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Geni on wikipedia: needs updating

Started by Pam Wilson on Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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1/13/2010 at 7:16 AM

Just same across the wikipedia entry for Geni, which seems to be out of date and less than accurate. It also seems to reflect some sentiments of somewhat disgruntled Geni users of the past. Updates, anyone? Noah Tutak?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geni.com

1/13/2010 at 7:20 AM

I agree it is out of date. We tend not to edit this article for obvious reasons of bias, but we'd love it if some of our users corrected some of the errors and provided some updates. Please let me know if you need any hard facts as well.

1/13/2010 at 7:37 AM

I've always wanted to know who the members of the staff are and what their titles are--I've never been able to find any kind of staff structure on the Geni web site or any profiles of chief officers, etc.

Also, I think one of the problems that I see on Geni is one of mixed messages about the purpose, and perhaps it would help if this were clarified in your "official" statement. Notably--is Geni (1) a site to allow users to build their family trees and maintain them online, or (2) is Geni's purpose to encourage users to add their ancestral information so that all of these families can be linked together to create a single common ancestral and family database showing the interconnectedness?

My suspicion is that Geni began as #1 but has evolved into #2 once that potential became more evident and with the emergence of users who were willing to dedicate time to the necessary merging processes. However, if you read these Discussion lists, there are still some (many) users who want to keep their family trees inviolate and who do not wish to participate in the collaborative project. I think it would be helpful if Geni gave people a choice in this and then could somehow color code or otherwise mark those as distinct. This is especially important since the introduction of "Hot Matches" because then a merger would know whether to initiate a merge or to leave well enough alone.

Either way, a clear statement about this would be helpful.

Private User
1/13/2010 at 9:08 AM

Pam,

Other than the clumsy interface and limited ability to enter life events to profiles, the only real problem I have had with geni was actually from a fellow collaborator.

Although she was a 5th cousin a couple times removed, she took it upon herself to edit many of my profiles (including my grandfathers) to add information and images copied directly from find-a-grave.com. Almost all of the information was already in the profiles yet she felt it should be placed in the notes as well. Imagine a copy/paste of the entire find-a-grave memorial in text format with no explanation of the information posted. On top of it being lazy work, it looked sloppy.

After discussing this with her (an exercise in futility), I was forced to re-edit most of these profiles to remove the superfluous data. I still have more profiles to re-"fix" and this was over a month ago.

In short, be careful who you collaborate with. Otherwise, the program does what it was designed to do; function as a social network of relatives.

In my not so humble opinion (I have been an active researcher for over 25 years) there are more powerful programs for sharing genealogy that are easier to use. If you are looking to socialize, you are using the right program.

Enjoy what you're doing,. Life is too short to be miserable.

Your distant cousin,
Dan

1/13/2010 at 9:31 AM

I added a hidden comment to the article requesting a reference for the statement that customer feedback is not consulted in upgrades.

Private User
12/14/2010 at 6:47 AM

I'm a common editor of Wikipedia and have removed the unsourced information that appeared to be a rant from a disgruntled user. Criticism such as this has to be from a reliable source that's referenced. I'll keep an eye on it and update what I can.

12/14/2010 at 11:11 AM

Private User - thanks for updating.

In addition, some of the numbers are pretty far off. If it's of interest to you, I just updated this recent blog post about the Big Tree (http://www.geni.com/blog/the-big-tree-approaching-50-million-profiles/) to reveal our current profile/user counts.

Thanks for updating, Jeff!

12/14/2010 at 11:13 AM

Also, probably worth noting that we don't currently allow GEDCOM import.

12/14/2010 at 11:37 AM

A little clarification on GEDCOM, so we don't end up asking you to go back and forth with edits about that: we've temporarily disabled GEDCOM import because we were finding that it was creating many thousands of duplicates of our existing profiles, without adding much (or any) new information. We're going to re-enable GEDCOM imports once we rewrite our importer to take the close family profiles and screen out the rest.

Private User
12/14/2010 at 12:40 PM

That's great to know Mike. Thanks George... I've read the Blog post, now I just need to update the article to reflect it. :-)

1/20/2011 at 2:43 AM

@Daniel

I like your post. Could you please give me the names of the more powerful programs that are easier to use?

Private User
1/20/2011 at 6:06 AM

Private User might be interested in this topic.

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