In my opinion: Stalkers, and I really don't like it myself.
However, I am not working for Geni and have no influence on this.
I want the Friends feature back, - first of all because it require an approval, secondly because it gave people view-only access to see someones family-tree, not not necessary as a part of the Friends feature, - more like a family guest.
I do however see the need for Following on public profiles to be able to detect changes.
I agree with Bjørn.
A blog entry on 27 Oct said:
"Over the next few days, we’ll be removing all followers from private profiles that aren’t close relatives."
Have those next few days already passed? Are all claimed profiles private? I ask because I see quite a few claimed profiles (including but not only my own) who still seem to have quite a few followers who are not close relatives.
Ticket ID: KKW-974552
Ticket ID: XKJ-567733
I believe Noah Gregory Tutak's intent was that this applied only to unclaimed profiles, not users. Noah pointed out to me that we also use this to recommend projects, profiles and surnames that we think may be of interest to you -- if you're following a user who's following the Dukes of Alsace project, then we will suggest that project to you as well.
Yes I also vote with Bjørn and Henn to bring friends back. We had a "petition" in a public discussion or two some while back on this subject, and that didn't apparently achieve anything, but we haven't given up!
Mike, besides my query re following claimed profiles, I also note your comment: "The purpose of following is to give you fine-grained control over the stories that appear on your Home page and in your weekly newsletter."
But in the last 12 hours, my home page Recent Activity has suddenly filled with people merging profiles that I manage that I am NOT following. Is this a bug?
Mike, I agree that a claimed profile is a Geni user who may have the same interests as you. But so what? People can follow a claimed user without having to convince anyone that they have any mutual interests. As Bjørn said, it's stalking.
Claimed users have the option of setting privacy settings at http://www.geni.com/account_settings/profile_privacy.
Therefore, of necessity, unclaimed profiles need privacy protection by default, whereas claimed users can choose their own privacy level. So where is the setting that allows claimed users to choose who follows them, or whether indeed anyone follows them?
I definitely dislike following on claimed profiles without approval, especially when several of us now are followed by a fake porn-star which will pop up in the family news: Zuleydy Zuleidy Lupe Piedrahita Lapiedra Little Fuentes זולידי פיאדריטה לופה לופי הקטנה ליטל לופה פואנטס. I have already got questions on why a porn star is following me - my natural answer was: How did you know she was a porn star... ;-)
I agree with Private User and Private User. Friends were a very limited set of people and I made people friends.
I do see the value of being able to follow historical figures or figures like the ancestors in my projects but I don't want to automatically "follow" every profile I create or to be followed by people who I have not chosen to have as friends.
Ok, so now, with friends and other friendly options gone, treeview restrictions and limitations tightening across the board, distrust, alienation and misunderstandings with the following dysfunctinality etc—Who's going to be the naïve and gutsy soul to show what confidence looks like & kickstarts a fine new "Family Group Pool" thread? No? :)
You said "The purpose of following is to give you fine-grained control over the stories that appear on your Home page and in your weekly newsletter."
Sometimes I can be a little hard headed and I am not able to understand things so I need it explained in very simple English..
Why would a complete stranger find my profile and click on follow, what is he/she following? What information are they getting? What actions that I am doing is being reported to them?
People who were my 'FRIENDS' are now my 'FOLLOWERS' What actions are they performing that is being reported to me? Where do I see it? How do I differentiate what is being reported to me from a Follower in my Home Page, presently I cannot even see my Family news because of so much information in it..
Mike and Noah we are at the point of INFORMATION OVERLOAD...
For me ... following for any kind of profiles is OK, Internet is a public place.
Friends back would be great too, to share my private part of tree, photos etc. without letting the people into my family group (for me, actually, there is no point to make the difference between family group and friends but OK)
it would be still essential to see the tree and how-many-profiles-data of my collaborators. I hope the disappearance of these is a bug that will be fixed asap?!?
In a previous discussion someone at Geni (don't remember if it was Noah or Mike) wrote that soon family news, birthday reminder e-mails and weekly newsletters etc would soon be changed so that no news at all are shown about our family group - but ONLY about people we follow. For people like me, who do like to receive family news about my family group, that means I will have to follow all my 1,998 family members (click manually on all of them, one by one). Of these 1,998 family members 353 people have claimed their profiles. All of those will probably receive e-mails that I follow them. Some of them may feel "stalked". All other people who understand the "following" concept will probably also start following our family when that becomes necessary. When will that change happen, by the way? Until it does happen, following family members is quite useless. Following non-family private profiles doesn't give much info either. Following unclaimed private celebrities (whose music I like for example) isn't even possible due to the implemented restrictions. So at this moment I don't really see much points in following.
"""In a previous discussion someone at Geni (don't remember if it was Noah or Mike) wrote that soon family news, birthday reminder e-mails and weekly newsletters etc would soon be changed so that no news at all are shown about our family group - but ONLY about people we follow.""
This is getting more confusing now!!!
I found the thread where Noah wrote (on November 30) about "following" replacing family group for notifications: