From The Geni Team

Posted March 6, 2007 by Geni | 36 Comments

We’ve been reading each and every post that comes to us here at Geni and the post today that asked for more communication from the team really resonated with us.

Even though we haven’t been as visible on our blog you should know that we read each and every comment that comes in.  A daily wrap up is sent out to the whole team to keep them aware of what everyone is requesting, problems they are having and reasons they love Geni!

The response to Geni has been exciting and overwhelming–most recently we have been working to address a backlog of emails.  We’ve hired some new folks that will help us catch up on the backlog which in turn will give us more time to layer on new and exciting features. 

Briefly here are some of the items on Geni’s roadmap:

  • FAQ’s 
  • A Forum for users to discuss Geni issues
  • More privacy settings
  • A way to support various relationships (brothers marrying sisters, adoptions and more)
  • Printing and importing files
  • Support of other languages

Stay tuned—these are exciting times!

The Geni Team


  • joelion

    brothers marrying sisters?
    I hope not too many people are asking for that function!

  • Jay Voorhees

    Thanks for the update. I was about to post a comment asking for some features, but you addressed everything I was looking for in your roadmap. I look forward to seeing updates in the days ahead.

  • Josh

    I’d like to suggest having a way for users to print out their family trees. This is a much needed feature!

  • Ugo

    I’ve got a product suggestions, so I am leaving a comment here, as recommended in your “Contact Us” page.
    My wife just got pregnant and I thought of updating my family tree. Problem is, we don’t know the sex yet, but Geni forces me to enter either a son or a daughter.
    It would be a nice touch to let users add members to the family with more freedom, like in our case.
    Generalizing a bit, it wouldn’t be bad to let pets in the tree as well.
    Thank you and keep up the good work.
    P.S. Congrats for Geni’s $100M valuation.

  • Phillip Molly Malone

    Hi Guys,
    Love the service. This might already be in the product and I just haven’t found it yet but (and this is probably so under the fantastic usages that you can use the system for now) what about a Birthday, Anniversary reminder system? I mean if my whole family is updating their details in the system, this is going to be the one stop shop (so to speak) of family related dates!
    Maybe an email, SMS or even an RSS feed of upcoming dates of interest.
    Just a thought, keep up the outstanding work.

  • Geni in a bottle

    I have a suggestion.
    With the question of step-kids, it’s a very sensitive issue. Often, it’s not right to put step-kids under the biological parents. It makes the kids feel somewhat outcast and different from their half-siblings.
    I think I’ve already managed to hurt some relatives’ feelings because I focused too much on genetic history.
    You really should have “biological parents” in addition to “parents”. The tree should reflect the “sentimental tree”, and often not the biological tree.
    An option to list the biological parents and have an arrow crossing the tree linking the genetic relation would be great too.
    Of course, the best is to make this an option on a case by case basis.
    Remember, there’s biology, legal, and sentimental. The “legal” probably doesn’t matter as much as the other two.

  • Jay Voorhees

    Would you add MDiv to the list of college degrees. It’s what us clergy folks (ministers) get in seminary. Also you might want to add the DMin degree as well

  • Jay Voorhees

    Also, add a job title field to the work information. While I am currently a pastor, I have had several occupations along the way.
    Sorry for the plethora of suggestions, but I haven’t been on in a while and I am getting a sense of the site now.

  • Jay Voorhees

    In your road map, I would suggest the ability to link trees via common e-mail addresses. In example, I have a cousin who has set up an account on Geni but I can’t invite him to view my tree (which he is a part of) as your system won’t allow more than one instance of the same e-mail address. What would be cool would be for me to enter his e-mail into the box in my tree, and to have the system automatically update my tree with his information based on the common e-mail address.

  • Eric T.

    This is great to hear. I love the site and I’m really excited to see your future plans get implemented. Keep up the awesome work!

  • TSW

    Can the photo display be fixed so that it’s easier to just upload a photo and outline the person’s face to be centered on the main tree view? Right now more than half of the photos people in my tree have uploaded show only the top half of the face. And if there’d also be a way to modify already uploaded photos to do the same, that would be great.

