don’t know what to do about.  I don’t think any member in the family group is PRO.  I don’t even know how to search for a PRO within a family group.  Any ideas Grant how to solve this?  What was a nice tree area is now a big mess with half-brothers etc.  It could easily be fixed with a few merges.  I just don’t know how to get them completed.

          • David

            Typo – meant “There are NOW some …”

          • Anonymous

            If you are added into the family group by the manager, a pro should be able to then merge those private profiles because he/she was granted permission.

          • Niclas Carlenius

            So are you saying that merging one private profile with another private profile (in another tree) requires permission on both sides – and that both permissions must come from pros who are in the profiles’ family groups? Or is the pro requirement only on public profiles?

            This is an important question. Trees very often overlap in the living private parts, and the overlapping part often includes Geni members who aren’t genealogists (or pro) but are very interesting in seeing the already researched parts of their family if possible to connect/merge.

          • David

            Grant
            I am already in the family group, but I am not PRO, so this does not help me.
            Frankly, I don’t understand your answer.  Please explain.  I want to understand.

          • David

            Grant – please can you explain what you mean here?  Thanks.

          • Anonymous

            Everyone:

            Merging is now Pro-only.

            If both profiles are public, any pro can complete the merge.

            If one profile is public and one is private, the pro needs family group permission on the private profile.

            If both profiles are private, the pro needs family group permission on both profiles.

          • Anonymous

            To add someone to your family group, go to the actions drop down on that person’s profile and select “Add to Family Group”

          • Carol

            So if there’s a private profile, and no PRO in the family group of the manager of the private profile,  does that mean no-one can ever merge it?

          • Anonymous

            Merges can be done when a pro is given permission on the private profile.

          • Carol

            Hi Grant:

            I asked: “So if there’s a private profile, and no PRO in the family group of the manager of the private profile,  does that mean no-one can ever merge it?”

            You replied: “Merges can be done when a pro is given permission on the private profile.”

            Was that another way of saying “Yes” – or did I misunderstand?

          • Tom

            Keeep you cotton pickin fingers off my profiles!

  • Joebrescoll

    Regarding Geni.com information:
    To answer the question “why” did you remove my information off Geni:
    First off I did not delete any of your data off Geni. The information you have inputted you own and only you can change. What I removed was all the information I put into Geni.  I have spent over 25 years in genealogical research. Geni changed the rules which I totally disagree with. First off you no longer really control which files are merged into your tree. Their computer in the sky makes that choice but placing your data into Family Groups. Second, Geni will allow you to add information into your tree, but will not let you update or merge this information without you buying a subscription to Geni Pro. Remember Geni was a free site developed to help build family trees. As I cannot change or update any information, to assure the accuracy of the information inputted, without paying, I have decided that I no longer will participate in building my tree in Geni. I had over 2000 data entries I inputted into Geni with almost 700 pictures. I did not do all this so Geni could control my information and merge my files into their Family Groups.  I spent too much time making sure of the accuracy of my information to have it merged with errorous or wrong families. As your files and mine were only merged, I did not remove your information, only mine. In fact, I never entered your site. Sorry – I will be deactivating my Geni account in about 2 weeks, after I make sure all “my” data has been removed. Under Geni rules when you deactivate your account, the information stays on the site, only than you cannot view it. They do have a second option that of turning your data over to another person in your tree. However, they will not delete it. Hope this helps clears up your question.

  • Rihards_b

    Are you going to fix those leaking letters in tree preview or not? What is wrong with you?

    • Anonymous

      The engineers are working on fixing the vertical name issue as we speak for those users affected by the bug. 

  • Timaneco

    (2)  I GOT NO ANSWER TO THIS ISSUE…
    As I wrote some days ago, and as you say
    … having trouble finding profiles of their close relatives and other profiles that they added to the tree…

    It’s not a question of SEARCHING them on the tree but
    tagging
    them in a photo. I mean, I have a photo with different relatives from
    different generations but when tagging the people on that photo, not
    everybody appears, even though I have myself inserted all of them
    somewhen…

  • Sherry Sacco

    Geni is social media outlet and not a true genealogy program. How you got investors to invest in you is absurd.

