MyHeritage -- Snaps Up Geni.com

Started by Peter Rohel on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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5/1/2013 at 7:17 AM

... my insurance company charges extra $$ for monthly payments vs a single yearly payment.

5/1/2013 at 7:19 AM

Jeff, a business person would also know that some people are willing to buy a new Apple just to be the first one among their friends. Somehow a Geni PRO is still available on a 2 week free trial.

5/1/2013 at 7:24 AM

Dan, you sure it is an extra for monthly payment, or a discount for getting use of your money for a year for free?

5/1/2013 at 7:33 AM

Perhaps MH could offer a promotion ...the first two weeks free... cancel anytime before then, if not satisfied. I think we just want to see if it worth the money first.

5/1/2013 at 8:07 AM

re: insurance. It is noted as a separate line item on the monthly statement. Yes, one can think of it as a yearly discount, but that is not how it is "presented".

5/1/2013 at 8:09 AM

... re: insurance monthly vs. Geni subscription: However, note that the monthly insurance payment is considerably higher than a Geni subscription; $1/month extra is minor on the insurance total.

Private User
5/1/2013 at 8:10 AM

Geni is a service though. Using a service for 2 weeks is different than buying data for 2 weeks that you'll then keep forever. You can't buy a new Apple for 2 weeks.

Agreed - with most (possibly all) companies, monthly options, even with a commitment, are higher.

Private User
5/1/2013 at 9:12 AM

As someone on a severely limited income - raising a son on Social Security disability without child support - I can certainly understand concerns about spending a big chunk of money. However, most Americans have cable TV. But a basic monthly cable subscription costs almost as much as a year of Geni or MH.

Frankly, I spend the little discretionary money I have on genealogy, where my son and I can learn about our ancestors, and about history in general. It's a much healthier choice for us - and it gives me a different perspective about what's important in life.

If you can afford cable, you can afford SEVERAL annual genealogical subscriptions. As with people who say they have no time but waste 3-4 hours a night in front of the TV, we almost always have choices, we just aren't always honest with ourselves about our priorities...

5/1/2013 at 4:35 PM

Bruce, my analogy with the New York Times was to point out how paywalls are a good business strategy, not to say that their billing systems are comparable. If a user sees a paywall enough times *and* has a vested interest in the resource *and* has expendable income, they'll typically buy in. That was all I was saying.

The reality is that serious genealogy is recognized as one of the most expensive hobbies out there for a reason. I just paid $55, including mandatory secure shipping/delivery, for a single vital record. A National Archives request can cost into the hundreds, especially pension files and others that have a lot of photocopying involved. An annual membership in Ancestry's World Explorer costs only cents below $300 USD -- certainly far more than MyHeritage/Geni ask for for records access. (It's just under $420 USD in total if you pay monthly.) Society memberships pile up quickly. Gas mileage. Postage. Conferences, if you attend them. On and on. It's not cheap.

So every genealogist has to be aware of these costs and set their budget. If you can work MyHeritage/Geni into your budget, great. If you can't, that's okay, too. But the cost MyHeritage/Geni has set is absolutely within the range of other databases, and in fact, it's actually cheaper than many of them.

Like Jennifer, I have next to nothing in terms of expendable income and put most of my "fun money" towards genealogy. I usually sit down twice a year and do a comparison of all of the major databases to figure out which ones will combine to give me the most bang for my buck. In looking at the new Record Match and Smart Match service, and especially considering all of the new collections they plan to add in the very near future, I can easily see how MyHeritage is going to wind up at or near the very top of my "bargain" list. But again, if that's not the case for you, no one's going to fault you for it, and you're entitled to make your own spending choices however you'd like to.

5/1/2013 at 4:59 PM

I have an Ancestry.com subscription and started off paying for it monthly. When I discovered it's wealth of information, I certainly didn't mind paying the annual subscription rate. Perhaps if MH offered a monthly subscription , people would be more inclined to subscribe, knowing they weren't locked in for a whole year. This way they could determine it's value , and decide after viewing it , if they wanted to take advantage of a yearly subscription. Keep in mind that those of us who have Ancestry have no need to purchase MH also.

5/1/2013 at 6:50 PM

the entire series of US census have just been added to record matching

http://www.geni.com/blog/all-u-s-census-records-now-available-38007...

Private User
5/1/2013 at 7:32 PM

Nice!

5/1/2013 at 9:06 PM

I wondered why I was starting to see them in Record Matches! <grin>

Private User
5/5/2013 at 8:08 PM

Genealogy is once again pricing itself out of reach of all but the Rich Elite - just as it used to be when only the Rich Elite could pay for the services of a professional genealogical researcher (and some of them were ripped off by frauds and charlatans like Gustave Anjou).

If that's the way Geni/MH wants to go, they can whistle for a renewal of my subscription when the time comes.

Jennifer: Some of us DON'T have cable, BECAUSE we can't afford it.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 8:19 PM

Maven, that entire statement is pretty ridiculous. Genealogists have more access to free material then ever before. Companies spend millions of dollars to try to bring more information and you go into some class warfare rant. Absurd...

Private User
5/5/2013 at 8:34 PM

Yeah? How about looking at what people are saying in this very discussion? Particularly Jennifer's comment about how if you can afford cable you can afford several subscriptions. (I've heard that same specious argument about SOOOO many other things of much greater importance!)

Private User
5/5/2013 at 8:40 PM

And as for the blue dots, I'm finding them a royal pain. You can neither accept NOR REJECT the matches without paying MyHeritage through the nose, you can't get rid of the blue dots, and so far they have told me absolutely NOTHING I really wanted to know - or didn't already know.

