MyHeritage -- Snaps Up Geni.com

Started by Peter Rohel on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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Showing 721-750 of 789 posts
Private User
5/5/2013 at 11:22 PM

I am finding the "screaming in your face" analogy a little OTT for cute little well behaved icons to be honest.

Let me take the GIGO argument first. I've been testing records from MH for quite a while. The FindAGrave collection has been available through record match on Geni for what, a couple of years? Same thing - two clicks through, instead of search, filter, search. MH matching IS smarter and better. There's a presentation from Rootstech that walks through it. And yes, I'm lazy, I'd rather have the data come to me. But I don't have to as long as it's not a task "to do" and anyway i don't source and tree build that way, I work on an area or family group - and source as I go.

So sourcing as I go. In near time (1790 and later USA) the tree data has been pretty good. A lot I already have, but of course I haven't built out all my collateral lines; nor had I sourced as well as I should have back a couple of years ago (mea culpa). So here's a few clicks to rectify that error.

Prior to 1790, Colonial America and England. I "trust" Geni data much more because of the Wiki process here. But there's still a lot of sourcing and untangling to do of the original GEDCOM uploads. This is where curators and managers work together. Master Profiles are not going to change based on a confirmed / rejected SmartMatch, they are just going to enrich.

They have already enriched. And I've seen NO bad merges for instance of the MPs I curate because of SmartMatches. Trust me, after the bad merges i've "had" to fix, I'd be screaming if that were happening.

5/5/2013 at 11:26 PM

Lois, I think you couldn't be more mistaken. What Geni is doing is putting little blue dots on the Pedigree View and a "matches" box on the Profile view. It's not like they're interrupting data entry every seven minutes with a 60-second video urging everyone to buy a subscription!

I don't see Geni or MH screaming anything. The way I see it, I'm an adult; I can exercise self-control. After the first time, I know not to click on the things that are going to launch ads I don't want to see.

In fact, I manage thousands of profiles where I'll probably never click on the matches, even though I'm a subscriber -- I don't feel obligated to work on everything Geni points out. Instead, I work where I want to work, otherwise it wouldn't be much of a hobby ;)

Finally, I can't resist adding that the financial arguments just don't sway me. I've been dirt poor in the past, and I"m not going to complain if I'm dirt poor again someday. I remember the days when I had to go without eating for three days so I could afford the $12 to renew my annual subscription to The Genealogical Helper. (Remember them?)

Private User
5/5/2013 at 11:40 PM

Jaak I have the same colors as you.

In profile view, blue rectangles for Geni tree merges; ochre for record matches (that particularly makes sense); green for SmartMatches (MyHeritage tree collections).

In tree view the blue dots bounce in when updated and I think you can mouse hover for details.

Obviously I pay most attention to blue (used to be green) Geni tree matches.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 11:47 PM

I find the MH matches to Find A Grave faster and way easier than trying to fight with Find A Grave's matching - which, frankly, sucks. I have sometimes tried many, many firstname/lastname/birthdate/deathdate/location combos to find someone, to no avail . MH matches it for me effortlessly and for free - what a delight!

As far as the paywalls being irritating because they continue to repeat the subscription offers, I have to note again that we all run into ads / targeted offers / attempts to upsell us everywhere nowadays. I can't remember the last time I threw a hissy fit at McDonalds when they asked me if I wanted to supersize my order. I exercise my right to selectively ignore the ads I'm not interested in - even those that I have to ignore time and time again. If it means training my brain to ignore a blue dot, so what?

And if a company's attempt to upsell me irritates me that much, I walk away. If I choose to complain about it, I exercise good manners and do so by asking for a manager. I generally don't stand in line at McDonald's and berate all those standing around me... I'm just imagining now, but it seems to me that if I were in McDonalds, going on and on and on about how angry I was about their continued attempts to get me to spend more money, and I happened to threaten to never come back, it's just possible that the other customers might be glad to hear it.

Someone else's mileage, of course, may vary.

5/5/2013 at 11:55 PM

Erica, you said: " And yes, I'm lazy, I'd rather have the data come to me."

I love that. It captures my feeling for the matches. When I want to work in an area, they're there. Maybe they've been accepted and I just need to poke around. Maybe they're waiting for review. It doesn't really matter.

