Geni Pro Just Got a Whole Lot Better

Started by Private User on Thursday, August 11, 2011


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Showing 31-60 of 1836 posts
Private User
8/12/2011 at 9:37 AM

Hey - was this meant or a Bug? - Last night, after entering name in Search Box and clicking, I got list of choices and if I clicked on one, I got Ad for Geni Pro with option - "No Thanks, Continue' - this just took me back to the search results, but at least it allowed me to opt out. Now I get the Ad for Pro, with No Choice showing to say "No" (I guess they assume I will remember that I have a Back Arrow up on my Screen - or hope I will think I don't have a choice. must become Pro?)

Private User
8/12/2011 at 10:16 AM

Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Burns - Restoring 114+ yr House - Perhaps start out by changing every Profile you can to "Private". Since folks no longer have any control over merges or edits on their Public Profiles, I think everyone would be wise to do that.

<private> Baldwin
8/12/2011 at 10:56 AM

Mary Kathleen....Libraries, at least the State Library in Concord NH, have been able to access Geni for almost a year.....I know, I went there and spoke to the head genealogist (who is a cousin of mine) and he went looking for someone...couldn't find it on Ancestry but found it on Geni.....the odd thing is that it was MY entry.....

Private User
8/12/2011 at 10:59 AM

Private User - when you search, if you click on the "Managed By Me" tab you can click through to your profiles without the Pro offer.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 11:11 AM

Any time I click on one of the link above under "Eldon Clark has completed the merge on William Sexton. View William Sexton's profile:" - I get a pink band with the message: "Please login" -- with Geni's log in fields below.

If ignore it, go back, it turns out I am then logged out. What gives?

8/12/2011 at 11:17 AM

Iida Tõnisson you're quite right! We have that feature but don't link to it anymore. You can give a gift subscription at

kind regards,


Private User
8/12/2011 at 11:37 AM

No one answered question above: Can Non-Pros even merge Private Profiles when they manage both and both are in their family group?

The blog says they can no longer add profiles to the historical tree or mege profiles -- is that saying -- cannot merge profiles to the historical tree, or cannot merge any profiles at all?

Private User
8/12/2011 at 11:54 AM

Only Pros can perform a merge. Basic users cannot perform any merges.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 11:55 AM

Private User - Re: "when you search, if you click on the "Managed By Me" tab you can click through to your profiles without the Pro offer." --

1) And if someone clicks on the Profile in Search Result either because doesn't know that, or because they acted on old habit, or etc. - I take it Geni wants them to feel trapped into buying Pro. You are saying not bug.

2) I have a second uncle whose Primary Manager is a cousin; I am aalso a manager. This second uncle does not come up under "Managed by Me", even tho I am a manager of him. He is a close enough relation to come up on Drop Down Choice Menu when start typing in Search Box.

3) Given 2) above, how do I search for folks in my Max Extended Family further out than 2nd cousin once removed if I am not the Primary Manager? (And is it 2nd cousin once removed for everybody, or does that depend on how many folks in your tree, or ??)

Private User
8/12/2011 at 11:58 AM

Re: "Only Pros can perform a merge. Basic users cannot perform any merges." - so does this also mean Basic users cannot create any cycles, or is there another way to create cycles?

Private User
8/12/2011 at 12:33 PM

Private User - you can create a cycle, using "move this person" and adding an existing profile as someone else's parent, sibling, etc. -- just not "They're the same person" which is a merge.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 1:02 PM

Private User - I just tried "move this person" - and I no longer get those other choices - just is this the same person.

8/12/2011 at 1:20 PM

I have a Pro account, but am disturbed by these changes. It makes me reluctant to invite family or friends to join in this project, as their ability interact would be severely constrained in comparison to the experience I had when I first joined as a free member.

I understand the intent of preventing large numbers of duplicate profiles, but I think there are better ways of handling this. For example, rather than restrict free members entirely from being able to merge profiles in the historical tree, you could give them a limited number of merges each month. Alternatively, make it easy free members to flag profiles they identify as duplicates, so that the respective managers of the profiles are notified, and they are added to a list available to curators.

The strength of Geni is in leveraging the power of crowd sourcing. By placing more limitations on free members (who are really no different from "pro" members, except that they haven't paid a membership fee), you reduce the effectiveness of the service for all members.

8/12/2011 at 1:28 PM

While I have been resisting posting here, I must echo Pamela's thoughts. I have spent the past year working on one branch of my family and have been convincing family members to join here. Our association has nearly 500 members and they unanimously voted to join once I finish adding profiles (target date we set was October 1). Now, I don't know what to do. Everything I promoted to them will no longer be the case. The site I had described to them doesn't really exist anymore.

Plain and simple, this takes /away/ the incentive to pay for membership by severely limiting how others can interact with you and your tree on the site. I don't get it. I am remaining hopeful, however, that Geni staff will rethink some of this and revise the system they've implemented. There has to be some type of middle-ground.

8/12/2011 at 1:35 PM

I agree heartily with Pamela D. Lloyd. My original thought was that my kids could add spouse's trees, etc.causing the tree to grow. They are not as into this as I am, so it would be silly for them to pay. I guess they can contact me to add and merge, but that introduces a layer of unnecessary complication to the process.

