Carel, Geni is free. It offers you the option to upgrade to Pro, and what that provides you with is extra technological tools to make your tree-building easier. But from what I understand, Geni's philosophy is to always provide a basic level of service for free. And you can do a LOT on Geni for free--you are not extremely limited.
What makes Geni different from most genealogical sites is its collaborative nature. Geni is about sharing and merging and working together and creating an interconnected family tree that links you with thousands--even millions--of others through family connections.
Pam, In essence you’re right, but your think is also flawed, as is many sites like geni (wether genealogical related or not). For one thing sites like Geni don’t understand the way that people see their site. Users see the site as software, you get and use it to your own ends as you see fit (within the limits of the software), How do users think about pricing of software? One time fee and you have unlimited access, forever. Geni (and every other genealogical site) want you to see the site as a service and price it as such. Unfortunately (or as see it fortunately) people think of services as something done for you. Geni doesn’t do much for you, in fact by using the site I am creating content and adding value. A monthly fee implies getting something every month, but for these sites that simply isn’t the case. I’m sure that most members don’t make it trough the free trial before they have canceled. It seems to me that a relative cheap plan for full access, say 7.95 of 3 months would greatly increase the number of paying users and keep them creating content, Because at the end of the day beyond the tree creation (which is extremely limited) merging trees is the only feature worth anything, and that is only attractive if your seeing many connection during the creation phase….by the 100 people limit is barely going to get most people back 3 generations. Geni has some very poor reviews and customer complaints. I likes geni in May, and was coming back to it now that I have some free time, but I’ll have to look elsewhere and more than likely start over.