  • J Wu

    Good to hear the team is reading the postings.
    More suggestions:
    -Display preference options: women by maiden name (as in ‘traditional’ family trees) or married name (if exists);
    - marker/different color border indicating person is deceased
    - collapsible levels to improve scrolling around huge families

  • J Wu

    Perhaps some guidelines re: uploading photo: e.g., optimal size ratio of photos.
    Geni-ers FYI: tree pix/Main photo ratio = 50 x 52 px; profile/lists pixs ratio = 78 x 61 px. So crop photos to size to noted ratio.

  • Mike Powell

    Do you have any plans to provide means to join together one or more separate trees into a single tree?

  • J Wu

    (Yes, me again.) In the Invite list window, should be filtered to display only non-deceased members.

  • Amey

    I assume you have gotten many of these before but…A little unclear about how to enter maiden names for women. Hard to see if someone has kept their name or taken their husband/partner’s. Also, middle names are very important in some families to keep cousins straight…. In South American cultures, you use both parent’s names (and the mother’s is the one that counts :-). Might even be nice to have a nickname field.
    BTW, what’s the revenue model that is justifying your spectacular post-money??

  • USTommyMC

    I have an issue that I didn’t forsee.
    My father has a cousin (male) from his father’ side and a cousin (female) from his mother’s side that married. I am having trouble connecting them in the family tree. I can make them either married or as son and daughter under their respective parents but I can’t do both. Any suggestions? At the moment I have the female cousin as a double entry, both as married to my father’s male cousin and as a daughter to her parents.

  • LindaM

    I love the site, and several cousins have joined. Is there some way to steer people to add information about the names they have added. (Make them automatically go to the basic information screen after adding a name) Several people just added names, no dates of birth, death, or profile info and since I am the family geneologist, I really want all the info about each person, not just names. I’m looking forward to the enhancements you mentioned and I’ve been telling friends and fellow geneology buffs about the site. Keep up the great work.

  • MichaelQ

    It would be super handy if you could add a global login for the Family in general. My issue is that I would like to add family members, but I don’t know their exact lineage/connection (second cousins etc). If they could login and add their links that would be great.

  • Ulf Jensen

    A usefull thing would be if you could see who did the latest update on a persons profile.

  • Shajahan

    This is awesome…, But little more features needed.
    Query 1:
    I created a family tree…
    Another person created his family tree..
    My fourth ancestor and his fifth ancestor are same…
    How we connect these two ?
    Specify a method or kindly implement a method to connect these two trees even the ancestor don’t have email ID ?
    My suggestion to above query:
    * In the Add relative option, ask the node ID or email ID to be connected, assuming the Id will be getting from another family tree members.
    * Then on adding, it can be added after approving any person from that family tree.
    * When the any other family member loging in, show the requested family without showing more details, On approving it’s can be added to the first family tree.
    * This verification is required or not ?
    Query 2:
    By mistake I added another family tree and they approved it. How can we break the tree from a point or a link ?
    On right clicking the connecting line to a descentrant, give ‘break’ option, Then May delete directly or delete it only after approved by a member from the breaking tree.
    Have a nice future!
    Keep Rocking!

  • Daniel Glifberg

    I love the site and its functions and concepts.
    I would like to be able connect two people already entered into the tree.
    I.e. a couple of generations back on realize that a person in two different branches of the tree is actually the same person. Then it should be possible to both merge persons as well as give a new family relationship to already present people.
    / Regards, Daniel

  • Tonia Wells

    I would like to see a space specifically for medical conditions with the ability to search for words in that section.

  • Tonia Wells

    I agree with the previous request for having a more “sensitive” tree, rather than strictly geneological when having to do with adoptions. I think saying “biological parents” gives the right perspective.

  • Gregory

    More name fields are needed. People aren’t just First and Last name. In non-USA countries, they have up to five names. Should be a space for maiden name, at least.
    Especially in family tree, it’s important to put all the names, to track obscure connections, names. Example: How can I input Ruth Arelene Martin Giagnocavo? At the moment, your display truncates the name, and there is no way to indicate that Martin is Ruth’s maiden name. GREAT SERVICE!!

  • Thomas

    Another suggestion :
    can we have a “save/dump” feature, to save our tree to a xml or txt file ?
    thanks for your work !

  • Ranjit Mathoda

    I’d like the ability to add a fiance (and I suppose other people might like to add a girlfriend or boyfriend). We’re not all married (yet)!

  • Artur

    This is great! I’m having a lot of fun adding people to my tree. We are a big family, but I hardly imagined how big it really is (the service shows ~130 people and counting).
    Some suggestions (some were mentioned above):
    1. a print option of the family tree is badly needed…later on there may be added some nice design templates…so that one may hang it on the wall in his living room
    2. in the display settings for the family tree, there should be an option to change the display to maiden name (thet’s when both married and maiden names are entered)…
    3. I am still exporing the photo options, but it seems there are too few available for upload. Also, it would be nice to have a CROP option while uploading, so that one does not have to use a different image processing software to make the necessary adjustments.
    I was thinking of the posibility of integrating a family album option, with an option of say 10 Mb of photos per every person in the family tree.
    Also, there may be an option for common photos… now in the family tree a married couple has their separate boxes for photos…it would be nice to have a “joined”
    box for wedding photos, or parents and children…..
    In the “FAMILY ALBUM” there may be a option to have a link and comment to all the people presented in each given picture… so that distant family members know who’s who.

  • Summer

    Another idea- How about a little badge of html that says something like
    “Look at family tree on Geni!” or
    “My family is Much cooler than yours-look for yourself-”
    Then a link to that persons page with all the personal info hidden, and link “part of this family? Click here!” that will all that person to send a request to the person who started the tree.
    That way I can show off all the family I collected safely and give my family a simple web link to check out at family reunions and such that doesn’t require me collecting email after email.

  • Simon

    Adoption has to be address two differnt types:
    1) Non-Bilogical Adoption
    2) Kinship Adoption (this is the more tricky of the two and will need to be thought out carefully in terms of display)
    Also the forced choice of “sex” is problematic because not everyone falls under the either/or category of male/female. Sex and gender are more appropriately thought of as a mater of degree along a continuum, not as a bianary system. The current arrangement doesn’t allow for unisex babies, hermaphrodites, and those who fall somewhere in between and prefer not to be catagorized by “sex”. It would be better if the language of the “Add” feature was more neutral, such as “Add parent”, “Add offspring”, “Add sibling” etc. and then an option afterwards to specify sex if the user so chooses.

  • Bengt Midgren

    This application would work better in Europe if there was an option to declare the political view to be a socialist or social democrat. Now the most radical choice seems to be extreme liberal, which in Europe is not what it is in the US.

  • Vittorio Sismondo

    I greatly appreciate the additions and improvements you are working on.
    I’d like to have the following features in the picture section: show wide pictures (such as family groups); place to add some words of explanation to each picture. In my opinion this is very important, especially for pictures or portraits dating one or two centuries ago

  • Rich

    How about a way to record name changes and display nicknames? I have a cousin who changed her name when she was an adult because she didn’t like the name her parents gave her. Not an expert on this but here’s some options that come to mind:
    Birth certificate name
    Legal name
    Middle name
    Commonly used name (Preferred Name?) For example: My ex-wife is Nancy Jo on the birth certificate (First and Middle names) but never uses her first name, she has always been called Jo. My daughter is Alicia Beth-Eden (first and middle), when she was growing up we called her Beth, now she is Eden, by her choice.
    Thanks for considering this.

  • Nathan Folkert

    It would be useful if there were a notes field in ancestor’s records so we can record URLs or other information to help flesh out details or find more information later

  • Gaurav Narkar

    While adding information of any family member not showing option to add email address of that family member

    • geniblog

      Hi, if you do not see the option to add an email, then it is likely that your relative has already accepted an invitation to join the family tree.