  • Toni B

    I think that it would help if Geni allowed the person who manage any profiles, regardless of it they are a pro or basic member, to decide on merges based on what manager added it to Geni first, AND has  the most records of facts/sources added to the profile to be the true manager of the profile.

    It makes no sense whatsoever to give someone shared ownership of a profile due to a merge, when all they have entered is a name, verses, someone who has a complete profile filed out documented with sources. The profile owner who owns the most complete profile and can document it with sources, should be the only profile manager, being that they have done the most work with and on the profile that they own. The hard work of research should remain with the earliest input of complete information on these profiles.

    Profiles with names only should be viewed as blank profiles, and not be held worthy of shared ownership management in comparison with a profile that someone has taken the time to research and add the all or most of the information to the profile. The two types of profiles are not the same and should not warrant sharing of ownership of the profile due to any merge.

    Profile management SHOULD stay with the earliest and most completed input owner of the profile that is being merged. Profiles should not be co-owned due to merges, they should be owned due to most verifiable data, and information that gives credence to the name listed on that profile as well as the owner who entered it!  

    Profile Managers should be the one with the most filled out profile according to records.

    Just my thought.

    I do not want to share ownership with anyone of any profile that I have loaded ALL of their information into their profile, especially if they are no longer living, versus someone who has only added a name. The right to maintain the quality of the information that I added belongs to me and with me, without me having the burden of having to clean up inaccurate information that could be merged into the profile that I own, thus preventing me from maintaining the integrity of the profile information that I have added, to each and every person who adds profiles off of word of mouth, and little to none research profiles alone. That is asking to much of me to turn me into a forever guard of securing the integrity of the profiles that I have researched.

    I do not choose to be made into an edit person for Geni for every profile owner who has not researched, or has anything but a name alone, and/or little else, for a profile that they added and own because they added a person’s name. If all else, merge the tree, but leave the profile completed to the owner who has the most completed profile, while leaving the management of the profile with the individual of the completed profile, that has documents loaded into the profile that increases the identity of the person named on the profile.

    There should only be one manager of a profile, to safeguard, the integrity of the person named, if that profile has been completely filled out; the profile with the earliest sources loaded with profile completeness should stay with the manager who added it all first into Geni. They are the one that did the work for Geni, and proved that person to be who they say they are. Ownership of the profile should remain with them. The early (committed) bird (manager) should get the worm (profile) in merging. (For lack of a better phase)        

    • Geni George

      Toni – I’m trying to find a link to more info, but what is important is that users with well sourced profiles ask Curators to make those profiles a Master Profile.  That’s the solution to almost all of your concerns.

    • freeascanbe

      Believe me, Toni, I am as upset as you are about all these changes. I agree that integrity of profiles should be preserved. I believe that if you have filled out a profile with information and documents and pictures, that this should not be merged by someone who really only has power and not knowledge. I read the ‘help’ link below, and as much as “master profiling” sounds like something that would maintain integrity, I do not trust Geni to sometime and somehow change suddenly, and we are knocked out of those master profiles also. There is not enough complete information in that help link to understand master profiling and what it may mean in the future.

      I also want to address what ‘integrity’ of a profile might mean. Just because one has filled out profiles with information and dates does not mean that it is correct. I have been doing my family’s genealogy since around 1980. Luckily, there were genealogists in the family before me who wrote stuff down. I have notebooks, letters, charts, scratch paper, and pictures of many branches of the family. I would consider these things solid documentation. However, because humans put this stuff together, not everything is one hundred percent accurate.

      I understand how a historian has worked to document all their stuff, but the more I do research now, with the many resources at my fingertips, the more I realize that mistakes have been made, mistakes were made by me, mistakes are still being made, and mistakes are going to be made in the future.

