Ken, I very highly doubt that your geni tree is less accurate than the My Heritage tree. Can you show me an example? My experience has been the exact opposite. Geni has allowed me to benefit from corrections by other researchers. The large database I uploaded (which I did not compile by myself) has been vastly improved. Your unwilingness to attempt pro membership and seek to resolve issues is the source of the problem, I fear. Why you are willing to pay for My Heritage and not Geni is a mystery. The nice thing about My Heritage is you never find out if you have any mistakes. I suppose you like that better. But I prefer Geni so far.
Re: “We cannot be everything to everybody” - I started a thread back on Aug. 2, 2011 asking “Are Geni’s Goals Compatible – Or Incompatible?” - see http://www.geni.com/discussions/98590 and please read at least the first posting – the quotes/info it says was there as of July 31, 2011 – is still there as of today, Jan. 8, 2012. Folks, including Michelle of the Geni-Team, stated that they did not see them as incompatible. Geni is still insisting private, family interactions and sharing is a major goal of Geni. And Geni is the one that lured many of us here with the promise of that Goal.
As far as suggesting we should all pay for Pro and stop whining -- the Overview on Facebook still starts, “Geni is a free fun tool ….” , moreover - if all of you/us had entered your/our Personal Information in depth, as was originally expected, advertisers would probably have found Geni the valuable source of info that had been expected – see http://magazine.uchicago.edu/07910/features/take2.shtml for indication of how Geni had expected to support itself.
Geni apparently failed to get much money, at least as a percent of expenses, from advertising (sorry – saw comment at one point about that, including comment to effect that not enough geni members clicked on the ads, or clicked often enough, and considering the question how often should we click to somehow be rude or irrelevant, rather than honest and suggesting we might all pitch in to make advertisement more lucrative for Geni – but do not have reference to it at hand).
Geni then concentrated more on charging for features, with this the best explanation I have seen of that: http://www.geni.com/discussions/102643?msg=754430 It makes it clear they guessed wrong on the balance of free versus pay features several times, at least in terms of getting Geni to pay for itself. What some of you view as "whining" others view as folks trying to explain why and/or in what way they think Geni still has it wrong.
The Geni team is familiar with Ken's reasons for being dissatisfied with he site. People assume that he is unhappy because of the basic account restrictions, but (and apologies for paraphrasing for you Ken) he is actually unhappy with the ability for pros to edit any public profile. I think Ken would prefer that he can either approve specific collaborators for his public profiles or that we add timeline events to the revision history for profiles. While we strive to have as much as possible available in the revision history, there are some technical complications to timeline events that make it not feasible at this time. A private tree where all collaborators can be individually approved might work for Ken, but we do not have that service right now.
We do take all feedback seriously and read it carefully.
Michelle Elena Kempner, I was wondering if you've discussed handling the import of his massive gedcom files as a special case. That was my question.
Michelle Elena Kempner
Is there any change that visitors will be allowed to mail profile managers? (without have to register on Geni) By not allowing visitors to contact a profile manager a lot of information is never shared with the profile manager.
Job Waterreus, they will have to register to contact a profile manager. That way the system can use Geni's mail system and will prevent spam.
Michelle - I am also obviously not a spokesperson for Ken - but can confirm that your statement of Ken's reasons for dissatisfaction concur with my understanding.
I have noticed that Pros cannot edit all fields or relationships on public profiles where they don't manage or collaborate - and the reason given by Geni.com was that these edits were not easily reversible / were not in revision history. eg display name. I therefore find it odd that other edits (such as to timelines) can be done even before they are in revision history / reversible.
It doesn't take much then to extend the logic (rightly or wrongly) to conclude that Geni.com cares more about basic details than about timelines. And then to extrapolate to what I think Ken may have said that Geni is OK if all you care about is who begat who and dates of birth and death and marriage, but not much else.
That I find rather sad.
As Randy and others have also observed, Ken is obviously passionate and cares about details, and he would be good to have working on Geni. It's a shame that Geni hasn't been able to put in the revision history that might retain Ken and others.
Michelle, You should focus on the gedcom. Having his database on geni would be a plus. If I had several hundred thousand (new) profiles and could not upload a gedcom, I wouldn't be so interested in geni either. There should be a way to discuss special data acquisition projects to facilitate the expansion of geni. If, as Ken claims, his data is largely not included in geni and is local to New Zealand, then this should be something that you should be exploring. I understand the hard line on the other issues, but not on that one.
To add to Randy's words:
"I am in possession of some terrific trees with many thousands of names in GEDCOM format that are not presently found on Geni. I recall that there were issues in the past when GEDCOM duplicate files were uploaded and the headaches it caused. Would it be feasible to create a separate "quarantined" library of Geni where uploaded trees could be deposited, to be cherrypicked by Curators for addition to the Big Tree? My collaborators on the Jewish tree and I could slog away profile-by-profile for a thousand years before we could fill out the Jewish tree in a way that GEDCOM could in a matter of minutes. This would also be a very efficient way for Geni to fill out the tree in the many regions of the world where it is now sorely under-represented."
