New Help Center

Started by Noah Gregory Tutak on Tuesday, February 1, 2011


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Showing 1-30 of 37 posts
2/1/2011 at 9:03 PM

We're trying out a new help center platform, and I'd love to have some of you kick the tires before we expose it to a wider group of users.

You can check out the new help center here: Please let us know what you think.

2/1/2011 at 9:17 PM

Looks like a great idea. Is it being actively monitored during development?

2/1/2011 at 9:22 PM

yes, in fact I would encourage all of you to use this in place of the standard help center. Please start asking questions and posting feature requests in the knowledge base.

2/1/2011 at 9:43 PM

the instructions are in tiny print... makes me squint :)

<private> Preller
2/2/2011 at 12:29 AM

Great improvement! Keep going I say!

Private User
2/2/2011 at 1:01 AM

I am happy to see that you to develop the help center. I hope it will shorten the Help Request lead times.
It would reduce remarkably the number of questions, if you would publish a detailed User Manual of the whole GENI system.

2/2/2011 at 3:05 AM

Looking good. As far as I can see, the required mechanisms are in place to make this an excellent tool for combining community- & Geni staff efforts.
One of the things that I found/find most frustrating with the old/current system is that there was virtually never any follow-up after the auto-reply. Things probalbly got fixed/adressed but there was no "closing of the loop" so the only way to check if something was adressed was to try it again, and again, and...
This was not a shortcoming of the system but the applied use of it.

I'm keen to see if this new system frees up time for Geni staff so there is time/resource for closing the loop once something is adressed.

Keep up the good work !

2/2/2011 at 7:49 AM

I would like to see the year and the time zone added to time stamp. Presently, the time stamp is Feb-02 07:36. I would prefer its expansion to Feb-02-2011 07:36 (PST).

2/2/2011 at 8:24 AM

Noah, as I understand it, this Help Center is for "asking questions and posting feature requests in the knowledge base." Where are we supposed to report problems with Geni? For example:

- The "technical difficulties" message
- The "stack overflow" message
- The "unable to create citation" message
- Events that are listed out of sequence on the timeline, e.g. death before birth or burial before death
- Inaccurate calculations of age on the timeline
- Source documents that fail to load from the Internet because their URL is truncated by Geni
- Searches that fail to find profiles that exist
- Images of documents uploaded from the Internet that are truncated on the right.

2/2/2011 at 9:25 AM

@joe For now can you post those in the Community Help section? We're still figuring out the organization, and we may find a better place for these in the future. But we'll be monitoring that section and will find bug reports. Placing them there will also help other users with the same issue add on to your report.

2/2/2011 at 11:22 AM

Noah, it would appear that someone has already created a "Bug Report" section.

2/2/2011 at 12:07 PM

Yep, I just created that. Like I said, things are still in flux, but so far this new help center seems much better. We may roll it out to a broader audience today or tomorrow, so please keep using it so we can continue to refine it.

2/2/2011 at 1:22 PM

Per your request:

"Please start asking questions and posting feature requests in the knowledge base."

I have requested an enhancement for support of adoptive parents, which apparently has been discussed for over three years. There appears to be general agreement that Geni is seriously lacking without this support, so I formalized the request in the new Help Center. (Request No. 8)

Eager to see how the new Help Center works, I checked on my request and was surprised to discover that its status was "Solved." However, on closer scrutiny I found that there was no solution and that the request had simply been moved to a list called "Feature Requests."

The "Feature Requests" list has four items on it. All are tagged "Most Popular" and "Recent," but none are tagged "Planned," "Done," or "Not Planned."

So, even though Request No. 8 is not "Done," it is "Solved." (And it was "Most Popular," too.)

2/2/2011 at 3:11 PM

@Joe - you created a help ticket for this issue. I marked the ticket as solved when I created a feature request out of the ticket. So the ticket is solved, but the feature request is still open.

2/3/2011 at 7:07 AM

Noah, I would suggest that another status be used other than "Solved" for tickets moved to "Feature Requests" list, e.g. "Referred" or "Pending." The ticket may be "solved' from your perspective, but the underlying problem which caused the ticket to be generated in the first place is not solved.