What amazes me is how highly accurate they are. I'm seeing matches on MH that could (ahem) use a bit more work, but the fundamental matches are (for me) 98% accurate.

The one place they need work is with newspapers. It looks to me like the algorithm grabs any article anywhere in the US that has a similar name and is dated within maybe a week of when someone died. The rest of the system is so good that I get a little exasperated once in awhile -- c'mon, he lived in Wyoming -- why does the system look at newspapers in Washington, Texas, Maine??

But then, there's that occasional Eureka! My great grandfather's first wife was from Big Piney, Wyoming. She lived in San Francisco but was visiting Big Piney when she died. Who'd have thought that the best bio I've ever found would be an obituary published in the Salt Lake Tribune? Go figure.

Private User
5/5/2013 at 11:58 PM

I've had much the same experience, Justin. The only two "matches" I've had to reject so far have been newspaper articles where the name was matched but everything else was incorrect. Other than that, the matching has been so accurate, and the whole system is so easy, that I find myself zoning out while I'm approving matches. Whoops, gotta watch that, lol!

5/6/2013 at 12:00 AM

Jennifer, I think you get the award for funniest post of the day. I'm going to go to sleep tonight picturing your hypothetical McDonald's customer.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 12:07 AM

Matching for newspaper articles in particularly difficult I think. I'll just compare the similar service in Ancestry. MH is better, from search results to viewer to the instant PDF maker. Quantum leaps better in fact.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 12:09 AM

Justin the Salt Lake Tribune was the paper of record! I'm finding good obits published there for my Idaho & Oregon people. Never would have thought ...

Private User
5/6/2013 at 12:29 AM

So happy to be of service, Justin! If anything I have to say puts you to sleep, then my work here is done. ;-)

5/6/2013 at 12:57 AM

You don't need to tell me, Erica ;)

I grew up in the Intermountain West (between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas / Cascades). Salt Lake was the economic capital (and for many also the religious capital). What surprised me was that someone who had lived in San Francisco for 40 or 50 years would warrant an obit in Salt Lake, and that it would be so much fuller than the one in San Francisco OR the one in Big Piney.

Now I live on the other side the Divide, in Denver, but it's the same here. Denver is the capital of a large area. When my partner's parents died, they warranted obits in the Denver Post even though they lived out on the plains, 120 miles away. 'Course, his mom was the Mayor of their little town, so maybe that had something to do with it.

5/6/2013 at 1:19 AM

One fancy newspaper matching error I've found is to my third cousin's mother Aasa Furstenberg - her husband and her son were both named Lawrence Furstenberg, but the newspapers (who seemed to run an article every time she had someone over for dinner) consistently referred to her as "Mrs Lawrence Furstenberg" - which matched the husband and son, not her.... I tried to enter "Mrs Lawrence Furstenberg" as an alternate name for her, so one day they might allow me to match her to all the news articles about her.

Fun to watch the small-town news from long ago!

5/6/2013 at 1:38 AM

Laughing about your comment, "who seemed to run an article every time she had someone over for dinner". The old, small town papers I've seen devote considerable space to who was "in town" yesterday. I have an image of the news guy spending his days loafing outside the General Store so he sees everyone, then rushing to the office to write it up ;)

I've come across your problem with Mrs a few times. No doubt they'll find a way to manually "shift" the match. They'll have to if they want to get the most out of all the old articles. I ran through years of the Big Piney (Wyoming) paper on Ancestry a few years ago. MH has it, but the matching isn't complete, apparently. I'm looking forward the confirming the dozens of times Mrs. Wilford Luce was back in Illinois visiting her mother, and -- even more -- when my grandfather killed his first elk ;)

More often, my problem has been that the match is to pall bearers or surviving relatives. A good match, as far as it goes, but I'm still waiting for the actual match to the deceased.

5/6/2013 at 2:18 AM

What is the difference between being a "Premium" Member" in MyHeritage, and paying for a "Data Subscription" via Geni.com?

If I purchase the Data Subscription, is that the same as purchasing a Premium Membership through MyH?

Do I need both to have full access to the matches and records?

5/6/2013 at 8:46 AM

mark - just the data subscription

5/6/2013 at 11:48 AM

Mark Melmed You only need the data subscription to access the records. I was a bit confused at first as well, but it seems that a "premium" membership on MH will allow you to get more storage space for photos and profiles on your tree. I got the data subscription, but do not plan on putting up a tree there.

5/6/2013 at 11:49 AM

>> I got the data subscription, but do not plan on putting up a tree there.

meaning there was no reason for me to have a premium membership!

Private User
5/6/2013 at 11:50 AM

Well, Justin, YMMV, but I've had far too many fights over bad matches to be the least bit interested in having to deal with MORE bad matches.

I refer you to the hassles over Josephus W. Waters/Josephus Burton Waters (two different men, different branches of same family tree, radically different wives, offspring and destinies - who are persistently and ubiquitously treated as "one and the same" because morons). 99% of the "Josephus Waters" matches are exactly that sort of crap.

Or do I need to remind you of the Thomas White Wars? At last count there were at least *five* different Thomas Whites living between 1480-1550, of all grades from nobility to commoner, everywhere from Nottinghamshire to Somerset - all of whom had been jumbled with each other to a greater or lesser extent (with deliberately fraudulent intent in the case of one particular source).

And then there's Frances White Wells (again, again, again....)

What's wrong with making the SmartMatches OPTIONAL so that those who want them can have them, and those who don't, don't have them cluttering up their screens?

Private User
5/6/2013 at 12:08 PM

There was a time when Justin couldn't afford to supersize, but he enthusiastically embraces the extra-large fries these days. He totally understands that it's not an option for everyone. Easily confused and basically a laid-back Happy Meal kinda guy, Justin doesn't really understand why anyone would go to war over a fast food menu... "Dude, it's a *hobby*!", he reminds the other customers as he ambles off to the Playland.

5/6/2013 at 1:27 PM

@jason scott wills, and @wendi rachel newman: Thank you both for responding.

I want to know exactly what I would be getting into ahead of time, because I am now giving serious thought to purchasing a MyH Data Suscription only, and I have little trust in MyH.

If I purchase a Data Subscription, what can I add to a profile if there is a Record Match? If there is a Smart Match?

For a Record Match, will I be able to place a pdf or jpeg of the record as a source item on my profile, for example, without having to spend more money, or do I only get a link? For a census record, can I actually view and make a copy of the original as a jpeg?

For a Smart Match, can I place all of the data onto my Geni.com profile, or only a link? Can I make a source item out of my Smart Match?

For a Smart Match, do I get to see the entire matching tree, or only that particular profile?

Please let me know if my question is too confusing, I really would like answers.

Thanks everyone in advance.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 2:06 PM

I can't answer all of your questions but I can answer some as a MH data subscriber. I'm just going to describe my experiences so far.

- for record matches to newspapers, I have been viewing on MH, use the PDF maker, and add that URL to the "add a link" source on Geni. I assume this is OK. Works fast & easy.

- I cannot answer on census images & partly because it just was implemented.

- for SmartMatches to MH trees a source citation is created on the Geni profile.

- I can view whatever is "public" in the MH tree - I expect there are different options available to the MH tree owner & they set that on their side

Private User
5/6/2013 at 2:23 PM

Mark, good questions. Here is my own personal experience. Confirming a match does link it to the record or tree on MH. Records automatically become sources, Smart Matches can be added as sources. A source includes the "index content" for that particular profile (record name, date, etc). We're awaiting the ability to identify "facts" for those sources (what we currently do in Geni to put the source icon next to a particular fact). You can view the document linked to the profile, but I expect that anyone wanting to view the actual document will need a subscription to view it. As for copying the image (screenshot, pdf, printout), I don't know the best answer and I'd recommend looking at the terms. It would probably be fine for personal records, but might get into copyright issues if you were to re-upload it to the web for public viewing, reprint it, etc. For Smart Matches, we don't have the ability yet to "pull over" details or additional family members to populate Geni. Currently, it is a linked resource and expanding details or family based on that is a manual process. The link will also allow for "round tripping" later on, if someone adds a record to a profile on MH which is linked here, we should see that. You will be able to see the family profiles (in a profile view) and navigate from family member to family member (so long as it doesn't get into privacy areas) to see the details. If the tree is public, you can probably click to view the actual tree view (haven't done this much).