      I consider information from parents, grandparents, dates and names written down in real time, family bibles, and old pictures to be the best source with the most integrity. I know there are many family historians that don’t have any information besides maybe their parents names and grandparents possibly, that just sit down today with their ancestry.com membership in their hand and attempt to make their family tree. They listen to the romantic commercials about “I thought I’d try, so I put in my great-grandmother’s name and a leaf popped up, and I found out that my grandmother was the only one of her siblings to survive. Sometimes you just don’t realize how lucky you are!” They follow those leaves and build a family tree, they look at other matches and find similarities and keep on building. They save documents to family members’ profiles and download pictures from matching profiles. They get all wrapped up in this genealogy addiction, like we all have, and they are proud of what they accomplished. However, in feeding my own addiction on ancestry.com, I notice that people’s trees that share an identical person, don’t always have the same information before and after that person. So who is correct? I bet if you ask all these family historians, they will tell you that theirs is the correct one.

      I have put information and over 500 profiles into my family tree here on Geni. To me it was a skeleton on which I put meat. But even I have found meat to be wrong and bone to be incorrect and adjusted accordingly. I have been asked to merge much more than I have asked. In all merges, I have done a lot of consideration. I usually don’t have any problem merging with people who are my relatives. As a matter of fact, merging has increased my tree in areas where I didn’t know anything. I grew my tree to link to my part of the world, not the whole world. I did not grow my tree so that people could profile-jack or branch-jack my tree to use in their project. I don’t want anyone to merge my tree and corrupt my information even if it’s wrong. I think you agree with me. But I do not mind my tree growing by people who know what they are doing. Just because someone pays, does not mean they know better than the ones that don’t pay. I also know that just because people have lots of information (me included), that doesn’t mean that it is more correct than someone who just has a name. I see it all the time. I want to know where they got this information. We want to build our trees the way we want and have control. Making profiles ‘master profiles’ may preserve integrity but lessen control by its creator. That creator that Geni should thank instead of punishing. We did not have world tree as our desire when we sat down to produce. We had our mark in the world as our desire. We wanted something for our descendants to see online for their information. Something that we didn’t have. Something they could keep on growing, and trimming, and tweaking, and correcting. It was personal, not Geni world wide domination.

  • Cup_champs2011

    Yes, Thanks for wanting more money, I dropped my Pro for a reason…glad I did

  • Toni B

    Management of a profiles should not be governed by adding a name to Geni alone! It should be governed by the profile owner who has entered the most factual and verifiable information to the profile at the earliest date into Geni. The most filled out profile that can be verified manager should be able to maintain complete managership of the profile, regardless of if they are a basic or pro user.

    Any co-manager could wipe out your documented information for whatever reason and that is just not right. If you add documented information to your profile that you manage, and give away some part of your management to someone who has only entered a name, is putting the information in the profile at risk of unverified information, and other issues.

    There should only be one profile owner, merge, and let them add to to the profile, without being able to take away something that is documented by records and documents. That should be the goal to maintain the integrity of the profiles, and what you are doing stands against it, for your own purpose of making this huge tree.

    The huge tree should be made up of profiles that are filled out with as much verifiable information as possible, and that would cut down on the work everyone has to do in editing the merges. Choose the best verified profile and let that profile be the master profile for the tree, but let everyone keep their own profile that they made on their tree, unless they choose to take the profile of the master, or choose to combine all of the profiles into one, with the exception, that they clear up any discrepancies before the merge is approved. Doing merges before correcting misleading information is the cause of all this work in the first place concerning the merges, and is why no one wants to merge in the first place. Fix the profile issues before allowing merges, and you will be ahead of the game, instead of just merging profiles to get rid of all the duplicates. Let the duplicates remain on the manager tree that added them, but put the master profile (the one with verified information on the big tree. That would solve that. Just make a mark on all the other duplicate profile that it is a duplicate of the master profile and leave it at that.