- Another example of what Geni.com might address?
re: GEDCOM imports
Although, in at least Ken's case (as I recall) he indicated that the "current" GEDCOM import (as of when it was previously allowed) did NOT import "other events" into a timeline.
I don't know if this is an example, but one could envision a GEDCOM which has an event such as "vessel Cuma Sera arrives at port XX in New Zealand" ... and that event identifies all the people who arrived on that ship and perhaps even its captain and crew.
That may not be considered "basic" genealogical data, but if Geni wants to be a place where living people share their lives with their family then such events ought to be supported by GEDCOM imports and exports.
Another example might be "family gatherings". Such an event can be documented with a photo and by identifying the people in that photo it becomes an "original" Geni source about all those people in the photo (as to living status at a point in time and place) -- ought to be supported by GEDCOM import/export.
I have a two degrees in history. My family history research is my side project. It's something I work on because I truly love it and love finding out what I have been finding. I apply the same strenuous criteria to my personal research as I do to my academic research; because the results matter!
I am not a Pro member at the moment because I can not afford the fee Geni charges. But this does not dilute either my credentials or the quality of my research.
People need to think twice before they start bashing on the "Free" users and the contributions of those users.
I, for one, do not 'bash' on any users, Basic (free) or otherwise ... sure, people make mistakes, but only a very minuscule minority need to be restrained from malicious behavior.
One of the great things, I think, that has arisen with the 'constraints' imposed on free users has been a different kind of collaboration, where paying users help out Basic users with things like merges -- see this Discussion Forum which is just for that purpose (read the first page, then skip to the end!): http://www.geni.com/discussions/99133
Dan: Thanks for pointing out that forum. I shall have to check it out.
I was responding specifically to some comments I saw earlier in this thread when I typed up my post. If I really thought the majority of people here on Geni discounted the free user base; I wouldn't still be active on the site.
For the most part, ever one here I have interacted with have been helpful, and as impassioned about the research and projects as I am myself. When ever I talk to someone just starting their own family history search I always point them towards Geni due to this community collaboration feeling that the user base as a whole fosters.
Someone requested a collaboration and changed my language from English to some language I don't understand. I had not accepted his request. Please send me a message at Mary.email@example.com
Mary Evelyn FEHLER -- it's more likely that you inadvertently changed the language preference. You can reset the language preference by using the "last" item in the list of small links shown at the bottom of every page (it's probably near the middle of the page).
I don't remember what it is that makes it easy to "switch the language" for some folks. It hasn't happened to me (yet!), but one of the other curators was regularly "having fits" with it re-occurring until she figured out what was causing it.
Curious what people will say about Wikitree. I never tried it. 5,000 person gedcom limit was too small for me. They seem to lag way behind. Just 3 million profiles (vs. almost 64 million in the big tree alone on Geni), but still quite a bit of growth (maybe 1 mil per year vs. almost 6 million for the big tree on Geni). See http://www.wikitree.com/articles/features/
Looks right now like they will not catch up with Geni.
They've already slimmed down the GEDCOM upload to 2,000. I think they experienced the same duplication issue Geni did. I just checked their Howton tree - not nearly as complete or accurate as the Geni tree.
This is interesting to me:
Expedited merging for 300-year-old ancestors
Merges generally require the consent of both Profile Managers. However, many historical ancestors have accumulated hundreds of duplicates. The normal back-and-forth of merge proposals, merge approvals, and merge confirmations is unwieldy and leads to serious complications with redirects.
Therefore, profiles of people born more than 300 years ago can be merged by WikiTree Supervisors and individual management may be removed. 
Mary (and others) - about language selection
tonight occassionally language preference self-changed to spanish and after while to english. Seems like several people experienced this.
I know that this was automatically change, becouse it happen when I slept and my "scripts" running regular activitees (collecting some statistics) worked automatically
Seems like one time small error in system
@ Henn Sarv and Mary Fehler
My language changed yesterday after I made some important merges and was about to do some more. The language (with a little research) seems to be Estonian or similar. I looked for a way to change back the language and that area at the bottom of my page was greyed out. I was under the impression I was hacked and someone took control of my account. I went to my home page and at the top of the page was a message that I could only partly read (after cut and paste into a translation site) It seems someone was trying to tell me to stop causing merges by my adding to the tree. At least, that's how I took it. I will investigate this further today if the problem persists.... I might be back.
Michelle Elena Kempner - could you do something with the color on the language selection line at the bottom of the pages?
People seem to believe that the line is disabled, - which I agree on. A gray text are usually disabled links.
Well, this is very interesting - just as I clicked on the screen to read the last post my language changed and I quickly clicked on the language selection, which was grayed out, and it had english already showing. Clicked on cancel and everything went back to english.
I'm on an iMac, would that have any connection to the problem? Just a thought.