Private User
5/6/2013 at 2:24 PM

Mark Melmed I checked a pair of smart matches this morning. I had a profile with parents and spouse. The Smart Matches showed exactly what I had but they had 10 siblings, another spouse and 6.children. What you do is click on a link to confirm the match, then there is another click to save to your Geni profile as a source. Geni will not add the data or create the new profiles, you have to do that manually. MH and Geni have no plans to allow imports either way! The are very specific about that
Also, some Smart Matches only show <private> but at least you know there is more to look for.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 2:43 PM

Private User I haven't heard about that but there are a lot of things that flow by on the news feed. Even on discussions, things can be a page or more back by the time you look at the discussion page. Do you remember where you heard that?

Private User
5/6/2013 at 3:21 PM

Mark Melmed asked regarding whether the Geni profile only gets a link to the source or whether the actual source document (PDF, JPG, etc) is loaded on Geni.

This is an important distinction.

As far as I can see, in the first case, the link is only viewable by those with a MH data subscription, including the person who makes the link who would no longer be able to follow it themselves if they let their MH data subscription lapse.

In the second case, the source is preserved on the Geni profile, and accessible by all who can view the Geni profile - with or without MH data subscription.

That's my summary of some of the points in the very good answers already provided by Erica and Jeff above, which are well worth reading in full.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 3:46 PM

I deleted my post from a bit earlier. In response to Eldon, I think they were specific about auto-importing data from MH to Geni & Geni to MH. I think the specifics of simplifying data entry from smart matches is still open. I thought I heard about more at RootsTech, but I'm not sure.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 4:22 PM

Yes, it's hard to talk about future phases of the implementation. I'm a hands on person. :)

I base most of my comparison on working with "a data subscription" to Ancestry & a tree on Geni. This is, so far, faster, easier, more attractive, and less expensive.

Private User
5/6/2013 at 4:28 PM

Maven don't give me White nightmares! I'm disambiguating Todd's today. Major smerges of the immigrant to USA generation all over the Internet. Bermuda is not Massachusetts, not Yorkshire, and not Virginia. Tell that to the LDS. :):)

5/6/2013 at 4:48 PM

Thank you all for your answers. You all have been very helpful. These matches definitely have some attractive characteristics for some people, but not for everyone. I am still not sure where I stand, although having all of those US census records seems so very attractive.

I agree with David Prins. For me, it is a very important distinction between having a link to the actual census sheet (for example) in one of my Geni.com profiles, vs. having the actual jpeg available on the profile. Most of my relatives really appreciate looking at the actual census sheet, or ship manifest, etc., rather than studying a text writeup of the same stuff.

I can spend hour upon hour uploading jpegs and pdf files of my own records (leaving copywrite issues aside for now), making them sources, and getting howls of delight from my relatives. It would be terrific to be able to do the same with these MyH records. On the other hand, my relatives would be bored to tears reading the exact same info in a text version.

David Prins observes that IF we can only get a link of a record on our Geni.com profile, THEN each relative of mine would have to purchase a Data Subscription service to see the actual document. Even I would not be able to see the actual record image once my Data Subscription runs out. For me, ***THIS IS CRUCIAL - DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THIS IS THE CASE?***

Geni.com's Amanda's latest blog <http://www.geni.com/blog/introducing-record-matches-and-smart-match...;, seems to indicate that we only get links plus a small thumbnail of the record, but again, I don't think it is clear enough.

Does anyone know for sure, can I get a jpeg or a pdf of the actual record with my Data Subscription?

5/6/2013 at 4:49 PM

Maven, I'm sorry but I just don't see the problem. If you're not interested in the matches, then you're not interested. Geni is a collaborative site, so if you don't want to review them, someone else will. Maybe soon, maybe in the distant future.

If someone else confirms a match, you'll see it on Geni, whether or not you like them. You might not want to deal with Josephus Waters or Thomas White again -- out of sight, out of mine -- but someone on Geni certainly will, and it might not be to your liking if you've chosen to pretend it isn't there.

Playing the match game is -- already -- fully optional. You can click on them or not. I think it's more than a little unreasonable to think that Geni would turn them off just because you don't want to see them -- especially when they are so exotically unobtrusive compared to up selling on other Internet sites.

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