    • Toni B

      CHEESE!

  • Stephenntly

    I really dont understand why Geni felt the need to make these changes and upset so many people. I have stripped out as much of my tree as I am able and will soon be closing my account.
    What really annoys me is why Geni think that being a paid member somehow makes you a better geneologist and qualifys you as a “Pro” member to merge trees etc. In my opinion it only means that you have the spare cash or wish to buy a subscription. In any event the whole thing will soon become a 58 million people sham and not something I wish to be part of any longer. A World Family Tree may be your aim Geni but its not something I ever thought I would be forced into being part of, by your so called Pros. Perhaps I didn’t read the small print?
       

  • Reink

    After new changes number of duplicate profiles is growing. And i can’t even request a merge. Very disappointing.

  • Inge

    I can not add any person anymore to the right side. I get an advertisement about Geni Pro and then it display the person or jumps far away in my tree,,,,it refuses adding a relative. This is getting useless.
    I was thinking of buying GeniPro, but I am not sure anymore I must trust the company if I shall put more weeks of copy work from my own database.

    • Anonymous

      Igne,

      I am not 100% sure I understand everything you’re saying, but I can explain that adding profiles outside of your close family (4th cousins, 3rd great grandparents) is now a pro-only feature. Info: http://www.geni.com/blog/geni-pro-just-got-a-whole-lot-better-369661.html

      • Synnest

        You don’t know what you’re talking, I can’t add to my 3rd cousins.

  • Asher

    Is there any reasonable person who manage Geni? 
    I have never saw such a negative feedback in my life for a change that produce such a very negative image of the company. 
    It is time to draw the conclusion that the decision was a bad decision and to go back to the previous situation including, maybe, replacing some personal who made this decision because they probably can not admit that they made a wrong decision.
    If you want to improve Geni and get some money out of it  - add new abilities, for example, sources of geneology information and ask money for it. Do not try to get money from free abilities that you gave free in the past because it look like cheating in a way…..

  • http://soshial.myopenid.com/ soshial

    Great “thanks” for Geni team. Now
    – I can’t merge my tree
    – I can’t add my own relatives as much as I do have them
    – I can’t contact my relatives in the search!

    What is the purpose of such site then?! All your proclamations about World Family tree – is all of this hypocricy? Because with these restrictions you will achieve what you state.
    I only hope, that geni team will soon realize that their money thirst will lead to 0.1% of users to pay for the service and other to abandon Geni and use other, less restrictive services.

  • Rsf2023

    I am disgusted with all these changes. You lured people in with a free site then started making changes to charge for every little thing. I no longer invite people to join my family tree because they feel like it has become a bait and switch site. I myself can not add anymore family members unless I want to upgrade to Geni Pro. I feel the site has become useless to my family. I hardly visit it anymore. What started out as a great way to bring family together has turned into a money grubbing scam by Geni. When I started my tree in 2007 there was no mention of it ever costing anything and no mention of there ever being a limit to how many people you could have on your tree. I am very disappointed in Geni. Might be time to look else where.

  • Psampson67

    I feel deceived by this site now. After my initial uploaded (free) Gedcom, I can no longer add profiles because I am a Basic member. A minimum £72 is too much for someone on low income to regain control of their own data. Yes, my data, which I have share with others. Do not then charge me for the priviledge of using my own data, which has contributed to the growth of your site.  If you are going to charge people for using your site, then you should consider charging NEW users, not old ones who thought they were getting something else.

    Even Facebook is still free.

  • Walter

    I am new to Geni and was prompted to visit by an article in the Wall Street Journal and I have been sorely disappointed thus far because of misinformation.   I have written numerous messages to posters and managers with no replies thus far.  How do you explain the death  date and place of death as 1668 in Bloomington, IL!  This is just one example.  If Geni is serious about being a player in the field of Genealogy it must somehow deal with the erroneous info being posted by those who haven’t a clue what they are posting.  Perhaps a document supporting their info??????

