Eldon Clark I agree with the first part of your message.
Speaking of "all americans" in such a way is totally out of place.
And I PARTLY agree with the rest of your message, "you get what you pay for".
However geni seems to have forgotten the VALUE of the collaborte effort freeloaders have contributed, then simply pulled the rug from under their feet leaving them unable to perform diddelysquat!
It's either "forgotten" or "don't give a toss", donno which is best?
I visited a non-PRO friend the other day and we sat side by side each with a computer. Although not related we have joined eachothers familygroup.
I could not merge her two children with the duplicates created by her dad, as they were "private" and I'm not in HIS familygroup. But she is. So I told her to do it. And watched.
Guess what? She could not merge her own children. Pay first!
I knew non-PRO users have been wingeclipped, BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS!
It was a betrayal from geni´s side, because we have worked hard on collectiing our ancestors and put them in this and they said it was free to do so and use them after. Now our ancestors are kidnaped so to speak, sometimes we can´t even see them although it is we who are the managers (and sometimes the only manager...). But I give it up very disapointed and angry!
@Karl Halvor Wollan This...
"I could not merge her two children with the duplicates created by her dad, as they were "private" and I'm not in HIS familygroup. But she is. So I told her to do it. And watched.
Guess what? She could not merge her own children."
... actually seems like a 'bug' to me in the implementation. I would give the specifics to Geni -- I don't think that's what they intend.
Dan - wishful thinking. Geni Basic and Plus users cannot propose ANY merge, or complete ANY pending merge, or cancel ANY pending merge.
It is very clearly an intended feature. It is intended to encourage those users who care about the integrity of the tree to upgrade to Pro.
We can though still try to encourage the good people at Geni.com to revise this implementation decision.
Hear hear! Let the non-PRO's at least be able to merge within familygroup.
This will mostly concearn private profiles unreachable for PRO-users anyway, all we can do is tag them and seend a mail to the non-PRO user within that familygroup. Who then can finish the...no wait, they can't anymore!
Ok there is a solution. In the above mentioned example, I told my friend to make the duplicate-profiles of her children public. THEN I could merge them :-)
I also remember writing to a gentleman in his seventies asking him to make one of his profiles "public" (my fifth great uncle) so I could merge with a duplicate.
The gentleman replied that he had no idea what I was talking about and if I wanted something technical done I had to look elsewhere for help...
As I said just now at http://www.geni.com/discussions/101533?msg=745353
I can see a case for suggesting that Geni allow Basic users to accept (or decline where appropriate) merge requests proposed by others - even if they are not allowed to initiate merge requests themselves.
Reading the comments here and elsewhere on Geni, this inability of non Pro users to accept merge requests from Pro users does seem to be a cause of frustration for Pros and non-Pros alike.
This reminds me of the neighborhood trees being cut down and the neighbors incensed. Even if it's private property we feel it's ours. We know the trees and they're beautiful. But if I never want them cut, then I have to own the land. Geni is a company and can be expected to act as such. Perhaps people working there feel bad about the restriction, but they have to make ends meet in this economy. Perhaps someone will start a Wikipedia of genealogy, guaranteed public, carefully edited, added to by all, huge and invaluable. I'm ready to participate in that!
@Martin Cayford There are a few (such as WeRelate.org and Familypedia; those two are rather small (in terms of numbers of 'profiles') and both have rather limited options for viewing "connections", possible matches, and managing merges.
Certainly not the rich graphical interface like Geni.
WeRelate has many better possibilities and tools than Geni, among others an excellent gedcom upload and a much better presentation of the data on a profile and a much better merge tool, but unfortunately is WeRelate a small site with about 2 million profiles. The site is free without charges and democratic !
Do you speak, read or write GERMAN? If so, please join : http://www.geni.com/projects/International-German-Portal
mit vielen GRUSSchEN, jeannette.
some news from Geni:
as an alternative to leaving Geni:
You could sign up to Geni again (as a basic user) with a different e-mail address. That way you could add another 100 persons.
A PRO user or Curator could join the two trees.
You could repeat that as many times as you like (unless Geni changed that as well).
It will get a bit complicated with so many e-mail addresses, but you they all could collaborate.
For goodness sake! The easiest thing to do is simply join GeniPro and help support the cost of the servers, Internet access, and computer engineering needed to keep a site of this sophistication up and running! Do my fellow Geni enthusiasts really not think that 20 cents a day is a bargain for the services that Geni Pro provides? Heck, my cable TV costs 25 times that amount and does not give me a fraction of the pleasure!
Good point, Adam. Personally, I have little to no discretionary money each month. We don't have cable because we can't afford it. I use a pre-paid cell phone that is cheaper than any contract, and we don't have a landline. I coupon and we often buy our clothes at thrift shops. I cut our hair at home. I don't buy lattes.
