I DON"t think the free user would be locked as long as they keep declining merges. My concern is that new users will accept a merge thinking they aren't growing THEIR tree, but in fact they are. So they accept a merge thinking that is what they are supposed to do if they want to really participate here, and instantly find themselves attached to the World Tree and locked out from adding accounts.
As it is, close relatives are now receiving invites to join GENI, to find that their profile is already locked out by the 100 family member limit.
Personally, I can't see this latest limit mechanism working for Basic users, but until GENI also gets that and at a minimum goes back to the 4 Gen limit, the current users here should avoid locking out any Basis or Plus users that can currently still add to their trees.
Of course that means creating more duplicates and the end of exponential expansion of the World Tree for the time being, but there is still plenty of work to be don around here until GENI figures out they have inflicted a mortal wound to themselves.
I agree with your comments, Private User -- my "numbers" for limits were not meant to be recommendations. My primary concern is the method by which ANY limitations are "counted".
... I actually think that 100-200 is rather reasonable for 'free' users -- IF they are in a relatively well-connected area of the "Forest" (a.k.a. Big Tree). Once one starts "connecting" with the "Forest", the value of the Geni becomes apparent.
For me, by way of example, it only took about a dozen profiles before I was able (on my wife's side) to "connect" to the "Forest" (... and then I encountered an abandoned set of profiles which I 'inherited' to the tune of 5000+ ...) -- and after my first GEDCOM download after making that connection, I happily let my "trial" Pro membership become paid!
However, for folks in India, or China, or ... most anywhere outside of the US or Europe, even that number (100-200) may be too low to entice a "critical mass" of free users. One needs a "critical mass" of "nearby" profiles to really appreciate how Geni differs from most other sites.
I see two primary ways to get that "critical mass": free users and easy uploads & pruning of the uploads. The 2nd has been missing from Geni for some time now; the first is currently being rather stifled as implemented today.
Both issues need to be addressed for continued rapid growth into "connecting the world's people".
re: uploads ... that is why my Dad's side of the family is not entered yet, because I've not found any "nearby" connections, and I'd rather wait to upload the other "profiles" I have instead of entering them by hand ... and all the "cousins" info will certainly wait until this most recent mess about "counts for free users" is resolved.
(in the meantime I'm helping clean up the areas of the "Forest" with which I'm already connected. Even if I don't have any significant 'sources' of my own, I can help with a lot of "obvious" problems which currently exist!)
Erica Howton Isabel Howton, Volunteer Curator - I agree with you that taking Public profiles private should not be encourage and is not what I am talking about at all. I also am puzzled by the statement that I am talking for YOU.
As several here have said, I am only talking about BASIC and PLUS users who are currently under their limits. That Pros must take into consideration that when they propose a merge with one of those users, if the merge is accepted they will go over their limit, and their ability to contribute profiles to GENI will END unless they are willing to fork over money.
Since you are a committed Pro users, and seem willing to continue to add any family members for anyone you have have invited - no that doesn't affect you, but if you happen to search for profile and that profile is someones 5th Great grandparent, DON'T PROPOSE A MERGE WITHOUT DETERMINING HOW ACCEPTING THE MERGE WILL AFFECT THE OTHER MANAGER.
What if the person you are merging with is some Middle School student do a tree for a class project/assignment, they start with an existing branch they know 6 generations of - GENI sets their GGGGGF to Public by default. You come across it by searching and send a merge request - they think, "Hey, I can build my tree so much faster by merging" and accept. BOOM! they are locked out.
Private User ... That is exactly what my proposal above (changing the 'method of counting' for any limits) is intended to address -- to ENCOURAGE appropriate merging.
By the way, Private User ... even though I only entered about a dozen profiles before 'connecting', it was at "wife's second great grandfather" -- but that was because I was searching for connections before even entering any profiles ... and THAT behavior was because I knew I could not just upload the 'profiles' in my personal database (yet), so I was looking to minimize what I needed to do by hand in order to 'connect'.
I got to about my first 500 profiles before it became appearant to me, that those round rings signalled a shared profile and that I thus could connect to other managers and trees, who seemd to share my opinion that same close or not so close relatives were just as valuable to them as were they to me. Next when I understood how to hook up my tree with their, things become fascinating to me - and that's where I became hooked on this matter - and became a valuable Pro customer of Geni. That IMHO doesn't happen based on a 100 max profile sniff. That rule to me seems utterly pound-foolish and while granting a marginal income spike for sure will set Geni on the path towards the end.
http://www.geni.com/people/Sten-Wald%C3%B6/6000000002572813551, I'm not really debating the proper "value" for the limit -- no matter what some folks won't be real happy.
I'm most concerned that Geni change the calculation of their limit ... THAT is what is keeping me from inviting other families AND random other friends to participate in GENI ... the "ease of use" for free (Basic) users is too much hassle as the limits are currently implemented.