    • Anonymous

      Hi Walter,

      One of the greatest strengths of collaborative genealogy is that everyone can work together to maintain the accuracy of the information. We encourage anyone who finds an error to login and help fix it by entering sourced information. The more people we have working on our world family tree, the better it gets.

      If you are unable to contact the profile manager, you may try contacting a Curator to help correct the information.

      • G Nilsson

        “The more people we have working on our world family tree, the better it gets.” ??? Wasn´t that the original idee, now long gone?
        The new agenda is less is better – more fun for fewer users… !!!

  • Milton Coster

    The decision to limit the use of the old users of Geni is unfortunate and unfair as when we started there was no information that the service could be charged or restricted. Like other services on the Internet, Geni could raise funds through advertising rather than punish his old and loyal users.

  • Cfbarzev

    I’m very disappointed that you changed the rules in mid-stream.  One of the reasons I joined and recommended Geni to my family was the fact that it was free.  Now that we have to pay monthly, a lot of us are dropping out and looking for a substitute

  • Apputhomas

    It hurts us when you categorize us as Freeloaders, whereas you should have paid us a monthly fee for all the hard work that we have put into Geni.com promoting your company and interests world wide !

  • Jonathan Smith

    Jonathan here,
    I have, currently, added 923 profiles to Geni.com. I then one day went onto Geni to carry one of the few loves in my life, genealogy. I have discovered my family lineage back to 1520 and thoroughly enjoy doing so. Imagine, if you would Geni, my disappointment and sorrow when, at the top of my page, I am met with a blue bar which states “Your  family’s tree has exceeded the Basic limit of 100 family members. Upgrade to add more people to your tree.” Next to it is a button that says Upgrade that takes me to a place where I can spend $119.40 for a year to basically do what I could do before Geni slapped on these restrictions to ‘basic’ users.
    I am 18, I don’t get a lot of money, and any money I do get I need for other things. To me, any spending, other than the bare necessities, is a no go. I can’t afford to cash out for something that I used happily for the promise of uploading more and more profiles onto the site.
    61,282,110 profiles in your World Family Tree. I wonder how many of those were free users who have since gone off in search for other family tree making sites. I came to Geni because the way you set things out is lovely, the family tree interface is very friendly to the eye and looks like a family tree, unlike others which look like vertical lines with names. I chose Geni for a number of reasons; the interface,how user friendly it is, the fact I could do a lot of the things I wanted for free, the fact that every profile I added I would be contributing to the “World’s Largest Family Tree.” I have since left Geni for a number of reasons; the 100 person limit you have imposed upon us, the fact I have to stop my family tree making because you wanted me to, the sudden price rise (for no apparent reason), going behind the back of every Geni Basic user and stabbing them in the back by making you pay to add any more than 100 people and then twisting the knife by not giving us an explanation as to why the price rise.
    I have since moved to another family tree maker, where my tee has expanded to 1321 people, but long to come back to Geni without the need to fork out loads of money that I frankly just don’t have. 
    If Geni will ever see sense and do something about this and allow people like me who just can’t afford Pro (or even Plus for that matter), somebody please message me, I’d love to come back, but not with the current restrictions.
    I am not expecting anybody to message me regarding this post as I am 99% sure that Geni won’t get off their high horse and do anything. The rich stay rich, and the poor become poorer. In a sense, Geni’s motto.

    Kindest regards,
    A (not at all) happy Geni user,

    Jonathan Smith

    jonathan.smith2410@hotmail.co.uk

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jonathan,

      We understand some users may not have the means to upgrade to a premium subscription. Have you looked into Geni Public Access? If your local library or genealogical society provides computers with internet connection from their facilities, they may sign up for the program. Once they have been approved, anytime one of their patrons accesses Geni from their computers, they will be able to use all the features of Geni Pro for free. You can request your local library or genealogical society fill out an application here http://www.geni.com/corp/geni-public-access-program/