But I've been a Geni pro for months, because I decided it was important enough that I found a way to free up the funds. It costs less than going to a movie and about the same as a McDonalds meal for my son and me. I totally get not having money to throw around - but seriously, Geni is cheap. ;-)
Well put Adam and Jennifer! I too have very little left at the end of the month for any indulgences and 2 years ago when I had the funds, bought a lifetime membership, so don't have to worry about monthly payments ever again. I certainly have gotten my money's worth in those 2 years, and enjoy this more than just about anything else. Years ago I added my tree, one profile at a time, onto an on-line free site and a year later it vanished without any explanation, all my info gone, good reason to have a paid site!
Good for you, Margaret! I just did the same! After scrimping on everything and going without basics for years (seriously, you don't want the details, sometimes it's been downright ugly, lol!), we just got a little windfall and I, too, bought a lifetime membership. What a relief, to know I never have to worry about the monthly fee again - and it just feels like such a great purchase! MUCH better than junk food or any of the other things people routinely buy nowadays!
(Uh-oh, I said 'nowadays'. Does that make me sound ancient? lol)
Scott - apparently MyHeritage does a good job of importing the Photos and Documentsfrom Geni to their program/tree - see several entries in another thread, starting (I believe) with http://www.geni.com/discussions/102149?msg=751364
Adam, Jennifer, Erica, Margaret - Geni never said "Hey, we're in great financial difficulty, please help", and they keep justifying these changes as "improvements to the program" -- not as desperate measures to bring in enough money to stay afloat. I think they should be judged on the reasons they give, not the ones you assume (perhaps they have plenty of money - I do not know - but if they have said this is why they are making all of these hideous changes, please provide the link(s)).
Being a fiscally-sound business is not the same as being in great financial difficulty. The bottom line is that sometimes, in order to grow your assets, you need to make changes in how you operate. That's true of an individual, a family, or a business.
My grandmother used to say "Life is a matter of choices". It was extremely annoying when she chirped it at me - but it was also true. It's true for Geni and it's true for every user.
I think another maxim that may fit is, "You can't please all of the people all of the time". No matter what Geni does, someone's going to be unhappy.
None of this is to say I'm not sympathetic. I absolutely am. At the same time, some of what's going on crosses over into temper-tantrum-land. I think that it's important to stay positive and proactive in life!
I will modify my wording - where are the links telling us the reasons are to ensure fiscal soundness - rather than "improvements" to the Program, etc. which is what I keep seeing them claiming?
Do not think we should give them any slack on the basis that they are trying to ensure fiscal soundness unless they are actually willing to say that is the reason for the changes. Otherwise - respond according to the reasons they give!!!
In one of the comments from Geni's Amanda at http://help.geni.com/entries/20640938-november-1-changes-to-members... you can see the following:
"Business change overtime and we've had to adjust our business model to remain sustainable."
Did everyone notice in the changes:
a) a very substantial price increase for pro. A lifetime geni pro used to be $299. Now it is $417. This is a 40% price increase. It was 'snuck in' unnanounced.
b) no more 1 month memberships
c) a substantial price increase for the 1 and 2 year memberships as well.
Thanks, David. One comment, over in Help where we cannot link to the exact comment and the person is not identified as a member of the Geni-Team - but we assume she is speaking for Geni. Or - is she just expressing her own assumption?
It certainly is not part of the official announcement of the change.
Personally, I am not impressed with their financial acumen. Apparently they are not either, since in the past several months they have repeatedly made very significant changes - to me, suggesting that the earlier changes failed to pull in the needed/expected/desired income.
Does anybody know - do most places tell folks when they are about to raise prices significantly (and unexpectedly) - figuring they will come out ahead with the big rush to buy at the lower prices? Or is Geni's choice the common one?
Yes. Businesses need to change their pricing structures sometimes. Gas has gone up over 200% in the last few years. I was shocked to see that a the Milky Way candy bar my son asked for the other day was $1.89! There's not a lot I can do about it and, really, in my life I want to focus on what I *can* do instead of what I can't.
The thing I try to remember is that the same businesses I criticize for charging high prices are simultaneously being criticizes for low wages and benefits. Meanwhile, they have to keep up with software and hardware changes that take place at dizzying speeds. We complained about "the Big Crash" and wanted Geni to do whatever it took to make sure it didn't happen again. I'm assuming they need financing that's a little more solid than leprechaun gold in order to do that.
Personally? I've started putting all my change in a tin can to save up for when they go public, cause I intend to get in on that IPO!!!!
In case it helps in some way, the topics of these three Discussions are very similar.
1. http://www.geni.com/discussions/102404 "Free users become Paid users when......"
2. http://www.geni.com/discussions/102255 "Geni's PROs Vs. the rest of Geni's members"
3. http://www.geni.com/discussions/99067 ". . . a single, collaborative world family tree . . ."