Unanticipated Interest

Posted January 17, 2007 by Geni | 33 Comments

As you probably know by now, we’ve experienced unanticipated and overwhelming levels of interest at Geni, and the site has been slow all day and offline at times. We are in the process of adding several new servers, and performance should improve later today. We’ll post a new entry here when everything is up and running. Until then, please be patient, and thanks for your interest in Geni!


  • Nitesh Mehta

    I haven’t heard from customer service yet but I want to make sure you are aware of some people losing their tree. I currently see a message that says “undefined’d tree” 0 People

  • http://www.djp72.net djp72

    this is both fantastic news!! and also very annoying!!
    i was wondering why pictures weren’t uploading and things were going weird.

  • Manuel

    This is a great and useful site. Allows for greater family integration and knowledge. Congratulations for this effort.
    I would only wish that in future upgrades a printable version of the trees may be available, and a way to link the tree to a blog.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/Meredith/ Meredith

    Is there a way to merge profiles? For example, I had already created an account with my personal e-mail address. Then someone added me to their tree with my work e-mail address. I cannot add the work address to my account because it’s already “taken” by the other invitation.

  • http://www.lonelycanuck.com Sunny

    First and foremost, thank you. This is by far the easiest way to build a family tree. Not only that, it makes taking interest in family history and geneology a social activity that my entire family can take place in. I really do appreciate that.
    While I understand that this site is fairly new, with features being added and bugs being worked out…I thought I’d throw in a few suggestions…
    Just a few things to note..
    1. Please add MD (medical doctorate) to the list of degrees under graduate school
    2. Please have an easy way to send a reminder email to family members, as the mail server went down earlier today due to the heavy traffic.
    3. Please add a way to delete family members from my tree who have NOT signed up for the service
    Those are my suggestions so far.
    I also have a few questions regarding privacy. Because of the sensativity of the data we are inputing, what measures are you taking to make sure that my personal data is protected. I don’t want to be the victim of identity theft.

  • http://christianburns.wordpress.com/ Christian Burns

    Every time I saw glitches I kept thinking “Man they had no idea how fast this was going to take off!”
    I am waiting to add email addresses of family members until things level off on your end. So that family does not have to experience the slowness. I will be pushing this hard in time for the next family reunion. I am also needing to add just enough people to hit one of those organized persons that has everybody’s info

  • http://www.djdigital.us Damon

    Do you know when the mail server will be back up?
    I started a tree, got logged out and now I cant get back in because I’m waiting on the email.
    BTW great site!

  • http://jphilwilson.blogspot.com Phil Wilson

    I would definitely recommend some kind of printing functionality. And perhaps a way to speed up scrolling, both horizontal and vertical. Perhaps a hand or Fast scrolling buttons around the home button.

  • http://kenny.no/ Kenneth Solberg

    Really cool! However the temporary password should be sent immediately! Right now I can’t access my entries because I haven’t received the password yet…

  • http://ustommymc.net USTommyMC

    I’ve already experienced the slow downs but I’m kind of glad at the same time. That means that this site is really growing.
    I was a bit skeptical at first because I didn’t want to start a family tree and then have the site go down under after having my tree grow.
    I hope this site is long term and some archiving features are added in the future.

  • Sunny

    Another suggestion..
    Please have a unique way of identifying deceased relatives. Perhaps with a small tombstone beside their name, or a different color box? Im not sure, just some sort of way to illustrate that they are no longer living…

  • troyar

    I can’t put a – in my first name. Like Jean-Pierre for example.

  • http://seilerwerks.blogspot.com Don Seiler

    Another “merge tree” request, although this time I want to merge with my 3rd cousin who just started their own tree. Or would it be easier if she could just blow away her account (since mine has 150 people in it now) and then I could invite her?

  • Sunny

    Oh No!
    My multi level family tree has been erased! How is this possible?!
    It says “0″ when I click on my tree, and “technical difficulties” when I select my name.
    Another suggestion – with so much interest in Geni, don’t you think more frequent updates to the blog is necessary?

  • http://www.7vision.com Seb

    REally viral … since yesterday my tree is now of more than 100 members , i really enjoy your service!!!
    But what if someone of my family make his own tree … somthing really cool will be that if you check the option on your profile when you enter the name of someone else that have allready a tree the system ask you to join his tree !!!
    And what about stats … i really want to have a view of how many members my familly is made, how many cousin etc …
    Thx again for the great work !