Ultimately, I'm having a difficult time seeing how the tree can grow as fast as it has been growing, with only paying members. My guess is this all comes down to money, and they are thinking they will get an infusion from people who feel it necessary to pay. This could well be only a short term phenomenon, as if site visits and activity decrease, then so will ad revenue. I'm hoping that this is not a financially disastrous decision for Geni. I have not seen one positive comment from anyone concerning this. Pro users are upset because we can now have our data tampered with by people who do not have our permission to do so. The "solution" of taking all profiles private defeats the purpose of the tree. Basic (free users) who may have added thousands of profiles to the tree are now unable to continue with the work they were doing, and are unable even to merge sisters or brothers, etc. No one is happy, so other than some possible short term cash infusion, how is this of benefit to Geni? Geni is, essentially, NOTHING, without the users.

8/12/2011 at 1:45 PM


Henny Odby Nielsen
har et indlæg i dag kl 6. 40

Dette indlæg vil jeg gerne hermed give min fulde støtte

I må se at finde en anden måde at kunne betale på
ikke alle er ejer af et kort ,

der må kunne laves en ordning med overførel via bank

og til en pris alle kan være med.

mvh marion

8/12/2011 at 1:57 PM

Geni essentially replaced over 1 million profiles (including text, pictures, sources, documents, etc.) from the ground up, as well as an unlimited number of discussions, private messages and projects, in a relatively short period of time. Some staff members appeared to be working 24/7 for over a week.

Then, to enhance the program, to seemingly apologize for the crash, and to give the Pro users some incentive to stay, they release an upgrade for Pro users that (in my humble opinion) apparently was designed to protect the data we have and limit its access by people who may not care.

And what is the general response to this???? Nothing but negativity...smh.

Your non-Pro family members can still maintain their own and their immediate family's info. Immediate family members shouldn't have to be merged over and over (let's face it, I am only going to be on a limited number of other people's trees), and any Pro user or curator can make that merge for them.

Yes, I agree that 4th cousin is too close, it should be 5th or 6th, and yes, I agree that some merges may be harder to do, but the quality of the work will increase, the number of bad merges will decrease, the amount of time spent repairing profiles after 40 people who were on the tree once created profiles for someone with quite frankly JUNK for data then merged it all in to your great looking profile will be cut to a minimum, and the tree as a whole will benefit in the extreme.

8/12/2011 at 2:03 PM

Conspiracy theory at work here. Are we sure the great outage wasn't a cover up for the massive changes? :-)

Private User
8/12/2011 at 2:06 PM

Anita M. Boynton i wish that i had the money to upgrade to pro so that i could continue to work on the 'big tree' and projects...unfortunately i don't....and i tend to believe that there are others that are very knowledgeable and care (your word) that can't afford to upgrade either.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 2:10 PM

btw, my parents are both only children, so i do not have any first stopping at 4th cousins sure does limit my tree even more.

8/12/2011 at 2:51 PM

It is not only that non PRO users can do no merges on the historical tree, they also cannot add new profiles to the tree. So a non PRO user can only add a very limited number of people.
Has anyone tried to create a new account and start building a tree with someone born a few hundred years ago, and see what is possible then?

It would help if Geni would make a gift for time as a PRO user for users who contributed to the tree. In that way active non PRO users could still work on the tree for free.

If it stays like this I'm going to leave Geni and that is a pity because I have data on some 40.000 people and started with Geni only a few months ago. I put a lot of effort in helping build the tree and I'm not going to pay for a PRO membership. I might stay if Geni made it possible for me to earn PRO membership for free (no money, but work on the tree)

8/12/2011 at 2:55 PM

Private User Lois, we are taking a look at the search results page to see if we can resolve some of the problems you are encountering. Thanks for your patience.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 2:55 PM

Marion Lisbeth Jensen
Today at 8:45 PM
Report Hej
Henny Odby Nielsen
har et indlæg i dag kl 6. 40
Dette indlæg vil jeg gerne hermed give min fulde støtte
I må se at finde en anden måde at kunne betale på
ikke alle er ejer af et kort ,
der må kunne laves en ordning med overførel via bank
og til en pris alle kan være med.
mvh marion


Marion - Thank you so very much for supporting my post about the lack of possibility to pay for a subscription when you don't have a Visa and isn't familiar with Paypall - as most Danes aren't.

Hope Geni will take action on that problem. I'm sure they miss a lot of subscribers on that account.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 3:02 PM

Private User - can you past the URL to the profile here so I can look into it and see if it's a bug?

8/12/2011 at 3:15 PM

Anita, while I see and respect your viewpoint, but I think it's perfectly acceptable for users to suggest ways to make the changes more effective. It might seem like complaining, but if you read the responses carefully, there's actually a lot of good information here that staff could use the refine and tweak the changes they've made. This is an important process that pretty much every website goes through after a change is made. The staff are experienced enough to know to expect it, and I'm sure they'll weigh all of the criticism and see what they might be able to do to accomplish their goals in a way that users might appreciate more. Also, letting people vent has actually already uncovered a couple issues that appear to have either been unintended or unanticipated, so that's pretty helpful as well.

