Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Geni Discussion Best Practices

« Back to Projects Dashboard

"The Start Here Basics" discussion thread was really good and informative but I think we can inprove on it. Here are my thoughts, feel free to tag curators and users you think might be interested. Michael McCann

Attention All Curators and New Users

Please note that these hints were written by my self and several other geni users, as a means to help their fellow users/relatives and other curators - new users should feel free to post questions to not just collaborators but also curators who I am sure would be happy to help them to build an accurate tree if approached kindly. Keeping in mind that curators are not only intrested in building their own trees but the trees of others if asked nicely.


I think it would be good for all curators as well as new users should read this because on the site I've come across some bad ones but for the most part everyone has been good and helpfull. Don't judge me either on these as I've been guilty of all of them .

Also, I'm sure you can think of many varations to add below. I have been thinking about how to improve things on geni and having been active in the forum for some time now have learned some things from mistakes i have made and seen others make in doing so I have come up with these unofficial rules you should probably follow if you don't wanna be an absolute jerk.

Discussion Etiquette

  • Don’t say anything on the internet you wouldn’t say to someone’s face or want printed on a billboard. ( guilty i am of this sadly). I will simply look at you and your post objectively, and will be wary of you in future posts. Worst case scenario, I will add you to my ignore list.
  • Don’t post incendiary, negatively hyperbolic comments, even if you’re in a bad mood and it makes you feel powerful and superior for half a second. This should go without saying, but since common sense isn't so common any more don’t start trouble.
  • Don’t name call Just because you personally don't see the worth of the thread does not mean that there is none there.
  • This is a personal pet peeve of mine, one that happens more often than you'd think. In fact, I know I am not the only one who hates having to repeat myself once or twice.

Trust me, when you have not read the entire post, and you comment asking a question that was answered in the second paragraph, or "informing me" of something I stated in the third etc. its very infuriating.

  • Any conversation about politics, religion, or anything with a moral angle is not likely to end with everyone singing kumbaya and holding hands -- engage at your own risk.
  • Try and stay on topic when some one opens up a thread if possible.. even if the topic makes you upset. and you want to tell them off.
  • Don't do things for the sole purpose of making someone feel sad, upset or angry. Sometimes you can't help but hurt someones feelings, but deliberately setting out with the intent of hurting them is just outright despicable.
  • Calling attention to the mods, demanding a thread be locked or removed is not allowed there are people that have that power and they usally have good reasons for pulling the plug on it. (I'm guilty on this as well as some curators can attest to )
  • If you don't like the thread, get out, plain and simple. if someone asks you to leave a thread because of your behavior , it might be best for you to do so.
  • Some people do not leave, and will not see eye to eye on a subject., but Instead of bumping heads, just back off. Its not a fruitful endeavor.
  • Try not to reiterate something that someone else just said. The title of this rule speaks for itself. Not everyone is enamored with repetition.
  • Look a few posts ahead of you and a few posts behind you. If its already been said, just say, "I agree" or "I second, third, fourth that notion" etc.
  • If you did not know its already been said, thats fine, but at least make an effort.
  • Do NOT chastise someone for pursuing knowledge. Encourage them it worth the effort even if that person doesn't get it or understand it..
  • If you do act like a fool (happens to the best of us) clarify, apologize, or both -- right away.

  • Take ownership. If you’re being misread, try “My comment was not intended to imply that view. What I actually meant was . . .”
  • Or if you realize you wrote in anger, apologize. “I’m sorry” are two of the most powerful words in the English language.
  • Avoid insincere sounding non-apologies like “I’m sorry you read it that way.” (some thing I need to watch more often)
  • Know the culture of the thread before you comment. No matter how hard we try to keep things civil some times they don't go as planned and so factor that in. I'm sure you can think of many instances in which this might occur especially with world leaders and other sensitive topics.

However, if they were to say, "I'd like to edit this", or they would like to work on some family background or profile , that would make me more likely to stay the course and help out and perhaps prevent them from ranting about mistakes that a world leader did during his tenure. Full disclosure, I am related to some less then stellar people but I accept that and don't cause trouble by bringing up their deeds from 150 years ago.

---------------------------------

ALL USER SUGGESTIONS & RESPONSES

For Optimal Discussion, Please Add Your Comments to Geni Best Practices Discussion Threads.

User Message #1.

"There should be a subject attached to your question and some times it helps to be more informative i have found... for example I really tire of getting pummeled with please fix this right now kind of posts and would much perfer I'm new or not new and i've made this kind of mistake what can we do to fix it as opposed to angry rants. Somthing my dear old mum once told me was that you make more friends and get better results with moxie and cookies then lawyers and angry accusations. I guess that is just a modern day verison of it is easier to persuade people if you use polite arguments and kindess than if you are confrontational. I have seen very good threads on here.. the Attention curators please asist being one of them".

---------------------------------