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Troubleshooting my Geni User Experience

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This is a project to help users improve their Geni User Experience.

My own is getting worse and worse just for the moment. Did think I've reached rock bottom but I can see there is still some room to go lower. When I get there I will return to see how I we can help others..

Seems I had even much lower to go ;-0 (14/11/2011)

It seems a good place to start with this project would be to do a basic SWOT analysis. These points may not have any relation to reality, but is based on our experience of Geni?

Maybe we could have a first stab at these as users and use discussions to analyse and manage additions and changes going forward?

Possibly this could be like a little dashboard for us to use to show Geni our perspective on how they are doing on how we experience Geni as customers and users.

Measuring Geni:

Geni's current score in respect of:

  • Genealogical accuracy 0%
  • Understanding their users and customers 0%
  • Being a good technology 0%
  • How we trust Geni 1%
  • How many years we think Geni will last at the current rate 1 year
  • Communication with us your customers and users 2%
  • Reactivity to the needs of your user echo system 10%
  • Ethics of the curator body 0%

Support for:

  • Friends and Family to use Geni 0%
  • Wikipedia Historians in Geni 50% (Probably be higher, but if Geni is not accurate it will in the end whittle down to 0% anyway)
  • Genealogist 0%
  • Achieving the goal of One World Tree 30%
  • Achieving the goal of One World Tree that is representative of US users 40%
  • Achieving the goal of One Wolrd Tree for the rest of the world .0002%
  • Achieving the goal of Anything goes as long as you pay tree 100%


  • Basics of a one world tree in place
  • Good technology and functionality - (Including Tree view and Projects)
  • Dedicated curator body
  • Geni seems to be the best Wikipedia version of the genealogical applications
  • Geni can work 100% for the genealogist, the historian and the only rarely interested family member.


  • Lack of Guidelines
  • Lack of communication with users
  • Weak customer service
  • Curator body that cannot even agree their own Ethics document
  • Name fields which cause conflict and edit wars.
  • Inability by Geni to learn from their mistakes and build on their successes.
  • No Plan
  • Current direction seems to be about competing with the alternative genealogy projects, but Geni itself has not embraced much from Genealogy based on it's family orientated beginnings.


  • Embrace Genealogy and Lead - Survive a 100 years
  • Embrace Wikipedia and Merge with them
  • Integrate with other applications.
  • Local Geni version


  • Lack of Vision (Geni seems unsure of what they want Geni to be.)
  • Lack of Mission (Geni seems unclear as to what the Mission is)
  • Lack of alignment with Vision and mission.
  • Users leaving over changes and massive negative perception from users, curators, but the broader genealogical community.
  • Commercial considerations. Geni seems at risk financialy.
  • The competition is getting better at what Geni does than Geni itself which is to draw friends and family.