Seems to me you should be able to do a Reject without having to cough up, because Reject means DO NOT WANT. DUH!

5/5/2013 at 8:43 PM

$100 is elitist? ive dropped $5000 on my other hobbies easily...

Private User
5/5/2013 at 9:01 PM

Some of us DO NOT HAVE THAT KIND OF MONEY.

We are being priced OUT.

Do you expect us to be HAPPY about it??????

Private User
5/5/2013 at 9:08 PM

Maven, Geni has not raised the price! They offered additional service at an additional cost. What is being priced out? They just gave you several additional services for free (FindAGrave, 1940 census, WikiTree matches). How can a company not raise the price, offer you additional free services, then some more great value services (cost 3x less then Ancestry) at additional cost, and you complain about not being happy about it? You're not being "priced out". If you don't have the money, don't buy the extra service. And yes... places will still advertise even if you never buy it or can't afford to buy it.. that's life.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 9:42 PM

"Geni has not raised the price! They offered additional service at an additional cost."

That isn't raising the price? In what universe?

The "additional services for free" are available for free *with or without* a Geni subscription - and any smart researcher already knows about them. So Geni is just using convenience as a come-on to con people into paying for additional PAY services.

My biggest complaint is I can't just turn the Stupid Matches off - and yes, some of them are STUPID - like links to garbage records that jumble up Josephus W. Waters with Josephus Burton Waters, when I jumped through I don't know how many Geni hoops to SEPARATE THEM AND KEEP THEM SEPARATED!

Now Geni has thrown the door open to GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) up the wazoo - and they expect us to buy an additional subscription to MH for the GIGO.

No. Way.

And if they don't give us the ability to refuse Stupid Matches WITHOUT having to pay MH, I *will not renew*. Period end of sentence.

5/5/2013 at 9:56 PM

I see it as being a little like cable TV. I subscribe to cable. I get the cable programming, but there are also ads. It has never occurred to me to stand in the family room and scream at the TV that I can't afford all the things being advertised.

Data costs money. MH is offering a data subscription on top of Geni's services. Buy, don't buy, whatever. Some users will think it's worth it; some won't. Some users will be able to afford it; some won't. That's life.

(But you know, CNN doesn't stop the ads just because I think something isn't worth the price, or just because I can't afford it.)

;)

Private User
5/5/2013 at 10:07 PM

Geni is supposed to be *a bit* more interactive than cable TV. (And I don't have cable because it's not worth it to me.)

If Geni wants to make itself "not worth it to me", it will get exactly the same response.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 10:13 PM

Mavn, - compare it with buying a PC or a car. Do you scream to your car dealer demanding to get it when it comes new or extra equipment for your model, - or demanding to get Volkswagen equipment for your Scoda just because they have the same owner?

5/5/2013 at 10:23 PM

Sorry, Maven. That doesn't follow. The price of services, products, data isn't set soley by interactivity.

In any event, you're the only one who can say if something is worth it to you personally.

For me, Geni is saving me enough money over what I normally spend on genealogy that I'm thinking I might get that 2013 Mustang I have my eye on. I haven't had a new one since 2006. Talk about interactive!

;)

Private User
5/5/2013 at 10:43 PM

Justin, I don't think either you or Bjørn "get it". My problem is that I find the StupidMatches worse than useless - since they link back to bad information that I have already rejected and done my best to keep out - extremely frustrating, since they cannot be accepted OR rejected without PAYING MORE MONEY - and frightfully annoying, since they cannot be turned off.

I. want. to. be. able. to. turn. them. OFF!

If Geni will not allow me to turn them off, Geni is no longer worth it to me.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 10:45 PM

Justin Swanström - you are clearly in a different financial ballpark from some of us. I do not have cable, I do not have a car, I only have the free subscription to Ancestry, I use public institutions for internet connection.

What Geni is doing is way more annoying and intrusive than advertisements on the TV or on my e-mail page. Yes, they are offering extra service for extra money -- but repeatedly screaming the offer in someone's face is obnoxious.

5/5/2013 at 11:09 PM

Maven, actually I do understand that some of the matches are worthless if you think every record will be perfect. But, where you see worthless matches that must be rejected, I see matches that give me an opening to further clarify my data on Geni.

That is, if I find immigrant Henry, and I know he's son of John and Mary, but someone on MH has him as son of William and Alice, I want to confirm the match (because he's the right guy), then take the opportunity on Geni to explain how I know he's not the son of William and Alice. It's that explanation on Geni that will make Geni the hub for accurate information.

I did one like that this afternoon, where descendants of a particular immigrant have a fantasy that their ancestor was the son of a baron. The matches to the immigrant are great, but on about half the matches the parents are wrong.

One of my big concerns with the new system is that people who hate the matches will go in and reject good matches wholesale just because they can't handle the discrepancies. So, from my standpoint, it's better than people who think they're worthless NOT be able to reject them. I would only reject a match if it is truly not the right person.

Ultimately, of course, I expect that rejecting good matches will probably be defined as vandalism, and so a violation of Geni's TOS.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 11:12 PM

Maven, take a closer look the next time: In a match you have three options, - a gray, a beige and a blue box with a number.
The gray one is the good old Geni mathces, the beige is Record Matches and the Blue is SmartMatches,
Simply don't click on beige and blue match counters and you will never see the MyHeritage paywall.
In your merge center you have similar lists to select to view.

5/5/2013 at 11:20 PM

Am i color blind of what? I see blue as tree matches, brown as record matches and green as smart matches.

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