FYI: a bit off the original topic, but a couple of recent ideas I had ....
One quick idea I just had in reference to my comment above. As an IMMEDIATE stop-gap to truly encourage the development of a single world and discourage the creation of unnecessary duplicate profiles - I propose the GENI make clicking through search results FREE for all MASTER PROFILES. That way, once an MP has been created, there is a least some chance that unnecessary duplicates won't be created simply because a family member creates one.
I'm not sure that I understand. You said "At this point, not letting BASIC users see the public profiles in their search..."
At this moment a search finds (at least some) public profiles.
(I'm a basic user and just tried it).
There are problems with the search however. Trying to click through to a profile give me the screen with:
Geni Will Be Right Back!
There is another bug report http://help.geni.com/entries/20447396-bug-report-non-pro-can-t-clic...
So I'm not sure how the search is supposed to work. at the moment.
But even if it was possible to click true to a master profile what would that solve? The MP would normally only be shown if no first names are specified for the search or when searching for that specific MP profile.
My comment is about being able to click though to the profile from search results. If you are a Basic user you can see profiles with matching names, but you can't go to the profile.
You seem to not be clear on the concept of Master Profiles - they are curated profiles for a single individual that ideally should be the only public profile for that person if a Master Profile exists. They should ALWAYS come up during a search. My proposal is that at tleast for Master Profiles, Basic users should be able to click through to the profile (instead of being redirected to a 'please upgrade' page - which is what currently happens). That way, Basic users are less likely to create new profiles for individuals that already have a Master Profile - since ultimately any duplicates of individuals who have a Master Profile will have to be merged with the Master profile.
You say "Basic user you can see profiles with matching names, but you can't go to the profile." and "Basic users should be able to click through to the profile (instead of being redirected to a 'please upgrade' page - which is what currently happens)."
That is not what happens when I do a search. I'm redirected to Geni Will Be Right Back!
I do understand what a master profile is, but that will only help when a master exists for the profile where you are searching for (as far as I understand you).
When a basic user sees a match indication after adding a profile, searching will show them mostly zero ore more than one profile.
The only profile that they would be able to view would be the master profiles (if any where included in the search result)
You expect them to search (with most of the time will not give them any useful result) and than pick out the master profile if that is included in the result and then check if it is the same person.
If so they must remember to change the profile they added to public and then ask someone to perform the merge for them.
That is asking a lot. Only making a master profile available from a search will not motivate them to do this (in my opinion)
Geni Basic users might like to try searching for public profiles here instead:
Thanks. I new about that. That makes it extra strange that it does not work via searching within Geni (it still seems to work when using an external search engine like Google)
But I do not think searching will help much against basic users that create duplicate profiles.
The only thing would be for Geni to warn a user that he / she is a possibly trying to add a duplicate and show the (data of the) potential duplicate(s) and then ask for a conformation before adding the potential duplicate and also ask for conformation for making it private (when the user specified it as private).
Job, that is exactly what my offline genealogical software does. When I'm adding a new person, the software searches through the whole database included all alternate names, and comes up with possible matching persons. Then it's up to me to choose if it's a match or not. I think Geni should work the same way when adding new persons, the only drawback would maybe be the time required for the servers to search for matches while we are waiting to add a new relative.
There are many differences between basic, plus and pro users
As far as I know, there is no documentation that lists all the differences in detail and there seem to be some bugs..
I have not added very much after the change, but as far as I have seen, there will sometimes be an indication of multiple profiles after adding a possible duplicate (not while adding).
That information after adding is almost useless for a basic users, because clicking on it, will get you an add for PRO.
Searching for the same information is difficult, because the matching algorithm in Geni takes into account information from related profiles and that is very hard to duplicate with a search within Geni or with a external search engine.
Even finding the profile within Geni will not help, because viewing the profile or the tree is impossible from the search screen.
Because the matching of profiles is not very good, in a lot of cases you will get no indication when there is a match or get an indication when there is no match.
The way name data is stored within Geni, makes it very hard to improve the search and matching algoritms. I started an discussion on that topic in http://www.geni.com/discussions/101031
Remi, your scheme won't work for two reasons:
1. Often to get a good match you have to have at least one parent, which doesn't happen when you're building up and ancestral line.