  • Paul Horne

    I agree about an icon to indicate deceased relatives, but maybe something more elegant than a tombstone for… LOL. Skull and crossbones? No I think maybe a different color, a slightly faded version of the same box, or maybe a rounded box would work.

  • http://mindlessjabber.com Bill T

    looks like the login server is offline, I have not been able to get in for over 5 hours…
    So far I like what I see, it is a great service. Keep up the great job! (come back soon)

  • http://seilerwerks.blogspot.com Don Seiler

    My cousin only has herself in her tree. She’d like to delete it and be invited to my tree (I can’t invite her now since her email address is already in use in her tree). Is there a way to just delete your account?
    Otherwise I suppose she could sign up for a gmail address or something.

  • Vineet

    Please setup a merging tree option!
    Maybe based around common heirarchy found and matching email addresses.

  • Nitesh Mehta

    How about an update. things are still not working correctly. My 64 yr father is using a social network! Don’t discourage him by not adding servers and not talking to your users! Please write a status update – only passionate users are reading this stuff!

  • http://www.seancoon.org sean coon

    bunch of thoughts:
    1) merging is an absolute necessity. please figure that out.
    2) add a black outline around deceased relatives boxes. it’s much more elegant than the tombstone suggestion.
    3) provide an option to import flickr photos by tag (and then a review page to uncheck unwanted photos). i’ve been downloading and uploading for an hour. so annoying.
    4) same with linkedin profiles. importing career info should be one click.
    5) turn off specific options when adding new deceased family members — email, interests, etc.
    great start, guys.

  • anon

    While I can’t retrieve my password, I think it’s a great site, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
    I definitely agree with the need to merge accounts – if you add a family member (identified by e-mail address) who already has their own tree, there should be an option to combine the trees on your end.

  • Benjamin

    This is awesome… I’ve already traced back to around 1585 in one of the family tree branches.

  • http://familiaroddities.wordpress.com Paul Hillsdon

    I agree with the others: We need an update! The communication yesterday was fantastic; I even got an email telling me everything was a go after experiencing technical difficulties. However, things still aren’t up a day later? I will say this; I spent all night researching my genealogy and updating my family tree, so I guess that means it’s “sticky”. I’d also like to see some stats, and maybe a feature where a notification tells you if you share the same family member as someone else, that way the connections can be expanded, but it’s also privatized in a way. Hope to hear how things are going, and when we can expect a fully functional Geni.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/geniblog/ Geni Team

    Sunny: It’s very unlikely that your family tree has been erased. The “0 member tree” problem probably has to do with us starting up our new servers yesterday, and if you sign out and sign back in again, you should see all your information, safe and sound.
    If you are still having problems, please contact us via the link in this blog’s sidebar and refer to your comment in this blog. Thanks!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/geniblog/ Geni Team

    Nitesh and Paul Hillsdon: we’ve just posted an update for you, in a new blog entry (the next one after this one). Thanks for your interest — while we suspected Geni would be popular, we didn’t anticipate how much attention we’d get on our first day. We should be back to normal within the next few days.

  • http://360.yahoo.com Nitesh Mehta

    Thanks guys. Good stuff! You guys are on to something very big! Keep it up. I think ebay will buy this company too :)

  • Catherine Rodgers

    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been looking for an easy-to-use, good-looking website to build my family tree for several months now. Yours is the first I’ve seriously considered sticking with, and although you’ve still got some major functionality to add, your customer service responses are excellent and make me believe you’ll get to the needed features quickly. Good stuff!

  • Bastian

    Hi there,
    great job, i’ve been searching a site like this one for a long time. There’s much work left to be done, but I’m sure this will become great. Actually I think google will buy it, not ebay ;’).
    Just for interest, can you give us some numbers of accesses, profiles created, families registered in the last days?
    Surely this page will become much easier to use once it’ll be available in different languages (German in my case).
    Keep going :’).

  • Sri

    How about metric units for height, etc?
    There’s a whole lot of us who just don’t use feet and inches.

  • JR Allas

    This is a great site. You may have to change the URL from http://www.geni.com to http://www.crack.com because its so addicting. Once I started adding family I just couldn’t stop. Will you be offering a rehab program for people like me? I look forward to the upcoming changes that will allow me to define extended family situations.

  • Peter Godbold

    For the last 24hours or more, a large number of my uploaded photos that had been displaying correctly for several weeks are now showing as “Loading Photo” even after twenty minutes and several page reloads.. About half still show OK. Anyone else having this problem?

  • Ian Fierstein

    In addition to adding a facility to import information from geneology programs, you should also provide a facility to export information, so a family tree can be backed up.