I'm a completely new starter - with family trees and Geni.
Through discussions with family and a very chance funeral, I discovered that me and my partner are distantly related. My main idea for joining was so that I could work out and document the link between and hopefully see all on one "page", although it doesn't appear Geni lets you do that as it splits off mine and her tree.
Anyway, I'm keen to add to the tree as much as possible and would be very keen to link into this "big tree" I keep hearing about through different forum messages. I'm very much struggling to get into things though, how to take family members the next step forward etc and there doesn't seem to be much help - or am I looking in the wrong place.
You all seem a friendly lot - where do I start?! What are the important things and what aren't?
The most important thing in genealogy is sources, always document where you got your information from.
Start with your own known family. Add your parents, sibling and children. Then go on to your grandparents. Now it's about time to make a choice of what you want: only ancestors, or ancestors including their descendants. With the descendants it's a bigger job, but you will probably like to have them in your familytree sooner or later anyway, your choice.
Get the elders in your family to talk about their life, childhood, sweethearts, education, work, and so on, before it's to late. If possible, make a recording of it with a MP3 recorder. Document it all in your genealogy software. (Geni should not be your main genealogy software, you should find an offline one and use that on your own computer, just in case something happens to Geni, and Gedcom is not good enough as a backup. Geni should only be your backup.)
Be quality oriented instead of quantity oriented. And try to use primary sources as much as possible (sources that was written/recorded at the time of the incident).
You have an interest infinding the common ancestors of you and your partner, try to do that first, it will probably be very interesting. My wifes mother and me are 13th cousins.
Don't worry about the big tree in the beginning, you will get there soon enough.
Since you're living in the UK, try to find the censuses in the early 1900's and late 1800's on the internet, usually they are taken every 10th year, but our english users know more about this than me (I'm living in Norway).
Good luck with your hooby and quest. I'm in my 27th year having genealogy as a hobby, and still having a lot of fun.