Now that my ticket is on the "Feature Requests" list, how many favorable votes are required to get work started on implementing this feature?

2/3/2011 at 7:17 AM

A suggestion:

Just looking at the "Feature Requests" list, it would appear that you people aren't doing anything, which is obviously not true. There are--as of this writing--seven Feature Requests, but none of them are "Planned," "Done" or "Not Planned."

Why not add some of the features that you are currently working on to the "Feature Request" list so that we can better understand why our requests seem to take so long to be implemented?

2/3/2011 at 7:40 AM


As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." How do you attach a screen shot to your request for help?

2/3/2011 at 10:25 AM

Joe, this help center was launched two days ago. Noah's original post is an invitation to "kick the tires" -- it's obviously not complete.

There are three headings to the "Submit a Request" form: Subject, Description and Attachments. Click the link labeled "Attach file(s) »" to choose an image to attach. This means you'll have to save your screen shot to a file on your computer, before you can add it as an attachment.

2/3/2011 at 3:54 PM


I don't know what submit a request means at first glance. For Chinese food delivery? Oops, wrong window. Please clarify that language.

Private User
2/3/2011 at 5:59 PM

For submit a request see

Why pick Chinese food? There are lots of other ethnic foods to choose too.

2/3/2011 at 9:58 PM

Private User
OffTopic, but how I can in Geni "send" ethnic foods and ethnic gifts to birthday or anniversary? As translator and Tr8n user I can see long list of them but when I'm sending virtual gifts they are not in the list.


Private User
2/3/2011 at 10:18 PM

Bit outside my scope - but good question.

I can see Sushi and Pizza in the birthday and anniversary list but not a lot else!

There are other gift categories for "holidays" and that might be where the other ethnic food is.

2/9/2011 at 6:00 AM

I have been trying to use the new Help Center for about a week now, and I'm disappointed. I don't think it's ready to be used by the Geni community as a whole.

There is no documentation, so using it is difficult. There seems to be a lack of Geni staff support--requests and questions go unanswered for days. The software itself seems not to work--selecting "Recent" on "Feature Requests" generates a list of requests in a random order. "Feature Requests" are rejected erroneously.

The new Help Center is a good idea; it's just not ready yet.

2/9/2011 at 6:50 AM

Joe , as Noah said, they want us to kick the tires and offer suggestions. I see a lot of request for help in the wrong area. I have posted two requests, one was resolved the other is being worked on. At least know you get feedback to find out if the problem is resolved.

2/9/2011 at 8:08 AM

Eldon, let's just say that your experience and my experience with the new Help Center have been vastly different.

I submitted six requests. I got a response on one and a partial response on another. A third request got accepted as a "Feature Request," and a fourth I was told had been submitted improperly--although their is no documentation on how requests are to be submitted. All six requests were labeled solved.

I "kicked the tires," and they simply deflated.

2/9/2011 at 10:01 AM

Joe, like I said, it is a work in progress, at least we are now getting personal responses, not boilerplate. Feature requests probably have a lower priority. They have to be engineered and coded if approved. You would have to ask Noah about the improper item. I have had feedback where they thought a problem was solved and it wasn't so I told them and it eventually was solved. Remember, there are only two persons working the help desk so items would have to be prioritized.

2/11/2011 at 7:59 AM

Eldon, I'm glad you're getting "personal responses." I submitted a request (Request #211) 24 hours ago and haven't gotten a response. My request was a question about what I thought was a simple procedure, but I guess not.

2/11/2011 at 9:10 AM

Joe, it takes time :-(

2/11/2011 at 10:05 AM

Eldon, the time is up. Check the link to Help at the bottom of this screen. It links to the new Help Center. When was the Geni community supposed to be informed of this change?

2/11/2011 at 11:02 AM

Joe, I have waited a week or more for solutions I just go on to something else. It's like waiting for someone to complete a merge.
Geni seems to be great about mystery changes. I don't worry about it to much. Do you know how you find Geni revision number in the tree? Its obscure but it is there. I agree that Geni should post notices to everyone.

Showing 1-30 of 37 posts

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