2. If we didn't allow you to add the profile that would have a match, you'd be stuck building your tree until someone could connect you to the matching profile.
The basic user gets the warning, but cannot do anything with it.
So the just added profile will stay private.
The manager of the other profile could be a pro, but only can see it in the merge centre. But changes are that there be will many potential merges there with private profiles. So the pro user is not likely to check them all and perform the possible merges.
Curators may then try to clean up.
I don't get involved with private profiles within the Family Group. I really prefer to work in clearly historic space where the private profile is likely to be a zombie. There is enough clean up, documenting and merging in my own ancestral lines, 4th to 10th generations from me, to keep me busy another year.
Mike, it's working perfectly that way in most offline genealogy software. The check for duplicates happen when you enter the name of the person, not after you have added the person. Why shouldn't Geni be up to this task, when allmost every other genealogy software do it this way?
1. If a person with an ancestral line allready exist in Geni, and I start adding a new person with the same name, there is a big probability that I know the name of the parents, kids and who he/she is married to, from the source I'm using, then it should be no problem finding out if it is a match with the person allready existing in Geni or not.
2. This argument is invalid, since if you got the match while writing the name in the new profile, and it was a match with an allready existing profile, you wouldn't add a new profile, but use the existing one, and attach your line to that one. The only ones that couldn't do it this way are the Basic users, and you have chosen that it should be that way, so you have made that problem.
Remi, when using offline genealogy software with your own private data, you're usually matching new entries against a database of a few hundred profiles, or perhaps a few thousand. On Geni, you're matching against a database of 59 million profiles.
For example, when searching for David Trowbridge (my father) using only his name, I get 57 results, only one of which is really my father. It would be impractical for me to have to check through dozens (or often hundreds) of name matches every time I entered a new profile on Geni.
re: "For example, when searching for David Trowbridge (my father) using only his name, I get 57 results, only one of which is really my father. It would be impractical for me to have to check through dozens (or often hundreds) of name matches every time I entered a new profile on Geni."
However, if you entered the birth or death date (if deceased), either one, then the number of potential matches (should) drop significantly.
Moreover, if this profile is being add "in relationship" to an existing profile, then that is another piece of information to select from the "possible pool" (e.g.: name ~ David Trowbridge + son Geoffrey) -- or to at least order-by-liklihood the possible matches.
Your argument 2 is valid for pro users, but Mike's argument is true for basic users. Geni has stated that they do not want a completely independent handling of different user groups, so it is not so easy if Geni does not want to change its policy.
An alternative for making it somewhat better (like I stated before)::
Geni could warn a user that he / she is a possibly trying to add a duplicate and show the (data of the) potential duplicate(s) and then ask for a conformation before adding the potential duplicate profile and also ask for conformation for making it private (when the user specified it as private).
But may be Mike has a better solution?
@ Steve - spare me your bloviating. First, you do not know "all americans" and, secondly, after almost 71 years of living in various countries, 26 years of it wearing my country's Air Force blue uniform, I have learned that a$$holes do not recognize international boundaries - one can even occasionally find one even here on Geni. If you wish to take Geni to task as an example of a money-hungry American company - that is fine by me. However, do not give me this "all americans" crap.
There is no question about wether Geni is trying to make money or not. Ofcourse they are, if not they wouldn't excist. Both the management and the owners are trying to do what they feel is the right way to go to earn money, as any company would do. We just have to try and influence them in a way that the software Gen i also become what we like it to be.
"Your Geni Pro subscription expired 11 days ago," it says at the top of my screen. Yes, I cancelled it. And I'm not renewing.
I did so much for Geni in the couple of years that I was involved. I brought people in, I filled in and corrected branches that weren't mine, I worked hard on merges and bringing the "world's largest free family tree" together. And I feel like Geni betrayed me in a way that a bigger provider, like Facebook, would not be able to do without law suits and rioting. I'm much more cautious now about so-called freemium-based services. Just give 'em a while, and they'll get their money out of you somehow, even if you already volunteered money in faith.
I am sorry to hear that. I am familiar with some of your profiles and can attest to their quality. I do understand the sense of betrayal and feel the communication could have been better. I went PRO to enhance my Geni experience quite a long time ago, but it seems the motivations we had were not enough revenue stream for this next growth cycle for Geni (I am just guessing here!). Given that, I wonder what the real lessons are for the future.