A Message From Geni’s CEO

Posted August 17, 2011 by Noah Tutak | 202 Comments

Last week we introduced some significant changes to the way Geni works. Unfortunately, we did a poor job communicating these changes to our community. We should have given you more notice of these changes than we did, and for that we apologize.

As expected with changes of this magnitude, there has been a great deal of discussion and feedback from the Geni community. I want to assure you that each and every comment has been reviewed by someone on the Geni Team, and many of them have been shared with the team as a whole. We are listening closely, and discussing the feedback as we plan for the future.

Geni’s goal is to create a single, accurate family tree of the world. Unlike other genealogy sites (even sites that claim to be collaborative), where each user maintains their own private tree, Geni is designed for users with common relatives to work together on one tree, with one single profile for each common relative.

The changes we made last week were designed to accelerate our progress towards our goal of a single, accurate family tree. By limiting the creation of new historical profiles to Pro users, the number of new duplicate profiles will be significantly reduced. And because of their new permissions, Pro users can now merge existing duplicates faster and more effectively. In fact, merging has increased by 75% because of these changes.

We understand that users who have entrusted Geni with their data are frustrated that they can no longer merge with other trees or add distant relatives with a free account. However, I do want to clear up a few misconceptions about the changes that we made:

  • Viewing and editing permissions were not changed at all. All users can still view and edit the same profiles they could before last week.
  • GEDCOM export is still a free feature, as it was before the changes. All users can export a GEDCOM of their tree.
  • All users can use the “Managed by Me” tab to search for profiles they manage.

We are working on some enhancements to search and other features based on your feedback, and hope to have more to announce soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we continue together towards our goal of creating the world family tree.

Post written by Noah Tutak

See all posts by