I understand the spirit you meant and agree - in principle.
The reality is that I work in the 18th century on back for the most part. And to me, any profile I encounter died before 1775 (that's 250 years ago!) that requires "approval" is an erroneous profile.
It is an unfair burden on me cleaning up around multiply ancestored, historic public figures to also have to investigate and calculate what it does to the pricing structure for the innocent Geni member who entered it too. That's what I'm trying to get across.
I'm afraid that with current limitations there will be few merge requests from basic users. If they are still able to add to their tree, they won't be able after the merge. After they used up the 100 profiles they might ask for a merge, but they cannot add anymore to the tree so changes are they will lose interest in Geni.
I still have data on some 35000 profiles, but I cannot add them as a basic user. I do not like to ask any pro user to add 35.000 profiles for me. I'm not willing to pay for PRO membership, so what else can I do then leave Geni? (or hope for a change in policy)
http://www.geni.com/people/Sten-Wald%C3%B6/6000000002572813551 I just looked at the list of merges requested by me. The count is 2334 (not a typo) the oldest is 12/12/ 2010. Could be for any of the following reasons. 1. The tree is abandoned. 2 .The person does not understand about merging. 3. The person wants a private tree or 4. The person has notifications turned off which Geni should not let happen for merge requests.
The only options Geni gives me is to cancel the request. There should be on option to resend the request.
Eldon. Seeing you don't mind helping, would you please cancel your request to merge with my profile of James Armstrong. This is the third time of asking. The two James were born in different centuries, have different wives, different kids and are on different continents. The profile is private. What else can you get wrong?
You are merging with a basic user. Why bother? Basic users cannot respond.
I am a basic user. I can neither accept nor decline your request. If you don't check this first, all you are going to do (and what you are doing) is glueing up the tree.
This accounts for the members that you say won't respond - they can't - stop asking them!
If you are treating every merge suggested by Geni as a definite match, I don't hold out much hope for the tree. If I hadn't made my profile private you would have completed the merge.
No Ken if I could have seen the profile and if it as you described I would not have requested the merge on a private profile the only option is to send the manager a message. I assume that your own profile is private so there is no way to tell what level of membership you have.
You say"This accounts for the members that you say won't respond - they can't - stop asking them!" Absolutely untrue most merges I request are visible on both sides. The people just do not respond for one reason or another.I think my work speaks for itself and I do not hide as you do while throwing accusations at anyone. I asked you to give me some simple answers so I could resolve your issue but you just continue to rant so I am saying PUT UP or SHUT UP!
Sten, if the owner of that profile is a Basic User then merging will likely break their account.
Complain when there are no more conflicts/potential merges with public trees remaining to be done.
If you don't like it, complain to GENI.
If you think this results in crippling your Pro account, then cancel and ask for a refund.
GENI says you can now build a PRIVATE, FREE tree back 99 generations, If that is a problem for Pro users, then the problem is with GENI.
Let's be civil ...
My current approach (given the state of Geni.com at the moment) is to not request a merge with a private profile -- but if I think it should be public (because there seem to be identical public profiles) then I send a note to the manager of that profile asking if they would consider making it public.
What I *have* seen is private profiles with some public profiles "in the middle" of them -- those are most likely inadvertently set private.
Sometimes I get responses; more often I don't; if there's no response after a while (weeks), I may then report the profile(s) as abandoned. Unfortunately, I've never gotten any response from Geni staff about the status of such requests ... even in the one or two cases where some action *was* taken about it.
Personally, I'd rather leave "hanging" private profiles than incomplete merges.
I'm sorry my last to comments sound angry - I AM angry, but not with Pro users, or any other Users. I liked GENI and want it to survive, but I know it cannot under the current limit mechanism.
I have already exceeded my goals for genealogy by building out my direct ancestors at least 6 generations on every direct line. I'd be very happy with MY tree if I never add another person ever again.
But I made the foolish mistake of believing that GENI's goal was to build one big world tree, and I make every profile that isn't living or has a living child public to further that effort. Unless we as users continue to make this as welcoming a place as possible for Basic users, GENI will die. So I suggest you don't do anything that will break Basic User accounts despite the fact that that seems to be the goal of current GENI management. Just work on building your own tree, and merging with the public profiles of other Pro users. As I implied above, that leaves plenty of work that can be done for the time being.
If you feel you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO merge with a private profile, then send a personal message to the manager FULLY EXPLAINING the consequence to them if they are a BASIC or PLUS user. You should probably also offer them the alternative of just sending you the information about the profile so you'll know if your information is correct.
Chuck, I totally agree with you within the MFG group. I entered shell profiles, deceased, to make it easier for cousins to find their families and get started on Geni. I'm heartsick that they becomes a de facto bait and switch.
With the change in August I thought, "let me build bridges to the World Family Tree" and concentrated tree building on the 5th to 10th generation.
Now I don't know what to do.