Also, while I know you're a fair person and I greatly respect your work, bear in mind that you're speaking from your place as a Pro user. I'm not sure either of us can fully appreciate the upheaval a lot of free users are feeling right now. I think having a chance to express themselves is pretty important. Genealogy is extremely emotional by nature, and the feelings being demonstrated right now are understandable.

8/12/2011 at 3:26 PM

Anita M. Boynton You apparently have far more information than many of us about what is going on behind the scenes. Although I was aware of some recent issues that prevented me from being able to log into my account, my schedule and other activiies were sufficient that I didn't follow up and try to find out why, I just moved on to other tasks until the situation was corrected. For me, the "incentive to stay" provided by Geni's extension of my Pro membership was sufficient. If you are one of those people who have been working so hard to try to correct problems, thank you! However, please, realize that our comments are not directed against you or your coworkers, but against a policy that, however well-meaning, does not, at least as we understand it, meet our needs.

Those of us speaking out against the changes to both the Pro and Basic membership services are not expressing our opinions simply in order to be negative, but because the changes have an impact on the ways in which we interact with Geni. The unfortunate truth is that these changes don't necessarily give Pro members any additional "incentive to stay," take away many of the incentives Basic members have to stay, and consequently make the service less attractive for many of us.

Priviledging one group of members over the other won't do anything to improve the quality of the data. The ability to pay for Pro membership doesn't improve someone's genealogical skills, nor does it necessarily represent a commitment to the overall health of the World Tree. Basic members, especially in the current economic downturn, are often knowledgeable genealogists who simply can't afford to pay the membership fees. There are many ways to ensure that new and edited data, merges, and so on, do not create problems in the data. Many of these methods are technological, some require individuals to review data. I and, I believe, just about everyone seriously interested in Geni want the biographical data associated with profiles, and the relationships between profiles, to be as accurate as possible.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 3:53 PM

Sounds like the natives are restless and about to attact. Watch out you may end up with a mass defection.

Private User
8/12/2011 at 3:54 PM

Like Judi?Judith, this Judy may end up removing certain things but not everything. I too refuse to leave Geni unless forses. And if forsed all my info better be removed.For the time being I am hanging in there.

8/12/2011 at 4:20 PM

What saddens me about the recent system change is that it effectively removes the reason why I chose Geni in the first place.

When I started to add my family information, I did so under a free account. I loved the interface and the easy way to add information and how it was displayed. I thought that the notion of the one tree was intensely curious and one that I hoped to be able to join. My interactions with others on the system was friendly and I soldiered on entering in record after record. I had a researched history that went back 15+ generations so there was a lot of information to enter. One of the biggest plusses was in the ability to perform site-wide searches for family names and making the determination that there were others records with similar or identical people in other people's trees. It was only after about a year that my tree caught someone's attention and my information was brought into the big tree. That was done by a Pro user.

The world opened up for me.

I continued my research and added to my own tree and helped, where I could, in accepting merges and resolving duplicate information. All the while the tree grew larger. I felt like an important part of this community. All of this was done with a free account. The time I spent entering my information was done willingly as I felt that my contributions meant something...and were helping others in their pursuit of family information.

I especially loved looking up famous people and seeing if I was connected to them and how. I couldn't see the whole path unless I went Pro...but at the very least I could see the connection.

Last month I went Pro as I wanted to take my interaction with the available information to the next level. I hoped, one day, to be that one Pro account holder that opens the world to someone else. Pay it forward, as it were.

And then comes the news about Pro and free accounts. From what I understand, the playing field has now changed and it makes me sad. Sad that any new budding genealogists that enter the Geni world won't have the same experience that I did and that their contributions can only go so far. That their interactions are curtailed and that they won't be able to enjoy the same thrill as I did in researching family links with the Geni resources offered. Sad that people will be restricted to the amount of information that they can enter.

There is a level of frustration as well. I don't feel right that the amount of time that I've spent engaging with the process as a free account holder, the number of records that I've entered in and the comprehensive amount of information that I've processed, has been ingested by a system that, at face value, is now forcing people to pay for. And this was done without warning. I can understand the shock of it all and I share in the frustration.

I understand charging for benefits, and I'm all for adding benefits to a paid account. But taking away what I thought to be the core benefit of Geni for a free user in the first place upsets me as I was that free user that fell in love with the system as it was. The system was built on people that devoted their time and energies towards a greater cause and it's a bit of a slap in the face that these changes happened without warning...not to mention being under the guise of making things better.

I'm sure that, when the dust settles, things will improve. But I implore the powers that be that they reconsider their decision and figure out a way not to cut off the very people that helped build the system in the first place.

8/12/2011 at 4:56 PM

Simon and Pamela, I really appreciated reading your eloquent pleas. You make very important points, and I'm glad the tone of discussion has shifted during the day to where we are now, because I think impassioned and reasoned arguments like yours can be very influential. I know that the Geni staff members are listening, and I hope adjustments can be made to make the system workable for all of us.

Showing 31-60 of 1836 posts

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